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Cherishing the Humanities: Trinity's Arts and Humanities Inspiring Generations

Each year, the Trinity Long Room Hub hosts 50 of Trinity’s most outstanding PhD students and early career researchers from across the Arts and Humanities. We are committed to showing how their research provides unique perspectives on societal challenges and how it broadly contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

Sustainable Development Goals

No Poverty (1)
Louse Kari-Mereau

Zero Hunger (2)
Andrew Hill

Good Health and Well-being (3)
Benjamin Errington
Jason Marrott

Quality Education (4)
Alexandra Corey
Amelia McConville
Caroline Smyth
Daniela Modrescu
Jessica Garska
Siobhan Callaghan

Gender Equality (5)
Claire Keogh
Dawn Klos
Morgan Wait
Lucia Cabrera
Susan Byrne

Industry Innovation and Infrastructure (9)
Eleonora Lima

Reduced Inequalities (10)
Autumn Brown
Joanna Poetz
Angeliki Lima
Ralph Moore

Sustainable Cities and Communities (11)
Lynn Mills
Moonyoung Hong

Responsible Consumption and Production (12)
Elliot Mills
Roisin Costello

Peace Justice and Strong Institutions (16)
Conor Casey
Alexander Chance
Courtney Helen Grile
Elizabeth Foley
Jack Sheehan
Sahar Ahmed
Chelsea Wilkinson

Partnerships for the Goals (17)
Martin Clancy
Philip Mac a’Ghoill
Shauna O'Brien

Jennifer Sargent-Matchain

No Poverty (1)

Louise Kari Mereau| Cynicism in Contemporay French Literature: Frederic Beigebeder, Virginie Despentes |

My research looks at the cynicism in Frédéric Beigbeder’s and Virginie Despentes’ novels: both authors use cynicism to denounce or mock the contemporary French society.  

Cynicism can be defined as a philosophy (criticizing the fake social rules to improve society) or as an attitude (someone who rejects social rules and norms and believes that everyone is motivated by self-interest. Usually the modern cynic is seen as a pessimist, with a negative attitude, and can be compared to a nihilist). 

For this poster I chose to focus on one book written by Beigbeder, Au secours pardon, published in 2007. In this book, Octave, the narrator is a talent-scout sent to Russia to find the new face of a fashion brand. To find the perfect girl, he is allowed to use every trick he has: money, lies, sex, abuse, etc. The satirical figure of the narrator and the story are built to denounce the issues and the faults in the fashion industry; especially the one concerning the use of underage models and the sexualisation of their young bodies. 

At the top of the poster you can read a quote, which comes from the beginning of the novel when Octave tries to explain (and excuse) the usual (and deviant) practices of the fashion industry to always sell more. Slowly Octave realises the wrongdoings of such treatments and starts fighting them – unsuccessfully.  

Louise is a second year self-funded PhD student in the French department of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies. She is supervised by Dr. Sarah Alyn Stacey.

Zero Hunger (2)

Andrew Hill|Deisidaimonia (Panic): A study of crisis, climate, and rebellion in Carthaginian North Africa |

Africa is mother to some of humanity’s oldest civilisations, among them the maritime state of Carthage (ca. 814-146 BC). Yet, the sustainability of populous urban civilisation, especially in Africa, is often subject to nature’s whims. New polar ice-cores are providing historians with chronologically precise data on historic volcanic eruptions of a potentially global environmental impact. Between 400 and 30 BC, multiple eruptions on a scale beyond any in the past two centuries occurred. Sudden volcanically-induced climatic change is thus now a rapidly developing area of scholarship. 

My project for the first time extends the discourse on ancient climate to Carthage, and Tunisia. Utilising an interdisciplinary methodology, I am investigating the role of volcanic climatic anomalies coinciding with six insurrections against Carthage described in Classical sources – among them the infamously brutal ‘Mercenary War’ (241-237 BC). Carthage’s overreliance on overseas grain markets proved disastrous during times of economic and environmental stress – a story with implications for our own times. Recognising that climate-conflict links are mediated by numerous influences, I will examine ‘perfect storm’ scenarios, where human factors such as the scarcity of diversified food sources and financial bankruptcy are compounded by an interplay with environmental pressures.
The urgency of issues arising from overpopulation and the unsustainable growth of cities demands interdisciplinary perspectives. Now more than ever it is important to remember our collective history, our relationship with the environment, and the challenges already overcome.

Good Health and Well-being (3)

Benjamin Errington | Responses to Timbre in aesthetic writings of the German Enlightenment and in Early German Romanticism |

My research looks at how musical instrument sounds impacted culture in the Age of Goethe. During this period, German-language literature across various genres demonstrated an increased awareness about the healing and emotionally-stirring properties of sound. This awareness is found in developing movements spanning Anthropology, medicine and musical aesthetics. 

In line with the third SDG, and following the evidence of current studies in music therapy and other fields, I believe that my research into the period could ultimately lead to more informed therapeutic interventions using musical instrument sounds for patients with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimers. 

Jason Marrott  | Solitude in German Romanticism |

Solitude in the German-speaking Romantic era presents a unique opportunity to study the intertwined relationship of the individual to society. With the artistic movement’s intense focus on the individual and his or her impressions of the world, solitude acts as something of a highlighted portrayal of the individual human experience. The representation of solitude in literature or other mediums, however, represents something of a paradox, for in mediating the experience to an audience it betrays its core principle: the seclusion of the individual from the many. The experience becomes, thereby, performed. It becomes at once a communicative act which travels in only one direction: from the solitary individual to the unseen audience, and it becomes an object of interpretation which before the eyes of the audience. Studying it, allows us, as readers, to investigate the ways in which various societies operate upon and through us as individual members of these same communities. 
Indeed, the choice to practice solitude is often taken directly in reaction to society – whether this choice stems from a some sort of trauma at the hands of society, or simply from a self-perceived inability to ‘fit in’.  Whatever the case may be, the cognitive framework, barriers, ideologies, and cultural practices of the society a solitary figure purports to have left, still guide his or her experience of solitude and understanding of self. That is to say, one’s understanding of self is in large a socially-designated category. One sees their social role through the eyes of an imagined other.

What happens, though, when one sees the self through an internalized perception of a social-role they are unable to fulfil? Society should, ideally, be able to leave a place for such disaffected individuals not only to heal, but to find their own place. To dictate a role inevitably leads to discontent; to work with the individual leads instead to mutual benefit. When a society cannot provide a place for all its members it ceases to truly be a community, but becomes instead a dictator.  
Jason is a second year PhD Student in the Department of Germanic Studies, supervised by Clemens Ruthner and Peter Arnds, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultural Studies.

