Ireland: Films and Good Craic in Ireland
June 18 - June 21 and June 25 - June 28 (on-campus classes)
July 8 - July 19 (dates abroad)
For general FLP sessions, see the Resources page.
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There are many good reasons to study and visit Ireland, a small country that has had a mighty impact on the world. The focus of this class will be on the Irish tradition of excellence as storytellers and mythmakers, producing some of the world's greatest literature and in more recent times, excellent films.
Through studying films and related literary works, students will learn to appreciate and better understand the narratives that create and define cultural identity. We will also explore how cultures interact and influence each other, and how they change over time. Ireland is a perfect place to do this, because the Irish have learned to celebrate their ancient traditions while still opening their minds to new ideas. This spirit has created a dynamic, contemporary culture with a global outlook and the depth that comes from having its roots in an ancient history. In exploring this complex land, we will also learn more about American culture, as well, as the two cultures have always had strong ties, having both won their sovereignty from the same former empire.
The program will begin at SJSU in June, when the students will watch and discuss Irish films, learn about Irish history and culture, and read Irish stories from ancient and contemporary times. Then we will set out for two of the most engaging cities on the Emerald Isle: Galway and Dublin. In Galway, we will explore the scenic beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way--and participate in its international film festival, seeing cutting-edge contemporary films and hearing from the people who make them. We will then explore Dublin, where we will enjoy the cultural offerings of one of the great capital cities of Europe. Below is a summary to give you a sense of the possibilities that await.
- On Ireland's West Coast, explore the gorgeous wild landscape, the windswept Aran Islands, ancient stone forts, and breathtaking ocean views.
- Take in Galway's lively arts and music scene, with live music performed in friendly neighborhood pubs and the incredibly talented dancers and musicians at "Trad on the Prom."
- Attend screenings of the best new films at Galway's International Film Fleadh (Festival) and learn about their genesis straight from the directors and actors.
- In the capital city of Dublin, visit the new EPIC museum to learn about the Irish Diaspora through creative interactive exhibits.
- Tour the ancient Dublin Castle, historic Trinity College and the lively Temple Bar district.
- Attend a film screening at the Irish Film Institute, and visit the Gallery of Photography and the National Photographic Archive.
- Feast at the Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland, and enjoy the live music, storytelling, and good craic (fun).
- Enjoy the Literary Pub Tour--live performers enacting classic comic scenes from Irish theater as we visit different historic pubs and other famous sites.
- During your free time, choose from an array of possible sights and adventures—castles and cathedrals, kayak excursions, hiking and horseback riding, art museums and ancient archeological wonders, the Guinness Brewery and Jameson Whiskey Distillery, and many more options for all different tastes.
The course is open to upper-division students of any major and satisfies the Gen Ed requirement for Area V, global engagement.
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