Minister Officially Launches Arts and Humanities Research Programme

Thursday, 27 November 2008

A Ph.D. research programme in the Arts and Humanities entitled 'Texts, Contexts, Cultures' has been formally launched by the Minister for Education, Batt O'Keeffe, T.D.. The multidisciplinary programme is delivered in co-operation between research hubs at three Irish universities: The Moore Institute, NUI Galway; The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin; and The Graduate School, the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC. Texts, Contexts, Cultures has recruited its full cohort of students after an international competition, with an intake of over 30 students from Ireland, Europe and the Americas. Over the course of four years, the programme will offer students a structured path to the completion of a Ph.D., while allowing them to engage with the research knowledge and skills of scholars from three universities. The programme is designed to integrate knowledge and use of new technologies and related professional placements into the traditional Ph.D. At NUI Galway, Texts, Contexts, Cultures is administered by Professor Nicholas Allen and Dr Sean Ryder. According to Professor Allen: "The project has five strands that cross European history and culture from the earliest period to the contemporary moment. Focussing on a wide range of expressive forms, from writing to visual art, the project incorporates the latest technology into its delivery, using internet teaching tools and video conferencing to give students access to the wider world". The five areas of specific research focus at NUI Galway are:
  • Protecting the Inscribed Stones of Ireland: Led by Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, students will gather and analyse data on the inscribed stones of Ireland, at a time when such monuments are increasingly threatened with physical damage and destruction. The research will focus especially on Clonmacnois, and will incorporate new technologies for archaeological research, such as laser-based tools.
  • Columbanus - Life and Legacy: Led by Conor Newman and Dr Mark Stansbury, the research strand will investigate the textual and visual evidence for the life and work of the medieval Irish missionary Columbanus. The project will result, among other things, in the creation of new digital editions and archaeological surveys.
  • Texts, Transmission and Cultural Exchange: Led by Dr Daniel Carey and Professor Jane Conroy, this strand will illuminate the impact of travel writing and images on the transmission and exchange of culture within Europe and between Europe, Asia and the Americas from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Among the results of this research will be several new databases and editions of historical, literary and visual material.
  • Irish Landed Estates: Led by Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, this will expand an IRCHSS-funded database project on the landed estates of Connaught from the 18th to 20th centuries by producing a similar online database of the estates of Munster, thus facilitating access to valuable information that has hitherto been dispersed and disorganised. Researchers on this project will also produce analyses of the economic, social and cultural impacts of Irish landed estates.
  • Globalisation, Empire and Culture: Led by Dr Lionel Pilkington, research will trace some of the relations between European imperialism and media of various types, including newspapers, popular theatre and religious texts. Among its tasks will be the construction of an online archive of primary materials for further study in this area.
Further details are available here
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