Celtic Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Celtic Studies Program is a degree program in the Department of Scandinavian at the University of California, Berkeley. Its purpose is to bring together faculty and students with interests in the cultures, languages, literature, and history of the Celtic regions.

The major in Celtic Studies is designed to give students both a broad understanding of the place of Celtic languages and cultures and a firm grounding in one or more of the Celtic languages (modern Irish or Welsh, and study in Old and Middle Irish, Breton, and Medieval Welsh). In addition to at least three semesters of language study and the other major requirements, students will be required to organize their studies with reference to one methodological or disciplinary area chosen from anthropology, art history, comparative literature, linguistics, history, Scandinavian, or a related language and literature.

The Celtic Studies Program accepts entrants to the major from both freshmen and transfer students. The major is not impacted, and the program welcomes all Celtic Studies enthusiasts.

Declaring the Major

Students interested in the major should make an appointment early in their academic career via email with the undergraduate student services adviser. At the time of consultation, the adviser will review the student's transcript and together will create a study list plan to incorporate interests, study abroad planning, and to assist in creating a double major plan for those interested in combining two disciplines while at Berkeley.

Honors Program

In order for students to graduate with honors in Celtic Studies, they must have achieved an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 or higher in all work completed in the University and a minimum 3.5 GPA in all courses required for the major, and they honors seminar.

Minor Program

The Celtic Studies Program offers a minor in Celtic Studies. Students interested in the minor should email the undergraduate student services adviser to set up an appointment for a transcript review and to create a study list plan.

Other Majors and Minors offered by the Department of Scandinavian

Scandinavian: BA, Minor

Visit Program Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
  2. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs, with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Lower Division Requirements

CELTIC 70The World of the Celts4
Choose one of the following sequences: 18
Elementary Modern Irish
and Intermediate Modern Irish (or equivalent)
Introduction to Modern Welsh
and Intermediate Modern Welsh (or equivalent)
1

 Students with prior knowledge of a Celtic language may apply for credit by examination.

Upper Division Requirements (Minimum 32 units)

CELTIC 128Medieval Celtic Culture4
or CELTIC 129 Aspects of Modern Celtic Cultures and Folklore
CELTIC 138Irish Literature4
or CELTIC 139 Irish Literature
CELTIC 168Celtic Mythology and Oral Tradition4
or Celtic 169 Course Not Available
Language requirement: Select one of the following courses:
Elementary Breton
Advanced Breton
Old and Middle Irish
CELTIC 105B
Course Not Available
Modern Welsh Level 3
Intermediate Irish Language
Medieval Welsh Language and Literature
Select 8 units from the following courses: 1
CELTIC 118A
Course Not Available
CELTIC 118B
Course Not Available
Welsh and Arthurian Literature of the Middle Ages
Welsh and Arthurian Literature of the Middle Ages
Irish Literature in Translation
CELTIC 126
Course Not Available
The Middle Ages
Myth and Literature
Viking and Medieval Scandinavia
Scandinavian Myth and Religion
Scandinavian Folklore
1

 Courses from among the following may be selected with the approval of the major adviser: ANTHRO 180HISTART 160COM LIT 152COM LIT 165HISTORY 150AHISTORY 151AHISTORY 151BHISTORY 185ALINGUIS 130, and LINGUIS 131.

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  2. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  4. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  5. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  6. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which you plan to graduate. If you cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, please see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)

Requirements

Lower Division
CELTIC 70The World of the Celts4
Upper Division
Five upper division courses/20 units chosen from Celtic Studies course offerings and/or relevant courses offered in outside departments approved in advance by the major adviser.

College Requirements

Undergraduate students in the College of Letters & Science must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide.

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

American Cultures

American Cultures is the one requirement that all undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete a first-level reading and composition course by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units, including at least 60 L&S units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department

Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding EAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Advising

We provide programmatic and individual advising services to prospective and current students who are pursuing major and minor tracks in our department. We assist with a range of issues including course selection, academic decision-making, achieving personal and academic goals, and maximizing the Berkeley experience.

If you are looking to explore your options, or you are ready to declare a major, double major, or minor, contact the undergraduate student services adviser.

Advising Staff and Hours

Undergraduate Student Services Adviser
Kathi Brosnan
issaug@berkeley.edu
6303 Dwinelle Hall
510-642-4661

Contact Kathi Brosnan via email to schedule an appointment.

