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BA History and French / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
The Great Irish Famine and Its Impact, 1845-1900
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
The Europe-wide failure of the potato crop in the 1840s cost Ireland a quarter of its population. This course explores the background, process and longer term impact of this Great Irish Famine. Several key questions will be asked: Was it inevitable? Was it someone’s fault? Did it represent a ‘turning point’ in Ireland’s history? What were its worldwide implications? How have historians addressed these questions? How has popular memory dealt with the crisis?
This module is only available to students on History-owned programmes; Euro Studies programmes; and History joint honours programmes owned by other subject areas. Available to students on an Erasmus programme subject to VSO approval.
Students will be encouraged to engage with historical debates surrounding the Famine using a variety of on-line and library resources.
Primary source analysis will form a key component of the course and will allow engagement with contemporary arguments over population problems, crisis relief, death, emigration and the social, religious and political repercussions of the Famine.
Knowledge and understanding
- Understand debates surrounding the causes of, and culpability for, the Irish Famine
- Appreciate the longer term consequences of the Famine
- Put the Irish Famine in a broader global context.
- Analyse a range of different types of documentary evidence.
- Locate discussion of source material in a wider understanding of historiography.
- Critically engage with relevant debates.
- Present their work orally
- Communicate complex ideas clearly
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Group working
- Respectful debate/discussion
- ¿ Apply research and/or arguments to real-world situations ¿ Respond to unseen tasks in class, both individually and in groups
|Discussion board participation||0|
|Primary source essay||40%|
Formative or Summative
Students will receive essay feedback electronically and through verbal discussion
- Enda Delaney, The Curse of Reason (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 2012)
- James S. Donnelly Jr, The Great Irish Potato Famine (Sutton, 2001)
- Cathal Poirteir (ed.) The Great Irish Famine (Cork, 1995)
- Christine Kinealy, The Hidden Famine (London, 2000) [ebook]
- Peter Gray, ‘National Humiliation and the Great Hunger: Fast and Famine in 1847’ in Irish Historical Studies , Vol. 32, No. 126 (Nov., 2000), pp. 193-216 [jstor]
- Cormac O¿ Gra¿da, Black '47 and Beyond: The Great Irish Famine in History, Economy, and Memory (Princeton, 1999)
- Eugenio Biagini and Mary E. Daly, eds., The Cambridge Social History of Ireland (Cambridge: CUP, 2016)
- Michael Murphy, John Crowley, William J. Smyth et al, eds., Atlas of the Irish Famine (Cork: Cork University Press, 2012)
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Sarah Roddy||Unit coordinator|