Centre for Irish Studies Doctoral Research Symposium

Venue
The Moore Institute Seminar Room

Date & Time
4th December, 2013 @ 11:00:00

Centre for Irish Studies
Doctoral Research Symposium

Programme

11.00am - 12.30pm Panel 1
'Ritual Tears': Some aspects of the phenomena of tears in ritual and religious funerary practices, with particular reference to narratives from the National Folklore Archives on Erris, Co Mayo
Rita O'Donoghue
A methodological approach to literary translation from a minority to a majority language
Fionnuala Ní Ráinne
Ideology and polemic in the journalism of Máirtín Ó Cadhain
Dónal Ó Braonáin

12.30pm Lunch

1.30 - 3.00pm Panel 2
Some reflections on the development and legacy of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy (1973-2012)
Verena Commins
"Acht do bhrígh go bhfuaras scríobhtha i sein-leabhraibh iad": Why medieval Ireland was of such interest for nineteenth-century Irish antiquarians
Ciaran McDonogh
Irish railway networks: Mobility, capitalism, and imperial networks in nineteenth century Ireland
Thomas Fisher


3.00 - 4.00pm Panel 3
The meaning of place for the second generation Irish from Britain
Sara Hannafin
"Whose truth is it?": Developing a theoretical framework for the study of arctic representation in the nineteenth century
Eavan Ní Dochartaigh
Into the West: The legacy of ‘the West' in the visualisation of Ireland
Jeannine Kraft

ABSTRACTS

Rita O'Donoghue
'Ritual Tears': some aspects of the phenomena of tears in ritual and religious funerary practices, with particular reference to narratives from the National Folklore Archives on Erris, Co Mayo
This presentation explores the phenomenon of weeping, whether as private and public, spontaneous and orchestrated aspects of funerary ritual and custom. It examines the functions of weeping in the expression and management of grief and loss, as well as the wider
phenomena of ‘holy tears' within ritual and religious practices. Finally, it considers the implications of these phenomena from a gendered standpoint.


Fionnuala Ní Ráinne

A methodological approach to literary translation from a minority to a majority language
The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the methodological approaches adopted in an effort to formulate a balanced approach to a multi-genre, period-specific, descriptive research project in the field of translation studies. Questions relating to the production and the process of translation will be discussed including the deciphering of strategies employed by various translators, categorisation of literary translators, and the plurality of perspective with particular reference to the author/translator/reader triangle.


Dónall Ó Braonáin

Ideology and polemic in the journalism of Máirtín Ó Cadhain
Máirtín Ó Cadhain (1906-1970) was an acknowledged master of 20th century Irish fiction during his lifetime. He was also an accomplished controversialist and a prolific contributor to a variety of newspapers, journals and magazines on issues relating to Irish identity and the Irish language especially. This short paper will discuss the journalistic output of Máirtín Ó Cadhain and assess a sample range of texts to demonstrate a feature of Ó Cadhain's writing which has received limited critical attention to date.

Verena Commins
Some reflections on the development and legacy of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy (1973-2012)
This paper reflects on the dynamics that inform the development and contribute to the on-going legacy of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy. It gives insights into the transformation of Miltown Malbay, the site of the School in West Clare, into a highly-charged symbolic space in which the transmission, commemoration and performance of Irish traditional music are re-traditionalised at the School, annually. Defining the socio-cultural moment in which the School appeared as a central element to its future articulation, this paper asserts that the School's animation, which has deliberately eschewed the rigours of the market-place, has prevented the agency of commerce from developing a gate-keeping role, as has occurred in other comparable festival scenarios. It draws on this and other factors which contribute to the construction of an authenticating discourse that permeates the School, facilitating the development of cultural authority. This discourse is built on the master-apprentice dyad which underpins processes of transmission, the annual repetition of ritual commemoration and the performance of place. The production of symbolic space in which the objectification of tradition develops enables the School itself to confer authority onto wider aspects of the Irish music tradition.

Ciaran McDonogh
"Acht do bhrígh go bhfuaras scríobhtha i sein-leabhraibh iad": Why medieval Ireland was of such interest for nineteenth-century Irish antiquarians
Throughout the history of Irish antiquarian research, the predominant subject of interest to those engaging with studies was medieval Ireland, especially the pre-Conquest period. This paper explores why this period was of such interest for scholars and what it symbolised for them. Amongst the many reasons was that medieval Ireland was far enough in the past and different enough from the present day that it could be interpreted as an ideal Ireland, where the wrongs of nineteenth-century Ireland could be made right and where those who were marginalised through their religion, by benefit of their linguistic skills and hereditary learning, held the upper hand in translating and interpreting this era. It also symbolised
equality and, in bringing together various people in scholarship of this period, removed the sectarian nature of nineteenth-century Irish society. Essentially, medieval Ireland was whatever the scholar wanted it to be and, thus, it fulfilled the role of being the perfect place and time and that is the reason of why it was of such interest.

