UCD Humanities Institute Research Collection

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The Humanities Institute showcases UCD’s expertise and scholarship in the humanities to develop international distinction that enhances the vitality and richness of Ireland’s cultural and intellectual experience.

The institute aims to develop the critical mass and international visibility of interdisciplinary research in the humanities at UCD by acting as a laboratory for the study of culture and the human experience. It complements research undertaken within related UCD Schools and research institutes while concurrently providing a neutral space for the delivery of interdisciplinary or postdisciplinary research that transcends the intellectual boundaries of a particular subject or discipline. The HI will develop as a driving force for knowledge creation and transfer within UCD and in the context of the humanities and social sciences in Ireland and Europe.

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 31
  • Publication
    "The Languo of Flows": Ecosystem Services, Cultural Value, and the Nuclear Legacy in the Irish Sea
    “Flow” is a key concept in our era of liquid modernity, across a broad range of ecological, economic, and cultural discourses. In this essay, we examine the material flows integral to naturecultures through the specific case study of Seascale on the Cumbria coast in the UK. Through an analysis of cultural representations, we show the construction of Seascale as a seaside resort in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the rapid and irrevocable sinking of its cultural value since the commissioning of the nuclear power and reprocessing plant at Sellafield in 1947. By following the “flows” of pleasure, emotion, energy, and waste through Seascale, we explore the legacies of nuclear contamination for coastal communities, within a broader regime of the commodification of nature. This essay emerges from a transdisciplinary research project to investigate the cultural influences and impacts of ecosystem change in coastal environments around the Irish Sea. A collaboration between environmental humanities and ecological sciences, the project sought a materialist intervention in the conceptualization and practice of ecosystem assessment so as to capture and map a more inclusive and multidirectional sense of the flows that are integral to ecosystems, and to move beyond the limitations of dominant models of environmental stewardship. In contrast to the ways in which flow metaphors have been employed in contemporary economic and environmental discourse, the project attempts to analyze the material flows integral to naturecultures through particular places, perspectives, and agencies.
    Scopus© Citations 4  153
  • Publication
    The Nenagh Mutiny of 7-8 July 1865: a reappraisal
    (British Journal of Military History, 2020-03)
    Mutinies or ‘affrays’ by regular and militia soldiers were a constant feature of British military life and civil-military relations during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; neither were they absent from the early twentieth century. This article re-evaluates one such event: that by the North Tipperary Militia in Ireland in 1856. The event is set within both a heretofore lacking Irish social and political context and the broader context of British Army mutinies as a whole.
  • Publication
    The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association and the separation women of Dublin in 1914
    (Old Dublin Society, 2019-01-20)
    As the centenary of the First World War comes to an end and we enter the post-war and Irish Revolution commemoration and remembrance period, it remains appropriate to continue addressing topics from the wartime period. This will not only facilitate the analysis of subjects and areas that were not engaged with between 2014 and 2018, but also afford better understanding of the actions and events of the post-war year. One area that remains under-researched is that of the ‘separation women’ and their Separation Allowance on the home front. Although they numbered in their millions and were located throughout both Ireland and Britain, analysis of them, their lives and experiences and the organisations and people that helped them to survive the war, in the absence of their menfolk, remains remarkably scarce. Much work has been done to date on Irish women during the war generally, and not least of all by Fionnuala Walsh through her 2015 doctoral dissertation at TCD. This is added to the work done by Eileen Reilly, Caitriona Clear and Peter Martin, but despite this collective work, the lives and experiences of those ordinary women and, again, those that assisted them, remains little known or understood. This is no less true of Dublin. Thus, it is the purpose of this article to contribute to remedying this lack of historical engagement and general understanding.
  • Publication
    Navigating Literary Text with Word Embeddings and Semantic Lexicons
    Word embeddings represent a powerful tool for mining the vocabularies of literary and historical text. However, there is little research demonstrating appropriate strategies for representing text and setting parameters, when constructing embedding models within a digital humanities context. In this paper we examine the effects of these choices using a case study involving 18th and 19th century texts from the British Library. The study demonstrates the importance of examining implicit assumptions around default strategies, when using embeddings with literary texts and highlights the potential of quantitative analysis to inform critical analysis
  • Publication
    Ireland and the first media war: digestible, cultural engagements of the Crimean War 1854-6
    (Hellenic Association for American Studies, 2018)
    The Crimean War was the first ‘media war’: an international conflict experienced, not simply through the press and journals, but through a variety of ‘cultural dimensions’, including poems and ballads, and not after events had transpired but often during their occurrence. Yet its cultural historiography remains heavily Anglo- (and London-) centric, despite the war culturally impacting the entire United Kingdom. Within that Anglophonic Ireland’s popular or public response to the conflict was a mixture of martial and oftentimes imperial enthusiasm, and local or national interest, with a minority strain of criticism, opposition and nationalism. By providing fresh analysis of the same, this essay serves to both illustrate the ambiguous nature of Irish identity in the 1850s (in the wake of the Famine) – within the union and as part of the empire – and epitomise the often elusive, contradictory and paradoxical nature of the same, while also demonstrating the interest Irish people showed in the war; how that was outwardly manifest; and where that fits within the broader contexts of Ireland’s war memorialisation/commemoration tradition and the cultural impacts and legacies of war.