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Joyce: Dubliners

1. Historical Context

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About this Lecture


In this module, Nicholas gives a overview of the history of Ireland, focusing in particular on the various and repeated struggles against British rule. After giving a brief account of Britain's relationship with Ireland from the 16th century, as well as some of more formal rebellions that took place after the Act of Union in 1801, Nicholas focuses on the key questions that surrounded Ireland in Joyce's old time - the late 19th- and early 20th centuries. In particular, Nicholas focuses on the Land War and the question of Home Rule. The module ends by considering Joyce's own thoughts on an increasingly fervent nationalist movement, and a discussion of how we might understand the structure of Dubliners.


In this course, we look at James Joyce's collection of short stories, Dubliners. In particular, we explore key themes in the collection by looking at groups of 2-3 stories. Having given an introduction to the Dublin of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, we then look at the themes of colonialism and imperialism, women, masculinity, and the use and abuse of alcohol. The final module concentrates on the last story in the collection, 'The Dead', and ask what clues this final story may give us in how we understand Dubliners as a whole.


Nicholas is a final-year doctoral student at the University of Warwick. He conducts his research in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. His main research areas are early modern literature (including Shakespeare), twentieth-century Irish literature and critical theory.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Collins, N. (2018, August 15). Joyce: Dubliners - Historical Context [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Collins, N. "Joyce: Dubliners – Historical Context." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,