Publications associated with the UCD Humanities Institute

European Civil Wars: Memory, Conflict and Nostalgia

London: Routledge, 2012

Written by Eleutheria Rania Kosmidou

This book examines the ways in which late twentieth-century European cinema deals with the neglected subject of civil war. Exploring a range of films about the Spanish, Irish, former Yugoslavia, and Greek civil wars, this comparative and interdisciplinary study engages with contemporary debates in cultural memory and investigates the ways in which cinematic postmemory is problematic. Many of the films present an idealized past that glosses over the reality of these civil wars, at times producing a nostalgic discourse of loss and longing. Other films engage with the past in a melancholic fashion. These cinematic discourses articulate contemporary concerns, especially the loss of ideology and a utopian political horizon in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989, a date that marks a significant break in European history and an accompanying paradigm shift in European cultural memory.

Filmmakers examined include Trueba, Cuerda, Loach, Jordan, Kusturica, Dragojevic, and Angelopoulos.

Spectres of the Self cover SMcCSpectres of the Self: Thinking about Ghosts and Ghost-Seeing in England, 1750-1920

Cambridge University Press, 2010

Written by Shane McCorristine

Spectres of the Self is a fascinating study of the rich cultures surrounding the experience of seeing ghosts in England from the Reformation to the twentieth century. Shane McCorristine examines a vast range of primary and secondary sources, showing how ghosts, apparitions, and hallucinations were imagined, experienced, and debated from the pages of fiction to the case reports of the Society for Psychical Research. By analysing a broad range of themes from telepathy and ghost-hunting to the notion of dreaming while awake and the question of why ghosts wore clothes, Dr McCorristine reveals the sheer variety of ideas of ghost seeing in English society and culture. He shows how the issue of ghosts remained dynamic despite the advance of science and secularism and argues that the ghost ultimately represented a spectre of the self, a symbol of the psychological hauntedness of modern experience.

Shane McCorristine was a doctoral scholar (2004-07) and postdoctoral researcher (2009) at the Humanities Institute of Ireland and is now an IRCHSS Government of Ireland CARA Postdoctoral Mobility Fellow at National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Oral and Print Cultures in Ireland, 1600-1900

Four Courts Press, 2010

Edited by Dr Marc Caball and Professor Andrew Carpenter

On the whole, surprisingly little work has been done on how the oral, the manuscript and the printed interacted with each other in Ireland between 1600 and 1900. In charting previously unexplored patterns of communicative practice, these essays by leading experts examine the interchange between written and verbal cultures in Ireland from the seventeenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century. This book represents an attempt to start a dialogue in the scholarly community on these interactions and their effect on Irish culture.


Lesa Ní Mhunghaile: The intersection between oral tradition, manuscript, and print cultures in Charlotte Brooke’s Reliques of Irish poetry (1789)

Andrew Carpenter: Garbling and jumbling: printing from dictation in eighteenth-century Limerick

Marc Caball: Lost in translation – reading Keating’s Foras feasa ar Éirinn, 1635-1847

Marie-Louise Coolahan: ‘And this deponent further sayeth’ – orality, print and the 1641 Depositions

Nicholas Williams: Gaelic texts and English script

John Moulden: ‘James Cleland his Book’: the library of a small farming family in early nineteenth-century Co. Down

Linde Lunney: Reading and orality in early nineteenth-century Ulster poetry – James Orr and his contemporaries

Phantoms of War in Contemporary German Literature, Films and Disclosure

Palgrave Macmillan, 2010

Written by Anne Fuchs

In recognition of its excellent scholarship and presentation, the significance of its contribution to its academic field, and its value as an important treatment of a subject area, Phantoms of War in Contemporary German Literature, Films and Disclosure, by Professor Anne Fuchs has been selected as an outstanding academic title for 2008 by Choice, the official publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

This year's Outstanding Academic Titles list includes 679 titles in 54 disciplines and subsections selected from approximately 7,000 scholarly titles reviewed by Choice during 2008. Choice editors base their selections on the reviewer's evaluation of the work, the editor's knowledge of the field, and the reviewer's record.