Thomas Fisher
Irish railway networks: Mobility, capitalism, and imperial networks in 19th century Ireland
This paper will address some of the key issues that took place in the first half of the nineteenth century with regard to the role that the British government had in the planning and financing of Irish railways during their early stages of railway expansion. This will be done within the wider scope of discussing Ireland's position within the Union between Britain and Ireland. The Act of Union in 1800 had politically unified Britain and Ireland, though their social and economic standing within the partnership were far from equal. The resulting status of Ireland at this time offers an intriguing perspective in which to assess the establishment of railways in Ireland. Railways were developed in the 1820s as a product, and response to, the Industrial Revolution and then were quickly utilized as a tool for economic improvement and expansion wherever they went. This also extended to social and political improvements to varying degrees depending on the amount of government intervention. This paper will address how the railways were utilized in Ireland in light of the status that was given to Ireland within the nineteenth century, and as a result, to what degree this influenced the lasting impact that they had upon Irish soil.

Sara Hannafin

The meaning of place for the second generation Irish from Britain
This paper is based on ongoing research with a small number of the second generation Irish who grew up in Britain and have migrated to Ireland as adults. Through in-depth interviews and written communication many have described a powerful sense of place in this, their parental home country. The aim of this paper is therefore to explore from where a sense of place evolves for these second generation return migrants and illustrate how it has shaped their lives and sense of selves. For most of us, most of the time, place is unthought of and taken for granted. The act of migration promotes a new level of consciousness about place and therefore migrant stories can be a useful way of exploring the people-place dynamic. There is a growing recognition of the transnational lives lived by migrants and their families (see Levitt and Waters, 2006) however, despite their mobility, the participants of this research also hold an enduring belief in the power of place through the importance of their connection to the parental homeland and the value they put on a sense of rootedness and continuity.

Eavan Ní Dochartaigh

Whose truth is it?": developing a theoretical framework for the study of arctic representation in the nineteenth century
"The question is not ‘which is true?' but ‘whose truth is it?'"(Short, 2005, xxii). The Ph.D. project explores the art and associated travel writing of the Franklin Search Expeditions (1847-59) as a coherent unit of cultural history. The project is intrinsically spatial, seeking to connect original sketches, watercolours, and journal entries to their initial places of creation in the Arctic. Interdisciplinarity is central to the study, which draws on critical theory including post-colonialism, post-structuralism, semiotics, and aesthetics as well as theories of space and place, gender, and reception theory.
In this presentation, I will focus on theories of space and place and their particular application to interpretations of the nineteenth-century Arctic. Do images and texts, created by travellers to the Arctic, reflect a negative Classicist view where nature is a dark force harking back to European folktales? Or can we see the positive influence of the Romantic view, which sees the Arctic as a spiritual space? At what point do arctic spaces become familiar places to the travellers? Could the Arctic or the ship become a type of home, a refuge, for some? And to what extent did re-presentations (second- and third-hand images) fuel the wilderness myth of the Arctic and the idea of North as a gendered masculine zone?

Jeannine Kraft
Into the West: The legacy of ‘the West' in the visualisation of Ireland
The visualisation of the Irish landscape in both fine arts and tourist imagery has historically been rooted in the notion of ‘the West'. The Free State government, in its efforts to define an anti-British construct, embraced and promulgated an idyllic vision of rural Ireland situated in the West. From the Republic's emergence as an independent state, there were strong political motivations for creating a cultural identity rooted in this historical pre-colonial landscape. The legacy of this construct endures, impacting contemporary cultural production in both the fine and popular visual arts. The landscape of the West has been framed through the lens of the visual arts as embodying and disseminating an ‘authentic' cultural construct that, despite the remove of time from its codification, persists within the post-nationalist globalized context of contemporary Ireland and continues to condition the experience of the landscape both internally and externally. Through the lens of landscape imagery, this paper will interrogate how ‘the West' has been defined geographically, politically, culturally, linguistically and visually, and the problematic nature of defining this real and imaginary geography of place as artists in both the fine and popular arts continue to mediate the cultural inheritance of the mythic and enduring notion of the West of Ireland.