Quality Education (4)

Alexandra Corey | A Critical Edition of Emmanuel-Philibert de Pingon’s Works and a Biography |

An important aspect of an inclusive and equitable quality education includes the opportunity to acquire a new language, or new languages.  The ability to read texts written in their original language, particularly those from many centuries ago, enriches a linguistic and literary education by providing cultural and historical context for the language itself. 

My project involves establishing a critical edition of odes written by a poet at the court of Savoy in the mid-1500s, and these odes are based in two languages: Latin and French. Understanding how these two languages were able to coexist in French literature at the time is significant not only with regard to a linguistic and literary education by making new sources available, but also to the study of European history by illuminating the cultural motives behind this development. 

According to some scholars, Latin and French coexisted on equal ground in 16th-century French literature; there was not a hierarchy between them. At the same time, each language brought a new perspective. 

This is interesting with respect to Ireland today, where Irish and English are beginning to coexist and, optimistically speaking, the hierarchy between the two languages seems to be dwindling; often both are given equal space on signs and brochures, for example, and hopefully the hierarchy will eventually disappear altogether. 

By making historic texts available and comprehensible for those interested in the languages and literatures of Europe, my exemplifies how languages may coexist and, by doing so, furthers “inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.” 

Amelia McConville | Poetry Studies and Neurohumanities: Interdisciplinary Approaches | 

I have always been interested by the once paradigmatic separation of the arts and sciences — a gulf that, despite much evidence to the contrary throughout history, has implied that the two disciplines are irreconcilable. My research approaches contemporary poetry which displays strong visual element — particularly works considered to be difficult or challenging — and appeals to cognitive science in order to explore new ways of approaching this genre of poetry. Visual poetry, along with the study of visual poetics, takes into consideration the aesthetic distribution of the poem on the page (or medium in which it is presented) as an essential part of its overall meaning. As such, this poses a challenge to more traditional modes of interpretation that prioritise the verbal elements of poetry when establishing an analysis or determining meaning from a text. I examine whether appealing to certain cognitive models, such as working memory, can provide an alternate perspective with which to consider experimental visual poetry. Crucially, my research attempts to establish a discursive space where both disciplines being drawn from can be benefitted — both poetry studies and the cognitive models being drawn from should reciprocally benefit from an interdisciplinary study that combines them both. In this sense, an overarching research aim of my project is to establish this potential for reciprocal gains for poetry studies and Neurohumanities discourses, exploring just how much Poetry and Neuroscience have to teach each other.  

Caroline Smyth | A Move Towards Heutagogy: Improving ePortfolio Engagement in EAP |  

We live in a world that is results-driven. In education, traditional teaching methodology supports an all-knowing teacher imparting information to passive students, to be reproduced later in summative assessments. For convenience sake, simplistic comparisons are then made on a finite scale between students whose abilities are undoubtedly infinite. Almost 2,500 years ago, Socrates recommended “kindling the flame” within the learner, rather than “filling the vessel”. Einstein observed that “education is not the learning of things, but the training of the mind to think”. Rather than casting aside the many who fail to meet discriminatory assessment goals, we should foster educational practices that embrace all the skills of a diverse student population. 

While the paradigm of education systems cannot be changed in an instant, this research will use Grow’s Model of Staged Self-Directed Learning among a cohort of students learning English for Academic Purposes. Its purpose is to identify if this model can alter the power dynamic of the classroom from teacher-led to student-led. This will not negate the need for a teacher, rather it will gradually convert his/her status to facilitator/delegator with the students taking responsibility for their learning. 

To measure this process, the students will record reflections on their learning experiences in an ePortfolio. Here they will reflect on what they have learned in class, recognise areas of difficulty, create strategies to overcome them, set goals, recognise achievements and crucially, begin to understand how they learn. Through these actions, they should develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and self-confidence in their abilities. These transferable skills can not only improve the learning experience of formal education but also serve to produce individuals who can make a valuable contribution to the workforce and society at large. 

Caroline Smyth is a PhD candidate in the School of Linguistic Speech and Communication Sciences supervised by Dr Lorna Carson and part-funded by the Trinity Immigration Initiative.  

Daniela Modrescu | Exploring the International Students’ Perceptions of the Ecology of English Language Learning and Teaching in an Irish Higher Education Context |   

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the international student enrolment in Irish Higher Education (IHE). If on the one side, the increase may reflect an auspiciously successful internationalization process, on the other it raises important questions regarding the extent to which universities are prepared to accommodate international students during the complex process of cultural and academic adjustment to the new learning environment, which has been proven to have a strong impact on the learning outcomes and students’ wellbeing. 

Core element to the students’ cultural and academic adjustment is the English language and its learning context. First, because language pervades all education; second, because languages are intrinsic to people as means to express, share and develop their self-identities; and third, because the development of (second language) self-identities is always dialogical and socio-culturally constructed, in evolution and bound through language.  

Therefore, if no adequate support and quality English language learning and teaching are provided within the new learning environment, international students who are developing new identities through English, may face conflict with integrating them with their established ones, already bound through their first languages and their implicit (academic) cultures. 

This research takes an ecological approach to (second) language learning and learner development, and aims to understand the conditions which may lead to, or prevent this possible clash through the delivery of first-person accounts of some students’ perceptions of the quality of English language learning and teaching in an Irish Higher Education context in order to evaluate their implications for the English curriculum planning, and for the students’ overall educational experience and wellbeing. 

Daniela Modrescu is a PhD candidate in the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences (SLSCS) supervised by Dr Lorna Carson and funded by the SLSCS’s Studentship for English Language Learning and Teaching.  

Jessica Garska | Re-examining Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes Curricula and Assessment in Irish Third Level Institutions| 
Increased student mobility has led to an increase in English as an Additional Language (EAL) students studying at English-medium universities. The predictor of EAL students’ academic success primarily relies on standardized test scores, however, the validity of these tests is currently debated. There is also a startling lack of evidence on the academic outcomes of EAL students studying in Ireland and under-engagement with the development of strategies to support their academic growth.

This research aims to redress this imbalance through the creation of an Irish-specific pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programme. It uses interviews and questionnaires to explore student and faculty perceptions of the needs, expectations and challenges that EAL students face in Irish Higher Education. It conducts a scoping review of pre-sessional EAP curricula and assessment.

