AN2105MA03 (Post)Colonial Identity in Contemporary Irish Drama I

AN2105MA03 (Post)Colonial Identity in Contemporary Irish Drama I

AN2105MA03 (Post)colonial Identity in Contemporary Irish Drama Bertha Csilla

Advanced Topics in Postcolonial Studiesoffice: 105

Required optional seminar, MA office hour: Thu. 15.00-16.00

Thursday, 16.00 – 17.40, St. 111.

The seminar will discuss a few representative contemporary Irish plays, with one of the most prominent Irish contemporary playwrights, Brian Friel’s work in the centre. The multidisciplinary approach of the discussions will aim to introduce students to the ongoing Irish cultural debate about postcoloniality moving into globalization, and to show how drama as a specific genre can participate in and respond to such discourses. The discussions of the plays will focus on issues pertinent to that discourse such as (narratives of) identity (personal, cultural, national), relation to place, the relationship between history and history-making, memory and desire, language and communication. The representation of these issues through the dramatic idiom, the use of dramatic forms, styles, the relationships between text and theatricality and the implications of handling dramatic space and place will form the frame of discussions.


Sept 15 Orientation, Introduction

Ireland and colonization, colonial and postcolonial consciousness

D. Kiberd. “A New England Called Ireland?”

E. Said.“Afterword. Reflections on Ireland and Postcolonialism”

History, history-making, postcolonial treatment of history

Sept 22B. Friel: The Freedom of the City

Cs. Bertha. “Brian Friel as Postcolonial…”

Sept 29 St. Parker: Pentecost

Excerpts from Roche, “Ghosts… “,41-44; 58-66.

Oct 6 F. McGuinness: Mutabilitie

Cs. Bertha. “They Raigne…”

Oct 13--- essay-writing week, no class ---

Language and identity

Oct 20. B. Friel: Translations

D. Kiberd. “Friel Translating…

Oct 27 The storytelling tradition in drama: T. Murphy: Bailegangaire

N. Grene, “Talking…”

Nov 3------Consultation week ------

Place, Memory and Identity

Nov 10B. Friel. Aristocrats

P. Nora. “Between Memory and History …”

Nov 17B. Friel. Wonderful Tennessee

Sh. Richards, “Flux …”

Globalization, Neo-colonialism

Nov 24Marie Jones: Stones in his Pockets

Excerpts from P. Lonergan, “Globalization and…”, 9-16.

Dec 1Ritual and dance: B. Friel: Dancing at Lughnasa

R. Cave. “Questing…”

Dec 8Globalizing Dancing at Lugnhasa – the film

Please, view the film before the class

Excerpts from P. Lonergan, “Globalizing …”, 36-54

Dec 15.End-term test


Assigned readings and Short tests: since this is a seminar, evidently all the assigned texts (plays and essays) are supposed to be read for the class. At the beginning of any class there might be a 5-minute test enquiring into the assigned play and essay. total: 10%

Class participation: evaluation based upon quality, frequency and cogency of contributions. Participation necessary for obtaining marks above three. 25%

At-home essay: an approx. 1800-2200-word research paper on an issue related to the course. Topics will be chosen in the first or second class. The paper is due at the seminar when the play(s) concerned is (are) being discussed. After a brief, 5-6 minute summary of the main issues of the paper, the student will have to play a prominent role in the discussion as the "expert" on the subject. Note: you are expected to do research and use minimum 5 scholarly sources (books, chapters of books, essays in journals – wikipedia is NOT an academic source!) in your essay honestly and precisely documented! For documentation form see MLA Style Sheet. Plagiarism deserves capital punishment! (See Academic Handbook) Paper + presentation: 35%

End-term test: a test consisting of questions inquiring into any part of the material covered during the course. 30%

Absences: although three absences are allowed by law, the second and third absence each will count as a three per cent reduction in your overall achievement.

TEXTS to read:

Plays: Copies of all can be found in the library in book form or photocopy.

Friel, Brian: The Freedom of the City, Translations, Aristocrats, Dancing at Lughnasa, Wonderful Tennesse

Jones, Marie: Stones in his Pockets

McGuinness, Frank: Mutabilitie

Parker, Stewart: Pentecost

Murphy, Tom: Bailegangaire,

Criticism: all in course packet, except for P. Nora’s essay on the internet

Bertha, Csilla. “Brian Friel as postcolonial playwright.” The Cambridge Companion to Brian

Friel. Ed. Anthony Roche. Cambridge UP, 2006. 154-65.

