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Transnationalising the Humanities: Events

21 May 2024 | TNH Workshop'Roots in the Air: Multilingualism and Displacement'

Date:Tuesday, 21st May 2024
Venue:Agnes McGuire Social Work Building, C001 (ground floor)

This workshop will focus on the various definitions of multilingualism and on notions of displacement, with particular reference to exile and nostalgia from a transnational perspective. The event, co-organised by Dr. Bianca Cataldi (UCD Humanities Institute TNH Research Project Lead) and Dr. Till Greite (UCD Humanities Institute Visiting Fellow) will be divided into two parts: a panel with 15-20 min presentations for each speaker and, after a coffee break, a roundtable with discussion.

The speakers will be experts from different fields of Modern Languages, History and Linguistics, includingProf. Michael Cronin(TCD),Prof. Esther Kilchmann(Universität Hamburg) andProf. Steffan Davies(University of Bristol).

Following the event, participants are invited to visit our HI exhibition: “Landings: Art after Extractivism” | UCD Humanities Institute Seminar Room (H204)

17 May 2024 | Workshop: 'EURASIAN ZONES OF CONTACT: The Russian & Qing Empires'

Date: Friday, 17th May 2024
Time: TBC
Venue: Science Hub, Room H2.20

This workshop, organised by Dr Julia C. Schneider (University College Cork) and (opens in a new window)Dr Jennifer Keating (UCD), develops international collaboration on zones of contact between the Russian Empire (1721-1917) and the Qing Empire (1636/1644-1912). These zones are, on the one hand, geographically defined borderlands in Central, Inner, and East Asia, and, on the other hand, cultural, intellectual, political, and economic spaces wherein people from these two empires (and beyond) met and interacted. As recent work on the history of the Qing-Russian border, on borderlands of both empires, and on cross-border flows of information, people, and things has so clearly and excitingly demonstrated, there is much to be gained both by situating the two empires in direct comparative analysis and by conceptualising alternative spatial histories of Eurasia that acknowledge the existence of, but are not defined by, the political border. Some of the key research questions in this dynamic area of scholarship refer to the ways in which imperial borders were created, shaped, and transgressed by a variety of state officials, intellectuals, traders, and pastoral communities across the seventeenth to early twentieth centuries, and the degree to which the ‘border’ or ‘frontier’ is better conceived of as a highly fluid zone of contact and exchange, both spatially and intellectually.

The workshop seeks to generate conversation about local and regional entanglements, networks, and exchanges across these vast Eurasian territories. While conventional histories of the two empires have treated them as two separate political entities, the workshop aims to adopt transregional and transnational approaches to overcome the narrow and traditional idea of territory – and in doing so, to propose alternative spatial, economic, and cultural histories of the region that contribute to attempts to de-nationalise and de-territorialise the historiography.

Confirmed speakers:
Yuexin Rachel Lin (Leeds)
Eric Schluessel (George Washington)
Sören Urbansky (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Meng Zhang (Vanderbilt)

1 May 2024 | TNH Workshop with (opens in a new window)Prof. Monica Miscali: "Investigating Emotions in Migration: The Experiences of Italian Women from the 1960s to Contemporary Times"

Date: Wednesday, 1st May 2024
Time: 1pm
Venue: HI Seminar Room H204


Today, scholars increasingly recognize that emotional expressions are critical to understanding social, cultural, and political change and provide an important correction to the historically dominant approaches in migration studies. Yet, despite the growing significance of emotions in migration studies, less attention has been dedicated to the emotional impact of emigration on solitary migrants, particularly women, who decide to leave alone, without family or a husband.  Leaving alone entails having to provide for oneself in a different country, presenting a significant emotional challenge that requires substantial preparation compared to those who decide to emigrate with their families. The purpose of my presentation has two main objectives. Firstly, it aims to explore the emotional impact that migration evokes in Italian women who choose to immigrate to Norway alone. Secondly, the study introduces a temporal perspective by comparing the emotional consequences of migration experienced by Italian women who immigrated during the 1960s and 1970s with those who immigrated after 2008. This comparative analysis of two different time periods facilitates an examination of how emotions and feelings can change over time and in response to the environment. Additionally, it allows us to evaluate how social factors, environments, and societal perceptions of a phenomenon can influence people's emotions.

29 April 2024 | Exchanging Tales: Celebrating Irish and Nigerian storytelling through D.O. Fágúnwà and Peig Sayers

Date: Monday, 29th April 2024
Time: 7pm
Venue: Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI)

Join us for an evening of entertainment and conversation to celebrate two of the world's greatest storytellers, D.O. Fágúnwà (1903-1963) and Peig Sayers (1873-1958). Dagogo Hart and Samuel Yakura of WeAreGriot will perform a selection of English translations of stories from Fágúnwà and Sayers. This will be accompanied by a Q&A with Diipo Fágúnwà, Fágúnwà's son, and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, writer and scholar. 

All attendees are invited to continue exchanging tales and making new connections at the reception afterwards.

Fágúnwà is best known for his book Ògbójú Ọdẹ nínú Igbó Irúnmọlẹ̀ (1938) which was one of the first works of extended prose fiction in the Yorùbá language. Through his five books, Fágúnwà pioneered an enduring Yorùbá novel form consisting of stories of supernatural adventure told by a hunter to a scribe. His work is therefore engaged with the interface of orality and text and is heavily informed by Yorùbá folklore and mythology as well as by his own Christian beliefs. 

Peig Sayers meanwhile is known as one of Ireland’s greatest storytellers. She is best remembered for her autobiography, Peig, a Scéal Féin (1936), which was a staple of the Irish secondary school curriculum for decades. Outside of her autobiographical work, Sayers was famous for her knowledge and mastery of an Irish oral storytelling tradition. Hundreds of her stories were collected by the Irish Folklore Commission and are now held in the National Folklore Collection in UCD. 

