Funding Awards for Humanities Institute Members

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Humanities Institute offers it's warmest congratulations to three academic members who have had successful funding grants awarded to them in recent weeks.

Dr Porscha Fermanis of the UCD School of English, Drama and Film has been awarded an ERC Starter Grant:

Realigning British Romanticism: White Settler and Indigenous Writing in the British-Controlled Southern Hemisphere, 1783-1870

SouthHem is a five-year research project designed to rethink and realign the nature and scope of British Romanticism by giving settler and indigenous literatures produced in the British-controlled Southern Hemisphere a more central role in defining the literary culture of the period 1783-1870. The project will carry out, for the first time, a detailed comparative analysis of these literatures and their interactions with British Romantic writing by focusing on case studies of encounter and transculturation in three transnational zones: “Zone 1” (Oceania): Australia and New Zealand; “Zone 2” (Southern Africa): the Cape Colony and Natal; and “Zone 3” (South-East Asia): Singapore, Java, and Malacca. By radically expanding the type, provenance, and sample size of texts typically considered in studies of British Romanticism, this project will not only result in an important geographic, temporal, and conceptual rethinking of the field, but it will also provide a better understanding of how literary modernity emerged and developed outside of Europe and the Northern Hemisphere. As such, the project will facilitate larger cross-imperial and synthetic studies of the indigenous and settler literatures of the period.


Dr Marc Caball of the School of History has been awarded an Irish Research Council New Horizons grant for his project Mapping readers and readership in Dublin, 1826-1926: a new cultural geography in collaboration with Dr Michela Bertolotto, School of Computer Science.

Mapping readers and readership in Dublin, 1826-1926: a new cultural geography

When Archbishop Narcissus Marsh founded a public library in Dublin in 1707, he intended it to be at the intellectual heart of the city, a place in which 'graduates and gentlemen' could consult the latest and most up-to-date knowledge in a range of subjects, as well as a host of rare and curious older texts. Through a creative alignment of humanities research and GIS technology, this project will seek to explore and reconstruct the role and scope of Marsh’s as a knowledge node in Dublin’s book and reading culture during the long nineteenth century. Additionally, the project will result in the creation of specific and strategic national capacity in digital heritage with a view to funding proposals at EU level. Drawing on extant records of readership at Marsh’s Library, this project will transform understanding of the shifting sands of cultural life in Dublin during the nineteenth century and it will shed new light on the nature and channels of knowledge transmission within a specific metropolitan context á la longue durée. A central research question focused on the profiles of Marsh’s readers will be investigated and informed by the recreation of the biography, bibliography (data on materials consulted by readers exist only for 1863 to 1883) and geography of its readers between 1826 and 1926. By examining the names and addresses of those who visited the Library and through a further study of the materials they consulted where such information is extant in the case of the latter, it will be possible both to construct an empirical data base of readers and readership as well as providing a rich seam of evidence as to the broader evolution of Dublin’s intellectual and literary history during a formative extended period in its political, social, religious and cultural history.

Funding: €164,000

For further information please go to:


Dr Emilie Pine of the UCD School of English, Drama and Film has been awarded an Irish Research Council New Horizons grant for her project Industrial Memories, a digital memory studies project which builds on the 2009 Ryan Report to reflect on Ireland's institutional past.

Industrial Memories: Data and Digiscapes

Digital Reflections on Ireland’s Institutional Past

This is a digital memory project to open up Ireland’s institutional history, radically opening up and expanding the 2009 Ryan Report.  The project has two main strands:

  1. Data: To use data analytics to radically open up institutional history, using the Ryan Report as a data corpus
  2. Digiscapes: To use digital arts practice to illuminate the landscape of the institutional past, creating a mobile app, virtual reality installation and heat map.

This project is driven by the public need for access to the findings of the Ryan Report, and the potential for digital humanities and digital arts to generate new research from publicly available data, fusing the two needs into a single, dynamic and multivalent project. The Ryan Report is 2,600 pages: a scale which is hard to comprehend and difficult to access in any comprehensive way. This project will change that.

Funding: €213,988