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Popular Culture in Ireland International Business Program Spring 2020 Semester - Dublin

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Popular Culture in Ireland

Popular Culture in Ireland Course Overview


CEA CAPA Partner Institution: CEA CAPA Dublin Center
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Primary Subject Area: Cultural Studies
Other Subject Area: Anthropology, Geography, Sociology, English Language & Literature
Instruction in: English
Course Code: CUL331
Transcript Source: University of New Haven
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45


There are many globally recognized and perceived images or stereotypes of Ireland and Irish culture, ranging from a mystical green rural landscape to strong traditions in music, dance, sport, folklore, and literature. These images are believed to have given rise to an attendant Irish way of life that is characterized as religious, relaxed, fun loving, and welcoming, as well as by the charming leprechaun, crafty peasant and drunken Irishman. In order to explore the origins and significance of such popular images, this course will deconstruct the artistic and political "creation" of these national stereotypes and how they affect, and are challenged by, contemporary Irish culture and identity, particularly in the wake of recent immigration.

You will read and analyze seminal texts by W.B. Yeats (Cathleen Ni Houlihan) and James Joyce (The Dead) to discuss the creation of an Irish imagery and how it is contested over time. These two texts and a short introduction to the creation and remit of the Abbey Theatre will aid a discussion of the explicit influence art has had on Irish politics. Furthermore, you will explore the role of Ireland's national sport (GAA) and the dominant Catholic religion that are paramount to an understanding of the significance of place, space, and community structures in Irish culture.

To gain an insight into the impact of historical events and figures and how they are memorialized in contemporary Ireland, you will create Google maps that highlight and discuss the iconography of Dublin's architecture, street names, bridges, monuments and statues. You will also explore the contradictions between past and present representations of Irish culture by conducting small research projects on the "St. Patrick's (day) Festival," the "Festival of World Cultures" in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, "Féile an Phobail: Festival of the People," in West Belfast and the Rose of Tralee festival in Co. Kerry. This section will include a discussion on Irish music and Riverdance.

The Celtic Tiger, the name given to Ireland's unprecedented economic development and its subsequent effects on the built environment are discussed in parallel with the rapid and contentious transformation of Irish culture from primarily rural to urban. Finally, you will conduct independent group research on sub-cultures and groups that are present but veiled (segregated) in the margins of contemporary Irish society such as the Irish Traveling community, homeless, and immigrants.

The course aims to give you the tools and theories necessary to explore culture and identity, which are traditionally aligned to academic fields such as anthropology, ethnography, sociology and geography, and particularly in the case of Ireland, literature. It is an aim of this course to give you an appreciation of researching culture and its disciplinary and interdisciplinary applications, as well as an understanding of how similar processes that create a national imagery apply to America.

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