2019 Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme now open

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NORFACE publish new call: Democratic governance in a turbulent age

Deadline for outline proposals: 19th February 2019

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Call for experts to assess Horizon 2020 proposals

It is often heard said that the best way to learn how to write a good proposal is to begin by learning how to evaluate proposals

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Team Hidden Bio
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David Bowe

David Bowe is interested in medieval Italian literature and the ways it travels beyond Italy and beyond the middle ages. He is working on the roles of gender and visual culture in understanding medieval literature and Dante’s works. He completed his DPhil at St Hilda’s College, Oxford before beginning his postdoctoral research as Victoria Maltby Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford. He enjoys teaching a range of Italian and medieval literature and is involved in two collaborative research projects, ‘Re-reading Dante’s Vita nova’ (https://rereadingdantesvitanova.wordpress.com) and ‘Seeing (with) Dante’. Outside work, David is a keen singer and cook. You can find him on Twitter as @NotQuiteZiggy.

Outline of Project
David Bowe is interested in medieval Italian literature and the ways it travels beyond Italy and beyond the middle ages. He is working on the roles of gender and visual culture in understanding medieval literature and Dante’s works. He completed his DPhil at St Hilda’s College, Oxford before beginning his postdoctoral research as Victoria Maltby Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford. He enjoys teaching a range of Italian and medieval literature and is involved in two collaborative research projects, ‘Re-reading Dante’s Vita nova’ (https://rereadingdantesvitanova.wordpress.com) and ‘Seeing (with) Dante’. Outside work, David is a keen singer and cook. You can find him on Twitter as @NotQuiteZiggy.

In many of these appearances of speaking female characters and personae, the feminine voice has authority over her male audience, or the male poet with whom she is in dialogue (real or imagined). Female characters and feminine voices seem to have a significant role in critiquing and refining male-authored poetry, a phenomenon we can trace from the sonnets of the 13th-century Tuscan poet, Guittone d'Arezzo, to the Dante's Vita nova and Divine Comedy, and beyond. My project will thoroughly investigate these representations of female figures and feminine voices in poetry and several prose texts, including the writings of Catherine of Siena, to establish what models of cultural authority were available to female authors and characters in medieval texts.

The key questions for this research project are: why do men write 'as women' in some of the debate poems? Why do female characters seem to carry a special authority in male-authored texts, and particularly in discussion of the nature and value of literature? Do feminine voices (both personae and characters) do something productively disruptive to the norms of men’s poetic practice and voice, even when they are authored by men? How do feminine voices authored by women affect and interact those feminine voices written by men and vice versa?

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Giovanni Pietro Vitali

Giovanni Pietro Vitali is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at University College Cork, the University of Reading and New York University. Previously, he worked from 2014 to 2018 in France as a lecturer of Italian Studies at the University of Lorraine and the University of Poitiers and in 2012-2013 he was contractual researcher at University for Foreigners of Perugia in a ministerial research project of the FIRB programme (Italian Foundation for Research), in cooperation with the Universities of Verona, Bologna and Modena-Reggio Emilia. This was a research fellowship on a project regarding Italian online pragmatic competence. He is associated researcher at Oxford University where he is the Digital Humanities advisor of the project Prismatic Translation.
He holds a Ph.D. in Linguistic Sciences at the University for Foreigners Perugia, and in Italian Literature at the University of Lorraine, with a thesis devoted to the analysis of proper names, notably noms de guerre, in the works of partisan author Beppe Fenoglio.
His main research interests revolve around Digital Humanities, Linguistics, Dialectology, Onomastics, Contemporary Literatures and Musicology.
One of the main aims of his research activity is to describe the contemporary perception of cultural and social events of the historical heritage.

