UCD Lifelong Learning at the NLI

Lifelong Learning at the NLI

This year UCD continues its partnership with the National Library of Ireland by offering a number of history courses as part of the Lifelong Learning programme.

Lifelong Learning at the National Library of Ireland

UCD Lifelong Learning courses are part-time specific interest courses that are participative, engaging and facilitated by experts in their field. The courses are open to all and provide a chance to explore a subject without concerns about assessment. These courses are part of a long tradition in University College Dublin, and follow the legacy of the university’s founder Cardinal John Henry Newman.

This year UCD continues its partnership with the National Library of Ireland by offering a number of history courses as part of the Lifelong Learning programme. The courses beginning in 2017 are:

Semester 2 (January 2017)


Semester 2 Modules (beginning January, 2017)

 

AE-HN259 – Sport and Society in Ireland (Tutor: Paul Rouse, starts Jan 11)

Paul RouseWhy do we play the sports we play in the way that we play them? There are aspects of Ireland’s sporting history that are uniquely Irish and defined by the peculiarities of life on a small island on the edge of Europe. The Irish sporting world is unique only in part, however; much of the history of Irish sport is a shared history with that of other societies. This course assesses the place of sport in Irish life, tracing the origins of its ball games and the significance of animals to the Irish sporting tradition, from the role of horses and dogs in racing and hunting, to the cocks, bulls, and bears that were involved in fighting and baiting.


The course offers an original insight into the history of Ireland. It will trace the emergence and development of modern sporting organisations from the anarchic rituals of the peasantry and the leisure pursuits of the aristocracy. It depicts the local passions of Irish sport, the influence of the British Empire on Irish culture, the impact of partition, how sport shapes policy-making in modern states, and the ways in which sport has been colonized by the media and has colonized it in turn. Ultimately, it is a story located within Irish political, social, and cultural history, and within the global history of sport. Among the themes explored will be the manner in which the formal organisation of sport was involved in notions of education, religion, class and the prosecution of war. Ultimately, these themes will be drawn together to assess the relationship between sport and modern society.

This course will take place over 8 Wednesdays 10.30am-1.00pm at the NLI.
Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 15, 22, Mar 1. Fee: €195
Book your place here.


AE-HN260 – Republicanism and Irish Life 1922-2005 (Tutor: Eve Morrison, starts 26 Jan)

Eve MorrisonThis course contextualises the military, political, ideological and organisational development of Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army (in its successive organisational manifestations) within the broader framework of the social, cultural and political norms of life on the island of Ireland after partition. The aspirations, methods, aims, relevance and success of Irish republicanism are considered from the civil war (1922-23) to the Provisional IRA’s formal and final cessation of their armed campaign in July 2005. The IRA, in common with almost all of the main political and military organisations in independent Ireland (Sinn Fein, Irish Army, Blueshirts, Cumann na nGael, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil), claimed to be the legitimate representatives and successors of the separatist nationalist revolutionaries who fought for independence (1916-1921). In Northern Ireland, the Nationalist Party, republican paramilitaries, Sinn Fein and the Social Democratic Labour Party had very different attitudes to constitutional politics and political violence, but all were in favour of a 32-county united Ireland. The first part of the course examines the IRA’s armed campaigns up to 1969 as well as its various splits and re-groupings, its relationship with Sinn Fein, its forays into radical politics and conservative returns. The second part deals with the Northern ‘Troubles’, concentrating primarily on PIRA, the Officials and Sinn Fein, with some consideration of smaller splinter groupings.


The weekly lecture addresses wider themes, major historical and historiographical issues, and introduces participants to selected British and Irish contemporary documents, newspapers, memoirs and personal testimonies. The second half of each session is devoted to debate and discussion, covering various relevant political, ethical, historical and ideological issues. Participants are encouraged to take an active part.

This course will take place over 8 Thursdays 2.00-4.30pm at the NLI.
Jan 26, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23, Mar 2, 9, 16.
Book your place here.


