Acquainting the students with aspects of the debates about identity in the British Isles. Emphasis will be laid on the ways in which literary texts negotiate specific national/cultural/geographical identities, and on the roles that literature plays in the creation, consolidation and/or questioning of those identities. Special attention will also be paid to the links between identity formation and literary canonization or categorization.
- proficiency in the English language
- some degree of familiarity with both British history and English literary history, as reflected in e.g. the objectives of Bachelor modules like 'English Literature I & II' or equivalents thereof.
- some degree of familiarity with key concepts and procedures of literary criticism, as reflected in e.g. Bachelor modules like 'Algemene Literatuurwetenschap' (General Literary Theory) or the equivalent thereof.
In 2012-13, the module will examine the often ambivalent uses to which the works and figure of William Shakespeare have been put in modern (viz. 19th- and 20th-century) Irish writing.
After brief general introductions to the history of Ireland and Irish literature, as well as to the state of the art concerning the reception of Shakespeare in Ireland, the module will investigate specific case studies centred on Shakespearean rewritings in Irish literature and/or on Irish essayistic writings about Shakespeare. The general aim is to shed light on the cultural dynamics that are at work in Irish appropriations of the central figure of the English literary canon. The case studies will be the object of student presentations and discussion in seminars.
Students will also be invited to further reflect on the theme by reading related material in the English, Irish and/or European literary tradition, which they can select on an individual basis. This individual reading will be discussed at the oral exam.
The theme of this course for 2012-13 ties in with an ongoing research project on 'Shakespeare and Irish Romanticism' (more details at
Articles and literature
Toledo / e-platform
Is also included in other courses
- Study Abroad Programme in European Culture and Society (PECS)
- Master in de westerse literatuur 60 ects.
- Master in de taal- en letterkunde (Language Module English) 60 ects.
- Master of Linguistics and Literature: English 60 ects.
- Master of Western Literature 60 ects.
Study of how the debate about a specific identity developed, and of the role that was/is played in that evolution by 19th and/or 20th-century British/Irish literary texts (mostly fiction and/or poetry).
Students are assessed as follows (2 possibilities, A or B)
- A written report on one of the selected cases
is discussed during contact hours (50% of the final mark). The report can be
written collectively by groups of up to 3 students, depending on the size of
the whole group.
- At the oral exam, the student discusses a case selected by him/herself and relates it to one of the cases discussed in class during term (50% of the final mark)
Students who do wish to write a report during term are required to ask questions about reports written by their fellow students (20% of the final mark). At the oral exam, the student discusses a case selected by him/herself and is expected to be able to relate this case to cases studied during term (80% of the mark).
A note on resits:
Students who received a pass mark for a position paper or a question will keep that mark if they have to take or resit the exam in August/September.
In all other situations, a resit in August/September will yield a mark based on the student's performance at the oral exam only.