LHSP 230 - Writing and Arts II
Section: 003 Ireland and America: Intersections and Inventions
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Lloyd Hall Scholars Program (LHSP)
Department: LSA Lloyd Hall Scholars
Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
A maximum of 20 LHSP credits may be counted toward a degree.
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
Completion of the First-Year Writing Requirement.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Experience in writing or the arts. Non-LSA students welcome and may request permission to enroll.
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Ireland is a country that, in many ways, has been “invented”—by its poets and writers, as well as by the memory and imagination of its emigrant population. In this creative nonfiction course, students will examine the cultural exchanges between Ireland and America through fiction, poetry, music, film, and drama, exploring the ways each country has preserved, reconstructed, and/or distorted its own understanding of place and nostalgia for “home.” More generally, students will consider how place and culture are represented in writing and other art forms, and how each representation in subtle ways alters the landscape or the culture being represented. How have the writings of James Joyce, for example, transformed Dublin into a self-conscious replica of Dubliners or Ulysses? How do American cultural figures (from John F. Kennedy to John Wayne) infiltrate rural Irish villages? How do bands such as the Chieftains and U2, or films such as Michael Collins, “invent” Ireland for an American audience all too eager to propagate myths of nostalgia? Indeed, why are all Americans Irish on St. Patrick’s Day? In examining these questions, students will also address issues of migration, globalization, and American cultural hegemony.

Students will read a variety of writers, mostly Irish but some American, who write about place, nationalism, culture, and identity; these may include James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, William Butler Yeats, Eavan Boland, Elizabeth Bowen, J.M. Synge, Mary Gordon, Fintan O’Toole, Brian Friel, Roddy Doyle, Claire Keegan, Conor McPherson, and Martin McDonough. Students will also analyze a variety of films (The Man of Aran, The Commitments), and investigate music from U2 to Van Morrison to Sinead O’Connor to the Pogues. In addition to exploring intersections between countries, students will also locate themselves culturally, identifying and reflecting on their personal conceptions of hybridity and identity.

The international component of this course will enrich students’ understanding of these themes. After their classroom experience, students will have the option to travel to Ireland and explore for themselves the relationship between place and writing. We will investigate two particular landscapes that have been famously depicted — Dublin and the Aran Islands — and consider to what extent the writing influences students’ perceptions of these places. We will also examine the ways that American culture has been integrated into even the most remote areas of the country. Students will be required to write intensively throughout the course, with a particular emphasis during their international study on blogging, interviewing artists and writers, and developing a final project. Their final project, for which they will write a proposal and conduct research before traveling to Ireland, will be an in-depth analysis of a topic of their choice and will incorporate their international experience.

LHSP 230 - Writing and Arts II
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (REC)
TuTh 3:30PM - 5:00PM
003 (REC)
WF 10:30AM - 12:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0553213806
Dubliners, Author: by James Joyce ; introduction by Brenda Maddox., Publisher: Bantam Books 1990
ISBN: 9780140184327
The Aran Islands, Author: Synge, John M., Publisher: Penguin Books 1992
ISBN: 0375705236
The cripple of Inishmaan, Author: Martin McDonagh., Publisher: Vintage Books 1st ed. 1998
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