English 125 - Spring, 2023

Topics in Irish Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Dobbins, Gregory
CRN: 62112
Time: TR 12:10-1:30pm
Location: 55 Resslr
GE Areas: World Cultures Writing Experience


Course Topic: 21st Century Irish Fiction by Women

For roughly the last 150 years, the contribution Ireland has made to global literature has vastly exceeded its geopolitical significance. Despite its small population, Ireland has periodically produced some of the most acclaimed writers within the English language. In the contemporary moment, Ireland is in the midst of a wave of literary achievement comparable to the Irish Revival that took place at the beginning of the twentieth century. The key difference within our own time is that women-- historically marginalized and critically neglected within the Irish literary tradition-- are now at the center of Irish writing (particularly within the medium of prose fiction). By virtually any measure-- critical acclaim, literary prizes, sales, adaptations into film, etc.-- women have produced the most visible and innovative works within twenty-first century Irish writing. This course will provide a survey of contemporary Irish prose fiction-- with the added caveat that all of the works have appeared since 2000 (with one exception, all of them have been published since 2015), and all of them are by writers who identify as women.


Two critical essays, two short-writing assignments, frequent participation (primarily in the form of ungraded responses to each work submitted to Canvas), and a take-home final.


Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan
The Gathering, Anne Enright
Milkman, Anna Burns
Eggshells, Caitriona Lally
The Fire Starters, Jan Carson
Spill Simmer Falter Wither, Sara Baume
Normal People, Sally Rooney
A Ghost in the Throat, Doireann Ni Ghriofa