Advising hours: Monday through Friday, 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Courses

Celtic Studies

CELTIC R1A Voices of the Celtic World 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2012
Reading and composition course based on works of Celtic writers both in English and in translations from Celtic languages. In addition to training in textual analysis and descriptive and argumentative writing, the courses will discuss the notion of Celtic "voices": distinctive modes of cultural expression chosen by important authors from a Celtic milieu. Readings will be chosen from a variety of modern Irish, Welsh, highland Scots
, and Breton writers. R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement, and R1B satisfies the second half.
Voices of the Celtic World: Read More [+]

CELTIC R1B Voices of the Celtic World 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2017
Reading and composition course based on works of Celtic writers both in English and in translations from Celtic languages. In addition to training in textual analysis and descriptive and argumentative writing, the courses will discuss the notion of Celtic "voices": distinctive modes of cultural expression chosen by important authors from a Celtic milieu. Readings will be chosen from a variety of modern Irish
, Welsh, highland Scots, and Breton writers. R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement, and R1B satisfies the second half.
Voices of the Celtic World: Read More [+]

CELTIC 15 Elementary Modern Irish 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2015, Fall 2013
A beginning course in Modern Irish. Students will be learning the basics of Irish grammar, and developing ability to understand, speak, read and write the language.

Elementary Modern Irish: Read More [+]

CELTIC 16 Introduction to Modern Welsh 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2014, Fall 2012
Introduction to modern Welsh conversation and grammar. Emphasis in the first-semester class is on pronunciation, mastering consonant mutations, using several tenses (present, perfect, imperfect, past), and the acquisition of basic vocabulary and idiom. Simple written materials based on traditional Welsh stories will supplement classroom oral-aural work.

Introduction to Modern Welsh: Read More [+]

CELTIC 70 The World of the Celts 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
An overview of the history of Celtic-speaking peoples from Indo-European times, including linguistic/archaeological evidence for the emergence of the Celtic language group in 1st millenium B.C. Europe. Celtic religion and comparative Indo-European mythology. Discussion of the validity of classical reports of the Celtic culture. Celtic tribal migrations in the historical period; the foundation of Brittany. The decline and suppression of modern Celtic
languages; Celts in the New World.
The World of the Celts: Read More [+]

CELTIC 85 Intermediate Modern Irish 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2014, Spring 2012
The second semester of Modern Irish. Continuing instruction in speaking, comprehension, reading and writing skills. By the end of this semester, students will have become acquainted with all of the central grammatical constructions of Irish, and will be ready to begin reading accessible Irish prose.

Intermediate Modern Irish: Read More [+]

CELTIC 86 Intermediate Modern Welsh 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2015, Spring 2013
Continuation of Celtic Studies 16, emphasizing progress in conversation, grammar, and idiom. Using tenses previously learned, students will learn how to ask and answer many types of questions and will learn conjugated prepositions and idiomatic uses of prepositions. Future and conditional tenses and simple relative clauses will be introduced. Level-appropriate written materials will supplement class work, and students will begin learning
about Welsh culture as they learn the language.
Intermediate Modern Welsh: Read More [+]

CELTIC 98 Directed Group Study 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Group study of selected topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses.

Directed Group Study: Read More [+]

CELTIC 99 Supervised Independent Study and Research 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Directed individual study on special topics approved by Celtic Studies.

Supervised Independent Study and Research: Read More [+]

CELTIC 102A Elementary Breton 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2012, Fall 2007, Fall 2003
This course will teach students to speak, read, and write modern literary Breton. We will follow the curriculum established by the only good introductory Breton text in English, which I will supplement with exercises and readings from current Breton publications and contemporary literature. Students will have covered most of the grammar of Breton by the end of the course.

Elementary Breton: Read More [+]

CELTIC 102B Advanced Breton 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2008, Spring 2004, Spring 1997
Advanced readings in Breton. Continuation of Celtic Studies 102A. This course will teach students to speak, read, and write modern literary Breton. It will follow the curriculum established by the only good Breton text in English, which will be supplemented with exercises and readings from current Breton publications and contemporary literature.

Advanced Breton: Read More [+]

CELTIC 105A Old and Middle Irish 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2015, Fall 2013
A detailed introduction to the orthography, phonology and grammar of Old Irish designed to provide the student with the subsequent capacity to read with comprehension and to translate (with the aid of dictionary or glossary) any edited text in Old Irish or Middle Irish.

