MemberCiaran McDonough

…2011-2017 – PhD (Irish Studies) – National University of Ireland, Galway

2008-2009 – MA (Irish Studies) – National University of Ireland, Galway

2001-2005 – BA (Hons) (German and English) – University of Wales, Bangor…

I recently completed a PhD, titled Investigating Irish Antiquarianism: a Comparative Study of Protestant and Catholic Antiquarian Cultures, 1830-1876 (National University of Ireland, Galway, 2017). The aim of this study is to investigate the differences in and similarities between Protestant and Catholic antiquarian cultures in Ireland in the period 1830 to 1876. The thesis demonstrates that there were notable differences, which were largely due to matters of religion. It focuses upon a select group of scholars (John O’Donovan, Eugene O’Curry, James Henthorn Todd, William Wilde, George Petrie, Denis Henry Kelly, William Reeves, John Windele, Owen Connellan, James Hardiman, and Robert Shipboy MacAdam) from both religious confessions, who were the most prolific antiquarians of this time, and it examines their works and the contexts in which they were written.  Using a new historicist methodology, this thesis highlights trends in antiquarian research, its dissemination, and modes of working and ascribes them to a particular religious community. This work is organised in three separate parts. In part one, a brief overview of the development of Irish antiquarianism from the early seventeenth to the late eighteenth century is presented in order to illustrate long-standing sectarian differences and their impact upon antiquarian pursuits in the nineteenth century. Previous scholarship has traditionally categorised the antiquarians studied in this thesis according to ethnicity (Gaelic Irish versus Anglo-Irish). Conversely, part two demonstrates that religion, and not ethnicity, was the greatest dividing social factor in Irish antiquarian circles in the first half of the nineteenth-century. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that emphasis on ethnicity and race only emerged after works had been published relating to that topic from the 1850s. Thus, part two is a comparative study between Protestant and Catholic antiquarian cultures in the nineteenth century, focusing particularly on the differences between the two in terms of subject matter and methodology employed. Part three traces the influence of antiquarian works on Cultural Nationalist ideology and thought at the end of the nineteenth century and in the first decades of the twentieth. In focusing specifically on the influence of antiquarian works on the images of ‘Irishness’ advanced by the Cultural Nationalists during this period, I determine that it was in fact Catholic antiquarian works that had a greater impact on the Cultural Nationalist discourse.

MemberEmer McHugh

…National University of Ireland, Galway…

I recently completed my doctoral dissertation at the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, where I also teach. My dissertation, ‘Shakespeare, Gender, and Contemporary Ireland: Performing and Recreating National Identities’ (fully funded by the Irish Research Council), looks at contemporary Shakespeare performance by Irish practitioners inside and outside of Ireland, exploring their engagement with gender, queerness, and feminisms, and exploring this in tandem with its contested relationship with issues of Irish national identity. Case studies include Druid Theatre’s Henriad adaptation DruidShakespeare (2015), Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of The Taming of the Shrew (2016), the Abbey Theatre’s production of Twelfh Night (2014), and the Almeida/Harold Pinter Theatre production of Hamlet (2017). My research interests include: early modern performance studies; Shakespeare and Ireland; theatre and celebrity culture; theatre history and historiography; audience and reception studies; contemporary Irish and British performance; and queer and feminist theory and performance. I am currently writing and developing articles and book chapters on the following: the Globe Shrew and commemorative culture; the terminology of early modern performance studies; Irish accents and Shakespeare performance; celebrity Hamlets and modes of masculinities. From 2015-2018, I served on the steering committee of the Society for Theatre Research’s New Researchers’ Network. I also co-hosted the podcast Feminist Theatre Squadron, and have contributed my work to Women Are BoringShakespeare in Ireland, and Reviewing Shakespeare. I also teach undergraduates in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway and at the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin, and have also taught in the Discipline of English at NUIG. I specialise in and have taught classes on theatre histories and historiographies; the history and practice of performing Shakespeare; film and Shakespeare; revenge tragedies; approaches to staging classical text; modern Irish theatre; and comedy in performance. (And, of course, I am always open to specialising in other areas too.)

MemberKathryn Laity

K. A. Laity is the award-winning author of How to Be Dull, White Rabbit, Dream Book, A Cut-Throat Business, Lush Situation, Owl Stretching, Unquiet Dreams, Chastity Flame, and Pelzmantel, as well as editor of Respectable Horror, Weird Noir, Noir Carnival and Drag Noir. She also writes historical fiction as Kit Marlowe and crime as Graham Wynd. Her bibliography is chock full of short stories, humor, plays and essays, both scholarly and popular. As a 2011-2012 Fulbright Fellow in Galway, Ireland she worked in digital humanities at NUIG. Dr. Laity teaches medieval literature, film, gender studies, digital humanities and popular culture at the College of Saint Rose, where she is also the director of the Digital Humanities Initiative. She divides her time between New York and Scotland.