Sayers and Fágúnwà were contemporaries of each other telling their stories many thousands of miles apart. This event is therefore an opportunity to enter these two indigenous language literatures into conversation and see how their stories can live on in new contexts and forms. 


This event is kindly supported by the Transnationalising the Humanities Research Strand, led by the UCD Humanities Institute.

Organiser: Clare Ní Cheallaigh (HI Resident Scholar)

25-26 March 2024 | Transnational Activisms Conference

Reimagining Boundaries in Political Cultural Production
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.

8 & 9 Dec 2023 | Conference: 'Diaries in the Twentieth Century: Testimony, Memory, Self-Construction'

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.

7 Dec 2023 | Roundtable: “Women and Labour: Interdisciplinary Perspectives”

 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). 

Event organiser: Dr Bianca Cataldi (TNH Research Lead, UCD Humanities Institute)

16 Nov 2023 | 'Early Modern Italians in Ireland' Symposium

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)

7 & 8 Sept 2023 | Multilingualism in Ireland - Roundtable and workshop

Thursday, 7th September 2023 (HI H204) & Friday, 8th September 2023 (Newman, D301)

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.

(opens in a new window)Dr Stepehen Lucek (UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics) and the Universität Rostock

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

25 Apr 2023 | PhD Masterclass in Cultural Memory & Roundtable discussion

(opens in a new window)Professor Gunnþórunn Guðmundsdóttir(opens in a new window) (University of Iceland) will give a PhD masterclass on cultural memory. It will be followed by a roundtable discussion @ 5pm by the Ireland-Iceland Network organised by (opens in a new window)Professor Fionnuala Dillane.

3 Mar 2023 | 'Transnationalising the Classroom' Symposium

The Humanities Institute at University College Dublin invites participation in a pedagogically focused symposium on “Transnationalising the Classroom.” The Humanities Institute’s Transnationalising the Humanities research strand demonstrates the significance of transnationalism in fostering innovative, interdisciplinary perspectives and attending to topics in the humanities with appropriate complexity and nuance. These benefits can apply to the classroom. This symposium will explore and encourage transnational approaches in pedagogy across the humanities.

Symposium organiser: Dr Vanessa Iacocca ((opens in a new window)vanessa.iacocca@ucd.ie) | IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow, School of English, Drama and Film & HI Resident Scholar

27 Oct 2021 | 'Historical Futures: Apprehending the Past and Anticipating the Future'

Workshop with Professor Marek Tamm (Prof. of Cultural History, Tallinn University)

In recent times the future has begun to appear simultaneously as bright and cataclysmic. On the one hand, there are the positively stated endeavours (overcoming our biological limitations, opening a new space age; engineering the Earth system; advancing artificial intelligence, etc.). On the other, often the very same endeavors are perceived as launching potentially catastrophic futures as underlined by the unfolding climate crisis. In developing an understanding of future prospects, the question of history is of utmost relevance. It was only with the birth of the modern idea of history and temporalization (Koselleck) that the future appeared as distinct from the past and the present. Today, however, the future looks different to an extent that was simply unimaginable in the modern period. The radical alterity of future prospects poses many questions and gives rise to competing interpretations. Against the backdrop of the emergence of new futures, we propose to introduce a new concept of “historical futures.” Together with Zoltán Boldizsár Simon (University of Bielefeld) and the journal History and Theory we have initiated a collective research endeavor under the label of “historical futures” that examines modalities of historical futures that constitute our current historical condition. For more about the project and its contributions, please see (opens in a new window)https://historyandtheory.org/historical-futures.

In connection to this research endeavor, the workshop intends to discuss the various ways in which today’s anticipated futures relate to our apprehensions of the past. All participants are welcome to read before the workshop the opening piece of the “Historical Futures” project, available in open access here: (opens in a new window)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/hith.12190.

(opens in a new window)Marek Tamm is the Professor of Cultural History and senior research fellow at the School of Humanities in Tallinn University. He is also Head of Tallinn University Centre of Excellence in Intercultural Studies and of Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts. Graduated in history and semiotics at the University of Tartu (1998), he earned his master degree in medieval studies from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1999) and his doctorate degree in medieval history from Tallinn University (2009). Author of five books, of some seventy scholarly articles published in Estonian, English and French, and editor of dozens of collections of articles.

11 Feb 2021 | 'Past postcolonialism: Indigenous methodologies as Trans-Indigenous Studies'

Professor Harald Gaski (UiT The Arctic University of Norway) | Online lecture

Over the last few decades Indigenous methodologies have developed into becoming a new and invigorating approach to research on Indigenous topics over a wide range of disciplines. The methodology is built upon Indigenous peoples’ own worldviews and epistemologies, and it takes into account the wisdom passed down through generations in stories and traditional knowledge. One of the matters to further develop is a comparative and trans-Indigenous perspective on the whole field of study, thus representing a new and refreshing global view into research which, so far, has been neglected and overlooked.

(opens in a new window)Harald Gaski is a professor in Sámi culture and literature at Sámi allaskuvla / Sámi University of Applied Sciences and guest professor at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Gaski has published extensively on Sámi culture, literature, art and Indigenous methodologies. His latest edited book, Myths, Tales and Poetry (2020), gathers oral and written Sámi texts from the last four centuries.

Co-hosted by Arctic Voices/UiT The Arctic University of Norway and Professor Renée Hulan the Craig Dobbin Visiting Professor, UCD Centre for Canadian Studies.

UCD Humanities Institute

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