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Director Eve Patten awarded Shared Island funding for project on Ireland’s cultural borderscape

14 March 2022 - The IRBORDCUL project led by Professor Eve Patten, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub is among the sixty-two projects in Ireland and in Northern Ireland that have been awarded funding from the North-South Research Programme.

Announced by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D. and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. on the 2 March 2022, the first funding call under the Shared Island initiative run by the Higher Education Authority has awarded a total of €37.3 million in research funding for collaborative research projects between academics and non- academic institutions across the Island of Ireland.

‘Ireland’s Border Culture: Literature, Arts, and Policy’, is a two-year collaboration between Professor Eve Patten, TCD, and Dr Garrett Carr of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast. Funded under Strand 1 of the programme, It will bring literary and visual resources from Irish border culture and identity to life in order to illuminate Ireland’s ‘cultural borderscape.’

Through this project we hope to capture the impact, over the past century, of cultural policies on the creation of an Irish border culture and identity.
Professor Eve Patten

The project will archive and research these resources for what will become a sustainable and innovative open access digital archive, and include material ranging across creative literature, literary journalism, cinema, travel writing, photography and theatre production.

In tandem,  the project will also examine the history and impact of cultural policy, understood as the cultural incentives and funding initiatives generated by government, civic, institutional, and philanthropic bodies over the period of the border’s existence.

Commenting on the project’s aims, Principal Investigator Professor Eve Patten said:

“With the marking of the centenary of Irish partition in 2021, it might be assumed that the cultural and literary history of the Irish border is a well-researched entity. In fact, despite some pioneering studies, there is still a major knowledge gap on this subject. Through this project we hope to capture the impact, over the past century, of cultural policies on the creation of an Irish border culture and identity.”

Second Principal Investigator Dr Garrett Carr said:

“A key part of my work has been to give a platform to border voices, and this project will create a resource doing just that. Futhermore, it will make accessible a whole range of expression from the entire 100 year history of the border, creating an important bank of knowledge.”

Professor Eve Patten is the Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub and a Professor in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin.  A scholar in nineteenth and twentieth-century British and Irish literature, she has lectured and written widely in this field: she is editor of Irish Literature in Transition, 1940-1980 (Cambridge UP, 2020), and author of Ireland, Revolution, and the English Modernist Imagination (forthcoming from Oxford UP, 2022). Eve has been a frequent contributor to the Irish Times, RTÉ and the BBC, and is series editor for Liverpool University Press’s Studies in Irish Literature. She has also served on various boards for the Irish Arts Council, the Irish Research Council and the Royal Irish Academy, and was a member of the inaugural committee of the Trinity Long Room Hub.

Dr Garrett Carr of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast, is the author of The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland’s Border (Faber & Faber, 2017). Garrett’s research has a prominent place in international media discussions around Brexit, nationalism and landscape, bringing those discussions to the past and lived present of Ireland’s border. His curatorial practice also relates to those themes. His exhibition of cartography ‘Mapping Alternative Ulster’ has toured to four venues in the region and Garrett continues to work extensively with visual artists concerned with the border. The Border People’s Parliament (2018) saw 150 people from the border area meet in Belfast’s parliament buildings to discuss the future of their region and resulted in many outputs, including a Border Manifesto that has been exhibited across Europe.

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