According to Professor Fuchs, since German unification in 1990, a new discourse has emerged about familial origins, legacies and issues of generational identity, which also readdresses important questions of historical agency, choice and responsibility from the perspective of unification.

With contemporary German discourse witnessing an upsurge of family stories about the long afterlife of the National Socialist era, Phantoms of War in Contemporary German Literature, Films and Disclosure charts a detailed topography of the changing politics of memory in today’s Germany.

Asking why the disturbance of tradition remains an agitated topic, in this new study Anne Fuchs offers in-depth interpretations of major works by established and newer authors as well as a range of films and recent historical debates. By exploring the rediscovery of family origins and traditions, and examining the fashionable concepts of generation and genealogy, the author develops an original theory of family narratives, a category situated at the intersection of public and private discourses.

Her interdisciplinary approach is exemplified in a major chapter on resistance narratives where she engages with museum discourse, historiography, autobiography, fictional works and films in order to illuminate how, from the Cold War period to the Fall of the Wall, both East and West Germany attempted to construct a positive moral legacy, facilitating identification with post war society. However, in the final analysis she argues that the books, films and public debates under discussion “demonstrate that this quest for a viable tradition in unified Germany remains ambivalent and, ultimately, strongly contested.”

Anne Fuchs is Professor of Modern German Literature and Culture at the UCD School of Languages and Literatures, University College Dublin. She was one of the Principal Investigators of the PRTLI3 funded research programme on Memory and Meaning in the 21st Century conducted by UCD’s Humanities Institute.

Materialitas: Working Stone, Carving Identity

Oxbow Books, 2009

Edited by Blaze O'Connor, Gabriel Cooney and John Chapman

Stone monuments and objects are highly accessible today and formed a focus for engagement, transformation, and re-use in the past. Stone is inextricably linked to ideas of monumentality and remembrance. It formed an active medium in the creation of identities and memory in a range of social contexts and practices, including the embodied, performative, and incorporated practices of daily life. It can be argued that the material presence and physical character of stone objects and monuments were not only actively harnessed in these encounters, but were the very stuff from which social relations were derived, perceived, and thought through. This volume explores the power and effect of stone through the meanings that emerged out of people's engagement and encounters with its physical properties. Focused primarily on the Neolithic and Bronze Age of Atlantic Europe it brings together authors working on the materiality (materialitas) of stone via objects, rock art, monuments, and quarrying. This highlights the connections that cross-cut what are traditionally seen as disparate research areas within the archaeological discipline.

Gabriel Cooney is Professor of Archaeology at University College Dublin. He was one of the Principal Investigators of the PRTLI3 funded research programme on Memory and Meaning in the 21st Century conducted by UCD's Humanities Institute.

World Writing - Poetics, Ethics, Globalization

University of Toronto Press, 2008

Edited by Mary T. Gallagher

Much has been said about the relationship between globalization and culture and the political implications of that relationship. There has been little effort made, however, to investigate the effect of globalization on poetics or on the ethical moment of literature. World Writing is therefore concerned with studying the intersection of contemporary ethics, poetics, and globalization through historical and critical readings of writing from various parts of the world.

Following an introductory chapter by Mary Gallagher, which maps this conceptual terrain, the contributors investigate how globalization inflects the necessary relationship between poetics, culture, ethics, and politics. Among the essays are Celia Britton?s reading of Édouard Glissant on languages in the globalized world; Mary Gallagher?s comparison of Glissant?s poetics of cultural diversity with the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas; David Palumbo-Liu?s exploration of the ethics of postcolonial fiction in J.M. Coetzee?s work; Mary Louise Pratt?s critique, based on recent Latin American writing, of the prematurely celebratory nature of globalization; and Julia Kristeva?s argument for the value of poetics and the ethics of hospitality. What emerges is an intricate discussion of the elusive relationship between the realms of ethics, poetics, and politics as they intersect in our changing world.

Mary Gallagher is an Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at University College Dublin.She was one of the Principal Investigators of the PRTLI3 funded research programme on Memory and Meaning in the 21st Century conducted by UCD’s Humanities Institute.

