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Withdrawn Module: Two Rebellions and a Revolution: Reactions to British Rule in Ireland, 1848-1922 (HI951)

Please note that this module
was withdrawn in 2013 and
is no longer available.

Irish Rebellion 1916

Module Leader: Professor Maria Luddy



Context of Module

This module may be taken by students on the MA in History, the MA in Modern History, or any taught Master's student outside the History Department.


Module Aims

This module will allow students to engage in analysing the development of nationalist and unionist responses to British rule in Ireland in the key period 1848-1922. This will involve an exploration of the political, social and cultural contexts in which resistance to British rule manifested itself. The module will familiarise students with recent historiography which debates the status of Ireland as a colony. Students will develop a critical awareness of the ways in which a national identity can be formed and become familiar with seminal texts in nationalist and unionist history.


Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to ...

  • Appreciate the complex ways in which social, political and cultural forces assisted and were utilised in the development of a national identity in Ireland in the period 1850-1922.
  • Locate the Irish experience of colonialism within a broad theoretical and historiographical framework.
  • Analyse and evaluate key debates on colonialism within Irish historiography.
  • Communicate and express ideas on the place of Ireland within the colonial context.


Outline Syllabus

Seminar 1: Introduction: Was Ireland a Colony?

Seminar 2: History / Memory / Commemoration

Seminar 3: Representing Ireland / Imagining Ireland

Seminar 4: The Changing Rural World: Fairies, Murder and Colonialism

Seminar 5: What is Irishness? Critical Debates 1880-1910

Seminar 6: The Churches and Irish Political Identity

Seminar 7: Republicanising the Nationalist Movement, 1898-1916

Seminar 8: What is Unionism?

Seminar 9: Political solutions for Ireland, 1920-1922


Illustrative Bibliography

Angela Bourke, The Burning of Bridget Cleary: A True Story (London, 1999)

D.G Boyce and Alan O'Day (eds), The Making of Modern Irish History: Revisionism and the Revisionist Controversy (London, 1996)

Richard English and Graham Walker (eds), Unionism in Modern Ireland (Dublin, 1996)

Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, vols 1-5 (New York and Cork, 1991, 2002)

J.W. Foster, Colonial Consequences (Dublin, 1991)

R.F.Foster, Modern Ireland, 1600-1972 (London, 1988)

R.F. Foster, The Irish Story. Telling Tales and Making it Up (London, 2001)

Stephen Howe, Ireland and Empire: Colonial Legacies in Irish History and Culture (Oxford, 2000)

Keith Jeffery (ed.), 'An Irish Empire?' Aspects of Ireland and the British Empire (Manchester, 1996)

James H. Murphy, Abject Loyalty: Nationalism and Monarchy in Ireland during the Reign of queen Victoria (Cork, 2001)

G.K Peatling, British Opinion and Irish Self-Government, 1865-1925: From Unionism to Liberal Commonwealth (Dublin, 2001)

Charles Townshend, Political Violence in Ireland: Government and Resistance since 1848 (Oxford, 1983)



1 assessed essay of 5,000 words: the course is taught in weekly 2-hour seminars.