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A Portrait of Childhood in Irish Writing – Autumn/ Winter 12 Week Course

September 21, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

| €120 - €140
childhood icon

A 12 week course exploring depictions of childhood and adolescence in Irish writing from James Joyce to Hugo Hamilton


Stephen Dedalus is my name,

Ireland is my nation.

Clongowes is my dwellingplace

And heaven my expectation.

(A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)


Join us at the James Joyce Centre this Autumn for a special twelve week course, led by Caroline Elbay, which explores a recurring subject for Irish writers: childhood and the struggles and joys of growing up on the island. Providing a survey of modern writing concerned with the topic, this structured reading group will examine key works such as Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man, now in its centenary year, to more recent works like Roddy Doyle’s A Star Called Henry. Participants will chart and discuss the diverse ways that childhood has been depicted and examined in the Irish context. Other authors to be read include Oscar Wilde, John McGahern, Hugo Hamilton, and Dermot Healy.

Over the duration of the course, participants will consider wider themes such as memory, identity, and social history, and chart similarities and divergences in how Irish childhood has been articulated in fiction and memoir across the centuries and decades. Participants will also be joined by special guest speakers including Jarlath Killeen (TCD) and Celia Keenan (former Director of MA in Children’s Literature at St. Patrick’s College, DCU).

Dates/Times: Wednesdays 6-8pm, 21 September to 7 December 2016

Venue: James Joyce Centre, 35 North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1

Cost : €140 / €120 concession (students, seniors or unwaged)


Reading Schedule

Sept. 21: Opening reception and course introduction.

Sept. 28: ‘Living life on the Wilde Side: The Importance of being Oscar’ (Introductory lecture)

Oscar Wilde’s stories for Children (1)

Oct. 05: Oscar Wilde’s stories for children (2)

‘From Scandal to Celebrity’ – An Introduction to John McGahern.

Oct. 12: Special guest speaker Prof. Jarlath Killeen (TCD)

Oct. 19: The Dark, John McGahern

Oct. 26: Special guest speaker Ms. Celia Keenan.

Nov. 02: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

Nov. 09: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (2)

Nov. 16: A Star called Henry, Roddy Doyle

Nov. 23: The Speckled People, Hugo Hamilton

Nov. 30: The Bend for Home, Dermot Healy

Dec. 09: ‘Memory and Murmoirs :The Reader writes back’

Personal Responses (Optional) and Closing reception.


September 21, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
€120 - €140
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James Joyce Centre


The James Joyce Centre
35 North Great George's Street
Dublin 1, Ireland
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