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TLRH | School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies Research Seminar

Tuesday, 11 May 2021, 4 – 5pm

TLRH | School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies Research Seminar

Research presentations by Jason Marrott, Tom Hedley, and Conor Brennan as part of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies Research Seminar Series in association with Trinity Long Room Hub.


Speaking to the Mirror: A Brief Cultural History of Solitude

There is an inherently paradoxical aspect to the mediation of solitude, for to express it entails a betrayal of its core principal: the seclusion of the individual from the many. When an audience learns of an experience of solitude, it necessarily ceases to truly be a solitary one.
The choice to practice solitude is often taken directly in reaction to society. Indeed, 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. Historically, the discourse of ‘solitude’ has tended to posit the categories of ‘solitary’ and ‘community’ as opposed, but an examination of the cultural history of solitude as an embodied experience (in the West) shows us that the two both reciprocally define, and are defined by one another. The very act of mediating solitude back to a community is an act of bridging the gap, so to speak, between the community and its other. This presentation will briefly present and explore a survey of episodes of Solitude which exemplify this complementary relationship with the ultimate goal of offering an answer to the question: can one ever truly be alone?

Jason Marrott is a PhD student in the Department of Germanic Studies at TCD. He has a background in Comparative Literature and Applied Linguistics.

Spatial Reckonings: 'Das Raumproblem' in Modern Mathematics & German Modernism

Despite the ascent of academic ‘interdisciplinarity’, mathematics and the arts continue to be viewed as ‘two cultures’ that have divergent origins, influences and aims — an enduring perception that this research seeks to undermine. By examining the the problem of space in the transformative era of the late 19th Century to the early 20th Century, this paper aims to show how modern mathematics can be integrated into the wider modernist epoch. Specifically, this paper will use the historical context and common philosophical as a springboard to propose a more meaningful comparison of the two fields.

Tom Hedley is a PhD candidate in the Department of Germanic Studies at TCD and is supervised by Dr Caitríona Leahy. A graduate of German and Mathematics at TCD, Tom completed an MA in German Literature at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena with the support of a DAAD scholarship. His PhD research is funded by the Irish Research Council.

Out of the cage, into the echo chamber: Finding forms for the Anthropocene

The talk will consider some of the interactions between ecocritical discourse and literary form, drawing on examples from contemporary writers Christoph Ransmayr, Olga Tokarczuk and Richard Flanagan. As a literary reference point shared by all three writers, the talk will also touch on texts by Franz Kafka. One of the questions this comparison raises is how exactly the contemporary hopes to catch up with itself—to catch itself ‘in the act'.

Conor Brennan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Germanic Studies, under the supervision of Dr Caitríona Leahy. He holds a BA in English & German from TCD and an MSt from the University of Oxford, where he was an Ertegun Scholar. His doctoral research is funded by the Irish Research Council and a TCD Foundation Scholarship.

Everyone is welcome to attend; for further info please contact:

Please indicate if you have any access requirements, such as ISL/English interpreting, so that we can facilitate you in attending this event. Contact:

Campus Location: Online
Accessibility: N/A
Room: Online webinar
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Library, Public
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free
Contact Name: Dr Clemens Ruthner

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