___. “’They Raigne Over Change, and Doe Their States Maintaine’: Change, Stasis, and Postcoloniality in Frank McGuinness’ Mutabilitie.” Irish University Review. 32:2 (Autumn/Winter 2003), 307-321.

Cave, Richard. “Questing for Ritual and Ceremony in a Godforsaken World: Dancing at Lughnasa and Wonderful Tennessee.” Brian Friel’s Dramatic Artistry. Eds. Donald E. Morse, Csilla Bertha and Mária Kurdi. Dublin: Carysfort, 2006.

Grene, Nicholas, “Talking it Through” in Talking about Tom Murphy. Dublin: Carysfort,

2002. 67-81.

Kiberd, Declan. “A New England Called Ireland?” Inventing Ireland. Cambridge, MA.:

Harvard UP, 1996. 9-25.

___. “Friel Translating.” 614-23.

Lonergan, Patrick. “Globalization and Irish Theatre.” in Theatre and Globalization: Irish Drama in the Celtic Tiger Era. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 9-16.

___. “Globalizing Irish Theatre.”, 36-54.

Nora, Pierre. “Between Memory and History. Les Lieux de Mémoire.” Representations, 26 (Spring 1989). 7-24.

Richards, Shaun, “Brian Friel: Seizing the Moment of Flux” Irish University Review, 30:2

(Autumn-Winter 2000). 55-68.

Roche, Anthony. “Ghosts in Irish Drama.” In More Real than Reality. The Fantastic in Irish Literature. Eds. Donald E. Morse and Csilla Bertha. Westport, CT.: Greenwood, 1991. 41-66.

Said, Edward. “Afterword.” Ireland and Postcolonial Theory. Ed. Clare Carroll and Patricia King. Notre Dame, In.: Notre Dame UP, 2003. 177-85.

Recommended further reading:

relevant chapters in

Assmann, Ian. A kulturális emlékezet. Budapest: Atlantisz, 1992

Ashcroft, Bill. The Empire Writes Back. London and New York: Routledge, 1989.

Bényai Tamás. Traumatikus találkozások. Elméleti és gyarmati variációk az

interszubjektivitás témájára. Debrecen: Debrecen UP, 2011.

Bhabha, Homi. The Location of Culture London: Routledge, 1994.

Deane, Seamus. Ed.” Nationalism, Culture, and Literature. Minneapolis, U of

Minnesota, 1990.

The Cambridge Companion to Brian Friel. Cambridge UP, 2006. Ed. Anthony Roche.

The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Irish Drama. Ed. Shaun Richards.

Cambridge UP, 2004.

Gilbert, Helen and Joanne Tompkins. Post-Colonial Drama. London and New York:

Routledge, 1996.

Grene, Nicholas. The Politics of Irish Drama. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999.

Kiberd, Declan. Inventing Ireland. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard UP, 1996.

Kurdi, Mária. Codes and Masks. Frankfurt: Lang, 2000.

Loomba, Ania. Colonialism/Postcolonialism London: Routledge, 1998.

Murray, Christopher. Twentieth-Century Irish Drama. Mirror up to Nation.

Manchester: Manchester UP, 1997.

O'Toole, Fintan. The Politics of Magic. Dublin: Raven Arts Press, 1987.

Riceour, Paul. Memory, History, Forgetting. U.of Chicago, 2006.

Roche, Anthony. Contemporary Irish Drama. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1994.

Theatre Stuff. Ed. Eamonn Jordan. Dublin: Carysfort, 2000.

Twentieth-Century Theatre and Drama in English. Ed. Jürgen Kamm. Trier:

Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 1999.

Special Irish drama and Irish literature issues of Hungarian Journal of English and American

Studies, 2,2 (1996); 5,1 (1999); 8,1 (2002), 10,1-2 (2004), 11,2 (2005), 16,1 (2010)..

Special Brian Friel issue of Irish University Review 29. 1 (Spring-Summer 1999)

Special Tom Murphy Issue of Irish University Review 17. 1 (Spring 1987),

Special Frank McGuinness Issue of Irish University Review 2…

Special Issue of HJEAS on Postcolonial Issues: Theories and Readings. 7.2 (Fall 2001).

+ other volumes of essays and journals on the Irish shelves

+ other postcolonial theories on the theory shelves