Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Seamus Heaney’

Irish Studies in London

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 19th October, 2018

W B YeatsIt was a pleasure to be at the Irish Embassy last night to celebrate the launch of the M.A. in Irish Studies offered at the London campus of the Irish Institute of the University of Liverpool in Finsbury Square. As well as looking the work of writers from W.B. Yeats to Seamus Heaney (and my own favourite, Oscar Wilde, I hope), the course also examines what it calls “hidden histories” — ranging from the immram voyage narratives about heroic sea journeys to modern forms of writing about the past known as “history”. Students will explore modernity, identity and diaspora in terms of understanding the cultural history of emigration, exile and the transnational as they have been expressed through a range of plays, films and TV programming. Inevitably controversy and conflict in Northern Ireland will feature, but so too the histories, people and culture of Irish diaspora cities. As the Irish Ambassador, Adrian O’Neill pointed out in his welcoming remarks last night, London is the world’s fourth largest Irish city. The M.A. course can be completed in one year or else staggered over two. I only regret that my busy life precludes such a commitment, otherwise I would be very tempted to sign up myself!

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