Cultural Memory Studies and Medieval Irish Literature (PGT) CELTCIV5031

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The course offers an introduction to key concepts in cultural memory studies through a close engagement with pre-modern Irish culture (up to c. 1600) and hence combines the acquisition of subject knowledge with an applied approach to theoretical concepts used widely in Arts and Humanities studies. It discusses the role cultural memory plays in the formation of cultural identity from various perspectives and this will equip students with key transferrable skills in cultural studies, from textual analysis to a critical, independent engagement with concepts and ideas. All texts will be provided in English translation and no prior knowledge of Irish/Gaelic or of pre-modern Irish culture is required.


10x 1-hour weekly lecture over 10 weeks; 10 x 1-hour seminars over 10 weeks

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,500 words) - 70%

Seminar Presentation and write up c. 500 words (15 minutes) - 30%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ encourage a close engagement with individual sources (and their cultural contexts) and key theoretical concepts, both through group activities and through independent research

■ critically assess influential debates in Cultural Memory Studies and demonstrate their wider relevance for human culture: (identity (trans-)formations, sense of belonging etc.)

■ foster a PG-specific understanding of the role and importance of cultural memory in general and in medieval Irish culture in particular

■ encourage students to critically evaluate influential concepts in relation to specific sources, and vice versa, and to communicate their assessments successfully in oral and written form

■ cultivate transferable skills such as critical thinking, individual initiative, communication of ideas and opinions in an academic setting (incl. group discussion), and independent research

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ independently apply key concepts in memory studies, their genesis, development and potential for understanding central human concepts such as identity and belonging to a variety of literary and material sources

■ base their research on in-depth subject knowledge of medieval Irish culture, acquired through a mixture of taught sessions and independent study/research 

■ produce critical argumentation in written and oral form that synthesizes subject knowledge, theoretical considerations and an historically sensitive engagement with sources

■ apply transferrable skills necessary for research through oral presentation, writing of essays and guided critical analysis in the seminars

■ conduct an appropriate, small research project (presentation) and a larger-scale research project (essay) for which they select an appropriate topic and secondary literature

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.