Irish Course Descriptions

The following courses are offered regularly as a part of our Irish/Gaeilge language program and Irish/Gaeilge minor. For all IRISH catalog listings and current scheduling information please check the PS Mobile Course Catalog.

Core Irish Language Courses

This four credit course, offered every fall, covers introduction to Irish Gaeilge, allowing students to develop the basic skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking Gaeilge while exploring the country and culture of the language.
This four credit course, offered every spring, continues on from the introductory course. Students will build on the fundamentals from Level 1 whilst exploring festivals and traditions of Ireland through Gaeilge.  Relatable and authentic material used to enhance the experience within the classroom.
This three credit course, offered every fall, builds on the skills learned in levels 1 and 2. At this level a lot more independent work is expected where students have gained a self-confidence to express themselves into highr rational as Gaelige.
This 3 credit course, offered every spring, moves along to further build on the students current knowledge of Gaeilge. The semester focusses on preparing the students for the TEG – Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge .
In this yearlong syllabus, students will expand their Gaeilge concentrating on the views and revitalization of this language over the past ten years and will examine the re-development of the Irish language for today’s speaker. It is designed as an opportunity for students to explore and research recently introduced communicative (media and technology) approaches that have helped to strengthen the Irish language in today’s culture. Lectures will be conducted, primarily, in Gaeilge.

Elective Courses for the Irish Minor

This three credit course, will begin with a study of the Irish Culture both at home in Ireland and the Diaspora overseas over the past 10 years. It will serve as an opportunity for students to explore and research aspects of the Irish culture and past traditions still vibrant and thriving today.
     -Discussions/lectures will be conducted in English.
     -Students will be expected to come to class prepared, and will be evaluated on: their class participation, presentations, and independent written project and exams.
     -Discussions/lectures will be organized around themes from Gaelic Games to music to the Irish language as well as current cultural changes/advances in Ireland and among its people.
     -Guest speakers.
This course satisfies General Education requirement (F2) Global Awareness and Cultural Understanding--A Course in a Specific Geographic Region.
The topic and content of this special topics course are variable.
This course is taught only in Ireland as a part of the summer study abroad program Pitt in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
This course is taught only in Ireland as a part of the summer study abroad program Pitt in the Gaeltacht.
This course is taught only in Ireland as a part of the summer study abroad program Pitt in the Gaeltacht.
Through this class, students will read literature about the impact language has on interactions between different cultures. There is discussion of the differences in communication within and between various communities.
While giving an overview of the types of languages present in each area of the world, this course explores the composition and trends within and between language families. The course incorporates study of language structure differences as well as sociolinguistic variations.
A good friend in Belfast once told me, “People here [Ireland] don’t know history. They know their “inherited histories.” These “inherited histories” present us with either a morality play between the native Irish and “perfidious Albion” (England), while another tells us that this is a conflict between the Protestants who settled in Ireland in the 17th Century and the native Irish. Or sometimes the tale told combines elements of both. Which of these “histories” is correct? Is one and not the other right? Are they all true? Is Irish history a “tragedy” because, as William Moneypenny wrote (1911) it is a conflict “between two rights?” Confused? Well, you are not alone! Therefore, your task, should you choose to accept it, will be to analyze and critique the “inherited histories” that exist in Ireland concerning the period from Cromwell to 1916...
This course will examine the nature, causes and consequences of Irish immigration to the United States, from Colonial period to the present. Using diverse sources, we will look at the immigration process itself, at the multi-generational process of socialization and integration of the new ethnic group into American culture and the American polity, and at the effect of Irish immigration upon U.S. and Irish society. We will also use the Irish experience to illuminate broader questions of race, social pathology, U.S. British relations, and the political and economic inclusion and exclusion of out-groups in American society.
...In this class, you will 1. Launch an investigation into the roots of the “modern” conflict (1969-1994) 2. Determine who the antagonists were and why they fought 3. Analyze the nature of the conflict and examine why it was so vicious and “dirty.” 4. Then analyze how those who fought the “war” in Northern Ireland, both loyalist and republican, ended the shooting war. By the end, you will come to realize that history is rarely black and white and that there are many shades of grey when studying history. There are no formal prerequisites. Just bring a willingness to learn, to challenge your own beliefs (That does not mean you have to change them.) and to engage actively in the study of Ireland/Northern Ireland.
Though Ireland is only a small country on the fringe of Europe, its literature has been one of the world’s richest for nearly 2000 years. Not only is Gaelic poetry the oldest written in any living European vernacular, but Anglo-Irish works can claim to be the earliest body of colonial literature written in English. With a population smaller than Pennsylvania’s this little island has produced four twentieth-century Nobel Prize laureates in literature. Students should come away not only with a knowledge of the Irish literary tradition and its long background but with a sense of how modern Irish political controversies are grounded in two thousand years of distinctive cultural history...
Irish Film will consider what it means to think about films in terms of being a national cinema or part of the transnational cinema during the global Hollywood era. Given the funding scenarios and the tax break structure, many examples of Irish cinema in the current moment are made by 'non-Irish' directors and writers. Are there still elements that can be designated as 'Irish'? We will study what themes, styles, and modes of production emerged from the intense debates about Irish cinema that emerged and dominated in the decades since the indigenous Irish industry's late development starting in 1979. We will study not only why the industry started so late because of discourses of postcoloniality but also what cinematic traits were seen as 'contaminating' or 'invading' in terms of the international mode...