Research Lecture Series

‌‌‌‌‌Spotlight on Research

The College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies is hosting a series of lectures highlighting recent research achievements in the College. The Lectures take place in the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies (G010, The Hardiman Building).




Title and Links


 4th April, 2019 at 1p.m.

   Dr. Jacopo Bisagni 

(Classics, with contribution from Dr. Sarah Corrigan)


 "The IrCaBriTT project: science and biblical exegesis between the Celtic West and the Carolingian Empire" 

Lecture Summary

 ‌Maura Farrell


 7th May, 2019 at 1p.m.


Dr. Maura Farrell 



Researching the Rural: Going Global and Staying Local

Lecture Summary



The Active Consent programme


6th June, 2019 at 1p.m


Dr Charlotte McIvor (Drama and Theatre Studies) and Dr Pádraig MacNeela, Dr Siobhán O’Higgins, and Kate Dawson (School of Psychology)



"Why Consent? Why Multidiscliplinary? Why Now?: Making the Case for the Active Consent Programme’s Multi-Sectoral Plan for 2019-2023"

Lecture Summary



Research Lecture Series 2019


 Dr. Jacopo Bisagni (with a contribution from Dr Sarah Corrigan)

“The IrCaBriTT project: science and biblical exegesis between the Celtic West and the Carolingian Empire”

IrCaBriTT in extenso

The IrCaBriTT project, funded by the Laureate scheme of the IRC, is the first systematic attempt to assess the impact of the literary and scholarly heritage of early Christian Ireland on the shaping of cultural identity among the intellectual élite of medieval Brittany, a country situated on the frontier between the Atlantic world and the European mainland. The research focusses on a newly discovered group of highly distinctive early medieval texts on computus(the science of time-reckoning) and biblical exegesis, all preserved in manuscripts that show clear links with Brittany. These discoveries provide substantial new evidence for Breton education and scholarship in the Carolingian age, and also demonstrate the formative contribution of medieval Irish learning to the development of Breton scientific and religious ideas already during the eighth and ninth centuries – the earliest documented phases of Brittany’s written culture. Moreover, the in-progress integration of these new data into a comprehensive assessment of the Breton transmission of Irish literature is gradually revealing the intellectual networks that linked the Irish, Breton and Frankish monasteries where these works were produced, copied and studied. In sum, this project allows us to appreciate fully for the first time the crucial role that Brittany played as cultural mediator between the Celtic-speaking Insular world and the Continent in the age of Charlemagne and his heirs.


Dr. Bisagni studied Classics, Celtic linguistics and Indo-European linguistics at the University of Pisa, Italy, where he graduated in 2004. He was awarded a PhD from NUI, Galway in 2008 for a thesis entitled Amrae Coluimb Chille: a Critical Edition, a revised version of which is going to be published shortly in book form by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Dr. Bisagni have taught widely in early Irish, Latin language, and historical linguistics, and his research areas range from Celtic philology to the study of Early Medieval Irish literature (both Latin and vernacular), especially in regard to its manuscript transmission. More specific research interests include the question of Latin/Old Irish bilingualism in Early Medieval Ireland, the Medieval Irish re-elaboration of the Classical tradition, the terminology of music and musical instruments in Old and Middle Irish sources, and the transmission of scientific and exegetical texts between Ireland, Brittany and Francia in the Carolingian age (c. AD 750–900). The last topic is indeed the focus of the IRC-funded research project that he currently directs, entitled ‘Ireland and Carolingian Brittany: Texts and Transmission’ (IrCaBriTT).

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Dr. Maura Farrell (Geography) 

Dr Maura Farrell - Presentation Slides

Weblink to presentation

Researching the Rural: Going Global and Staying Local” 


Rural research has multiple dimensions and directions, all striving to ascertain current rural endeavours and influence policy and practice.  Developing a research trajectory within the rural sphere, requires an exploration of the theoretical, conceptual and empirical boundaries of rural studies.  One of the foremost themes supporting such research is the nature of social, economic, political and cultural restructuring of rural areas driven by forces of globalization, social modernisation and technological innovation.  Entwined in this process is the understanding of rural localities as sites through which these and other influences are conveyed, challenged and replicated.  These ideologies have been core principles behind such past and present rural research projects as the DERREG Project, The National Rural Network Project, The BUSK Project, The IMAJINE Project and more recently The RURALIZATION Project. 

In this seminar, Dr Maura Farrell, will outline key aspects of the above NUI Galway rural research projects, their directions, outcomes and impacts.  In doing so, Maura will explore the challenges in developing networks which result in opportunities of inclusion for current Horizon 2020 projects, but also the benefits of undertaking national research projects and attempting to impact national rural policy.


