Spring 2004 Hon 394

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Spring 2004
Hon 394

Inventing Ireland:

Modern Irish Literature and Identity

Class Meets: MW 1:40-2:55
Office Hours: MW 3:00 – 4:30

T-F by appointment

Dr. Jacquie Lynch
Office: Irish Hall A-208

E-mail: jacquie.lynch@asu.edu

Phone: 480 / 965-6780

Inventing Ireland is an interdisciplinary seminar that studies the ways late 19th and 20th-century Irish authors and intellectuals created a complex modern Irish identity to replace the colonial stereotypes that had been forged through several centuries of British rule in Ireland.  This process did not take place solely within the Emerald Isle; with more people of Irish descent living in the United States than in Ireland, Irish-American authors have played a vital role in expanding the modern conception of what it means to be Irish, whether at home or abroad.  This class looks at the process of ethnic identity-building from both sides of the Atlantic.

  1. To study modern masterpieces of Irish Literature in their cultural and political context;

  2. To broaden the student’s historical awareness and understanding of Ireland and Irish-America;

  3. To expose the student to intellectual and artistic dialogues regarding theories of cultural production and national and ethnic identity building;

  4. To improve skills in analytical reading, critical discussion and evaluation, and the construction of oral and written arguments.

  5. To promote awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity within the contemporary United States.

Required Texts:

  • Course Reader: Purchase at Alternative Copy Shop, 204 E. University (at Forest)

in mid-February.

  • Web Reader: texts & images http://www.public.asu.edu/~jacquies/Inventing.htm

  • David Pierce, ed., Irish Writing in the Twentieth-Century. (Cork UP)

  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Oxford UP)

  • Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes (Touchstone 1999)

Supplementary Resources:

  • Our class web site at http://www.public.asu.edu/~jacquies/Inventing.htm features links to the online readings, focus questions, and other supplementary material. Use of this web page is mandatory.

  • Our class web board will allow students to initiate and extend classroom discussions, and to post assigned Reading Responses. Go to http://jmlynch.myftp.org/ib/ to register. Your first post, in which you briefly introduce yourself to the class, is due no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 28.

  • The Barrett Writing Center offers individual peer tutoring and small group workshops by trained BHC students who have successfully completed both HON 171 and 172. See http://jmlynch.myftp.org/hewc/ for updated tutoring and workshop schedules, appointment information, academic background on our staff, and internet links related to academic essay writing.

  • Voices of the Irish Renaissance Book Project, an opportunity for undergraduates to contribute the research they do for this class to an anthology being proposed for publication. Details will be announced in class.

Graded Assignments:
Required assignments consist of

    1. quality participation in class and online discussions (25%)

    2. four 1 page (single-spaced) reading responses (10%)

    3. an annotated bibliography (15%)

    4. a formal research presentation including an abstract and script (20%), and

    5. an 8-10 page formal academic essay involving multiple drafts (30%).

Assignments and in-class activities seek to fulfill the course objectives in the following ways:

Reading Responses (10% of course grade) strengthen your critical reading skills, help you prepare for class discussion, demonstrate your personal engagement with a text in less formal prose than is required in the formal academic essay, and allow you to practice various critical and possibly creative writing techniques. These responses will be posted to the class web board, which will ideally generate further class discussion. As other students need to read your responses in a timely manner, they may not be made up, and late submissions will receive no credit.
Class Participation (25% of course grade)
Class Discussion is the heart of our seminar. Students will shape the discussion and refine critical reading, thinking, and speaking skills by bringing in questions about the reading, occasionally leading discussions, participating in round-robin summaries, responding analytically to questions posed by the instructor and fellow students, supporting ideas with textual or logical evidence, posing and addressing counter-arguments, and interacting with other class members by supporting or challenging the ideas under consideration. We’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice articulating our views orally by speaking in a non-threatening seminar environment.

  • Our Class Web-Board extends our discussions by allowing students to initiate discussions before class and to share ideas that may occur to them after a class session ends. For both in-class and web-board discussions, citing textual evidence will improve your participation grade.

Research Presentations (20% of course grade) encourage students to gather, interpret, and evaluate evidence, to synthesize major class themes, to apply their critical insights to specific texts or contexts, and to share their ideas with class members in professional and possibly creative written and oral formats. The script requirement ensures the presentation is logically organized, and the abstract allows students to practice distilling extensive material down to the presenter’s most significant points. Presentations may be done collaboratively with fellow class members. See the Pierce anthology pages 1267-1281 for ideas on themes you might wish to pursue.

Annotated Bibliographies (15% of course grade) require students to hone research skills by gathering, evaluating, and summarizing primary and secondary sources—excellent practice for those of you who will be writing an academic honors thesis.
The Academic Argument Essay (30% of course grade) allows you to showcase the intellectual skills you practice each week. This combination research and academic argument paper prepares students for honors thesis or senior capstone projects by requiring them to read and think critically, to synthesize course material, to identify significant cross-cultural connections, to craft a polished, insightful argument that adheres to the conventions of standard academic prose, and to put their ideas in conversation with those of other intellectuals.

