IRST 3302: Irish Mythology & Folklore

Course Department
Credits 3
Course ID
Course Component
This course examines Irish mythology and folklore as two distinct yet interrelated cultural artifacts. First written down in the early medieval period, much of Irish mythology stems from the pre-Christian Irish oral tradition. As such, it provides us with a rich illumination of early Irish culture and traditions. Through a reading and discussion of examples from the various mythological cycles, students will become familiar with the common symbolism and literary motifs in Irish mythology, as well as evaluating what the tales can tell us about early Irish society. Growing from this early oral literary tradition, Irish folklore was collected in large quantities by the Irish Folklore Commission, giving Ireland one of Europe’s largest folklore collections. We will learn about folk traditions and the prominence of storytelling in rural Ireland as well as examining the influence of Ireland’s mythology and folklore on other literary movements, and its contribution to contemporary cultural texts. Upon completion of the course, students will demonstrate an ability to interpret the roles of myth and folklore in society, particularly within an Irish cultural practice.
Semester Offered