Old and Middle Irish: Read More [+]

CELTIC 119A Welsh and Arthurian Literature of the Middle Ages 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Fall 2014, Spring 2013
A selective study of major surviving works of Welsh prose and poetry of the Middle Ages, with special attention to the development of the legendary history of King Arthur in Europe. All work will be read in English, but course will be coordinated with 106A-106B for those who wish to do some of the readings in Welsh.

Welsh and Arthurian Literature of the Middle Ages: Read More [+]

CELTIC 119B Welsh and Arthurian Literature of the Middle Ages 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2010, Spring 2006, Spring 1999
A selective study of major surviving works of Welsh prose and poetry of the Middle Ages, with special attention to the development of the legendary history of King Arthur in Europe. All work will be read in English, but course will be coordinated with 106A-106B for those who wish to do some of the readings in Welsh.

Welsh and Arthurian Literature of the Middle Ages: Read More [+]

CELTIC 125 Irish Literature in Translation 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2014, Fall 2012
A selective study of key themes in modern Irish literature. Texts will include novels, short stories, and poetry and will concentrate on translations of works originally written in Irish. All work will be read in English, but the course will be coordinated with 75 or 115A-115B for those who wish to do some of the reading in Irish.

Irish Literature in Translation: Read More [+]

CELTIC 128 Medieval Celtic Culture 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
A study of medieval Celtic culture, its society, laws, religion, history, and the daily life of the Celtic peoples, as they are reflected in a selection of texts ranging from medieval literary works to legal texts and historical chronicles. All works will be read in English translation.

Medieval Celtic Culture: Read More [+]

CELTIC 129 Aspects of Modern Celtic Cultures and Folklore 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2013, Spring 2012
A comparative introduction to modern Celtic cultures: principally Irish, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Breton. The development of the distinctive cultures of the Celtic "nations without states" from 1500 to the present; an examination of the role of minority cultures and minority languages in larger political cultural entities. Theme topics will vary, but will include folklore, nationalism and linguistic history from time to time.

Aspects of Modern Celtic Cultures and Folklore: Read More [+]

CELTIC 138 Irish Literature 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2013
Gaelic literature 700-1800 (in translation). Study of the prose saga-cycles, satire, classical lyric poetry, and bardic poetry, developing the mythological and traditional background of modern Irish literature.

Irish Literature: Read More [+]

CELTIC 139 Irish Literature 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2014, Spring 2012
Irish literature 1800 to the present.

Irish Literature: Read More [+]

CELTIC 144A Modern Welsh Level 3 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2015, Fall 2013
This course continues the Celtic Studies 16-86 sequence. Advanced grammatical concepts are introduced and vocabulary building (especially idioms) is emphasized. Students read materials such as magazines, newspapers, catalogues, and popular novels. Regular language laboratory attendance is required.

Modern Welsh Level 3: Read More [+]

CELTIC 144B Modern Welsh Level 4 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2014, Spring 2010
This course continues the Celtic Studies 16-86-144A sequence. Emphasis is on mastering the fine details of Welsh grammat (including prepositional idioms), accent reduction, and acquiring conversational ease. Dialect information is introduced. Supplementary reading will introduce students to the standard literary languages; brief compositional exercises will be based on this material.

Modern Welsh Level 4: Read More [+]

CELTIC 145A Intermediate Irish Language 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2014, Fall 2012
The third level course in modern spoken Irish designed for students who have completed two semesters of formal instruction. Continued stress on vocabulary building and reading of texts with intensive conversation drills to activate the learned vocabulary. Idiomatic usage will be reinforced in both oral and written exercises. Class activities will include conversation and discussion of assigned texts in Irish.

Intermediate Irish Language: Read More [+]

CELTIC 145B Modern Irish Level Four 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2013, Spring 2011
The fourth semester of Modern Irish. Readings in Irish literature will be a major focus of the curriculum, but will also be accompanied by advanced grammatical instruction and conversational practice.

Modern Irish Level Four: Read More [+]

CELTIC 146A Medieval Welsh Language and Literature 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2015, Fall 2013
Selected works of medieval Welsh prose and poetry are read in Middle Welsh. Grammar instruction and in-class translations accompany lectures on important themes in medieval Welsh literature.

