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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The Great Irish Famine 1845-1852: Hunger, Modernity and Exile (HIST10362)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryOver one million people died during the Great Irish Famine of 1845-1852 and at least another million people emigrated, most destined for North America. Ireland, then a part of the United Kingdom, witnessed terrible suffering and widespread death and disease. This course explores how this happened, and what the consequences were both of Ireland and other countries.
Course description What happened in Ireland during the terrible years of the Great Irish Famine is the subject of much debate among historians, not least because of the vexed question: who, if anyone, was responsible for this appalling tragedy? This course explores issues of causation and responsibility, as well as the social, political and economic dimensions of the Irish crisis. How many people died, what kinds of people died, and indeed was the famine inevitable? How does the Irish experience compare with famines elsewhere? And lastly, what was the subsequent significance of this crucial event for Irish-British relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting Students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. a knowledge of the causes, course and consequences of the Great Irish Famine;
  2. an understanding of the key historiographical debates relating to this period;
  3. an awareness of the complexities involved in the study of a controversial episode in modern Irish history;
  4. an ability to utilise relevant primary sources to support historical arguments.
Reading List
Austin Bourke, 'The Visitation of God'? The Potato and Great Irish Famine

John Crowley, William J. Smyth and Mike Murphy (eds.), Atlas of the Great Irish
Famine (2012).

Mary E. Daly, The Famine in Ireland (1986).

Enda Delaney, The Curse of Reason: The Great Irish Famine (2012).

James S. Donnelly Jr., The Great Irish Potato Famine (2001).

R. D. Edwards and T. D. Williams (eds.), The Great Famine: Studies in Irish
History, 1845-52 (1956/1994).

Peter Gray, Famine, Land and Politics: British Government and Irish Society, 1843-1850 (1999

Christine Kinealy, This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine, 1845-52 (1994).

Christine Kinealy, The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology and Rebellion 2001).

Cormac Ó Gráda,The Great Irish Famine (1989/1995).

Cormac Ó Gráda, Black 47 and Beyond: The Great Irish Famine in History,
Economy and Memory (1999).

Cormac Ó Gráda, Ireland's Great Famine: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2006).

Cathal Póirteir (ed.),The Great Irish Famine (1995).

Cecil Woodham Smith, The Great Hunger (1962, 1991).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical interpretation of historical interpretations and primary sources; oral and written presentation skills
KeywordsThe Great Irish Fame
Course organiserProf Enda Delaney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3755
Course secretaryMiss Stephanie Blakey
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
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