Master in Philosophy (M.Phil) in Irish Film, Music and Theatre
1 year full-time
This one-year course is designed to bring together the three disciplines of Irish film, music and theatre for the first time. During the past two decades scholarship in Irish film, music, and theatre have transformed our perception of these three areas of the performing arts. While each of the three disciplines has developed its own scholarship which has allowed for rapid expansion of the subjects in university courses, the proposed M Phil in Irish Film, Music and Theatre is unique not just in Ireland, but internationally. Nowhere else will it be possible to study these key areas of Irish studies in an exclusively-academic context at postgraduate level. As a result, the proposed course will prove to be highly attractive to graduates in Trinity College, such as those who will emerge from the B.A in Irish Studies, as well as overseas students interested in Irish Cultural Studies. At a time when Irish film, music, and theatre have unprecedented international profiles, this inter-disciplinary M Phil will provide an opportunity to study these three disciplines at an advanced level.
The course is almost exclusively text-based and non-technical, though those choosing to write a dissertation relating to Irish music may, at that stage, engage with technical aspects of music.
Course Director: Dr Melissa Sihra (firstname.lastname@example.org) to whom queries about course content may be directed.
Cinema and Ireland 1 (Michaelmas Term) is a 12-week module which will explore the construction of Irish national identity in the cinema, focusing on the history of indigenous Irish cinema and the representations of the Irish in world cinema, especially in the American and British film industries, until the 1970s. It will also cover such areas as state film production policies, film censorship, and the history of Irish film distribution and exhibition. The module will place the history of Irish cinema in the context of the international film industry; explore the dominant representations of the Irish in the cinema, such as constructions of history and gender stereotypes; and the role of censorship in inhibiting the development of film culture in Ireland. Considerable attention will be devoted to the emergence of a culturally critical indigenous Irish cinema during the 1970s and 1980s with discussion of the work of filmmakers Bob Quinn, Cathal Black, Joe Comerford, Pat Murphy and Thaddeus O’Sullivan.
Cinema and Ireland 2 (Hilary Term) is a complementary 12-week module which covers the period since the 1980s, focusing in particular on ‘Celtic Tiger Cinema’‚ and its aftermath. With the commercialization of Irish cinema from the 1980s onwards, this module will examine closely the films of the key directors of this period, Jim Sheridan and Neil Jordan. The directors who emerged in the period which has been characterized as ‘Celtic Tiger Cinema’: Paddy Breathnach, Damien O’Donnell, Kirstin Sheridan, Lenny Abrahamson, and others will be explored in the context of the globalization of film culture and the de-nationalization of the film text. Furthermore, the important role played by the Irish in Hollywood will be examined. Students will also visit the Irish Film Archive at the Irish Film Institute.
The two 12-week modules in Irish Music will address two main areas: traditional Irish music, and art music in Ireland, from medieval times to the present. They will examine the history of Irish music via the most authoritative and up-to-date scholarship on organology, paleography, and social history. The stylistic features of the various kinds of traditional music will be defined in a manner appropriate for those who have no musical training. Close attention will be paid to the ways in which political, cultural and social change have influenced the patterns of decline and resurgence in the performance and status of various kinds of Irish music, and how traditional Irish music has been used in raising national consciousness. It will also examine the ways in which art music has (or has not) related to traditional music, and will consider the reasons for the comparatively poor status of art music in Ireland, compared with other European countries. Included in the eclectic range of work to be explored will be the Irish wire-strung harp, Carolan, the 1792 Belfast Harp Festival and other harp festivals, Irish-American music, Sean O Riada, the Chieftains, folk music in 1970s and 1980s Ireland, the music of Brian Boydell and Gerald Barry, and Irish popular music. Students will also visit the Irish Traditional Music Archive.
Theatre and Ireland 1 and Theatre and Ireland 2 are two 12-week modules that will explore Irish theatre and performance from pre-Christian folk-traditions and cultural performance up to the present day. This course will engage with familiar and less well-known dramatic texts and performance genealogies of Irish theatre in order to open up diverse critical, historical, political and historiographical terrains. An engagement with theoretical and cultural frameworks relating to space, gender, sexuality, the body, production, performance and reception aims to expand the traditional focus upon nation-formation and national identity, which has, up until recent years, been the dominating impulse of Irish theatre scholarship. This course will critique the politics of canon-formation, representation and performance, exploring the work of lesser known Irish playwrights as a way of expanding knowledge, scholarship and research in the field of Irish Theatre Studies. The course will begin by looking at Irish folk traditions and cultural performance such as the Strawboys and Wrenboys. At the turn of the twentieth century the influence of Northern playwright and political activist Alice Milligan, for example, will be considered in the context of the emerging Irish Literary Theatre and the work of Augusta Gregory, W B Yeats, Maud Gonne and Inighinidhe na hEireann at the turn of the last century. The twentieth century plays of Maud Gonne, Lady Gregory, Teresa Deevy, George Shiels, Paul Vincent Carroll and Mairead Ni Ghrada will be central to explorations, in addition to the work of contemporary writers such as Marina Carr, Mark O’Rowe, Anne Devlin, Martin McDonagh, Stella Feehily and companies such as Charabanc, Glasshouse and Druid.
The course will also evaluate the themes, concerns and cultural contexts of more familiar playwrights - Dion Boucicault, J M Synge, W B Yeats, Sean O’Casey, Samuel Beckett, Tom Murphy, Frank McGuinness, Brian Friel and Field Day Theatre Company. Students of ‘Theatre and Ireland’ will engage with current scholarship in the field (such as M Sihra, Women in Irish Drama: A Century of Authorship and Representation, 2007) and will visit the archives at the National Theatre, the National Library and Irish Theatre Institute as well as attend current theatre productions. Invited guest speakers - playwrights, directors and performers - will also contribute to the course throughout the year.
In addition, a course on Research Methodologies is designed to aid the student develop those skills appropriate to post-graduate study, including independent and self-directed research and learning, time-management, report preparation and the organisation of an oral presentation. Scheduled workshops ensure that students are offered guidance in the development of key skills and the preparation and execution of research projects, including essay-writing sessions.
All students will take six modules over Michaelmas and Hilary terms. Each module will consist of weekly sessions incorporating formal lectures and seminars.
Please check the Treasurers office for the summary of postgraduate degree fees.
General enquiries and correspondence concerning admission to postgraduate taught courses should be made to: The Graduate Admissions Office, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland. Telephone: +353 (0)1 896 1166; Email: email@example.com
For further information, see: www.tcd.ie/graduatestudies
Closing Date for 2010/11 applications: 1 June 2010
Assessment will be by one 6,000-word essay for each module and a 15,000-word research dissertation with its topic to be decided early in Hilary Term. Students will receive individual supervision for the dissertation, which are generally submitted by the third week of August.