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Fall 2021 LIT 370-01 Northern Ireland and Brexit: Literature, Film, and Politics

Studies in Literature: Northern Ireland and Brexit: Literature, Film, and Politics
Professor: Mindi McMann
Tuesday/Friday 11:00am-12;20pm

This course explores the representation of “The Troubles” (1968-1998) in Northern Ireland, a period of sustained and violent sectarian conflict based in centuries-old animosities. Though Ireland’s colonization – and its often-violent resistance – arguably goes back to the twelfth century, the twentieth century was particularly volatile, especially since the seeming victory for independence achieved in 1921 was tempered by a partition of the island that continues to this day. The UK’s official exit from the European Union on 31 January 2020, in the move known as “Brexit,” threatens to reconstitute the Irish border and rekindle old tensions after a period of relative peace since the 1998 Belfast or Good Friday Agreement effectively ended hostilities. In this course, we will attend to stories about that conflict and the Irish border as told in novels, short stories, poems, plays, films, and historical narratives. In addition to exploring how content and form have been used in representing the Northern Irish Troubles in the stories or voices in literary texts, we will also discuss how visual elements, such as cinematography and public street art are a vital and lively part of this discussion.