Haunted by History: The Literature of Ireland

Ref: C3744289

Ireland's literary culture has enriched the canon of English literature with so many of the great names Irish in origin, while the novel form is currently enlivened by a number of exciting new writers from both sides of the border. Yet Irish literature is in many ways defined by its opposition to British culture and is marked by an insistence on its own identity. The course will explore these issues through the dram of Brian Friel, the poetry of Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Louis Macneice and W.B. Yeats, James Joyce short stories and the winner of 2018 Booker prize, Anna Burns "Milkman."

Course aim

To offer an overview of the literature of Irish literature in English, including examples of fiction, poetry and drama.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • The course is suitable for all those with an interest in literature

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify forms and styles which might be said to be characteristic of Irish literature
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the cultural contexts in which these texts have been produced
  • Identify through close reading the techniques adopted by the writer (to include issues of imagery, narrative structure, story and discourse)

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Most of the texts will be read in your own time

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • You will need to have your own copies of the set texts

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • It would be useful to have read at least some of Anna Burns "Milkman" before the start of the course.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Many students decide to continue to follow other WEA courses, including literature courses.

Download full course information sheet

Haunted by History: The Literature of Ireland


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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