Medieval Welsh Language and Literature: Read More [+]

CELTIC 146B Medieval Welsh Language and Literature 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2014, Fall 2012
A selection of medieval Welsh prose and poetry is read in Middle Welsh in conjunction with lectures on key themes in medieval Welsh literature and tradition.

Medieval Welsh Language and Literature: Read More [+]

CELTIC 161 Celtic Linguistics 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Fall 2012, Spring 1999
Topics in the linguistics of the Celtic languages. Likely subject matters include synchronic structure of a Celtic language or languages, history of the Celtic language family, philology and paleography of older Celtic texts, sociolinguistics of the modern Celtic languages, linguistic characteristics of Celtic poetic, and oral traditional literature.

Celtic Linguistics: Read More [+]

CELTIC 168 Celtic Mythology and Oral Tradition 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 1996
The course will introduce students to the pre-Christian beliefs of the Celtic and Indo-European worlds, to the historical narratives in which such beliefs are embedded, and to the methodology of investigating ancient and medieval belief systems.

Celtic Mythology and Oral Tradition: Read More [+]

CELTIC 170 Topics in Celtic Studies 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2014
Topics in this course will be offerings on areas of Celtic language and culture which are not covered in other Celtic studies courses. Topics might include (but would not be limited to) the Celtic romantic tradition, the Celt in films, Celtic art, nationalist politics in Celtic regions, and current trends in Celtic research.

Topics in Celtic Studies: Read More [+]

CELTIC 171 Celtic Romanticism 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2012, Spring 2011
From the Classical age to the 21st century, Celts have fascinated people. This course explores the different ways in which Celtic peoples have been perceived by outsiders, and the ways in which Celts have presented themselves to the world. The recurring themes of freedom and independence, as well as the warrior and druid types, are stressed. The course also explores the ways in which the Romantic idealizations of Celts have been appropriated
by native nationalist political movements and by European imperialist ventures. All readings in English.
Celtic Romanticism: Read More [+]

CELTIC 173 Celtic Christianity 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course considers the evidence for the presence of early Christian believers in the so-called "Celtic" areas of western Europe. Students will examine how the Celtic peoples received Christianity in the context of native (pagan) religion; they will look specifically at how the Roman Church doctrine influenced the doctrinal stands of the early Celtic church(es), and vice versa, with particular attention to the Pelagian controversy
, the date of Easter, the monastic tonsure, and the use of penitentials. The period covered is approximately 70 CE to 800 CE.
Celtic Christianity: Read More [+]

CELTIC H195A Honors Course 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Course may take one or two semesters at the option of the instructor and student with credit to be earned upon completion of a successful thesis. Successful completion of the course will normally, but not necessarily, mean the awarding of honors.

Honors Course: Read More [+]

CELTIC H195B Honors Course 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Course may take one or two semesters at the option of the instructor and student with credit to be earned upon completion of a successful thesis. Successful completion of the course will normally, but not necessarily, mean the awarding of honors.

Honors Course: Read More [+]

CELTIC 198 Directed Group Study 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Directed group study on special topics approved by Celtic Studies.

Directed Group Study: Read More [+]

CELTIC 199 Supervised Independent Study and Research 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Directed individual study on special topics approved by Celtic Studies.

Supervised Independent Study and Research: Read More [+]

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Gary B. Holland, Professor. Historical linguistics, Indo-European linguistics, poetics, early Indo-European languages, linguistic typology, historical syntax, history of linguistics.

Eve E. Sweetser, Professor. Subjectivity, syntax, semantics, cognitive linguistics, historical linguistics, Celtic languages, speech act theory, semantic change, grammaticalization, gesture, metaphor, iconicity, viewpoint, construction grammar, semantics of grammatical constructions.

Lecturers

Dara Hellman, Lecturer.

Annalee Rejhon, Lecturer.

Edward Stack, Lecturer.

Thomas Walsh, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Kathryn Klar, Professor Emeritus.

Daniel Melia, Professor Emeritus. Rhetoric, oral literature, Celtic studies, Celtic languages (Welsh, Irish), folklore, medieval history and literature.

Contact Information

Celtic Studies Program

6303 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-4484

issa@berkeley.edu

Visit Program Website

Program Director

Eve Sweetser, PhD (Department of Linguistics)

1211 Dwinelle Hall

sweetser@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Student Services Adviser

Kathi Brosnan

6303 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-4661

issaug@berkeley.edu

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