The University of Toronto will offer one course in Ireland, worth one full-year credit. The course has limited space and is contingent on adequate enrolment. Classes will take place Monday through Thursday mornings. Mandatory field trips may take place outside of regular class time.

CIN378Y0 Aspects of a National Cinema: Ireland

This course will foster deeper comprehension of Irish history and culture through the imaginative lens of contemporary Irish cinema. Following the restructuring of the Irish Film Board in 1993, the reorganization of Irish tax laws, recent co-production agreements, and a number of international cross-over box-office successes, the idea of Irish cinema has exceeded both previous definitions and stereotypical depictions. We will critically examine contemporary films and moving image art in the context of Irish culture and identity, to include such historical markers as “The Troubles,” while being attentive to both industrial and governmental structures. At the same time, complex negotiations between an Irish North American diasporic market for nostalgia films and local investment in more complex postcolonial representation will be studied. Lastly, how Irelands’ iconic landscape has been mobilized in both local and recent Hollywood blockbuster productions – the ‘selling’ of Ireland – and its effects on ecologies –both natural and industrial –will be explored, in addition to analyzing how landscape itself has fostered attempts to shape a national cinema’s self-definition, that has, in turn, cultivated film tourism.


CIN 105Y OR humanities or social science-based academic preparation: English, History, Historical Studies, Visual Studies, Art History, Anthropology, Women and Gender Studies, Sexual Diversity Studies, Book and Media, Political Science, Sociology or Anthropology. Due to the course’s compressed nature, students in applied programs seeking to fulfill a humanities credit will most likely find the course challenging.
BR = 1
2022 Course Outline

Field Trips

  • Galway City by coach to visit the Galway City Museum and proceed to The Quiet Man tour in Cong, in addition to visiting local attractions. Overnight accommodation on route, with stops along the Wild Atlantic Way.
  • Belfast (two nights) by train to visit Game of Thrones, “The Troubles” and hop-on hop-off tours.
  • Dublin day trips by public transport to tour the Irish Film Institute, National Museum of Ireland, The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), EPIC: Irish Immigration Museum and RTÉ.


Professor Kass Banning teaches at the Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto. Her research and teaching focuses on global cinemas, critical race and postcolonial theory, and black aesthetics. She has a long-standing interest in the relationship between national cinemas and transnationalism, black diasporic screen cultures, planetary visuality, and has published extensively in the areas of minor Canadian media, Black British film, and documentary moving arts, most recently in the gallery context. She is a co-editor of an anthology on Canadian women’s cinema with University of Toronto Press, and a co-founder and co-editor of the journals CineAction and Borderlines. Her most recent co-publication “A Grand Panorama: Isaac Julien, Frederick Douglass and Lessons of the Hour” appears in Isaac Julien. Lessons of the Hour. Frederick Douglass, eds. Isaac Julien and Cora Gilroy-Ware, with Vladimir Seput. London: Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester & Delmonico Books, 2022.