Outline of Project
His Marie S Curie project, Last Letters from the World Wars: Forming Italian Language, Identity and Memory in Texts of Conflict, deals with a linguistic and thematic analysis of the last letters of people sentenced to death to death during the First and the Second World Wars, conducted with digital humanities tools. The digitisation of these epistolary texts will be harnessed to explore the construction of post-War European identities and politics – in particular, the new perception of gender roles (considering for instance that women gained the right to vote in Italy at the end of the Second World War); attitudes towards conflict itself; and the formation of Italian identity through language. The research is supported by Europeana14-18 and the Italian Institute for the History of the Resistance, and is hosted by University College Cork. It is supervised by Dr Silvia Ross, Senior Lecturer in Italian, with an international research record in contemporary Italian literature

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Michalis Poupazis

Michalis Poupazis is an ethnomusicologist and an IRC Government of Ireland Fellow based in the Study of Religions Department. Until recently he was the MA Ethnomusicology Programme Coordinator and a Part-Time Lecturer at the Department of Music. During fellowship, Michalis will complete his monograph entitled: Musics, New Spaces, and the Mediterranean Appeal of the Cypriot Diaspora in Britain. To date, his research has centred on questions of ethnicity and identity, reconciliation, transnational movements, metanarrative analysis, and the history and theory of ethnomusicology and popular music study. His research addresses modern Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, and the Cypriot diaspora in the UK with broader interest across the Mediterranean and Europe.

Outline of Project
Philologists, archaeologists and historians have studied the pre-Christian religions of northern Europe for centuries, scrutinizing in impressive detail topics like myths’ origins and the forms of rituals. Yet, in all this time, no attention has been paid to the ways in which conceptualizations of gods changed according to their worshippers’ circumstances.

Two moments experienced with Birmingham-based Cypriots in the last five years have particularly stuck with me: being offered some traditional Cypriot cinnamon-cookies in the (Greek-speaking) Mallas family’s living room; and having the exact same culinary experience at a Turkish-speaking household a month later, in the Ahmets’ kitchen. In both moments, beyond the tangible delights of these desserts, the smell of cinnamon filling Cypriot home spaces overpowered my ethnography. And all this while talking about music as a way of extending our senses in two ethnically opposing Cypriot households’ threshold-spaces, and sharing the same dessert bites.

These shared Cypriot senses also extend to a numerous other cultural resources. What gives them a clear Cypriot character, and thus makes them Cypriot in the consciousness of modern Cypriots, is the fact that they do not originate in any way from the two motherlands (Turkey and Greece), but instead remind and taste in many other ways of home.

My doctoral research focuses on one such example, a set of versions of the Cypriot traditional tune known as Tillirka—a common musical composition shared within the triangle of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece, considered one of Mediterranean’s most pleasurable and deeply rooted musical objects. In doing so, I re-negotiate the concept of a new space, adding more complexities to this mosaic, and call it the Mediterranean imaginary of Cyprus in diaspora.

In this fellowship, I propose to detail this mosaic further and complete a book monograph, by conducting fieldwork in Cyprus to recover further di-ethnically shared musics and performances and examine their Mediterranean appeal. I will solidify and enrich the Mediterranean imaginary, while re-thinking and extending the conscious and unconscious unifying ritual abilities of music for spiritual and emotional reconciliation.

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Valeria Venditti

I did my PhD on marginalization and inclusive European policies at Sapienza University of Rome in collaboration with the Centre of Law and Cosmopolitan Values in the Faculty of Law at the University of Antwerp. In 2017-2018 I was affiliated as a member of the Reseach Project Primus/HUM/15 at the Charles University (Prague). In 2016-2017 I was awarded a yearly Postdoc Research at the School of Law of the University of Glasgow. I am a member of the research group POLITESSE (Research Centre on the Politics and Theories of Sexuality) at the University of Verona and part of the Editorial Board of Politica&Società. I am a Honorary Fellow in Bioethics. Since 2015, I regularly hold seminars and workshops at Sapienza University of Rome and Università degli Studi Roma Tre.

Outline of Project
This project explores a paradox that arises when human rights provide a solution to certain cases of social injustice. In particular, it homes in on the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population. I will begin by addressing a question that has gained centre-stage in the field of sexuality and queer studies, that is, whether or not the acquisition of rights that recognize the unions of the LGBT population transforms their perception of personal identity, including their conception of ‘relationship’. It is what scholars call “normalization”: a progressive adjustment to mainstream sexuality and therefore the erosion of the more defiant understating of sexuality that characterized erstwhile LGBT struggles.Based on this analysis, I will examine the claim that even if rights confer a series of material and symbolic benefits (such as visitation rights, pension rights, family and medical leave, rights and obligations with regard to children and others), the normalization that comes with rights risks intensifying existing conditions of injustice. For in order to acquire rights, LGBT people have to conform to standards that imply the adoption of particular relational modes and ways of living which characterize conventional relationship models – in particular, people’s commitment to monogamy, reciprocal loyalty, stability and durability. I will then explore two aspects of this paradox. First, on a practical level, this conferral of rights only recognizes certain relationships that are deemed to be more tolerable and “respectable”. Second, on an epistemic level, this hampers the emergence of new relational forms that are less conventional, and furthermore that legal and policy measures are less and less able to capture. I will conclude by advocating an alternative notion of rights conferral based on a different conception of legal recognition that emphasizes the epistemic and practical performances of subjects developed through their own relationships.

