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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Irish Women in the Long Nineteenth Century
Module Code HY230
School 68
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Leeann Lane
Semester 2: Leeann Lane
Autumn: Leeann Lane
Module TeachersLeeann Lane
Grania Shanahan
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module considers constructions of gender in nineteenth-century Ireland with a focus on the manner which women’s lives were shaped by the prevailing ideology of separate spheres. This determined a largely private and domestic role for women with due attention to issues of class. The module will consider the treatment of so-called ‘deviant’ women who existed outside the domestic paradigm. The module will then focus on the campaigns for greater equality for women in society, with a focus on the suffrage campaign. The module will conclude with an examination of women in nationalist campaigns with an emphasis on the revolutionary period 1913-1921.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the key themes in the historiography of nineteenth-century Irish women
2. Evaluate the manner in which gender is a social and cultural construct
3. Develop an understanding of the manner in which constructions of male and female societal roles were disseminated and underpinned in nineteenth-century Ireland
4. Develop an understanding of the manner which gender analysis must be linked to an understanding of class in nineteenth-century Ireland.
5. Engage with a variety of primary and secondary texts.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture48No Description
Independent Study202Independent Study, preparation and completion of assignments
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The ideology of separate spheres
This section of the module will examine the ideology of separate spheres, the manner in which it was disseminated through prescriptive literature and underpinned by the churches, the legal profession and the medical profession. The manner in which the ideology both can be said to have restricted and empowered women in the nineteenth-century will be discussed, the latter with a focus on the cult of motherhood. The manner in which the ideology was imposed on the lower classes will be examined.

‘Deviant women
The manner in which women that existed outside the dominant domestic paradigm will be examined with a focus on prostitutes, women and crime and women who committed infanticide.

The campaigns for equality
This section of the module will focus on the campaigns for custody and rights within marriage, greater educational opportunities and the campaigns, both constitutional and militant, for the parliamentary vote.

Irish nationalist women
This section will focus on the tensions between women in the nationalist campaign and suffrage campaign in the early twentieth century before examining the role of women in the revolutionary period 1913-1921.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentAssignments as required100%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Armstrong, Nancy: 1987, Desire and Domestic Fiction. A Political History of the Novel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987)., Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Cullen Owens, Rosemary: 2005, A Social History of Women in Ireland, Gill and MacMillian, Dublin,
  • Davidoff, Leonore and Catherine Hall: 2002, Family Fortunes. Men and Women of the English Middle Class 1780-1850, Routledge, London,
  • Farrell, Elaine: 2013, ‘A most Diabolical Deed’: Infanticide and Irish Society 1850-1900, Manchester University Press, Manchester,
  • Farrell, Elaine (ed.): 2012, Infanticide in the Irish Crown Files at Assizes, Irish Manuscripts Commission,
  • Harford, Judith: 2008, The Opening of University Education to Women in Ireland, Irish Academic Press, Dublin,
  • Hughes, Kathryn: 2006, The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton, Harper Perennial, London,
  • Leeann Lane: 2010, Rosamond Jacob: Third Person Singular, UCD Press, 2010,
  • Luddy, Maria: 2007, Prostitution and Irish Society 1800-1940, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Luddy, Maria: 1995, Women in Ireland 1800-1918: A Documentary History, Cork University Press, Cork,
  • Luddy, Maria: 1995, Women and Philanthropy in Nineteenth Century Ireland, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • McCarthy, Cal: 2014, Cumann na mBan, Collins Press, Cork,
  • Paseta, Senia: 2014, Irish Nationalist Women 1900-1918, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Prior, Pauline: 2009, Murder and Madness: Gender, Crime and Mental Disorder in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, Irish Academic Press, Dublin,
  • Quinlan, Carmel: 2002, Genteel revolutionaries: Anna and Thomas Haslam and the Irish women’s movement (Cork: Cork University Press, 2002), Cork University Press, Cork,
  • Scott, Joan W: 0, ‘Feminism’s History, Journal of Women’s History 16, 2 (2004),
  • Smith, James M: 2007, Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press),
  • Tosh, John, A: 0, Man’s Place. Masculinity and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014),
  • Ward, Margaret: 0, Unmanageable revolutionaries: women and Irish nationalism (London: Pluto Press, 1995).,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BAJHBachelor of Arts (BAJH)
BAJLBachelor of Arts (BAJL)
BAJPBachelor of Arts (BAJP)

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