AE-HN264 – The Great Irish Famine 1845-1852 (Tutor: Brian Casey, starts 8 March)

Brian CaseyThe Great Irish Famine was the watershed event in modern Irish history and altered the character of the nation. The deaths of over one million people saw it become the greatest humanitarian catastrophe in nineteenth century Europe. A further million emigrated because of it and the physical landscape of the country was transformed in its aftermath with patterns of landholding, ownership and relationships all changing dramatically. While the victims were undoubtedly the poorest stratum amongst the cottier and labouring classes, it was something that impacted all classes in the country

It was not until the 1960s that the first scholarly account of the Famine was written and now there are innumerable books, articles and commemorations remembering the Famine. Students will be introduced to key primary sources from this period and understand how contemporaries experienced, witnessed and responded to the Famine. The course will also examine and seek to understand how a catastrophe that bordered upon medieval proportions was allowed to happen and why official responses were so underwhelming. How it was remembered in literature, art, music and folklore and the emergence of museums and various other commemorative events are all key to its wider narrative. By the end of the module, students will have learned about the inherent problems of a subsistence diet, why this was allowed to happen, the various responses to the Famine and be able to discuss the vexed issue of culpability.

This course will take place over 8 Wednesdays 10.30am-1.00pm at the NLI.
Mar 8, 15, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12, 19, 26. Fee: €195
Book your place here.


Previous Lifelong Learning history courses at the NLI 

Semester 1 (October 2016)

Semester 1 Modules (beginning October, 2016)

 

AE-HN100 - The American West and the Irish who made it (Tutor: Myles Dungan, starts 5 Oct)

Myles Dungan

‘This is the West sir, when the legend becomes fact print the legend’ (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)

The history of the American far West has been romanticised and mythologised in popular culture to a point where it is difficult to disentangle truth from fiction. Its icons (usually heavily armed) tend to be male, Caucasian, charismatic and violent. There is little room in the classic Western narrative for women, immigrants and persons of colour. Indigenous peoples, while included, usually get short shrift and fill the role of perennial and unsuccessful antagonist.

The actual narrative of the trans-Mississippi region in the late 19th century is far more complex and multi-faceted than the mythology propogated by Hollywood and the dime novel. It has been aptly described as ‘a past that never was and always will be’. It is an integral part of the U.S. foundation myth and of America’s sense of itself as a rugged, independent, self-reliant, free-thinking nation.

‘The American West, 1820-1920’ while acknowledging and addressing the romance and myth, aims to deglamourise the ‘Frontier’ era and challenge some of the received wisdom that has gone largely unchecked in the popular imagination. While icons like Billy the Kid, Custer, Cochise, Crazy Horse and Wyatt Earp will feature so too will Thomas Fitzpatrick, Nellie Cashman and Jasper O’Farrell from Ireland, the Boo How Doy of San Francisco’s Chinatown, John Sutter from Baden in Germany and Londoner John Tunstall.

There are many mansions in this particular house and quite a few surprises behind the doors of those mansions. Where appropriate the course will point to the influence of Irish emigrants in the far West.

This course will take place over 8 Wednesday mornings: 10.30-1.00pm
5th Oct, 12th, 19th, 26th, 2nd Nov, 9th, 16th, 23rd. Fee: €195
Book your place here.


AE-HN116 – Ireland at War 1913-1924 (Tutor: Eve Morrison, starts 6 Oct)

Eve MorrisonIreland at War explores political violence, militarism, paramilitarism, rebellion and war in Ireland from 1913 to 1924. The course identifies and discusses the main events of the period, including the foundation of the Ulster and Irish Volunteers, the Great War, Easter Rising, War of Independence, civil war and Army Mutiny. One over-arching question is how and why the newly established Irish state survived when so many other new European states set up in the wake of the Great War did not.

The courses focusses in particular on the organisation, development, personnel, tactics, strategy, and activities of the various British, Irish (including Northern Irish) armed forces – military, paramilitary and police – involved the fighting. These organisations include the Ulster and Irish Volunteers, Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan, Fianna Eireann, British Army, Royal Irish and Ulster constabularies, Black &Tans, Auxiliaries, ‘B’ Specials, Ulster Imperial Guards and the Irish Army. It also examines the experience, attitudes and memories of the combatants on all sides, and considers the various debates and historiographical approaches relevant to the study of political violence and war, war memory and commemoration.


The weekly lecture addresses wider themes, major historical and historiographical issues, and introduces participants to selected British and Irish contemporary documents, newspapers, memoirs and personal testimonies. The second half of each session is devoted to debate and discussion, covering various relevant political, ethical, historical and ideological issues. Participants are encouraged take an active part.

This course will take place over 8 Thursday afternoons: 2.00-4.30pm
6th Oct, 13th, 20th, 3rd Nov, 10th, 24th, 1st Dec, 8th. Fee: €195
Book your place here.