Humanities in Context

Sub-themes in this priority research area:

  • Texts, Creative Arts & Digital Platforms
  • Landscape, Place, Identity
  • Aesthetics, Ethics and the History of Ideas
  • Languages, Linguistics, Culture
  • Cultures and Societies in Historical Context

NUI Galway has a strong research ethos in the Humanities, concentrating on established areas of excellence and fostering new research initiatives. We collaborate with other research groups across the University, examining areas such as disease, ageing and challenges to the environment from archaeological, literary of historical perspectives. 

Here are some highlights in this area:

Moore Institute: exploring the interconnection between creativity and innovation

The Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies is a world recognised and internationally funded hub for the National University of Ireland Galway’s thriving community of academics and creative thinkers. It is a leading institute of interdisciplinary research, with cutting edge expertise in the digital humanities, cultural exchange and the historical landscape. It hosts a cohort of visiting fellows recruited globally each year and has a current community of 26 funded PhD students researching contemporary questions in literature, languages, archaeology, theatre performance, and history. Moving to a purpose built facility in 2013; the Moore Institute combines intellectual innovation with public impact in our research projects, PhD programmes, publications, conferences, and workshops.

The Institute has a rich relationship with writers, artists, and thinkers concerned with the languages and historical traditions of the west of Ireland in a global context. In September 2011 it hosted a series of public intellectual events at the Druid Theatre and Roundstone community hall in conversation with Tim Robinson, one of the world’s leading writers of place and the human environment. This was a continuation of our long standing interest in bringing the best in contemporary thinking to the Moore Institute and the research communities it encourages. 

The University in Ireland’s creative arts capital

Druid TheatreThe University has forged a number of dynamic partnerships with key arts organisations including Druid Theatre Company (production pictured, left), the Galway Arts Festival, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe (the national Irish language theatre).

The West of Ireland has always been renowned for the creative arts and NUI Galway has provided a breeding ground for the development of artistic talent in successive generations of students. These partnerships will be crucial in maintaining and developing the performance arts of the region into the future. In an exciting new collaboration, NUI Galway will contribute to the development of Druid’s next major theatre event while Druid, in turn, will develop a range of practice-led workshops and seminars including a series of Master classes for postgraduate students. The Galway Arts Festival and NUI Galway partnership whereby the university will support the festival through development of the Festival Volunteer Programme “Selected” will see five NUI Galway students and graduates join five other artists to provide the students with the opportunity to see how a festival is put together. They will also attend shows, post-show talks, and get a hands-on experience from performers and organisers.

Precious archives entrusted to NUI Galway

Library archive NUI Galway’s impressive archival collection was enhanced recently with the addition of two collections which will provide a rich source of research material.













First is a rare archive of director, writer and actor John Huston’s papers and recordings. The Huston Archive offers a unique view of the prolific intersection of Irish literature and American cinema. It contains extensive material relating to a number of John Huston’s films and centres on the making of The Dead (below), as well as draft scripts, recordings, publicity materials, interviews and legal documentation.

The Dead

Also acquired was the Thomas Kilroy Archive. Thomas Kilroy, one of Ireland’s most important living writers, is world-renowned both as a dramatist and as a novelist.

Both archives are held in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, home to a range of other theatre, literary, historical and political archives. Also housed in the library is a major electronic historical database of the landed estates of Munster, c.1700–1900, which contains information and a guide to research sources for 1,972 landed estates and some 3,230 estate houses in Munster. Such a major research resource will be invaluable in assisting and supporting researchers—academics and postgraduate students—working on aspects of the social, economic, political, and cultural life of Ireland.

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Postgraduate videos

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