Based on these findings, an EAP curriculum and assessment will be constructed as an alternative preparation tool and predictor of success. In doing so, this research seeks to improve both the academic outcomes and experiences of EAL students in the Irish Higher Education system. 
Jessica Garska is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Language and Communication Studies supervised by Dr Breffni O’Rourke and funded by a Trinity Research Studentship. 

Siobhán Callaghan | The displaced children of the Second World War in historical fiction for children |  

My project interrogates the representation of the displaced children of the Second World War in Anglophone historical fiction for children. As recent UN reports estimate more than seventy million displaced peoples worldwide, there have been numerous conflations in both the Irish and international media of the displaced minors of the Second World with their contemporary counterparts. What role does children’s literature have to play in this process? 

The Second World War has held pride of place in historical fiction for children since the late 1950’s and continues to do so. Recently published work reimagines this period of history for a twenty-first century child readership, while also contributing to the existent canon of children’s literature about the subject. Historical fiction is as much, if not more so, about the time in which it is published as it is about the time in which is set; my project seeks to understand how these texts look to the past in order to shed light on the present. How does children’s literature contribute to the construction of the displaced child and what does the intersection of history, literature, and childhood mean for how we think and write about the children of history?  
Siobhán is an Irish Research Council funded PhD candidate in the School of English. Her research is supervised by Dr Pádraic Whyte.


Gender Equality (5)

Claire Keogh | Woman-wrought: investigating unconscious bias in Irish theatre | 

The #WakingTheFeminists movement formed in November 2015 following the announcement of the Abbey Theatre’s 1916 commemoration programme, “Waking the Nation,” which included only one play written by a woman. This research will investigate the artistic causes of this protest by exploring how the gender of the playwright influences the language and/or structures of Irish plays by women.

Focussing on the period from the beginning of Fiach MacConghail’s tenure as Director of the Abbey Theatre in 2005 until the formation of #WakingTheFeminists in 2015, it will interrogate the dramatic shape, linguistic style and thematic concerns of plays by women. Attention will then turn to plays produced after 2016, to investigate how things have changed within Irish theatre since #WakingTheFeminists, and whether this movement has affected the number, type and shape of plays by women being produced.

Drawing a distinction between plays produced at the Abbey Theatre, outside the Abbey, and internationally, it will identify whether these playwrights are writing in a gendered way and how this changes with the location of production. The research will then question how readers interpret text, based on these gendered linguistic and structural markers, and whether such markers trigger unconscious reactions in the brain that influence whether the script is determined to be good or bad art.

By interrogating how unconscious biases triggered by the playwright’s writing style might influence a programmer’s decision to produce a script, this thesis will provide a vital insight into how we read plays by women, and will provide a key to understanding the work of female playwrights in the future. 

Claire Keogh is a PhD candidate in the School of Creative Arts supervised by Dr. Melissa Sihra funded by the Irish Research Council  


Dawn A. Seymour Klos | The Black Widow of Breedon: Isolde Pantulf’s Life and Identity in England and Ireland, 1170-1230  |  
Did women in the Middle Ages have rights? Were medieval women feminists? This work explores the court proceedings of Isolde Pantulf throughout her five marriages, acquisition of wardships and land, as well as her rumoured affair with King John to create a detailed timeline of one woman. Scholars have presented the thirteenth century as both a golden age and a time of decline for women’s rights due to the solidification of English Common Law.

 By following Isolde’s relationship with the courts, her family, and her ability to maintain rights and property during the Baron’s Revolt despite her husband’s open opposition to the crown, Isolde’s case study demonstrates her actions to be in line with the modern definition of feminism. The history of feminism did not begin in the twentieth century. It is time to reconsider the evidence and allow medieval women to join the ranks. 
Dawn is a PhD candidate in the Department of Histories and Humanities, Trinity College Dublin.

Morgan Wait | ‘An unspoken power’: Women and Irish Television 1958-73 |

This project examines the ways in which women in Ireland interacted with television between the years 1958 and 1973. It asks whether or not television changed the way women were perceived in Ireland or if the introduction of television changed the way Irish women saw themselves and investigates how women influenced television production at Teilifís Éireann.

The literature on Irish television history is relatively scant, and amounts to three major books on the topic. All of these have a heavy institutional focus and none pay serious attention to women. This thesis seeks to bring women back into the narrative of Irish television history. It utilises institutional sources, such as those which have been used previously to examine Irish television, but adds popular publications, personal papers, and oral history, to negate institutional bias and create a more holistic picture of television’s impact on Ireland.

It also focuses on the ‘rediscovery’ of some lost programmes. It’s essential aim is to complicate the consensus narrative that surrounds television in Ireland which asserts that the medium unalterably transformed Ireland into a more ‘modern’, ‘progressive’ society, and to ask whether or not this narrative applies to the status of Irish women. In so doing this project hopes to contribute to our wider understanding of womanhood in the 1960s and to our understanding of media’s impact on the public. 

Morgan is a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Centre for Contemporary Irish History in Trinity's School of Histories and Humanities.

Lucía Cabrera | Analysing Politeness in Film Discourse |  

In recent years, a large number of actors, actresses, directors, and producers have spoken out regarding gender inequality in the film industry and advocating the need for a less stereotyped portrayal of women in film. Although many studies have focused on the visual element of film, research on film discourse and linguistic strategies assigned to male or female characters is virtually non-existent.  

Research on language and gender has been explored for many years, but it was in 1973 that Robin Lakoff explored differences between men and women’s language from a feminist perspective. She claimed that in order to avoid any type of conflict or confrontation women used certain strategies, what she referred to as “ladylike language”. She characterised women as being pleasant and considerate, both central elements in politeness theory. Furthermore, theories of politeness put forward by Brown & Levinson (1987) have been criticised for claiming to be universal and for not considering gender to be a determining factor in the choice of strategies made by speakers either. If gender is understood to be constructed by the way people use language, then analysing the ways in which people use language in films can tell us how cultural productions portray both the language used by characters as well as the construction of gender and gender identities in society.  

Research conducted by Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil et. al (2013) developed a framework to identify politeness in large online communities where politeness strategies are frequently used. They developed a new corpus of requests annotated for politeness to further investigate politeness markers and context. Their classifier achieved “near-human performance” and enabled them to study politeness in relation to social status, gender, and power relations. This research will build upon these text analysis tools and explore the validity and reliability of implementing text classification tools to characterise politeness strategies in film discourse.  

