Seed Funding Success for the Humanities Institute

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The UCD Humanities Institute has had two successful UCD Seed Funding bids this year.

A group of three early stage researcher based at the Humanities Institute put a panel together to attend the Institute for Medieval Studies Conference this summer at Leeds University. They were awarded funding to attend and participate in this prestigious event. The three, who all met at the UCD HUmanities Institute, are from the UCD School of History & Archives and the UCD School of Archaeology. Their panel title is: Was There Any Pleasure in Early Medieval Ireland? and their paper title are:

Regulating Pleasure in Early Medieval Ireland, Elaine Pereira-Farrell, School of History & Archives, University College Dublin

The Pleasure and the Pain: Food Consumption and Dietary Deficiency, Denise Keating, School of Archaeology, University College DublinPaper

Celebrating Death or Sustaining Life: Interpreting the Material Remains from Enclosed Settlements Containing Burials in Early Medieval Ireland, Matthew Seaver, School of Archaeology, University College Dublin

Humanities Institute director, Professor Gerardine Meaney, was also successful in obtaining seed funding for her project Changing Empathies: Social Networks, Outsiders and the Novel

The project looks at the interactions between characters in novels and how they can yield maps of textual social networks and imagined community. Novels do not offer empirical evidence of actual social relations, but an extraordinarily rich insight into how society and community are imagined and experienced by writers and readers. Analyzing a large corpus of fiction over an extended time period (19th to early 21st century) and visualizing these networks will allow us to trace these maps of imagined community, identify which migrant and nomadic groups/individuals were considered outsiders and the point at which they were perceived to become an integral part of their host society and what the process and time frame is for this integration of migrant and marginal groups into our sense of 'people like us'. Historical comparison will identify what our fields of empathy have been, what they are now, who are the prevalent heroes, victims and villains, how this changed over time and who are still perceived as outside the boundaries of normal social interaction. A comparative approach across European literatures will situate the research within diverse national histories, but also investigate common patterns. No large scale, comparative, longitudinal analysis of the European novel in terms of social networks has yet been attempted, but it is now possible to undertake such an analysis combining digital humanities, social network analysis and intersectional sociological analysis with literary textual analysis