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HIU34502 Popular Culture in Twentieth Century Ireland

Module Organiser: Dr Anne Dolan
Duration: Michaelmas term
Contact hours: 2 hours per week
Weighting: 10 ECTS
Assessment: 100% essay

This module examines the popular experience of life in twentieth century Ireland. Rather than seeing Irish culture in terms of elite experiences, this module explores life as it was lived by the majority of Irish people. To do this the module broadly traces key experiences from birth to death, examining each experience from as many viewpoints as possible. Certain key themes will run throughout the module such as the social and cultural effects of economic, political and demographic change, the evolving role of the state and legislation as it affected daily life, the process of secularisation, changes in public and private morality, an increasing openness to international influence and the conflicts and tensions that these various developments unleashed. The module will examine the interpretative challenges of social and cultural history in an Irish context, and will examine some of the new certainties that seem to be emerging in the growing literature on various aspects of Irish experience.

Given the wealth of sources for this period, students are encouraged to develop and explore their own particular areas of interest. Through engaging with primary materials, the module aims to critically examine our sense of life as it was lived in twentieth-century Ireland.