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Past Events | 2024

Keynote Speakers: Dr Michelle Bastian and Dr Sam Solnick

Date: Thursday, 11th April 2024
Time: 9am - 5pm
Venue: Humanities Institute, H204 & online

How can the environmental humanities expand to consider ‘research environment’ as a form of environment? How do factors such as location, networking, and working conditions matter to the environmental critic? Through a day of discussions, presentations, and provocations, this event advances the environmental humanities in new place-based and politically engaged directions. 

Includes a showing of the film essay Making Dust (Arts Council of Ireland, Aemi, 2023) about the demolition of Ireland's second largest Catholic Church, the Church of the Annunciation in Finglas West, Dublin.

A collaboration between MARBEFES (Ashley Cahillane) and Cultural Imaginaries of Just Transitions (Treasa DeLoughry). Funded by the UCD Humanities Institute, the UCD Earth Institute, and the UCD College of Arts and Humanities.

Email (opens in a new window)ashley.cahillane@ucd.ie for more details.

Keynote Speaker: Natasha A. Kelly (Universität der Künste, Berlin)

Date: Monday, 25th and Tuesday, 26th March 2024
Time: 9am - 6pm
Venue: Humanities Institute, H204

The conference explores contemporary activist cultural production, including literature, film, visual media, and performance, across national and political contexts to shed new light on the ways in which cultural practitioners use their art to communicate political ideas both with fellow activists and to wider audiences beyond their movements.

Email enquiries: (opens in a new window)transnationalactivisms@gmail.com
Conference organisers: Katherine Calvert (UCD) and Erika Teichert (University of Bristol)

Generously funded by UCD Humanities Institute and UCD College of Arts and Humanities.

'Extractivist Landscapes: Humanities, Artistic and Activist Responses'Workshop Series

Date: Monday, 26th February 2024
Time: 1.30-4.45pm
Venue: Humanities Institute, H204

Workshop 1:
Professor David Higgins (School of English, University of Leeds): "Creative Public Engagement and Post-Extractivist Landscapes”
V’cenza Cirefice (Department of Geography, University of Galway): "Counter-mapping as resistance to extractivism”

Image credit: ‘Goldmine: Germiston’, Natalie Fuller c.1928, with watercolour additions by S. Comyn. Used with kind permission by the owner D. R. Comyn

(opens in a new window)Prof. Kieran Keohane(UCC, Department of Sociology & Criminology):
“Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization: Diagnoses and Therapies”

Date: Friday, 16th February 2024
Time: 1pm
Venue: Humanities Institute, H204

Kieran Keohane is a Professor in the Department of Sociology & Criminology at University College Cork. He teaches also in Anthropology and in Planning & Sustainable Development. He is a founder member of the Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization network, and the Society, Economy & Culture research centre, and an associate researcher with Deep Institutional Innovation for Sustainability & Human Development research group; the Radical Humanities Laboratory, and Collective Social Futures.

Past Events | 2023

Date: Friday, 8th & Saturday, 9th December 2023
Time: 9am-5.30pm (8th Dec) / 10am-5pm (9th Dec)
Venue: D301 & D201, Newman Building

In the final decades of the century, diaries were written in an individualistic and expressivist society which increasingly blurred the boundaries between reality and fiction. They could thus become the chosen medium for postmodernist literary experimentation and invite a form of self-construction which is a precursor of (but remains very different from) the instantly public self-accounts of present-dayblogs and vlogs.

This two-day conference aims to observe these and other evolutions of the twentieth-century diary, exploring their interplay with traditional assumptions about the diary as a repository of memories, an outlet for feelings, as an embodiment of the self, and a concrete means for its preservation.

Date: 7th December 2023
Time: 1 pm
Venue: HI Seminar Room, H204

This roundtable offers interdisciplinary perspectives on the topic of women and labour in emerging scholarship. It involves UCD Postdoctoral fellows from different schools in the College of Arts & Humanities who are researching an aspect of the topic from different disciplines and with a transnational approach. 