Lucía Cabrera is a PhD Candidate in the School of Linguistic, Speech, and Communication Sciences co-supervised by Dr. Carl Vogel and Dr. Breffni O’Rourke  

Susan Byrne | Women's experience of the Irish Free State justice system, 1922-37' |

In the Irish Free State, men and women were held to different social and moral standards, with women judged against ‘unfair social norms and attitudes’.  If their behaviour or dress was obviously sexual, they were stigmatised, while single women who became pregnant were identified as morally deviant and punished by the state, society, and the church. No one pointed a finger at the pregnant fathers of Ireland! The Irish woman’s ‘shame’ was on display. She was shunned, and in many cases, confined in an institution – removed from public view.  For many single mothers and their babies, stigmatisation and lack of social support had life and death consequences. 

Between 1927 and 1937, ninety-nine cases of infanticide and four hundred and sixty-five concealment of birth cases were officially known to Gardai.  Many women also died in childbirth, or from complications following the birth, owing to lack of knowledge or fear of seeking medical care.   

My wider research seeks to broaden our understanding of women within the justice system by establishing where and how they interacted with it. It will explore the kinds of crimes committed by them and on them.  By accessing their voices in the court records and other contemporary documents, it seeks to uncover their experience as victims and perpetrators, how they exercised agency within the justice system, and how gender framed their experience. 

Cliona Rattigan, “What else could I do?”: Single Mothers and Infanticide, Ireland 1900-1950 (Dublin, 2012) 

Susan Byrne is a PhD candidate in the Department of History, supervised by Dr Carole Holohan, and funded by the Irish Research Council. 

Industry Innovation and Infrastructure (9)

Dr Eleonora Lima | Writing Computer Culture |  

It is impossible to discuss Artificial Intelligence without mentioning Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. The word ‘robot’ was coined by the Czech writer Čapek for his theatre play R.U.R. One of the first computer prototypes is the ‘Engine’ described in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. The idea of a world library was explored by Luis Borges in many of his short stories long before the Web was invented. 

And yet, when it comes to computer culture and digital technologies, literature is usually considered a repository of fantasies and dreams with little to do with the devices we use. 

This project, focusing specifically of Italian literary production, aims at challenging this assumption and to demonstrate how literature contributes to the debate guiding technological advancement, as well as shaping our attitude towards computer culture.  By combining literary analysis, computer history, and digital humanities, the goal of the project is to provide a history of computing in Italian literature, from mid 1950s to the present. 

Dr Eleonora Lima is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Italian. Her project Mapping Remediation in Italian Literature Beyond the Digital Revolution (MAREITA) is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowships (H2020-MSCA-IF-2017)

Reduced Inequalities (10)

Autumn Brown | Addressing Inequalities within the Culture of Science Through Art |

Intellectual and creative hunger not only thwart growth of the individual, but of society at large. What do we lose when we do not make room for diverse contributions of perspective and experience within science and technology? It is hard to fathom the breadth and depth of the injustices perpetrated due to the historic and systemic homogeny within the cultures of science and technology. Informal science education is a dynamic field, capable of rapid response to the needs of learners and society.

The learning which happens outside of school and the means by which learners pursue knowledge inform our understanding of knowledge making and innovation more broadly. Research suggests that the use of artwork may be a powerfully inclusive and culturally relevant tool of exploration, innovation, and discovery.

For many scientists, art provides an alternative lens through which to view their research. It has remained a potent method of inquiry into modern times, particularly as researchers probe the edges of what is known, into what must first imagined. Art as a technology of thoughthas the potential to empower individuals and communities and provide opportunities for engagement.  It is a valuable instrument which may not only affirm multiple identities, but the provide approachable expression and critique of complex ideas.My research Is primarily concerned with the ways in which art may be used to transform the culture of science, through equitable, inclusive, and culturally relevant practice. Embedded within Science Gallery Dublin, and partnering with dozens of informal science education organisations across Europe, my work will capture, evaluate, and create strategies and conceptual frameworks to guide our practice and understanding of science learning outside the classroom.

Autumn is a PhD candidate with the School of Education, funded by SySTEM2020.

Joanna Poetz | The Waldensian Treatises in Dublin: A Critical Edition of IE TCD MS 260, 262, 263, and 267|
This poster highlights the importance of overcoming language barriers – particularly to enable a dialogue between minority and dominant languages – which is one aspect of my doctoral research.
My research focuses on the Waldensians, members of a Christian movement which originated in France in the Middle Ages and who were considered heretical. Subsequently, under persecutions, the heresy spread throughout Europe, especially to Northern Italy and Central and Eastern Europe, before integrating the Reformation in the early modern period. But you might wonder, how does this relate to the pictures on the posters?
The figure in the right corner at the top is found in a 16th century Waldensian manuscript written in Occitan, the language spoken in southern France in the medieval period and which, nowadays, is at threat. The picture lower on the poster is taken from a Latin Book of Hours (a catholic book of prayers very popular during the middle ages). Both manuscripts are now kept in Trinity’s library. The Waldensians are known for their translation of the Bible, for preaching in the vernacular instead of Latin, which is precisely what led them to be marginalised and condemned for heresy. They have produced religious and para-religious literature in a dialect of Old Occitan. My project consists of a critical edition of some of these texts. Through my work, I will be making them accessible in book format to a larger audience, whilst studying their language and their cultural context.
Sources of the pictures:
Dublin, Library of Trinity College, manuscript 258, folio 84v
Dublin, Library of Trinity College, manuscript 92, folio 22v
Copyright: The Board of Trinity College Dublin
Both manuscripts are freely available online: and
Joanna is a PhD Candidate based in the French Department. Her doctoral research is supervised by Professor Sarah Alyn-Stacey and funded by Irish Research Council.

Angeliki Lima |Towards a Critical Adult Education in Prison | Angeliki Lima | 
This project explores the lived experience of education in prison and connects that experience to the principles of adult education and existing official educational policies. Listening to the prisoners’ narratives, it examines the ways in which education can be a transformative and beneficial experience during incarceration. The project takes a comparative case study approach, inviting former prisoners in Ireland and in Greece to participate in life history interviews. It aims to answer the following research questions:  

  • What are the motivations and aspirations behind the decision to re-engage in an educational process in prison?  
  • How do those engaging while incarcerated experience the educational system and what do they have to say about their outcomes?  
  • What are the participants’ views on the results of the process? Does it alter their understanding of self on a personal or social level?   
  • What are the enduring effects of the lived experience of education while incarcerated?  

