History & Historiograpy of Irish America
The Irish are one of the most significant ethnic groups to ever migrate from Europe to the United States. Their impact has been disproportionate to their number but this only partially explains our contemporary understanding of “Irish America.” This seminar will explore how the history of Irish immigrants and their descendants in the United States has been written over the past century and a half. Using essays, article literature, review essays, fiction and film, students will evaluate the major influences on the construction of the narrative of the Irish in America. The goal is to learn how to separate historical content from historiography, see how both can affect popular perceptions of an ethnic people, and then address a research lacuna using primary and secondary sources.