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ENGL 7732 Contemporary Irish Fiction (Fall: 3 )


Course Description

Mary Robinson, in her inaugural speech in 1990, hoped that her presidency of Ireland would "promote the telling of stories, stories of celebration through the arts and stories of conscience and of social justice." Concentrating on contemporary Irish fiction, this course examines the confluence of "stories" representing Irish society since the late-1980s. We will consider this (re)-emergence in the 1990s of the novel as Ireland’s dominant cultural form and question what that means in terms of cultural aesthetics. We will examine how these texts represent significant cultural shifts in Irish society and attempt answers to ongoing cultural questions. These include the relationship between tradition and innovation in ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland, the role of national identity in an era of globalization, the uses of memory, history, and the past in these novels, the representations of trauma and survival, cultural responses to economic boom, bust and austerity, the emergence of popular genres, and issues related to gender, sexuality and ethnicity in the “new Ireland.” Authors include Patrick McCabe Roddy Doyle, Seamus Deane, Colum McCann, Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Emma Donoghue, Sebastian Barry, Kevin Barry, Eimear McBride, Donal Ryan, Sara Baume, Lisa McInerney and Tana French.


Instructor(s): James Smith

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

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Last Updated: 29-Aug-17