Space, Place and the Irish Landscape

University of Galway

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Space, Place and the Irish Landscape

  • Host University

    University of Galway

  • Location

    Galway, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Archaeology, Celtic Studies, Geography

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Students may not take this course if enrolled in TI230, TI229, TI235

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Summary

    This module aims to critically explore the historical and contemporary complexities of Irish culture, place and landscape through select case-studies, thematic and/or locational, and through a range of theoretical concerns from both Archaeology and Geography. The module engages the key challenge of carefully contextualising and historicising understandings of landscape, heritage and environment, and exploring urgent contemporary questions of landscape/environment sustainability, governmentality and management. The module will provide an introduction to the various ways in which human societies interact(ed) with their environment, and will be able to provide both chronological depth and thematically-specific case-study knowledge of key sites and spaces across the island of Ireland. Particular attention too will be given to the range of competing discourses on issues of environment, landscape and development in both rural and urban Ireland and their implications for communities in the present and the future. Some of the case studies will be able to provide a long term trajectory of developments (in rural landscapes, urbanisation etc.) , while others may choose to focus on other aspects of the physical or social environment.

    This semester the lectures will consist of an introduction to key themes and approaches to landscape studies, which will cover:

    Landscape: representation and performance
    Deconstructing and reading landscape
    Landscape and territoriality
    Ireland and the postcolonial landscape
    Landscapes of Ireland abroad

    This is followed by lectures on the following themes:

    Irish vernacular architecture
    'Constructing' the (mobile) Irish landscape (dealing with representations of landscape as displayed in designed gardens, writings, maps, photos)
    The Great Famine: Representation and Reality
    Neolithic Sacred Geographies (discussing ritual landscapes and practices in the Irish stone age)

    The module includes a half day field class in Galway.

    24 lectures over 12 weeks in Semester 1

    Course Weighting
    5 ECTS

    Field report (30%) & 2-hour written exam (2 questions)

    Core Texts

    A comprehensive reading list will be provided at the start of the course.

    Other suggested reading:

    B. Bender and M. Winer (eds), 2001, Contested Landscapes: Movement, Exile and Place. Berg: Oxford and New York
    D. Brett, 1996, The Construction of Heritage, Cork University Press, Cork
    D. Cosgrove and S. Daniels (eds), 1988, The Iconography of Landscape, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
    J. Duncan, 1990, The City as Text: The Politics of Landscape Interpretation, Cambridge University Press, Camb ridge
    J. Duncan and D. Ley (eds), 1993, Place/Culture/Representation, Routledge, London
    B.J. Graham, G.J. Ashworth and J.E. Tunbridge (eds), 2000, A Geography of Heritage: Power, Culture and Economy, Arnold, London
    K. Hetherington, 1998, Expressions of Identity: Space, Performance, Politics, Sage, London
    G. Kearns and C. Philo (eds), 1993, Selling Places, Pergamon, Oxford
    D. Lowenthal, 1998, The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
    J. Tunbridge and G. Ashworth, 1996, Dissonant Heritage: The Management of the Past as Resource in Conflict, Wiley, Chichester

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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