The humanities and the Irish university

Anomalies and opportunities

By Michael O'Sullivan

The humanities and the Irish university


  • Paperback
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8873-5
  • Pages: 192
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: March 2014
  • BIC Category: Sociology, Higher & further education, tertiary education, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, EDUCATION / Higher, Ireland, Society & social sciences / Universities


This is the first book-length study of the humanities and the Irish university. Ireland was a deeply religious country throughout the twentieth century but the colleges of its National University never established a religion or theology department. The official first language of Ireland is Irish but the vast majority of teaching in the arts and humanities is in English. These are two of the anomalies that long constrained humanities education in Ireland.

This book charts a history of responses to humanities education in the Irish context. Reading the work of John Henry Newman, Padraig Pearse, Sean O Tuama, Denis Donoghue, Declan Kiberd, Richard Kearney and others, it looks for an Irish humanities ethos. It compares humanities models in the US, France and Asia with those in Ireland in light of work by Immanuel Kant, Pierre Bourdieu and Jacques Derrida. It should appeal to those interested in Irish education and history.


Introduction: defining the humanities
1. The humanities in the Irish context
2. Newman and the origins of the National University
3. The emergence of an Irish humanities ethos
4. International comparisons
5. The transformation of humanities education in Ireland


Michael O'Sullivan is Associate Professor in English at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

The humanities and the Irish university

By Michael O'Sullivan

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

Paperback £17.99 / $26.95

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