Dr Maura Farrell is currently a full time lecturer in the School of Geography and Archaeology.   Maura’s teaching reflects her research specialism which revolves around Rural and Agricultural Geography and her interests focus around processes of social, cultural and economic change for rural inhabitants.  Maura is currently the Principle Investigator on the National Rural Network Project and the more recent Horizon 2020, RURALIZATION Project.  Dr Farrell is extremely active outside university life, having been appointed to committees and organisations both nationally and internationally.  These include an appointment by the Minister for Rural and Community Development to the Monitoring Committee for the Action Plan for Rural Development and by DG-AGRI to an evaluation and reflection group for the LEADER Programme. 

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Dr Charlotte McIvor (Drama and Theatre Studies) and Dr Pádraig MacNeela, Dr Siobhán O’Higgins, and Kate Dawson (School of Psychology)

"Why Consent? Why Multidiscliplinary? Why Now?: Making the Case for the Active Consent Programme’s Multi-Sectoral Plan for 2019-2023"

This talk theorises the signature approach of the Active Consent programme team comprised of researchers from Psychology, Health Promotion, and Drama and Theatre Studies in relationship to the current policy and educational landscape around sexual health education and assault prevention in Ireland and internationally. Working together since 2014, this team designs evidence-informed tools (based on survey and qualitative data), including workshops and creative arts interventions, which in turn facilitate dialogue regarding consent and sexual health. The team’s embrace of consent as an active, positive educational paradigm – inclusive of all genders, all relationships and all sexualities – is intended to empower young people as active agents in the negotiation of their sexual relationships. Now funded between 2019-2023 by the Lifes2good Foundation with support from the National University of Ireland, Galway, the Active Consent programme has set the objective of unifying third-level, secondary school and sporting organisations’ provision of consent-focused sexual health education.  This talk will reflect on the team’s learning since 2014 in partnership with young people, trends in third-level Irish sexual health data that they have observed over this period, and why they believe that a multi-disciplinary approach, which considers interdependent educational and community sectors, is essential for sustainable change in social and personal attitudes towards consent within sexual relationships in a post-#MeToo era. The team will describe the importance of sexual consent as a window on young people’s openness in talking about sensitive topics, and the scope to expand this conversation into mental health and the use of alcohol and drugs.


Dr Padraig MacNeela leads the SMART Consent project and Active Consent programme. He is a senior lecturer at the School of Psychology, NUI Galway, where he has worked since 2004. He works mainly on youth research, especially in relation to sexual health, mental health, and alcohol use, and on community research projects. He began working on sexual health initiatives following a project with RCNI in 2013 and served on the board of management of Galway Rape Crisis Centre 2014-18. He is co-investigator on the multidisciplinary YOULead doctoral training scheme on youth mental health 2018-2022 and the NUI Galway Resilience Project / Student Information Project – both of which demonstrate the importance of expanding the conversation about sexual health into other areas of well-being in young people’s lives.

Dr Charlotte McIvor is a Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway in the O'Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. She is the author of the book Migration and Performance in Contemporary Ireland: Towards A New Interculturalism, and multiple articles and edited collections focused on contemporary performance, identity, and interculturalism. Other creative projects on sexual consent include an original devised play 100 Shades of Grey co-created with NUI Galwaystudents and co-direction of Lucy’s House Party (with Mick Ruane) for the Manuela Riedo Foundation’s Manuela Programme secondary school education project on sexual consent.  

Dr Siobhán O’Higgins is research fellow on the Active and SMART Consent programme,  School of Psychology. A sexologist and sexual health promoter, Siobhán has worked, since 1990, developing and evaluating programmes on sexuality and relationships – for third level students, primary and secondary pupils, parents, prisoners and those with intellectual disabilities. Her PhD in 2011, explored secondary school children’s perceptions on what young people need to know and how they would like to be taught about sexuality and relationships and teachers’ ideas on how to meet those needs. The insights and knowledge gained during her PhD were translated into practice in the WISER programme, presently delivered in over 50 schools in the West of Ireland. She developed the SMART Consent workshop and train the trainer programme with Dr MacNeela to raise awareness and challenge existing worrying social norms about how to be a sexually active young person.

Kate Dawson is currently finishing her PhD research in the School of Psychology on Pornography (not sure of the title). Since completing her Masters in Health Promotion she has been delivering workshops in schools as a sexuality and relationship educator on the WISER programme and co-created the website for that intervention.

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