Angeliki Lima is a PhD candidate in the School of Education supervised by Dr Aidan Seery and funded by a Trinity Research Studentship.  

Ralph Moore | The Land Beyond the Alps: Roman Expansion and Impact on Gaul c.125BCE-30CE |

This PhD thesis examines how incorporation into the orbit of the Roman Republic affected experiences of class and social status among the peoples of the Rhône Basin (south-eastern France and western Switzerland) over the late second and first centuries BCE.
The research relates to the tenth Sustainable Development Goal ‘Reduced Inequality’ in that it examines inequality and offers a more nuanced understanding. In both modern colonial encounters and ancient ones such as this, the imbalance of power cannot be taken as a binary line between colonisers and colonised and attempting to create equality on that axis alone will quickly create resistance. Just as there are those whose cannot maintain their status in the face of change, there are those for whom the upheaval presents opportunities to move up in the world. It is imperative to observe and understand the stratified nature of social inequalities and how colonialism incites a variety of responses and end results.
Images Used:
Top Left – ‘Guerrier en Tailleurs’ (reproduction, Site Archéologique de Glanum)
Top Right – ‘Portrait Funeraire’ (Provenance Vaison-la-Romaine, achat de la Fondation Calvet, 1833, Avignon, Musée Lapidaire, galerie des Antiques du Musée Calvet, Inv. G 136, cliché André Guerrand.)
Bottom Left - 'Guerrier de Vachères' (Musée Lapidaire - Collection archéologique du Musée Calvet, Achat de la Fondation Calvet Inv. G 136 C.)
Bottom Right – ‘Gaulois captif’ (n. inv.RHO.2007.06.1962, Musée d’Arles Antique, MDAA ©J.-L. Maby)
Ralph is a PhD candidate in the School of Histories and Humanities, supervised by Dr Hazel Dodge. His research is funded by Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship 2018-21.

Sustainable Cities and Communities (11)

Lynn Mills | Water and Spirit in the Dead Sea Community of Qumran and the Early Christian Church |  

An elaborate water system served and sustained the community of Qumran near the Dead Sea from approximately 130 BCE to 68 CE. The water came from a small dry river bed, via an aqueduct during rare flash floods and was the only source of fresh water in a very arid environment. A conservative estimate of the total capacity of the water system is 577,800 litres.  

The community estimate of between 150–200 people is based on the size of the dining room, the number of vessels in the crockery and graves in the adjacent cemetery. The amount of water to sustain a population of 200 and their animals is calculated at 257,900 litres. Why did the population not expand beyond 200 people as there was adequate water supply for double that number? Possibly because the food supplies were not sufficient for a greater population, possibly because the community was a small and exclusive sect. What is known is that they practiced a bathing ritual at least once a day and likely more often. Eight of the twenty-six water structures were for ritual bathing, and although they varied in size, all were communal baths. The capacity of these ritual baths was almost half of the total capacity of 577,800 litres. 

Select references[Field] 
Galor, Katharina. “Plastered Pools: A New Perspective.” In Khirbet Qumrân et ʻAïn Feshka II, edited by Jean-Baptiste Humbert and Jan Gunneweg. NTOA / SUNT, 291–320. Fribourg: Academic Press Fribourg; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003. 
Wood, Bryant G. “To Dip or Sprinkle: The Qumran Cisterns in Perspective.” BASOR 256 (Fall 1984): 45–60. 

Lynn Mills is a PhD candidate in the School of Religion supervised by Dr Benjamin Wold  

Moonyoung Hong | Tom Murphy’s Theatre of Everyday Space | 

The project engages with Tom Murphy’s work from the perspective of the ongoing theoretical discussion on drama as space with particular attention to the “everyday” spatiality. Murphy’s plays, which are deeply anchored in the “everyday” spatiality of identifiable Irish locales—a grocery store, a dancehall, a church, a club, a pub, a kitchen, a room/office and a hotel—may on the surface look rather conventional and provincial. Nevertheless, what we find in Murphy is a most deeply felt concern for every(wo)man, and a most imaginative conceptualisation of everyday spaces. 

Murphy appropriates these everyday spaces as a critique of repressive practices (Henri Lefebvre) as well as an appraisal of the “creative resistance” that occur in the space (Michel de Certeau). The everyday – defined by repetition and non-eventfulness – is re-imagined by Murphy in the realm of theatre, and his plays convey the trauma and possibility of hope that underly the banalities of everyday life. 

Modernisation and urbanisation have created a greater need for addressing issues of poor living conditions, social alienation and varying mental illnesses. The way people interact and engage within the changing environment has become crucial. Murphy’s theatrical vision calls for conversations and compassion. More than the physical setting, it is the emotional and intellectual mapping that contributes to building a strong (and thus sustainable) community. 

Moonyoung Hong is a PhD candidate in the School of English supervised by Prof Chris Morash and Prof Nicholas Grene. Her research is funded by the Ussher Fellowship. 

Tingting Hu | The Linguistic Landscape of Recurrent Cultural Events and Its Implications for Further Inquiries Regarding Language, Stance-taking and Identity Reinforcement in a Multilingual Context |

Our city is symbolically constructed with signs. Languages on signs form a salient category where meanings are conveyed. The linguistic situation becomes more complex and contested in multilingual and multicultural urban areas. In the public visual space, signs containing semiotics and languages such as direction signs, street/place names, shop signs, billboards, advertisements, and even graffiti constitute what is called the ‘linguistic landscape’. But here comes the question. How much information can we get from signs and how can we read them?  

When situated in a particular place at a particular time, signs convey more than one layer of meanings.  

This project looks at Dublin Chinese New Year Festival as to investigate the signage focusing on languages on public display. Here, Chinese indexes the cultural identity of the Chinese community. Also, it is a linguistic marker of the changing landscape of Dublin from being bilingual to multilingual.  

In an era when transnationalism, mobility, language contact, and migration take place, one can be a local here and a foreigner elsewhere. How do we project ourselves with the use of language? How do we make sense of the place we live in? The linguistic landscape might give us more clues to these questions. 
Tingting Hu is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Language and Communication Studies of the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences. Her research is supervised by Professor Jeffrey L. Kallen and funded by Trinity Immigration Initiative

Responsible Consumption and Production (12)

Elliott Mills | Cycles of Reading and Writing, and Vehicles of Mediation: Flann O'Brien in the Digital Age |

In the digital age, sustainable consumption and production needs to be thought of in relation not only to the physical world but the online landscape. This means reconsidering whether the relationships that users of social media have with platforms such as Twitter are sustainable or healthy. My research into the works of Flann O’Brien suggests that the problems such platforms pose are not wholly new.  

