Few words are as evocative and intriguing as Celtic, bringing to mind the intricacies of Bronze Age jewellery, the massive structures of Stonehenge and Newgrange, the legends of Arthur and Cú Chulainn and the Bardic craft of medieval kings and princes. But Celtic is also about the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the New World; Romanticism, Revolution and the struggles for survival in modernity of languages, literatures and entire national identities.
This new The Celts MA from Bangor University gives students the opportunity and ability to sift fact and fiction, and to answer in detail the question:
Over a single academic year, modules will be taught by experts in the Schools of Welsh, History, and Music, focusing on literature, archaeology, religion, mythology, antiquarianism, art history and music, to explore the culture and identity of the Celtic peoples from the hillforts of prehistory to the devolved and independent parliaments of today.
Students on the The Celts MA will also be guided as they perform their own research towards a Masters thesis on a topic of their choice.
All instruction is available through English or Welsh, and comprehensive ESOL support is available where necessary.
Major issues covered on the MA Y Celtiaid The Celts include:
With issues such as these in mind, the MA Y Celtiaid The Celts is designed to develop participants skills through a scheme of specialist advanced study. An important objective is to provide participants with relevant analytical training, so that they are familiar with the latest theoretical and practical developments relating to Celtic Studies. On completing this course, students will have a solid grounding in the main methods and sources of the discipline, and will also have developed widely-transferrable skills which will be of clear relevance to a broad range of careers.
The The Celts MA is a one-year (full-time) course, and it may also be taken part-time (normally up to three years). The degree programme consists of two parts:
This is a wholly taught component, contributing 120 credits. All taught modules carry a credit weighting of 40 credits. Part 1 is taught during the two semesters which make up the academic year. Teaching during semester 1 normally runs from late September to December. Teaching during Semester 2 normally runs from late January to early May.
Modules in Part 1 will be assessed by essay.
This consists of a supervised Dissertation of around 20,000 words, on a topic of your choice, decided upon in consultation with a thesis advisor. This is completed during the summer months, from late May to September, and full-time students should submit their Dissertation by September in the calendar year following initial registration.
The Celts: Fundamentals: This module introduces the main sources for information about the Celts, based on two different definitions of Celtic. These definitions are interrogated as the evidence is explored. This evidence is mainly: ( i) the use of the word itself (Celt, Keltoi, etc.) in identification or self-identification; (ii) the prime sources concerning attitudes to the history and identity of the Celts (defined here as those peoples who speak or spoke a Celtic language in the Modern period.
There are four main areas:
The Creation of the Modern Celt: In this module, we explore how the concept of the Celt and the Celtic was used and manipulated in the Modern period. We consider a wide range of discourses (e.g., linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, art, music, literature, politics). We explore what is considered as Celtic material in these various fields, and discuss the main arguments which have been forwarded in the course of defining the term. Attention is also paid to the ideological reasons for the urge to use these concepts, and the influence this has on the ethnic and national identities of the Celts themselves. This module therefore, in comparison with Module 1, shifts the focus from the empirical to the interpretative, and the use of these interpretations.
There are four main areas:
A third module will be chosen by the student from among a range offered by various Schools in the University. This will allow the student to pursue his/her particular interests and, potentially, to begin to focus on material for the Dissertation.
Welsh Literature Option: This module explores the main aspects of medieval Celtic literacy, in poetry and prose, across a range of genres from the prose legends and the court poetry to the laws and the vitae (Lives of Saints and rulers). The main focus is on Wales and Ireland, but the other Celtic languages will also be considered.
Equally, we consider the continuation of these early traditions into the modern period up to the current day, and we ask what this evidence tells us about the attitudes of Celtic-language speakers to the concept of the Celtic. Visual and musical media are also given attention, and students will develop a critical awareness of the primary sources which are represented and misrepresented in many discussions of the Celtic.
This module has five main areas:
Non Welsh-speaking students may also take full advantage of the learning opportunities provided here in this Celtic-speaking heartland, either by attending a summer course in advance of the University year, or by taking advantage of weekly lessons on campus. Or both.