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Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings organized by Ema Vyroubalová and Míša Králová 

Ema Vyroubalová, assistant professor in the School of English, and Míša Králová, final-year student in English, organized a reading of plays by contemporary Ukrainian playwrights in the Beckett Theatre on June 1st 2022. They were joined by members of DU Players Ide Simpson, Shauna Lynch, and Lauren Kelly (all of whom are also students in English and Drama). The organizers were especially grateful that Elina Herasymchuk from Chernihiv in Ukraine was also able to join them. Elina was studying drama in Kyiv before the war and this was her first stage appearance in Ireland since arriving in Ireland earlier this spring. The reading featured four short plays: Call things by their name by Tetyana Kytsenko, My Tara by Liudmyla Tymoshenko, Give me a Taste of the Sun by Oleksandr Viter, and Survivor’s Syndrome by Andriy Bondarenko. All of the plays have been composed since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24th 2022, and each piece reflects on the first weeks of the war. Elina Herasymchuk also shared her own monologue “My War”, about her experience of the Russian invasion on the outskirts of Kyiv. In lieu of charging for tickets, the organizers asked the audience to donate to a selection of organizations supporting the defence and rebuilding of Ukraine. The readings were dedicated to Ukraine's defenders. 

This event was part of the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings, launched in early March by theatre critic John Freedman and playwright Maxim Kurochkin: . The initiative was created to provide Ukrainian dramatists with a platform for sharing their new work and for theatre-makers outside of Ukraine to express their solidarity with Ukraine, raise awareness about what has been happening there, and fundraise for Ukrainian organizations. As of early June 2022, the project includes 65 plays by 23 authors and there have been over 150 readings in 20 countries with many already scheduled or being planned. Ema Vyroubalová and Míša Králová hope to organize another event for the initiative during academic year 2022-23. 


California Gothic with Dr Bernice Murphy

School of English Popular Literature lecturer Bernice Murphy has recently returned from California, where she travelled to research her forthcoming book -- California Gothic  -- on the depiction of the Golden State in horror and gothic literature and film. Supported by TCD’s Art and Social Sciences Benefaction Fund, Bernice was able to visit many of the locations that feature in her study. These included San Francisco landmarks such as the TransAmerica pyramid (pictured) and the magnificent City Hall building, both key backdrops in the 1978 film version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, considered by Bernice to be ‘one of the greatest (and most poignant) science fiction/horror movies ever made.’ During the trip she also presented a paper at the biannual ASLE (Association for Study of Literature and Environment) conference held at the University of California, Davis, and was deeply inspired by her train journey across the state’s unique and evocative landscape.


Yuhki Takebayashi: Goldsmith goes Global… 

The School of English is launching its Global Scholar in Focus series with Yuhki Takebayashi, who comes from Japan and has just completed a PhD on the work of Irish poet and historian Oliver Goldsmith. Yuhki first came to Dublin in 2013 as a student of the M.Phil. programme in Early Modern History. He became fascinated by Goldsmith during this time and applied to pursue his doctoral research with the School of English, under the supervision of eighteenth-century specialist and world-renowned Goldsmith expert, Dr David O’Shaughnessy. Yuhki recalls how he was drawn to Trinity’s rich history and cultural vivacity. ‘I was especially dazzled by the many intellectual and literary luminaries who had passed through the famous College gates, including, of course, Goldsmith’. Yuhki now plans to build on his PhD success – and his valuable teaching experience in the School of English – and make a career in academia. 


Yuhki Takebayashi