Policies and Procedures:
Attendance: Attendance and preparation are extremely important in a discussion-based class such as this one, so the absence policy is strict:

  • Any student who exceeds four absences will automatically receive a final course grade no higher than a B, or six absences no higher than a C.

  • Bring the assigned text(s) to class each day; otherwise, you will be marked absent.

  • Arriving late to class more than once or twice will detrimentally affect your participation grade.

If you must miss a class, make sure you contact a classmate to find out if you missed any announcements or changes to the syllabus. Feel free to let me know ahead of time if you will be missing an upcoming class so that we can discuss any plans for that session.

Due Dates and Late Assignments: Readings and other assignments are due at the BEGINNING of the class period indicated on the syllabus. If you have a documented, valid excuse to turn in an assignment after a deadline (serious illness, family emergency, etc.) I must be informed as soon as possible prior to the due date. Otherwise, assignments turned in after the due date and time will be marked down a full letter grade per day (e.g., an assignment due on Monday and turned in Wednesday will be marked down two grades, for example from a B to a D). This policy does not apply to reading responses, which cannot be accepted after assigned deadlines.


Knowingly presenting another person's language or ideas as your own constitutes plagiarism.  Don’t do itRepercussions will include failure of the paper AND failure of the course, and may include referral to the Student Conduct Committee of the University and expulsion from the University.  Plagiarism, the theft of intellectual property, is a serious crime; if you have any questions, come talk to me

Student Conduct

Students must conduct themselves according to the ASU policies posted online at http://www.asu.edu/studentlife/judicial .  These include the ASU Student Code of Conduct and the Student Academic Integrity Policy.  For information on policies for grievances and grade complaints, see http://www.asu.edu/honors/forms.html.


  • If your cell phone rings in class, I get to answer it. Really.

  • Did you know that a class syllabus is, legally speaking, a binding contract?

Tentative Schedule of Classes
This Daily Schedule Is Subject to Change;

Any Changes Will Be Announced in Class.

Web = Readings and images posted for print out on the Class Web Page

Reader = Printed course reader (purchase at The Alternative Copy Shop in mid-February)

Week 1

W Jan 21

Introduction to class.

F Jan 23

Email Jacquie.Lynch@asu.edu by 5:00 p.m. & indicate in your message that you accept the

Seminar Participation Guidelines (handout).

Week 2

Ancient Ireland

M Jan 26

Tain—Prestories (handout)

W Jan 28

Tain—Fergus & Ferdia Chapters (handout).

The deadline for registering for the class webboard http://jmlynch.myftp.org/ib/ and

posting a brief introduction to yourself is 5:00 p.m. today! Remember to sign up with

“Firstname Lastname” as your user id, and use your ASU email address.

Week 3

Colonial Ireland

M Feb 2

Swift, "A Modest Proposal" (web); Background & Focus Questions (web);

W Feb 4

Apes & Angels (handout)

Week 4

M Feb 9

O’Leary, “The Hunger” (P-223); Davis, “A Nation Once Again”; Mangan, “Dark Rosaleen”;

Kinsella, “Rosin Dubh” (all on web)

W Feb 11

Hyde, “Necessity for De-Anglicizing Ireland” (P-2); Moran, “The Battle of Two Civilizations”

(P-31); Russell, “Nationality or Cosmopolitanism” (P-44).

Week 5

M Feb 16

Gregory, Our Irish Theatre (web); “The Rising of the Moon” (Reader); Yeats, Cathleen Ni

Houlihan (P-98)

W Feb 18

Yeats, On Bailes’ Strand (Reader)


Week 6

M Feb 23

Shaw, John Bull’s Other Island, Acts I-II (P-126-144)

W Feb 25

Shaw, John Bull’s Other Island III & IV (P-144- 170); Joyce, from English as We Speak It in

Ireland (P-208)


Week 7

M Mar 1

Synge, Playboy of the Western World (P-171)

W Mar 3

Moore, “Homesickness” (P-103) and Hail and Farewell (219) and handout

Week 8

M Mar 8

Joyce, “The Dead” (Reader) + excerpts from Ulysses, “Telemachus” (web)

W Mar 10

Easter 1916: Pearse, Yeats, Stephens

Week 9

  Spring Break

Week 10

M Mar 22

Joyce, Portrait

W Mar 24

Joyce, Portrait

Week 11

M Mar 29

O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into Night (P-680 and Reader)

W Mar 31

O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into Night (Reader)

Week 12

M Apr 5

Presentations & Selected Poetry

W Apr 7

Presentations & Selected Poetry

Week 13

M Apr 12

McCourt, Angela’s Ashes

W Apr 14

McCourt, Angela’s Ashes

Week 14

M Apr 19

Presentations & Selected Poetry

W Apr 21

Keane, The Field

Week 15

M Apr 26

McCabe, The Butcher Boy

W Apr 28

Contemporary Irish Lyrics

Week 16

M May 3

Research Papers Due

W May 5

Reading Day

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