History and Literature ~Stair agus Litríocht

All courses in the spring quarter and upcoming summer quarter will be offered online through Zoom videoconferencing and learning software at the time scheduled. The instructor will email the meeting link to registered students. While it isn’t necessary to have Zoom downloaded on your laptop/computer, it will increase the quality of the video conference if you do. Zoom is easy, fun,  and free to use!

By Synge, John Millington - ImageZeno.org, ID number 20001904752, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64936905

John Millington Synge: The Heart of the Irish Literary Renaissance

This online course is focused on three important plays by Edmund John Millington Synge. More than any other playwright of the early years of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, Synge’s dramatic work has stood the test of time. Like a brilliant meteor flashing across an Irish night sky, in seven short years before his untimely death in 1909, Synge produced a body of work that is unparalleled in world dramatic literature. In this class, students will have an opportunity to learn about Synge the man, and also read and discuss three of his greatest works: Riders to the Sea, In the Shadow of the Glen, and The Playboy of the Western World. No playwright has so accurately and poetically captured the Irish and Ireland in the early 20th century. Few playwrights have received so much scorn and so many accolades as J. M. Synge. Join us to find out why!

Students will need to purchase copies of Riders to the Sea, In the Shadow of the Glen, and The Playboy of the Western World. Several anthologies of Synge’s work can be found on Amazon and Ebay for under ten dollars. They are available in print and for electronic reader.

The class will be both synchronous and asynchronous*. The instructor will provide students background reading material electronically before the first synchronous class meeting on April 30. On May 7 and May 14th, the class will also meet synchronously to discuss the remaining plays. In between formal classes, the students will be encouraged to conduct ongoing online discussions about the course material and Synge’s work.

* Once the course opens on April 16, there will be opportunity for ongoing (asynchronous) discussion using the online format. The online courseware to be used is still in discussion. Students will post their thoughts and questions to the class online. The instructor will be monitoring the conversation and comment as needed. 

3 sessions. Thursday 6:30 pm - 8 pm April 30, May 7, 14.

Class Fee: $54

  • Online payment is strongly preferred. It automatically notifies the instructor and the director of the Irish College of your registration.
  • By check, make it out to 'Celtic Junction Arts Center' and mail to Irish College, Celtic Junction Arts Center, 836 Prior Ave N, St. Paul, MN 55104.  If you pay by check, please send an email to the instructor, Steven J. Giffith at sjgriff5388@gmail.com and copy education@celticjunction.org. Without an email, we won't know to expect you or how to communicate with you. 
Profile image of Joyce with beard, glasses, and large coat. He appears a bit moody and aloof here.

The Genius of James Joyce

Exploring the Labyrinth: Understanding the first four episodes of Ulysses. Perhaps the greatest literary genius to emerge out of Ireland and arguably the greatest literary intelligence since Shakespeare, James Joyce (1882-1941) can be understood as creating an ever-widening labyrinth of innovation through his four masterpieces: Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922), and Finnegans Wake (1939). This course will give a foundation to anybody wishing to understand the unfolding of Joyce’s genius by reading and discussing ONLY the first four episodes in his modernist novel, Ulysses (1922). The episodes from this masterpiece are “Telemachus,” “Nestor,” “Proteus,” and “Calypso”.

[Any edition of Ulysses will work, but the instructor recommends the 1961 Random House edition. It is also recommended to acquire Stuart Gilbert's Ulysses: A Guide]. [Note: This is the first in a sequence of classes working through the four masterpieces.]

6 sessions. Mondays, 6:30-8:00 pm May 4, 11, 18, [No class May 25], June 1, 8, and 15 2020.

Class fee: $120

  • Online payment is strongly preferred. It automatically notifies the instructor and the director of the Irish College of your registration.
  • By check. Make check out to 'Celtic Junction Arts Center' and mail to Irish College, Celtic Junction Arts Center, 836 Prior Ave N, St. Paul, MN 55104.  If you pay by check, please send an email to the instructor, Dr. Patrick O'Donnell at education@celticjunction.org. Without an email, we won't know to expect you or how to communicate with you. 
George Moore by Édouard Manet

The Modernist Genius of George Moore

Understanding the Irish Literary Revival. Widely considered the least known genius and chief trouble-maker of the Irish Literary Revival (approximately 1885-1945), George Moore (1852-1933) - saturated in Russian and French artistic thinking - brilliantly convulsed and transformed Irish literature. As a dramatist, he collaborated and fought with W. B. Yeats. As a novelist and robust critic of Irish complacency, he was almost a “surrogate” literary father providing artistic and intellectual models for James Joyce, particularly with the groundbreaking short story collection, The Untilled Field (1903) that influenced Dubliners (1914). This short course will place the genius of Moore both within his European and Irish social, political and cultural contexts. It will pay particular attention to his years in Paris and his importing of critical realism from French models into the cultural space of Ireland. The course is ideal for anyone wishing to understand one of the great figures responsible for laying the foundations for the genius of James Joyce.

3 sessions. Mon 8:00-9:30 p.m. April 6, 13, 20.

Class Fee: $54

  • Online payment is strongly preferred. It automatically notifies the instructor and the director of the Irish College of your registration.
  • By check, make it out to 'Celtic Junction Arts Center' and mail to Irish College, Celtic Junction Arts Center, 836 Prior Ave N, St. Paul, MN 55104.  If you pay by check, please send an email to the instructor, Dr. Patrick O'Donnell at education@celticjunction.org. Without an email, we won't know to expect you or how to communicate with you.