Atlantic Archipelagos Research Project: The Irish Sea

Principal Investigator: Dr John Brannigan (UCD School of English, Drama & Film)


The Atlantic Archipelagos Research Project is a collaboration between eleven leading academics in the UK and Ireland to investigate the complex of relations that make for the contemporary islands of Britain and Ireland, and to imagine, map, and develop the identities, cartographies and cultural ecologies of the Atlantic Archipelago. The AARP members are as follows: Professor Nicholas Allen, University of Georgia (co-founder), Dr John Brannigan, University College Dublin, Professor Nick Groom, Professor of English, University of Exeter (co-founder), Dr Davyth Hicks, Director of Eurolang, Brussels, Dr Neil Jarman, Director, Institute for Conflict Research, Belfast, Professor John Kerrigan, Professor of English, Cambridge University, Professor Andrew McNeillie, Editor, Archipelago (co-founder), Dr Andrew Mycock, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Huddersfield University, Professor Alan Riach, Professor of Scottish Literature, Glasgow University, Professor Fiona Stafford, Professor of English, Oxford University, and Dr Damian Walford Davies, Reader in English, Aberystwyth University. UCD hosts one major research strand of the research project, on the cultural meanings of the Irish Sea. To date, research activities at UCD include a UCDscholarcast lecture series on ‘Reconceiving the British Isles’ (2009-10), a two-day symposium entitled ‘Over the Irish Sea’ which focused on literary and cultural representations of the Irish Sea (April 25-26 2012), and a forthcoming UCDscholarcast lecture series on ‘The Literatures and Cultures of the Irish Sea’ (2012-13). The aim of this research strand is to develop an interdisciplinary research project using archipelagic and maritime cultural methodologies to examine the cultural meanings of the Irish Sea for the inhabitants of the British and Irish Isles, past and present.


Five-Year Plan:

Over the next five years, the research strand based in UCD plans to develop the following initiatives in partnership with the Humanities Institute

  1. A symposium on interdisciplinary research perspectives on the cultural meanings of the Irish Sea (2013), drawing together scholars from the disciplines of English, Irish, Archaeology, History, Geography, Marine Biology, Environmental Science, and Anthropology.
  2. A research network of interdisciplinary scholars from the same range of disciplines to collaborate on future research projects in studies of the Irish Sea.
  3. A major funding bid to initiate postgraduate and postdoctoral research, based upon investigations of the Irish Sea as a distinct bio-region.