Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Site map

HI4346 Modern Dublin, 1800-1970: Politics, Culture and Society

Mansa Musa

Module Organiser: Dr John Gibney
Duration: All year
Contact hours: 2 hours per fortnight
Weighting: 10 ECTS
Assessment: 100% coursework

This semester-long module will examine the cultural, geographic, political and socio-economic development of Dublin from the Act of Union of 1801 to the 1970s. There is a widespread assumption that after 1801 Dublin declined precipitously from its Georgian heyday. Yet the city also experienced remarkable change and growth, as it shifted from being the putative 'second city' of the Empire to a provincial city within the United Kingdom, thence to become the capital of an independent Irish state in the twentieth century. James Joyce famously described Dublin as the 'centre of paralysis'; this module will explore the realities, dynamic and otherwise, of life in Ireland's capital over the past two centuries.

The module is organized around ten incidents, themes and texts relating to the history of Dublin from the Act of Union to the 1970s. Topics to be covered include the impact of the Union, popular politics, the extremes of wealth and poverty that emerged in the Victorian city, depictions of Dublin in the work of artists (such as Joyce), the impact of the Irish Revolution on Dublin, nightlife and youth culture, and perennial tensions between tradition and modernity in a city that sought to reinvent itself in the twentieth century. These have been chosen as starting-points from which to explore broader key issues in the cultural, economic, political and social history of modern Dublin.


Last updated 5 April 2017 History (Email).