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News & Events
New Collection on 1916 by NUI Galway Academic
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
A major new collection on 1916 has been co-edited by Dr Seán Crosson, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media. Towards 2016: 1916 in Irish Literature, Culture & Society reflects the multiple perspectives and events that are associated with 1916 in Ireland and their continuing relevance to Irish literature, culture and society. Towards 2016: 1916 in Irish Literature, Culture & Society, also co-edited by Professor Werner Huber of the University of Vienna, considers a broad range of cultural forms and societal issues, including politics, theatre, traditional music, poetry, James Joyce, greyhound sports, graphic novels, contemporary fiction, documentary, the media, language, political representation, and the Irish economy with contributions from both emerging academics and established scholars. Among the contributors is acclaimed film director and novelist Neil Jordan (in an interview conducted by novelist Patrick McCabe), who provides insight to his life and work, including his biopic Michael Collins (1996), a production which includes one of the most memorable renderings of the Rising and its aftermath. NUI Galway’s Professor Alan Ahearne also contributed to the collection and examines if Irish economic sovereignty (a principle concern of the Rising’s leaders) is a thing of the past: “The sentiments underlining the 1916 proclamation continue to resonate in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland today, and the notion of economic sovereignty has again been prominent in the national dialogue over recent years as politicians and commentators regularly refer to the loss of sovereignty associated with the country’s EU/IMF programme that began in December 2010 and ended in December 2013. However, the idea that Irish policymakers can have full control of our economy is delusional. For Ireland, the largest chunks of economic sovereignty were willingly ceded when the country joined the EU and especially when it adopted the single currency.” Among the questions considered in the collection are: What were the formative influences on one of leaders of the Rising, James Connolly? What effect had the Rising on Ireland’s fledgling labour movement? What impact did the Rising have on the Abbey and Irish theatre? What connects 1916, James Joyce, and the Cuban Revolution? What is the relevance of 1916 to Irish traditional music? What place has 1916 in contemporary Irish fiction and poetry? What are the relations between the Rising, sequential art, popular culture, and memory? A century after the 1916 Proclamation spoke of equality between women and men, could Ireland be finally about to realise equal gender distribution in politics? Does ‘Irish sovereignty’, a central concern of the Rising leaders, have any relevance for Ireland in the contemporary globalised and European Union context? Dr Seán Crosson, co-editor and NUI Galway Lecturer, said: “1916 marked an important moment in the development of modern Ireland. The continuing resonance of the Rising to contemporary Ireland was evident in the now much quoted editorial of The Irish Times in November 2010, the day after it was announced Ireland was to receive a financial bailout from the EU and IMF. ‘Was it for this?’ the editorial asked, ‘the men of 1916 died’, thus also highlighting the gendering of the commemoration of that event.” “However, the Rising was but one of a range of significant events in 1916. Beyond the political sphere, 1916 marked the publication of James Joyce’s first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and also saw the foundation of Ireland’s first indigenous film production company, The Film Company of Ireland, whose co-founder James Mark Sullivan was arrested after the Rising and charged with complicity. Our collection is cognisant of the variety of perspectives and areas in which 1916 continues to resonate,” continued Dr Crosson. Towards 2016: 1916 in Irish Literature, Culture & Society is published as part of the prestigious peer-reviewed Irish Studies in Europe publication series, produced under the aegis of the European Federations of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS). Previous volumes in the series have featured prominent writers and academics including (the late poet and Nobel Laurette Seamus Heaney, former Ireland Professor of Poetry Harry Clifton, acclaimed poet Rita Ann Higgins and academics Declan Kiberd, Anne Saddlemeyer, and Ruth Barton. -Ends-
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NUI Galway Celebrate Italian Culture
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
As part of the worldwide celebration of the Italian language, NUI Galway will mark Settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo (Week of the Italian Language in the World) with a talk focusing on Italian music. ‘The Culture of Italian Music: Opera and Colonialism’ will take place on Thursday, 29 October from 6-8pm in the Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway. The theme of this year’s events is “L’italiano della musica, la musica dell’italiano” (The Italian of music, the music of Italian), with special emphasis on the educational role of music. Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Italian at NUI Galway, said: “This year’s theme is particularly significant and engaging. Italian music, and the Italian operatic tradition is recognised throughout the world for its tremendous contribution to music, outstanding quality, and inclusion of universal themes. By focusing on the language of music, and the ways in which the Italian language adapts to it, the uniqueness of Italian musical theatre is brought into relief.” ‘The Culture of Italian Music: Opera and Colonialism’ will be opened with an introduction by Professor Bartoloni, and followed by two talks by Mario Inglese, a Research Scholar at the University and Alessandro Luchetti, an NUI Galway PhD student. Mario’s talk, ‘The Italian Language and Opera: Verdi and Puccini’ will focus on showing that although the careers of these two giants of operatic music coincided for a short span of time, the language of the libretti of the operas composed over the same period does differ considerably. The second talk by Alessandro Luchetti is ‘The Music of Italian Colonization in Africa: Racism and Sexism’. The talk will center on the impact of colonial propaganda songs on fascist society. A selection of songs from the late 1930’s will be analysed in order to observe how racist and sexist stereotypes helped build a consensus around the colonial enterprise. Professor Bartoloni explained: “The combination of two different genres, the classical opera and popular song will provide original perspectives for the understanding and appreciation of contrasting styles, and the history of Italian music. Further, the focus on the music of colonisation provides innovative insights into one of the most tragic and damaging periods of Italian history, fascism, and its use of popular music for propaganda purposes.” The Week of the Italian Language in the World takes place annually and is promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its cultural offices within Embassies and Consulates throughout the world, under the auspices of the Presidency of the Italian Republic and in collaboration with the Accademia della Crusca, the preeminent institution for the study and the promotion of Italian as a language of classical and contemporary culture. -Ends-
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NUI Galway Retain Title as Most Biodiverse Campus
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
Volunteers recorded 628 species on campus in 24 hours For the second year running,NUI Galway has won the top award for most biodiverse campus at Ireland’s Intervarsity BioBlitz competition, beating off stiff competition from UL, UCC, and Maynooth University. Over a 24 hour period, volunteers combed the University’s campus and recorded a total of 628 species. Last year the University recorded 581 species. With extensive semi-natural habitats across the NUI Galway estate, the BioBlitz teams logged 324 plants and tree species, 91 mosses, 34 bird species, 31 terrestrial and freshwater slugs and snails, 29 flies, 15 mammals,14 butterflies and moths, 14 diatoms, 13 beetles, 12 terrestrial and freshwater bugs, 11 fungi, 10 caddisflies and 10 ants/bees and wasps, 3 millipedes and 3 spiders, 2 lichens, 2 leeches, and 2 worms and a fish, earwig, mayfly, grasshopper, woodlouse, water hoglouse, mite and a flatworm. Along with NUI Galway staff, students and graduates, volunteers included staff and students from GMIT, and members of the public. Ireland’s BioBlitz is designed to increase public awareness of the variety of life in Ireland, and to highlight some of the ecological services that biodiversity provides to enhance our quality of life at a global and local level. The Bioblitz demonstrates the high level of skill and expertise necessary to study many aspects of Ireland’s biological diversity. It also demonstrates the importance of being able to survey and identify plants and animals as these are important aspects of Ireland’s biodiversity and skills that are taught at NUI Galway. Dr Caitriona Carlin of the Applied Ecology Unit at NUI Galway, said: “The win reflects the wonderful variety of life on campus and the effort of the recorders in being able to identify so much wildlife - and it was great fun!” This initiative was supported by NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, the Buildings Office and the Green Campus team. NUI Galway’s statistics from the BioBlitz competition can be viewed at http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/intervarsity-bioblitz-2015-final-result/. -Ends-
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NUI Galway Researchers Win Prestigious Pain Prizes
Tuesday, 6 October 2015
Two NUI Galway PhD students were awarded first place medals at the Irish Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting which took place in Dublin recently. The medals were awarded to Marie Fitzgibbon from Oola, Co. Limerick and Hannah Durand from Galway City. The research poster presentations were judged by a panel of international experts who commended the high quality of the research. Researchers from the Centre for Pain Research and Galway Neuroscience Centre at NUI Galway have had an outstanding record of success in this competition over the years, being among the prize winners on every occasion. Marie Fitzgibbon, a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Discipline of Physiology, won the Pre-Clinical Pain Research Medal for her presentation ‘Peripheral inhibition of FAAH attenuates formalin-evoked nociceptive responding in a mouse model of IFN-α-induced analgesia.’ Marie’s research, supervised by Dr Michelle Roche and Professor David Finn, involves the investigation of mechanisms underlying co-existent mood and pain disorders as well as the identification of future therapeutic targets. Marie’s research is funded by Molecular Medicine Ireland Clinical and Translational Research Scholars Programme and Science Foundation Ireland Research Frontiers Project. Hannah Durand, a first-year PhD candidate in the School of Psychology, won the Clinical Pain Research Medal for her presentation ‘Persistent and recurrent pain in childhood: Patterns of childhood chronic pain over two years (PRIME-C).’ Hannah’s research, supervised by Dr Siobhan O'Higgins and Dr Brian McGuire, examined the characteristics of children who reported chronic pain at more than one time point in the PRIME-C survey, which evaluates the prevalence, impact, and cost of chronic pain for 5–12 year old children living in Ireland. PRIME-C is funded by the Health Research Board Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Award. Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre and Co-Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research, said: “We are delighted to see NUI Galway researchers win these prestigious prizes for their work. Our pain research aims to advance the understanding and treatment of chronic pain, a major unmet clinical need affecting at least 20% of the population.” The meeting also witnessed the launch of the new Irish Pain Research Network (IPRN), a new initiative that will run as a special interest group of the Irish Pain Society. Professor Rolf-Detlef Treede, President of the International Association for the Study of Pain, launched the new research network, together with Professor David Finn, incoming President of the Irish Pain Society. The aim of IPRN is to bring together all active pain researchers on the island of Ireland for the purposes of sharing research results and ideas and facilitating cross-institutional collaboration in the area of pain research. -Ends-
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Soft in the head, but how soft?
Monday, 5 October 2015
NUI Galway applied mathematician collaborates with Chinese researchers to find brain matter is softer than a gelatine gel, and may have promising results for neurosurgery A team of Chinese researchers from Tsinghua University in Beijing has collaborated with an applied mathematician at NUI Galway to measure how soft brain matter really is. The researchers were able to determine that brain matter is extremely soft, even softer than common gelatine. The study appears in the October issue of Biomechanics and Modelling in Mechanobiology. The research was carried out by generating ‘acoustic beams’ on the surface of the brain, and focusing the beams to interact at a location inside the brain. The interaction amplified the magnitude of the beams and eventually a sound wave was launched in the bulk of a brain. The sound wave was then observed in an ultrafast image through an ultrasound scanner, similar to those used in obstetrics. The speed of the wave was measured, and then related to stiffness of the brain matter through mathematical equations, like the pitch of a plucked string can be related to its tension. The connection between wave speed and stiffness was made through advanced modelling and simulations, which were mainly carried out at NUI Galway. Professor Michel Destrade, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway and affiliated with the International Brain Mechanics and Trauma Lab at Oxford University said: “Previously I had compared the brain to glue by testing cubic samples of the brain. During this study the brain was fully intact and compared to a very, very soft gelatine gel, basically a wobbly liquid.” Results from the research showed that brain matter is at least three times softer than a gelatine gel. This extreme softness helps explain why brain matter is so susceptible to impacts and rapid accelerations of the head, such as those occurring in sporting accidents, car accidents or following a bomb blast. The research has promising results for neurosurgery, if it can be used to measure the stiffness of healthy tissue compared to that of brain tumours. At the moment neurosurgeons have to rely on crude estimates to determine the extent of a brain tumour, as it is visually undistinguishable from the surrounding healthy tissue. First they remove a part of the skull to access the brain, and then use finger palpation to estimate how soft or hard a region is, before deciding which part to remove, a procedure which has barely improved in the last 100 years. For more information contact Professor Michel Destrade, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, NUI Galway on firstname.lastname@example.org or 091 492344. To view the paper visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10237-015-0658-0 -Ends-
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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Tralee
Monday, 5 October 2015
Secondary school students interested in studying at NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Tralee on Thursday, 15 October. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Brandon Hotel, Tralee, Co. Kerry. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a suite of innovative programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a suite of Arts degree programmes including Drama, Creative Writing and Human Rights, an Energy Systems Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers, and a Marine Science degree. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience), Bachelor in Children’s Studies and the new Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honours). Celine O’Donovan, Senior Marketing Officer at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Kerry, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Tralee is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Tralee, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Johanna Walsh on 086 7851730 or email@example.com. -Ends-
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