MA PROGRAMME

The full programme of postgraduate English Studies with Celtic specialisation can be found HERE in pdf format.

WELSH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE 1 & 2 MA

The emphasis in this course is using Welsh for academic purposes. Different registers will be studied, starting with formal, literary Welsh, progressing to literature written in dialect (northern, south-west, south-east Welsh). A variationist approach to the different registers/dialects studied is used to deliver this course, with the differences in morphology, syntax and lexicon being noted and explained. Texts, both written and spoken, will be analysed through translation and grammatical explanation. Oral, analytical skills will be developed through class discussions of the texts read. A variety of texts will be used, including academic works by Peter Wynn Thomas and Gwenllian Awbery and literary texts by Islwyn Ffowc Elis, Robin Llywelyn, Margot Lloyd Jones and Mihangel Morgan. An introduction to Welsh poetic forms (awdl, englyn and cywydd) forms an integral part of the course. The course is divided between sessions on spoken and written Welsh, with importance attached to the correct register being employed for a variety of purposes and audiences.  Assessment is through class participation, quizzes in class, the production of coursework (text analysis, student composition, presentations) and a final examination.

References:

Thomas, Peter Wynn. 1996. Gramadeg y Gymraeg. Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru.
Thomas, Beth & Peter Wynn Thomas. 1989. Cymraeg, Cymrâg, Cymrêg: Cyflwyno’r Tafodieithoedd. Gwasg Taf Cyf.
Ellis, Islwyn Ffowc. 1957. Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd. Plaid Cymru.
Llywelyn, Robin. 2004. Un Diwrnod yn yr Eisteddfod. Gwasg Gomer.
Jones, Margot Lloyd. 2002. Saith Pechod Marwol. Y Lolfa.
Ap Dafydd, Myrddin. 2013. Clywed Cynghanedd – Cwrs Cerdd Dafod. Gwasg Carreg Gwalch.

IRISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE 1MA

First year master’s students of Irish will deepen their knowledge of Irish vocabulary, grammar and syntax. Students will learn to express more complex ideas and opinions and will begin to develop argumentational abilities in Irish. Particular emphasis will be placed on the discussion, in oral and written formats, of education, media, history, and professional life. Aspects of Irish cultural life will be introduced to students in order to broaden vocabulary and to provide reading comprehension texts that reflect Irish as it is written today. Participants in the course will be introduced to listening exercises based upon the language as spoken by fluent speakers in natural situations. Students will also study Irish language planning and the status of the language through Irish. Students should furnish themselves with a copy of: Eamonn O Donaill, Gaeilge gan Stro (Dublin, 20110. However, a large proportion of materials will be made available by the instructor. They will be assessed by means of class tests held throughout the course and by means of an oral presentation which should reflect the clarity of expression developed throughout their studies. A short piece of written work will also be required. Final assessment is by means of a written examination and an oral examination.

IRISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE 2MA

This course builds upon the proficiency developed in the first year of the MA degree. Irish culture, society and history will provide a basis for vocabulary and reading comprehension development. They will be taught Irish grammar at an advanced level. Students will practice composition in Irish and will learn to express themselves with ease. They will practice debate in Irish and will develop the ability to formulate and respond to arguments in a spontaneous manner. Students will practice reading Irish texts from newspapers and periodicals. The course ends with an oral examination and a written examination. Gaeilge gan Stro (intermediate level) is a textbook for the course. Further materials will be furnished by the instructor.

LINGUISTIC SITUATION IN SCOTLAND (1MA)

This course concentrates on the linguistic diversity in Scotland and traces the developments that have led to the current picture of language use. Students gain insight into Scottish vernaculars through diverse media and materials, such as internet resources, audio recordings, literary and utilitarian texts, historical records and language corpora. Language contact and the socio-political situation are discussed to provide external background for linguistic developments. The position of English and its impact on Scottish vernacular(s) is addressed, too. The course makes use of the e-learning platform, and is assessed on the basis of class contribution and a 20-min presentation on a selected topic.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: KNOWLEDGE AND COGNITIVE SKILLS

Students can: define characteristic features of the languages used in Scotland; analyze aspects of language use in Scotland in its social and historical context; list major literary and historical figures who are important for the linguistic situation in Scotland; explain how the geography of Scotland relates to the linguistic situation.