Flann O’Brien, pen name of Brian O’Nolan (1911-1966), was the author of novels such as At-Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman, but he was also for 26 years a columnist for the Irish Times. In this column called Cruiskeen Lawn, which he wrote as ‘Myles na gCopaleen’, the focus sometimes turned to subject of addiction to print and passive consumption of newspaper articles. He was concerned that the media cycle fostered a kind of engagement with the printed word that could seduce individuals into enslavement, rather than engender critical thinking. 

Whilst we need to focus on how new tech has led to newly intensified problems, tracing these problems back into the pre-digital age suggests that there should also be a level of self-reflection from users of social media platforms. If there were worries about addictive and passive consumption of newspapers in the mid-20th century, then today, after the social media explosion, we need to address not just the problems built in to the algorithms of these platforms, but those less examined problems with our own ways of thinking and behaving which can leave us open to be manipulated by such algorithms.  

Elliott is a PhD candidate at Trinity College Dublin, carrying out his research with an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship. His research is supervised by Dr Tom Walker and Dr Sam Slot, School of English.

Róisín Costello | The Impacts of Digital Technologies on Fundamental Rights |
This research examines how private actors in the digital market are setting public, normative standards. The work argues that this process is being effected through two mechanisms.
The first is an approach of functional equivalence to laws governing the digital market, the second is the neoliberal policy preference for economic rather than socially orientated legislative rights protections. As a result of these trends, individual fundamental rights have been rendered susceptible to erosion in a digital context.
The work focuses in particular on the rights to privacy and property and the impacts of their erosion at an individual level (through reductions in autonomy) and at a societal level (through harms to a substantive model of the Rule of Law).
Róisín is currently a PhD Candidate in the School of Law. Her doctoral work is funded by the Irish Research Council.

Peace Justice and Strong Institutions (16)

Dr Lilith Acadia | The Power of Pretext |
A pretext is a justification for a belief, action, or identity that does not reflect a true motivation. Rather, pretexts conceal motivations or manipulate the audience—like a fallacy of justification. Pretexts may be harmless white lies (e.g. going to ‘powder your nose’), yet can be powerful enough to start wars (e.g. Bush’s imaginary WMDs in Iraq).

I define pretext discursively rather than psychologically, offering a series of tests to analyse the justification’s text rather than the speaker’s psyche or self-report, since a speaker may be unconscious of a pretext’s misrepresentation (e.g. crediting a ticking biological clock with the desire to reproduce, when ‘biological clocks’ are the product of 1970s anti-feminist backlash), and a speaker is always unconscious of at least some of her infinite motivations (e.g. habits, traditions, privileges, ideology, social conditioning).

Analysing discourse for pretexts can help identify which justifications for ethical stances or actions we might consider just, by dismissing stated justifications that do not express the speaker’s motivating reasons. Catching pretexts will not only give you the satisfaction of calling out a fallacy, but also offer an opportunity to look for motives, understand the situation more clearly, make better informed decisions, and offer stronger counter-arguments.

Dr Lilith Acadia is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Cofund Fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute, and an Assistant Professor of Intellectual Breadth at the University of Michigan–Jiao Tong Joint Institute. Twitter: @L_Acadia

Conor Casey | Executive Power in the Irish Constitutional Order: a Comparative Perspective |

This thesis undertakes a comparative analysis of the position of the political executive in Ireland, United Kingdom, and the United States. I address three central questions. First, why and how has the executive become most powerful and predominant branch of each State? Second, what does its predominant status teach us about the conceptual nature of the political executive in these modern constitutional democracies? Third, is the predominant status of the political executive a positive feature of these democracies, or problematic? These questions are spurred by the fact the political executive is the locus of public power in the modern state, despite the fact historical or formal legal accounts of executive power are somewhat modest - a pale reflection of the executive’s current predominant status.  

I argue the root of executive predominance lies in each jurisdiction’s attempt to increase the capacity of the state to meet the political expectations, fears, and hopes of the polity, and to promote the common good. Pressures placed on the state to meet complex social and political challenges has pressed each jurisdiction to evolve its constitutional order. This evolution came in the form of a diffusion of institutional power to the executive far outstripping other political actors. It was the executive who was bestowed, above any other political actor, the daunting role of steering the polity through the complexities and dangers of modern government through the projection of public power. 

Because of its indispensability, I suggest hostility toward the current balance of power may be misplaced. I do so because the fragility of constitutionalism and good government largely does not turn on the formal structure, institutions, and powers of government. Rather, it turns on the attitudes and morals of political elites who inhabit its governing institutions, and the citizens who appoint and legitimize these political actors. In the end, it is not the mere existence of a powerful executive that should be our primary concern, but who wields this authority, where its power is directed, and why.  

Conor Casey is a Ph.D. candidate in the Law School supported by a Ussher Fellowship.

Alexander Chance | Winning the peace, losing the state? Organised crime, governance and the liberal peace in post-war Mozambique |  

Organised crime is one of a range of complex and interdependent challenges that face countries emerging from conflict. Fragile governments, nascent criminal justice systems, widespread unemployment and easily-available weapons are just some of the features that make post-war environments attractive to transnational criminal groups, who seek low-risk territories for trafficking their illicit goods or services. In many cases, clandestine supply routes and funding networks developed during a conflict are repurposed for criminal activities, facilitated by corrupt political elites. 

The rationale underpinning the predominant liberal peacebuilding model suggests that such challenges should diminish as democracy takes root, liberalised economies develop, institutions mature and civil society asserts itself. Post-war Mozambique indicates otherwise. Until recently hailed as a peacebuilding success story for its stable transition to democracy and rapid economic development following decades of conflict, Mozambique experienced a simultaneous growth in organised criminality, corruption and associated intimidation. Despite over 25 years of ‘good governance’ and statebuilding activities by the international community, claims of symbiosis between organised crime and the state have become increasingly credible. 

