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Posted: 19 March 2008

UCD School of English, Drama & Film launches Scholarcast series: the Art of Popular Culture

Compiled by Dr PJ Mathews, Director of UCDscholarcast, ‘The Art of Popular Culture’ is a new series of downloadable audio lectures presented by leading international artists and academics. Taking on icons that range from Joyce to Cúchulainn, the series looks at their impact on popular culture and investigates recent popular successes such as Riverdance.

A figure such as William Butler Yeats has an international reputation based on his poetry but the students of the 21st century have less knowledge of his role as a journalist.
Similarly, although more likely to have read the Tolkien trilogy than the Táin, the Irish are greatly influenced by the legacy of Cúchulainn and his portrayal as a national hero.

What impact did the Irish policy of Neutrality have on popular culture during the Second World War and why have recent Irish plays become obsessed with Hollywood? These questions and more will be discussed over eight scholarcasts.

This inaugural UCDscholarcast series is produced by Clíodhna Ní Anluain of RTÉ, with the assistance of UCD Media Services, who developed the website and podcasts, and will be published on the UCD website over the coming months.

The first two broadcasts by Elaine Sisson and Eddie Holt go live today 18 March 2008. To find out more, visit

  • Scholarcast 1: Elaine Sisson, School of Creative Arts, Dun Laoghaire IADT, ‘The Boy as National Hero: The legacy of Cúchulainn’
  • Scholarcast 2: Eddie Holt, School of Communication, DCU, ‘W.B. Yeats, Journalism and the Revival’
  • Scholarcast 3: Sean Ryder, Dept of English, NUI Galway, ‘Tom Moore: Ireland’s First Pop Star’
  • Scholarcast 4: Anne Fogarty, School of English, Drama and Film, UCD, ‘James Joyce and Popular Culture’
  • Scholarcast 5: Claire Wills, Dept of English, Queen Mary, University of London, ‘Neutrality and Popular Culture’
  • Scholarcast 6: Paige Reynolds, Dept of English, Holy Cross College, ‘Hollywood and Contemporary Irish Drama’
  • Scholarcast 7: Bill Whelan, Composer, Riverdance, ‘Globalising Irish Music’
  • Scholarcast 8: Frank McGuinness, Writer-in-Residence, School of English, UCD, ‘Filming Friel: Lughnasa on Screen’

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UCD School of English & Drama launches Scholarcast series: the Art of Popular Culture