Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Writing Ireland, Writing Wales
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written Assignment  1 x 5000 word comparative essay  100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed or missing assignment  1 x 5000 word comparative essay  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Generate their own comparative critical readings of Irish and Welsh literary texts.

2. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the formal and stylistic features, as well as the thematic concerns, of Irish and Welsh literary texts.

3. Locate Anglophone literary texts from Ireland and Wales in their (respective or shared) historical, political, social, and/or cultural contexts.

4. Engage meaningfully with relevant critical debates and developments in the fields of Irish Studies and the study of Welsh writing in English.

5. Discuss Irish and Welsh literary texts in a critically-informed, focused, and well-structured manner

Brief description

This module reads the Anglophone literatures of Ireland and Wales comparatively, through a series of paired readings and critical dialogues. Its primary focus is upon twentieth-century writing, though nineteenth-century contexts and twenty-first-century developments will also be considered. Canonical and (as yet) non-canonical authors, established and emergent voices, male and female perspectives, and a range of genres (drama, short fiction, poetry, and novels) are brought into constellation with one another. Over the course of the module, students will be encouraged to explore such issues as: the politics of language; colonialism and nationalism; cultural and gender identities; place and landscape; history and imagination; class and power. The module begins by considering J.M. Synge’s and Caradoc Evans’s controversial representations of ‘peasant’ characters; moves on to examine the complex autobiographical fictions of Joyce and Thomas; explores the cultural tensions and mixed identities depicted by Elizabeth Bowen and Margiad Evans; and critically appraises the national(ist) poetics of W.B. Yeats and R.S. Thomas

Estimated Student Workload
Contact time: 20 hours
Preparation for seminars: 20 hours
Reading of primary texts: 60 hours
Research for assignments: 80 hours


Drawing upon the latest research in the fields of Irish Studies and Welsh writing in English, this module encourages students to read the Anglophone literatures of Ireland and Wales comparatively. Acknowledging the differing historical, political, and cultural contexts in which they are written, this module nonetheless attempts to show that, when read together, certain Irish and Welsh texts can be mutually illuminating. Not only are the Irish and Welsh texts studied on the module often preoccupied with similar themes and issues, they are also linked by a range of intertextual dialogues and relationships of influence or inheritance. Accordingly, both the mode of delivery and the means of assessment on this module are intrinsically comparative in nature.


Week 1 Introduction: Anglo-Irish and Anglo-Welsh
Week 2 J.M. Synge, The Playboy of the Western World
Week 3 Caradoc Evans, My People
Week 4 James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Week 5 Dylan Thomas, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog
Week 6 Elizabeth Bowen, The Last September
Week 7 Margiad Evans, Country Dance
Week 8 W.B. Yeats, Selected Poems
Week 9 R.S. Thomas, Collected Poems 1945-1990
Week 10 Contemporary writing from Ireland and Wales

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written: By developing a sustained critical argument. Oral: Through class discussion, small group exercises, and seminar presentations. [Not assessed]
Improving own Learning and Performance Through independent and directed research and reading.
Information Technology By using word-processing packages; using AberLearn Blackboard and other e-resources to research and access course documents and other materials; by submitting assignments via Turnitin
Personal Development and Career planning Through increased critical self-reflection and the development of transferable, ICT, communication and research skills.
Problem solving By evaluative analysis and the use of critical skills.
Research skills By directed and independent research; by synthesizing information in an evaluative critical argument.
Subject Specific Skills Through the reading, writing and researching skills involved in the interrogation of literary texts; through comparative models of reading and understanding; and through the conceptual/theoretical analysis of works of imaginative literature in relation to a range of other non-literary texts.
Team work Through group work in seminars; and through preparation for paired presentations in seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 7