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After Modernism: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century

Class at Faculty of Arts |



For an updated syllabus, reading material and details go to the course site Moodle.

Please note that the course begins on 27 February.


Mar 5NATIONAL REVIVAL AND MODERNISMDouglas Hyde, Patrick Pearse, J. M. Synge

Mar 12 and 19W. B. YEATS

Mar 26 and Apr 2MID-CENTURY BACKWATERSDenis Devlin, Thomas MacGreevy, Brian Coffey, Austin Clarke, Samuel Beckett


Apr 16 and 23IRISH LANGUAGE POETRYMáirtín Ó Direáin, Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Séan Ó Ríordáin, Eoghan Ó Tuairisc

Apr 30 and May 7LATE MODERNISTSPatrick Kavanagh, Thomas Kinsella, John Montague, Louis MacNeice

May 14AFTER MODERNISM, CONCLUSIONSSeamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Sinéad Morrissey      


After Modernism: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century

Daniela Theinová, PhD

Thursday 12:30-14:05, Room 34

Consultation hours: Thursday 14:10-15:00, Room 219b




This course is based on the reassessment of modernism as a cultural phenomenon with various local expressions and shared global inspirations. Irish poetry of the 20th century makes an ideal case study of the complex temporalities and territorial relations of modernism. We will read poetry of the last 120 years and focus on the dichotomies between nationalism and internationalism as well as tradition and formal experiment that are intrinsic to the modernist project and that inform Irish poetic production to this day. We will discuss poets ranging from W. B.

Yeats to Paul Muldoon and consider their works alongside some of the key figures of anglophone and global modernist traditions.


Credit requirements include regular attendance (max. 2 unexplained absences per semester), active participation in the seminar based on the reading of assigned texts, one in-class presentation and an essay (of 2500–3000 words) on one of the proposed topics, or a related topic of one’s own choice (to be consulted with the instructor).

To get credits for the class as well as the graded paper, you will need to submit a longer and thoroughly researched paper of at least 3500 to 4000 words.

Essays must include full bibliographical references and footnotes (included in the word count) for all works cited or paraphrased (in accordance with the MLA style; see the ESSAY GUIDELINES on the department website for details: Emphasis will be placed on depth and sophistication of argument, and upon the component of original research. Students are advised not to use Internet sources in place of adequately researching texts available in print. Essays must be presented with attention to correct spelling and stylistics. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will result in a fail grade.

The deadline for the submission of essays is 22 June 2019.

Study programmes