History

Ironic that one of my favorite classes to teach each semester is the post-colonial one where I take them through 8000 years of Irish history, given how much I disliked history in high school. I just didn’t get it back then — in my mind, it was all dry facts that I didn’t care about. Now, it is so much more clearly a cascading series of events, one leading to the next, and all about the everyday struggles of actual people, struggles that map sharply onto the current day.

For example, we talked about how in 1613, the overthrow of the Catholic majority in Irish parliament led to creation of numerous new boroughs, all of which were Protestant-dominated, and then I taught them about gerrymandering in the Democrat / Republican context, and I may even have gotten a bit exercised, as interfering with people’s right to vote is a topic that makes me a tad angry…

I don’t know — maybe there were just as bored and drifting off as I was in high school with this same sort of material. But hopefully not — I had fun, anyway.

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