Mythologies at 50: Barthes and Popular Culture

University of Nottingham, Special Edition, 2008

Edited by Douglas Smith

2007 marked the fiftieth anniversay of the book publication of Roland Barthes's groundbreaking study of French popular culture Mythologies.  From agony aunts to the signs of the zodiac, from Algerian wine to zero degree haircuts, Barthes anatomised the diverse range of social and cultural phenomena of the French 'fifties, constructing a new methodological framework at the intersection of structuralism, Marxism and phenomenology, and relating the minutiae of everyday life to a global system of international capitalism, colonialism and Cold War.

A one-day symposium, Mythologies at 50: Barthes and Popular Culture, took place at the UCD Humanities Institute of Ireland on 20 April 2007 which set out to examine Mythologies in three ways: within its original context, in relation to subsequent developments in French society and theory and finally in terms of its migration into the wider world.  It aimed to address the contemporary legacy of Mythologies for a wide range of disciplines, including cultural studies, social history, social theory, gender studies and postcolonial studies.  Does Mythologies retain its relevance today within and outside France or does it remain irretrievably locked in its own time and place? To what extent is Barthes's analysis a historical document or live theory? How has Mythologies translated, both literally and figuratively? Is Barthes eclectic methodology a model or a trap for contemporary work on popular culture?  The essays within this special edition of Nottingham French Studies journal came as a result of this event.

Dr Douglas Smith is an senior lecturer of French and Francophone Studies at University College Dublin. He was one of the Principal Investigators of the PRTLI3 funded research programme on Memory and Meaning in the 21st Century conducted by UCD’s Humanities Institute.

Cultural perspectives on globalisation in IrelandCultural Perspectives on Globalisation and Ireland

Verlag Peter Lang, 2009

Edited by Eamon Maher

In the space of a short few decades, Ireland has become one of the most globalised societies in the Western world.  The full ramifications of this transformation for traditional Irish communities, religious practice, economic activity, as well as literature and the arts, are as yet unknown.  What is known is that Ireland's largely unthinking embrace of globalisation has at times had negative consequences.  Unlike some other European countries, Ireland has eagerly and sometimes recklessly grasped the opportunities for material advancement afforded by the global project.

This collection of essays, largely the fruit of two workshops organised under the auspices of the UCD Humanities Institute and the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies in the Institute of Technology, Tallaght, explores how globalisation has taken such a firm hold on Irish society and provides a cultural perspective on the phenomenon.  The book is divided into two sections.  The first examines various manifestations of globalisation in Irish society whereas the second focuses on literary representations of globalisation.  The contributors, acknowledged experts in the areas of cultureal theory, religion, sociology and literature, offer a panoply of viewpoints of Ireland's interaction with globalisation.

Empire and Culture: Francophone Perspective on GlobalisationEmpire and Culture Now: Francophone Perspectives on Globalisation

Modern & Contemporary France - Volume 18, Issue 2, 2010

Written by Mary Gallagher and Douglas Smith

Seventeen years after the publication of Edward Said’s Culture and Imperialism (Said 1994) and as most disciplines in the humanities struggle to conceptualise the impact on culture of what Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri have characterised as the centreless and unbounded contemporary ‘Empire’ of twenty-first-century capitalism (Hardt & Negri 2001), how is francophone thought contributing both to the workings of empire and to its critique?1 In diplomatic and geopolitical terms, France has often positioned itself as the antagonist of the post-ColdWar global hegemony of the United States.Within this frame, European culture is opposed to American empire, historical perspective to short-term gain, universal values to market pressures, ethics to Realpolitik. But such a view not only caricatures the actual diversity of US culture and society, not to mention its often conflicted foreign policy aims, but also arguably serves to conceal the post-imperial and postcolonial agenda of France itself. As a former global superpower, France retains a considerable overseas presence in regions such as the Caribbean and Polynesia, while seeking to maintain a wide sphere of influence among formerly colonised nations. In this sense, France as a nation-state is both an opponent and a proponent of empire, a critic of anglophone globalisation and a promoter of its own global interests.
The aim of this special issue is to explore some of these paradoxes concerning empire and its critique. At its centre is the question of the articulation of empire and culture in francophone cultures in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, an articulation that this introduction frames in terms of the models proposed by Edward Said on the one hand and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri on the other.