Confirmed speakers:
Dr. Carlie Collier (UCD School of History), Dr. Katherine Calvert (UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics), and Dr. Dervla MacManus (UCD School of Philosophy). 

Chair: Dr Bianca Cataldi (TNH Research Lead, UCD HI)

Date: 23rd November 2023
Time: 1pm
Venue: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor)

Applying for funding applications is one of the crucial aspects of any academic career, both in the Humanities and in STEM. This workshop, jointly organised by the UCD Humanities Institute and the UCD Earth Institute, aims to tackle the most difficult tasks of this process, while recounting stories and experiences of both successful and unsuccessful applications at different career stages, all the while showing what we can learn from both success and rejection. 

Confirmed speakers:
Dr James Little | MSCA postdoctoral fellow, School of English, Drama & Film, and HI Resident Scholar
(opens in a new window)Dr Tomas Buitendijk | Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UCD iCRAG ('Taking Stock' project) and associate member of UCD Earth Institute
Poulomi Choudhury | IRC postgraduate scholar, School of English, Drama & Film, and HI Resident Scholar

What significance has Italy – and Italians – to the history and culture of early modern Ireland? What perspectives on Ireland and its inhabitants are offered by soldiers such as Alessandro Bertone, or Anglicized Italians such as Lodowick Bryskett? What does it change of our understanding of early modern Ireland to know that one of the earliest fortified houses constructed in the period was built to an Italian design (as Jane Fenlon has contended), or that Italians drew several of the most popular published maps of Ireland?

This symposium was an exploratory one, aiming to bring together and build on what we know of early modern Italians in Ireland, both people and texts. All are welcome, particularly early career scholars! 

Kindly supported by the College of Arts and Humanities seed funding, and Transnationalising the Humanities (Humanities Institute, UCD) seed funding

Event organiser: Prof. Jane Grogan (UCD School of English, Drama and Film)

Professor Anders Olsson, Chair of the Nobel Committee, The Swedish Academy, will explore the universal aims of the Nobel Prize in Literature in his upcoming lecture in the RIA Discourse Series.

Professor Anne Fuchs, MRIA, FBA, Director of the UCD Humanities Institute, is the respondent.

The Nobel Prize is and has always been considered a universal prize. This is perhaps its unique, prestigious and everywhere acknowledged property. In The World Republic of Letters Pascale Casanova even writes: “There is no better measure of the unification of the international literary field than the effectively universal respect commanded by this prize.” How effective the prize is to unify the literary world is open to debate.

Professor Olsson's lecture will try to clarify the different and changing meanings of the universal in the history of the Prize, characterized by conflicting interpretations of the donor’s will of 1895. He will stress the importance of critical self-examination and show the slow and gradual transition of the Prize from a European to a global horizon during the 20th century. But his lecture will also show how the Prize in this development becomes more in tune with the developments of modern literature. Professor Olsson's lecture will finally touch upon the possible conflict between the autonomy of aesthetic judgement and the widely spread questioning of universal values in the public debate today.

Anders Olsson is a literary historian and author. His own works include seven collections of poetry, and he earned his doctorate with a dissertation about the works of Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf. Anders is professor emeritus in literature at Stockholm University, and his research has examined fundamental elements in the development of modern literature. He has written some fifteen books on poetry and the history of literature and is also active as a critic. In 2008 he was elected to the Swedish Academy, and he served as its Permanent Secretary during 2018-2019.

Venue: RIA Dawson Street, Dublin 2

Organiser: Dr Stephen Lucek (UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, and HI member)

The Linguistics department at the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics is honoured to host the first Multilingualism in Ireland conference, September 7th–8th 2023. The conference will be held in person with the opening roundtable and closing multilingual poetry reading broadcast live on YouTube. Between these two key events, there will be a series of presentations on aspects of multilingualism in Ireland, including acquisition, policy and communities.

This conference will focus on the many languages of Ireland, be they national languages Irish, English and Irish Sign Language or the many migrant languages used every day. Linguistic diversity in Ireland has been documented over the years, but a dedicated event and subsequent publication has been lacking in the recent past. As Ireland has once again become a net-immigration state (CSO 2022), we must think of how we support language users in multilingual communities. This conference will bring together leading names in academia, youth organisations, the arts and advocacy to consider Ireland through a multilingual lens. The conference will thus further our understanding of how and when different languages are used in Ireland, but also highlight the immediate application of our knowledge to the concrete usage contexts in various multilingual communities.