PRACTICAL SKILLS

Students can: listen to and read samples of language from Scotland and understand the general meaning; use the Internet to find materials connected to language use in Scotland and assess the quality of the website; prepare a good-quality presentation and handout.

AFFECTIVE SKILLS

Students: are conscious of the linguistic diversity in Scotland and the social tensions it creates; formulate own opinions and assessments of this situation and are open to the views of others on the matter; appreciate the cultural Scottish heritage and the role of language in identity formation.

CINEMA OF THE CELTIC COUNTRIES (1MA)

The course, based on film studies as applied to minority languages, aims to explore past and contemporary depictions of the different Celtic countries in film. Given the wide discrepancy in media provision between the different countries, the main cinemas to be studied will be those of Scotland, Ireland and Wales, but excerpts will also be shown from Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany. Students will initially examine the concept of minority language media studies and the theoretical basis for using endangered languages in film, considering questions of practicality and audience and the connection (if any) to language revitalization. The main theoretical basis that will be under consideration is the ‘ecology of language’ approach (Haugen 1972), examining the place new media might have in maintaining the use of languages under threat.  Each cinema will be examined from a developmental stance, with early representations of the Celtic countries being screened and discussed, as well as more contemporary ones, with important evolutions being noted. Issues such as the development of national cinemas, the reproduction of cinematic stereotypes, the heritage industry, representations of ethnicity and gender, the (responsible) representation of history, landscape and language and emigration will all be discussed and analysed in a number of different films. The main tools of assessment are class participation and the writing up of a number of cinematic analyses over the duration of the course.

Selected references:

Cormack, Mike. 2007. “Studying minority language media. (Introduction)”, in: Michael J. Cormack, Niamh Hourigan (eds.). Minority Language Media: Concepts, Critiques and Case Studies. Clevendon: Multilingual Matters, 1-16.
Pettitt, Lance. 2000. Screening Ireland: film and television representation. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
McIlroy, Brian. 1998. Shooting to kill: filmmaking and the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland. Trowbridge: Flicks Books.
McArthur, Colin. 2003. Brigadoon, Braveheart and the Scots: Distortions of Scotland in Holywood Cinema. London: I.B. Tauris.

POLITICS, INSTITUTIONS AND SOCIETY IN CONTEMPORARY IRELAND (2MA)

Political Institutions of Modern Ireland is a one semester course. The introduction to the course provides an overview of the history of Ireland since prehistoric times, through the Middle Ages, the Tudor and Stuart monarchs, as well as Cromwell’s dictatorship. The course focuses next on the importance of the Nineteenth Century for the construction of the future Irish state. Topics discussed are the Anglo-Irish union, the repeal movement, Catholic emancipation, the attitudes of the Irish towards the workers cause and electoral reforms, disestablishment of the Church of Ireland, land reform and the Home Rule movement. Then the course moves on to discuss major events of the 20th century, namely the Easter uprising and the Irish War of Independence, the partition of Ireland and the establishment of the Irish Free State, the Irish Civil War, the adoption of the Irish Constitution, and finally the post partition conflict in Northern Ireland (commonly known as the Troubles). These events are presented in the context of British history. While discussing all of these issues much attention is paid to prominent Irish politicians such as Charles Stuart Parnell, Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins and Mary Robinson, as well as political parties of the Republic of Ireland, both historical (Irish Parliamentary Party) and contemporary (Fine Gael , Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, etc.). The discussion will include origins of the political parties, their ideologies and their role and position in the parliament. Students will become familiar with the duties of the president of Ireland, the structure and role of the Irish parliament (Oireachtas), as well as other institutions and organisations such as the Irish media and Irish cultural institutions. The students will be presented with online material (governmental websites), source texts such as versions of the  Constitution of Ireland since the 1930’s. Students will also watch Irish parliamentary debates in order to better understand the Irish parliamentary process.

ANGLO-IRISH LITERATURE (2MA)

(to be included)

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