Guiding Question:

What are some of the legacies of the Irish Famine as displayed in music, art, and sculpture?


'The Most Recently Discovered Wild Beast' - Image from - Click to enlarge It is late fall, 1847 and you are living in County Galway, Ireland. You are a poor cottier farmer who has been barely eeking out an existance among the rocky hills. The potato crop has failed three times, you can't pay your rent, and your landlord is making moves to evict you and your entire family from the only home who have ever known.

Many of your countrymen have died or have left for America. Will you become an unwilling "exile" or will you stay in your native land?

Map of Ireland in 1835 published by J.H. Colton & Co.  Image from Boston Public Library Norman B. Leventhal Map RoomYou have seen sights that have shocked you. How will you deal with the memories of this event? How will these memories shape your actions and identity in your new home? How will these events be remembered by your forbears?

In this lesson you will encounter songs, art, and sculpture that comemorrate the events of the Irish Famine. Your job will be to analyze these materials and come to your own conclusions about how this event has shaped Irish and and American history. You will present your findings to your classmates and we will hold a discussion regarding the long lasting legacies of this event.

'The Most Recently Discovered Wild Beast'
Image from
Click on image to enlarge.

Map of Ireland 1835:
Image courtesy of the Boston Public Library,
Norman B. Levinthal Map Room.
Click on map to zoom.