Full course description
Classes will be delivered on-campus on Wednesdays 7-9pm for ten weeks from 26 January to 30 March at Western Gateway Building, room G04, UCC. Each class will run for two hours with an optional ten minute break at the end of the first hour. A selection of reading materials will be provided as handouts, along with a list of suggested reading, and where appropriate, online resources will be recommended. Questions and debate are encouraged throughout the class. No prior knowledge is required to take this course.
Week 1: Who were/are the Celts? What do we mean when we attribute Indo- European origins to the Celtic peoples? How can we assemble a comprehensive chronology of the Celtic peoples, from c. 500BC to the present day?
Week 2: How was Celtic society structured? This class will examine the earliest ethnographic descriptions of the Celtic peoples, and the interface between their civilisation and the Classical worlds of Greece and Rome. What are the connections between these Classical accounts and how society in early medieval Ireland was configured?
Week 3: What constituted Celtic religion? How did the pre-Christian Celts worship their gods? What role did the druids play in Celtic society? Who were the most revered deities in the mythological tales of early medieval Ireland and Wales?
Week 4: The Celtic Otherworld. What were the beliefs of pre-Christian Celtic peoples concerning abstract concepts such as time and space, life and death? Why does the idea of a mystical Celtic past persist?
Week 5: The tragic love triangle in Celtic literature. An examination of a universal trope, and the tales in which we see it employed e.g. The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu, Tristan & Iseult, Diarmuid and Gráinne etc.
Week 6: Case Study: The Wooing of Étaín: A tale replete with mythological motifs and ancient symbolism.
Week 7: The Celtic Heroic Ideal. Cú Chulainn and Finn mac Cumhaill: Do the tales offer two-dimensional portrayals or nuanced male characters? What behaviours were associated with the Celtic hero? What marked a hero/heroine as different from other mortals within Celtic mythological tales?
Week 8: An Introduction to Celtic Art. From La Tène swords, to the Turoe Stone, to Jim Fitzpatrick…What are the recurring aesthetic features and motifs of ‘Celtic’ art?
Week 9: An Introduction to the Manuscripts. How were medieval manuscripts produced? Where were they produced, why, and for whom? What are their distinguishing features? Why is it important to preserve and investigate them?
Week 10: The Celtic Revival. This week will unpack the 19 century origins of the enduring Celtic stereotype. What does it mean to claim Celtic heritage or identity in the Digital Age?
Andrea Lane, BA, HDip, MA; Tutor in Celtic Civilisation with the Department of Early and Medieval Irish, UCC.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old at course commencement.
Short courses are not assessed. Students will receive a UCC Certificate of Attendance upon completion.
Closing Date for Application
Monday 17 January
Contact Details for Further Information
Regina Sexton, Phone: 021-4904700, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org