Trinity’s Dean of Research, Professor Linda Doyle, this week launched the Trinity Centre for New Irish Studies (CNIS) at the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute.
Trinity is home to one of the largest and most diverse concentrations of Irish studies scholarship in the world, with 280 members of the Making Ireland research theme working in the area of Irish studies research.
As part of the wider work of this theme, the CNIS will provide an important focus for this research within Trinity across a wide range of disciplines from English and History to Genetics and Geography. The Making Ireland theme is guided by a strategic steering group with members from a wide range of disciplines and schools including Computer Science and Statistics, Education, English, Film Studies, History, History of Art, Irish, Geography, Geology and Law.
The CNIS will also be a member of the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS) and aims to develop, promote and support research through partnership and engagement with researchers in the British Isles and across Europe.
According to its Director, Dr Mark Hennessy, Trinity is well positioned to be a leader in Irish studies in the European and world context, with now being an “exciting time for Irish studies.”
Dr Hennessy said:
Irish studies is at a crossroads because of the ongoing peace process in Northern Ireland, and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU among other developments. The priorities for Irish studies are changing and Ireland’s place in the world is also changing; this new centre will contribute to understanding these changes.
Key organiser of the launch and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr Sarah Kerr, added: “It is more important now than ever to strengthen our relationships with scholars in the UK and Europe and ensure the continuation of ground-breaking, cross-border research.”
The CNIS sees New Irish Studies as a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach to researching the island of Ireland, its global context, and its people in the north, south and the wider diaspora.
A panel discussion – ‘Interdisciplinary Research on the Origins of the Irish People’ – marked the launch, with panellists including Professor of Population Genetics at Trinity, Dan Bradley; Postdoctoral Researcher in Genetics at Trinity, Dr Lara Cassidy; Postdoctoral Researcher in Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast and the Catalan Institute of Palaeoecology and Social Evolution, Dr Rowan McLaughlin; Professor Emeritus in Prehistoric Archaeology at Queen’s University Belfast, Jim Mallory.
The CNIS will be hosted in the Trinity Long Room Hub and its work will be closely aligned with Trinity’s Making Ireland research theme, as well as Trinity’s four other arts and humanities-led research themes.