This research project explores that incongruity by asking how different forms of governance and organised crime have influenced one another in post-war Mozambique, and how those relationships help us to understand the tensions, limitations and very nature of liberal peacebuilding. Necessitating a critical approach to the liberal peace model, the thesis concludes by asking how newer ‘hybrid’ and ‘post-liberal’ forms of peacebuilding might approach the nexus between governance and organised crime in post-conflict scenarios. 

Alexander Chance is a PhD candidate in International Peace Studies in the Irish School of Ecumenics, supervised by Dr Gillian Wylie and Dr Iain Atack, and has been funded by a Trinity research studentship. 

Courtney Helen Grile |Rethinking the Town Hall: Addressing the Crises of Democracy through Applied Drama |

With a global crisis in democracy looming, is there a role applied drama can play at this pivotal point in history to secure and reinforce ideals of democracy? Throughout the course of history, drama/theatre and democracy have been substantially linked. Research so far suggests a correlation between shifts towards democracy and the use of drama/theatre as a tool for communicating with the populace, and shifts away from democracy and the use of drama/theatre as a tool for speaking to/at the populace. The practice of applied drama is uniquely positioned to create space for greater communication, collaboration, and creative problem-solving. Each is a crucial skill for effective democracy. 

Applied drama is a practice that has been used worldwide to promote and create opportunities for greater social justice and community development through known labels such as Theatre of the Oppressed and Community-engaged Theatre. It is also used in education as a tool for learning and development. Key questions of the research include: In what ways does applied drama practice align with democratic ideals? How can applied drama process inform political process to more actively engage citizens and strengthen democratic values? What can be learned from analysing historical case studies focused on the relationship of drama/theatre and democratic governance? 

Through an analysis of the historical relationship between drama/theatre and democracy, as well as the ideals of applied drama and democracy, a methodology for restructuring town hall meetings informed by applied drama practices will be articulated. Furthermore, this research will conduct a series of field experiments to observe and survey the effect of this new methodology on civic engagement. 
Courtney is an artist and researcher working in the field of drama studies. Her PhD with Trinity’s School of Creative Arts is supervised by Dr Nicholas Johnson and funded by a TCD studentship. To learn more about Courtney and her research you can go to

Elizabeth Foley| The Nesiotic League, Cooperation and Connectivity in the Hellenistic Aegean |
My doctoral research is on the political, economic and social and histories of the islands of the south Aegean – known as the Cyclades – from the end of the fourth century to the second century BCE. During this period there is an institution called the Nesiotic or Islanders’ League. This “league” was not founded by the islanders themselves but was an institution imposed on them from above; by kings and then by the powerful city-state of Rhodes.
My research explores the ways in which both the Islanders’ League and the individual islands interacted with the hegemonic powers in the region. My research also investigates how islands interacted and cooperated with each other and with polities outside of the region in this period and asks what affect the League had on cooperation.
A focus of my research is on the agency individual islands, as small states, were able to exert in the Hellenistic period. The sources for my research are largely epigraphic – (inscriptions on stone) and numismatic (silver and bronze coins). There is great diversity in the region and the evidence varies greatly in quantity from island to island but insights into the histories of these islands and this region can be gained from study of these sources which enable us to better understand how small states interacted with big powers and eachother.
This photo, showing a boat turning in the Aegean sea, was taken by Photo by Sander Crombach on Unsplash.

Elizabeth is a PhD candidate in the School of Histories and Humanities, funded by the Irish Research Council and supervised by Dr Shane Wallace.

Jack Sheehan | The Political Uses of Folk Music Collection, Curation and Distribution 1923-1980 |

In the twentieth century a diverse and international group of people, organisations and states all tried to do the same thing: record folk music for preservation and use it for their own purposes. Conservative nationalists, state and semi-state bureaucracies, socialists, communists, Irish language enthusiasts, trade unionists, fascists, romantics and cynics alike all tried to get their hands on whatever power rested in the songs of the people.  

My research asks why they collected this material, what they did with it and what, if any, were the effects. I seek to analyse their surprising, often contradictory reactions to folk culture, and some strange parallels between extremely diverse political traditions. It is a transnational study, with the island of Ireland since the revolution at its centre. I follow the early Irish state in its attempts to de-anglicise the nation, and rescue the Irish language from extinction, examining the various folk cultural institutions, their personalities, victories, failures and influences from Nordic countries and the United States. As the twentieth century wears on I examine the role of foreign personalities like American folklorist Alan Lomax and spaces such as the BBC. Finally, I look at the folk revival and the place of republicanism in the new folk music of the 1960s and 70s. In all this I hope not only to tell a story about music, but to reveal something about the underlying ideologies at play. 

Jack is a PhD candidate at the Department of History in the School of Histories and Humanities. He is funded through the Provost's PhD Award, working with Dr. Daniel Geary on the project.

Sahar Ahmed| The Right to Freedom of Religion under Islamic fiqh and International Human Rights Law |
This PhD project examines whether a reinterpretation of Islamic jurisprudence on the right to freedom of religion can redress the disconnect between Islamic jurisprudence and the right to freedom of religion under International Human Rights Law. This poster, however, illustrates and seeks to start a dialogue concerning one of the aspects the larger research project engages with, that of ‘Burqa Bans’ across Europe and the way the European Court of Human Rights has decided the (il)legality of such bans. 

Understanding the importance of the right to practice one’s religion freely is clear when observing how different European states have responded to Muslim women wearing the burqa, many with bans. Burqa Bans can be seen as a microcosm of the right to freedom of religion in a European context, particularly the right to manifest one’s religion or belief and ideas of consent. Such bans pit communities against each other, are assimilationist, and do not allow Muslim women of colour recourse to justice, directly against the spirit of Sustainable Development Goal 16 (promoting just, peaceful, and inclusive societies).  

The image used for this poster is of a mural on a wall in Newtown, New South Wales, Australia, and was photographed by Beau Giles from Sydney, Australia, on 21st September, 2010. Giles’ photo is titled, ‘Ban the Burqa’. The image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license and is therefore free for sharing and remixing, provided appropriate credit is given to the original photographer. The original photo can be found at:  

Sahar Ahmed is a PhD candidate in the School of Law, supervised by Prof. Neville Cox and funded by the Trinity Postgraduate Research Studentship

Chelsea Wilkinson | The Appropriation and Re-appropriation of the West Bank Barrier: The Assertion and Defense of Palestinian Identity through the Arts |

Throughout the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict there have been multiple periods of Jewish and Arab separation in the region. Today, the most notorious symbol of this separation is the West Bank Barrier, whose purpose, according to the Israeli government, is to protect Israeli citizens from Palestinian violence. The barrier, along with its negative impact on Palestinian life, has been protested by Palestinians, Israeli activists, and international human rights advocates since its creation, but the protest that attracts the most international attention is the graffiti found on its concrete wall segments.

