Class Details: Modern Ireland, 1607-Present

History 195 — Modern Ireland 1607-Present
In Dublin, Ireland
With Professor Kevin Thornton and Laura Mina, Program Assistant

Syllabus: The University of Vermont History 195
Modern Ireland, 1607- Present
Travel Course

Required Texts:

Joseph Coohill, Ireland: a Short History.
Frank O’Connor, Collected Stories
Brendan Behan, Borstal Boy
Seamus Deane, Reading in the Dark
Seamus Heaney, Field Work


Lecture 1: Ireland Before 1500
Lecture 2: The Tudor-Stuart Conquest
-Reading: Coohill, Ireland: A Short History, Introduction and Chapter 1
Lecture 3: 17th Century Ireland
Lecture 4: The Protestant Ascendancy / The Rebellion of 1798
-Reading: Coohill, Chapter 2; Frank O’Connor, Collected Stories, “My First Protestant”
Lecture 5: Catholic Emancipation and the Repeal Movement
Lecture 6: The Famine
-Reading: Coohill, Chapter 3; O’Connor, “The Old Faith,” “Peasants” and “The Teacher’s Mass”
Lecture 7: The Irish Diaspora/19th Century Irish Nationalism
Lecture 8: The Land War / Home Rule
-Reading: Coohill, Chapters 4 and 5; O’Connor, “Ghosts”
Lecture 9: Rebellion
Lecture 10: The Irish Civil War
-Reading: Coohill, Chapters 6 and 7; O’Connor, “Guests of the Nation” and “The Martyr”; Liam O’Flaherty, “The Sniper”
Lecture 11: The Republic Becomes Independent
-Reading: Coohill, Chapter 8; Brendan Behan, Borstal Boy
Lecture 12: The Troubles
-Reading: Coohill, Chapter 9; Seamus Deane Reading in the Dark; Seamus Heaney, Field Work

Assignments & Grading:

Discussion, 33%, Readings paper, 33%, Final Paper, 33%. Each student will help lead a discussion on a day for which s/he has prepared a readings paper.

Work Expectations:

  • Lectures – On site in Dublin
  • Readings (both textbook and online) – The textbook is Joseph Coohill’s Ireland: a Short History. There will be one or two textbook chapters assigned and additional short web-based readings for discussion topics.
  • Students are expected to read Brendan Behan’s Borstal Boy, Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark before the trip to Dublin. They should bring all the books for the course with them. There will be regular reading assignments assigned while in Dublin, including selections from Frank O’Connor’s Collected Stories and Seamus Heaney’s Field Work.
  • Discussion – Most days you will have both assigned readings and some primary source (i.e., original) documents to analyze and discuss.
  • Written Work – You will be asked to write a final essay.

Student Blog Post About Last Year’s Class