Sponsors: UCD Humanities Institute | UCD College of Arts & Humanities

Venues: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor) and Newman D301

This series focuses on the variety of sources and approaches that constitute French studies. While sources are our point of departure for interpretations and debates, their nature, their origins, their languages, and their trajectories constitute main challenges and limits that researchers have to grapple with. The sources we decide to work with determine the methodologies and the theoretical background that frames our research and our contributions.

How do we choose our sources and what do we ask from them? What theories do we choose, and how do we draw on them? Talks on challenges, limitations and approaches to a diverse range of sources. Broadly dealing with French Studies, but open to all!Queries can be sent to (opens in a new window)asmcfpostgradrep@gmail.com or (opens in a new window)adeffipostgrad@gmail.com

Cécile Guigui (ASMCF PG Rep.) and Maika Nguyen (ADEFFI PG Rep.)

Keynote speaker: (opens in a new window)Prof. Suzanne Cusick (New York University)

 "'Coito', Music, and the Erotic before the Law: A Case from Florence, 1621"

Venue: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor)


Today, scholars interested in expanding and diversifying the way we think music and sex together are faced with a rift between intellectual and political landscapes. On the one hand, such inquiry has been legitimized by more than thirty years of scholarship that has celebrated music’s capacity to represent myriad sexual experiences and identities, as well as its ability to engender radical, destabilizing forms of sonic pleasure. On the other, recent successful political and legal efforts to curtail sexual rights in the name of moral or religious objection are unwinding gains made from identity-based political action. To better navigate this climate, we seek to step back from the traditional focus on how musicians or musical works represent specific sexual desires and identities to interrogate the larger institutional, administrative, and discursive forces that conterminously shape the history of music and sexuality.

Intentionally returning to Foucault’s interest in the emergence and productivity of disciplinary practices, this conference aims to examine moments where music and pleasure have been brought together before the law or, more generally, any authoritative discourse which purports to regulate human behavior. Inviting scholars to share diverse historical and cultural situations, we intend to collectively and investigate the following questions:  To what extent have legal or doctrinal discourses considered music and sexuality as analogous issues? What are the shared tactics used to regulate or manage musical and sexual behaviors? What actions have been taken by marginalized individuals or groups to undercut, evade, or reform discourses that limited musical and sexual freedom? What methodological, theoretical, or conceptual resources are needed to tackle such issues? Responding to these questions, we hope to consider how our reactions to contemporary sexual politics can draw from those who have previously encountered the varied, but historically persistent forces that attempt to bring order to the unruly world of sexual and musical experience.

Conference programme available here

Please contact the organisers ((opens in a new window)music.pleasure.law@gmail.com) if you have any questions.

The Ends of Growth Research Group Inaugural Symposium

Venue: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor)

Dr Matthias Schmelzer (University of Jena)
Dr Andrea Vetter (Braunschweig University of Art)
Dr Jack Copley (Durham University)

Symposium poster

Delving into all aspects and orientations at work in the writings of Jean-Luc Marion, this international conference proposes to question the intricate and complex relations between the events of “givenness” and “revelation” in the history of philosophy and theology. 

Through a thoughtful re-reading of the history of philosophy as well as an active commitment in the phenomenological tradition, Jean-Luc Marion has incessantly brought the dynamic of these questions, their suppositions and their consequences, to the forefront of  contemporary philosophy and theology. This international conference will bring together at University College Dublin (Ireland) philosophers to discuss all aspects of Jean-Luc Marion’s philosophical writing whilst engaging with our author a sustained hermeneutical as well as critical dialogue.

The conference is open to all. Please email (opens in a new window)joseph.cohen@ucd.ie for the full programme and any enquiries about the event.

Venue: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor)

UCD Humanities Institute

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4690 | E: humanities@ucd.ie |