Palestinians using graffiti as political expression have in recent years been joined by increasing numbers of international artists and tourists, who come from around the world to contribute their own wall graffiti. However, there are rising concerns that international graffiti participation is transforming the wall into a “global forum” that overshadows the Palestinian voice.

While this research raises important questions about appropriating Palestinian space, in-depth exploration of the intentions of international graffiti participants as well as how locals interact with international graffiti images could reveal discrepancies and overlaps in each groups’ perceived benefits of making graffiti on the wall. Such academic exploration could reveal how graffiti participation is shaping perceptions about the conflict, and this knowledge could contribute to developing arts-based peacebuilding approaches that emphasize informed collaboration with local populations. 

Bottom right of photo: The Wounded: The “Wall Museum” – The Arab Educational Institute 

Chelsea Wilkinson is a Peace Studies PhD student in the School of Religion at Trinity College Dublin, supervised by Dr. Carlo Aldrovandi, Assistant Professor of Religions, Conflict and Peace Studies.

Partnerships for the Goals (17)

Martin Clancy |The Ethical and Fiscal Implications of Music Created by Artificial Intelligence |

My research highlights pathways to the opportunities and rewards of the application of autonomous and intelligent systems within the Creative Arts. It also raises questions about the role of the human artist and on ethical issues of authorship and creative rights. Artificial Intelligence the thesis argues presents unique opportunities for musicians to build and challenge existing modes of sonic expression and transmission. The work draws together multiple voices from leading AI practitioners in industry and the academy in related audio and computer engineering communities to present a transdisciplinary non-dogmatic consensus on the pressing ethical and technical questions of the algorithmic age aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Leading figures from industry (Rome Thomas/Maroon 5), Academy (Dr Gil Weinberg, Georgia Tech Robotics) and Legislature (Jacques Attali) have agreed to contribute to the findings.
Martin has been commission by Routledge Press: “Artificial Intelligence and Creative Music Practice” (2021) – A transformative methodology for transdisciplinary research for the creative arts (law, computer science, HRI, creative arts, anthropology, design and business)
Martin is the Founder Chair of the IEEE EAD for the Arts Committee. (‘arts’ defined as literature, theatre, music, film, fine art and gaming)
The IEEE founded by Thomas Edison is the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers and is the world’s largest body with over 420,000 members and publishes over 40 peer-reviewed Journals. The IEEE Global Initiative On Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-being was published in March 2019. The 295-page report was developed over three years through the contribution of over 2,500 participants world-wide.
Martin Clancy is a Research Fellow at the Long Room Hub, based in the School of Creative Arts.

Philip Mac an Ghoill | The Institution of Poetry Schools in Gaelic Ireland |

The poetry schools of Gaelic Ireland held a central role in politics during the Classical Modern Irish period 1200–1650. Political poetry had the capacity to both greatly advance and dimish a persons social standing, often being used to enforce treaties right up until the 16th Century. The poets of the poetry schools wielded great power within Gaelic society.

Institutions of arts can often be underestimated in their capacity to bring about change and progress, even moreso in the 21st century when the world looks to science and technology to bring an end to the problems facing modern society.

The purpose of this poster is to encourage all members of society to re-evaluate their views on institutions of arts and humanities, and particularly their ability to help bring about change. SDG 17 aims to bring about new partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals, and to keep all members of society directed towards a common aim.

Not only could arts and humanities institutions play an influentical role in partnership with institutions of science and technology, but they have the capacity to encourage further partnerships. The power and influence wielded by these institutions has not changed greatly in the last 1000 years.

Philip is a PhD student with the Department of Irish and Celtic Studies working to produce critical editions and English translations of a selection of 16th Century Gaelic poems from MS G 167, in the National Library of Ireland.

Dr Shauna O’Brien | Shakespeare’s Iranian Stages |
Shakespeare’s plays have been translated into over 80 languages and been performed across the world. How we interpret shared stories in different global contexts can help us attempt to understand one another and foster dialogue. Successful global partnerships are sustained by cultural understanding. The almost ubiquitous presence of Shakespeare’s plays in different theatrical traditions across the world makes them a particularly useful shared resource for exploring these cultural interactions and encounters.
My postdoctoral research project “Shakespeare’s Iranian Stages” focuses on the performance of Shakespeare’s plays in Iran and among the Iranian diaspora, a performance history that spans almost 140 years. From their earliest performances in the city of Tabriz in the 1880s to their more widespread presence on the stages of Tehran today, Shakespeare’s plays have traversed Iran’s wide-ranging theatrical landscape and have made themselves at home there. My project seeks to show how examining Shakespeare’s plays in different global contexts can force us to rethink how we map and fix regional, national, and global communities that are perhaps more mobile, hybrid or transient than we appreciate. Looking at how shared cultural resources journey around the world can help us to recognise the complex and multilateral routes along which these resources travel.
Dr Shauna O’Brien is a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of English.


Jennifer Sargent-Matchain| Designing Peace: Permaculture and Conflict Transformation, towards a new model of Peacebuilding |

Abrupt breakdown of humanitiy’s complex systems is becoming more of a possibility as environmental crises are added to an already unstable world. These issues are mostly a bi-product of human activities related to economic growth models and population growth along with socio-economic inequalities. The growth paradigm of the current neoliberal model is fundamentally based on the unlimited exploitation of natural resources with little regard for consequences or future outcomes. 

In the context of current social, political, economic and environmental distress on a global level, the permaculture approach is relevant as an alternative to traditional remedies implemented by policymakers. Permaculture is a design model for the production of food and ecologically designed techniques to mimic nature in which every component of the design performs multiple functions to maximize resources.  

This research focuses on analysing whether Permaculture can contribute to a new model of conflict transformation through its principles and practice for the positive transformation of structural, cultural and direct violence. This research compares a Permaculture project in Palestine with one in Zimbabwe as well as other initiatives in conflict-torn countries.  

Wheel of Ecological Culture: An illustration created by artist and author Patrick Jones represents a system based on ecological relationships, diversity, respect and a culture of sharing, contrasting current industrial extractive systems. 

Jennifer is a PhD candidate with the School of Religion. His research is supervised by Dr. Iain Atack and Dr. Brendan Browne.

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