Spring 2020

Visit Celtic courses at the Harvard Course Catalog

Celtic 120. Food and Fantasy in Irish Tradition. Joseph Nagy. MW 10:30-11:45. Many aspects of food—growing, cooking, eating, drinking, and distributing it—have served as powerful cultural symbols in Irish oral and literary tradition from medieval to modern times. A survey of the environmental, historical, and economic background to food and its production in Ireland of the early Middle Ages will lead to the close reading of medieval texts (in translation) such as “News about Mac Dathó’s Pig,” “The Vision of Mac Conglinne,” and “The Battle of Mag Tuired,” in each of which the “what,” “why,” and “how” of eating determine the outcome of the story. In addition, we will examine the lively symbolism of food as perpetuated in Irish legend and folktale, and also in post-medieval Irish literature. Discussion section with Teaching Fellow to be scheduled.

 

Celtic 181. Introduction to Irish Folklore, Mythology and Music. Kathryn Chadbourne.

W 3-5:30. Ireland from its earliest times to the present boasts a rich and complex mythic tradition that serves as an energizing source for literature, folk­ and fairy­lore, and even music. Students consider medieval and more recent sources for mythological study, and examine such topics as Ireland's sacred geography, deities, fairies, heroes, folk ritual, and traditional songs and tunes.

 

Celtic 350. Teaching Colloquium. Catherine McKenna, Joseph Nagy. W 12-1:15. A workshop course focused on the craft of teaching, at Harvard and beyond, in Celtic languages and literatures and related subject areas. Topics include syllabus design, classroom discussion, responding to student writing, and assessment. The course includes visiting speakers and analytic visits to classes. Required of G2 students in Celtic; open to all students in the department.

 

GenEd 1081. Celts: People or Construct?  Catherine McKenna. TuTh 10:30-11:45. This course takes as a case study the idea of the “Celt”, a term thrown around so freely that it sometimes seems to be as much a brand as an ethnonym. In our readings and a series of hands on exercises, we explore the ways in which the history, languages, material culture, and cultural mythology of Celtic peoples are used both to construct and to deconstruct Celtic identity. Then we examine the cultural and political forces that have motivated these constructions and deconstructions.

Irish 201. Continuing Old Irish. Joseph Nagy. MW 3:00-4:15. Further grammatical study, with continued reading of saga texts.

Irish 206r. Studies in Early Irish Texts. Joseph Nagy. F 12:45-12:45 Close reading of a selected Middle Irish text (or texts), with attention to language, codicology, transmission and scholarship.

Welsh 129r. Intermediate Modern Welsh. Catherine McKenna. MTWTh at 9. Direct continuation of Welsh 128, developing and deepening students' knowledge of, and skill in, the modern spoken and written language. By the end of the semester students will be able to converse, read and write in a number of registers of idiomatic Welsh (academic, literary, informal). Various media, featuring dialogue, music and film, augment the advanced grammatical survey. Central cultural and historical issues are discussed.

 

Welsh 227. Welsh Bardic Poetry. Catherine McKenna. Th at 12:45-2:45. Readings from the hengerdd, the beirdd y tywysogion and the beirdd yr uchelwyr; consideration of the social and political contexts of their poetry, its forms, and its relationship to other medieval European poetic traditions.