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Sharing Academic Research through Podcasting

3 June 2021 - In autumn 2020, early career researchers at the Trinity Long Room Hub created a podcast with the aim of providing a new format for public engagement with arts and humanities research. The series finale of The Hublic Sphere Podcast has now been released with reflections from the team on what it means to share academic research through podcasting.

For the past academic year, Dawn Seymour Klos, Siobhán Callaghan, Sahar Ahmed, Dr Claire Moriarty, Dr Lilith Acadia and Elizabeth Foley have been working with the Trinity Long Room Hub team to bring this project to the public and to highlight discussions and topics which address the overarching theme of ‘power’.

Across this 6-part series, the researchers interviewed academics, practitioners and activists across the world, looking at diverse topics such as political power and women in ancient Greece to conversations which explored the advocacy work of those seeking justice for women who spent time in the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland.

A final bonus episode of the podcast, released this week, reflects on the individual and group experience of creating a podcast. To celebrate the season finale, we asked the team to distill their key learnings from a year of podcasting.  

Six things we have learned from a year of podcasting:

  1. Be open to creatively engaging with themes that might not immediately seem relevant to your research; the themes that at first glance appear unrelated to your work may yield the most unexpected and rewarding results.
  1.  Listening to the expressions and experiences of others can radically change your outlook and approach to research and problem solving. We rarely dial down our inner dialogues enough to process information outside our established frames of reference.
  1. Knowledge can come from anywhere. As academics, we are trained to value certain kinds of knowledge, but we have so much to learn from people outside the Ivory Tower; we have a responsibility to bridge the gap.
  1. Trusting your colleague’s judgement and a shared vision for the podcast is vital, since a subset of the group will need to make decisions when others are on leave or under pressure. 
  1. Every idea can be explained and elucidated in simple, accessible language; every scholar’s academic training should include developing this skill. [bonus: Timekeeping is a skill more people should develop!]
  1. Wash your hands, wear a mask, and have a podcast posse on autodial.

The Hublic Sphere team would like to thank Professor Eve Patten and all of the staff at the Trinity Long Room Hub for their support and guidance in this project, which has been invaluable.

With thanks to The Hublic Sphere team:

Dawn Seymour Klos

Dawn is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Trinity College Dublin. Her thesis 'The Black Widow of Breedon: Isolde Pantulf’s Life and Identity in England and Ireland, 1170-1230' examines women’s rights and the rise of feminism under thirteenth-century English Common Law. Dawn is passionate about public history, open access, and popular media. Follow Dawn on Twitter: @Medieval_Panda

Listen to Episode One: When Old Streets Speak: In Conversation with the Friends of Medieval Dublin

Dr Clare Moriarty

Clare is an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. Her research is on the history and philosophy of mathematics in the early modern period. She is a Fellow for Public Philosophy at the Forum for Philosophy at LSE and has worked previously at Justice for Magdalenes Research, University College Dublin and King’s College London. Follow Clare on twitter @quiteclare

Listen to episode two: Justice for Magdalenes: Reflections on Power

Siobhán Callaghan

Siobhán is a PhD candidate in the  School of English at Trinity College Dublin. Her thesis explores the representation of childhood displacement in contemporary historical fiction for children about the Second World War and is funded by the Irish Research Council. She is interested in how the past is reimagined for the present and all things children’s literature. Follow Siobhán on Twitter: @SibCallaghan

Listen to episode three: Childhood Books: The Power(s) of Rereading

Sahar Ahmed

Sahar is a PhD candidate in the School of Law at Trinity College Dublin. Her research examines and offers a reinterpretation of the right to freedom of religion under International Human Rights Law and Islamic jurisprudence. Sahar is from Lahore, Pakistan, where she worked as a Barrister for many years, and between all the time spent in London and now, Dublin, she no longer knows what’s ‘home’. You can find Sahar on Twitter discussing race, feminism, religion, and the law. @saharisright

Listen to episode four: Radical Vulnerabilities: Identities, intersections, and reclaiming power in South Asia

Dr Lilith Acadia

Lillith is an Assistant Professor of Literary Studies at National Taiwan University (A.B. Smith College, PhD UC Berkeley) who recently completed a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Cofund Fellowship at the Trinity College Dublin Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute. Follow Lillith on twitter @L_Acadia

Listen to episode five: From Security to Weaponization: the Power of Citizenship

Elizabeth Foley

Elizabeth Foley is a PhD candidate in the Department of Classics at Trinity College Dublin. Her doctoral project is on the political and economic histories of the Cycladic islands in the Hellenistic period and is funded by the Irish Research Council.

Listen to episode six: Women in Classical Athens


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