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Dr Richard Mason

Prior to joining UCC, Richard Mason held Teaching and Research Fellowships in the Department of French at King’s College London, where he completed his PhD in 2016. His previous research and publications – supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council and Modern Humanities Research Association grants – has focused on the work of Jean Genet and Marcel Proust, on literary representations of intimacy and on the conceptualization of childhood in post-war French theory and literature. Alongside his current project on emancipatory pedagogy and literary theory, he is completing a monograph on the dramatisation of intimate encounters in Genet’s early novels.

Outline of Project - Emancipatory Pedagogy and Literary Theory in France, 1960-1980: Crisis, Exchange, Afterlives
Whilst at UCC I will examine the proximity of progressive ideas about education and literary theoretical innovation in France between 1960 and 1980. I am particularly interested in the ways in which the convergence of these two strands, across the two decades, problematised the idea of a ‘literary education’.

This was a period in which the institution of literature was ‘desacralized’, as Roland Barthes put it – its values and hierarchies thrown into question, especially by a burgeoning student population that gravitated towards literature departments; shifts in the educational landscape thus occasioned new forms of literary participation and production. At the same time, politically oriented theorists of education, promoting student autonomy and liberation, were drawing on a critical landscape informed in determinant ways by literary theory.

My project aims to establish the first overview of this institutional, political and cultural proximity, revealing not only exchange and mutual innovation, but also tensions between literary and pedagogic postulates. Specifically, it will consider incompatibilities between the ‘developmental’, person-centered thrust of emancipatory pedagogy and literary theory’s sustained attack, in the period, on identity as a developmental narrative. My initial focus will be on: the intellectual climate at experimental institutions such as the university established at Vincennes in the aftermath of May 68; journal publications linked to these new educational spaces; and the proceedings of landmark conferences where innovative practices in each sphere were open to debate.

I will explore the idea that the aforementioned conceptual tensions, arising between the pedagogic and the literary theoretical, generated uncertainties about the nature and value of a literary education that persist today. In revisiting these exchanges and tensions I hope to generate new perspectives on current crises in literature teaching and the humanities more broadly.

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Dr Ailbhe McDaid

Dr Ailbhe McDaid is a graduate of UCC (BA, English and Irish), Trinity College Dublin (MPhil, Literature) and University of Otago, New Zealand (PhD). Her first monograph, The Poetics of Migration in Contemporary Irish Poetry, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017 and she has published articles and book chapters on poetry, migration, memory studies and the literature of conflict. In 2017, Ailbhe was awarded the Busteed Postdoctoral Research Fellowship by the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool for her project 'Women and War: conflict, bereavement and Irish cultural memory’. Most recently, Ailbhe held a role as Lecturer in English at Maynooth University.

Outline of Project - Domestic Disruptions: Women, Literature and Conflict, 1914-1923
Stories of action dominate our understanding of the literature of conflict. What though of the experiences of civilians, most often women and children on the domestic front, who are psychologically, practically and politically affected by war? Domestic Disruptions: Women, Literature and Conflict, 1914-1923 explores female narratives of Irish conflict in the early 20th century. This project offers a new literary and cultural history of the relationship between public and private experiences of war, examining how discourses of social and domestic disruption are configured in literary narratives relating to the Decade of the Revolutions and the First World War.

Recent research has reinserted women into the historical trajectory as active participants in the Decade of the Revolutions. However, the numbers of women who were actively involved in combat form only one part of a more complex story. Domestic Disruptions: Women, Literature and Conflict, 1914-1923 uses literature to tell the story of a decade dominated by war and violence from the perspective of women and domesticity. Building on recent academic attention resulting in new perspectives on women’s experiences of conflict, this project considers how conflict in Ireland is gendered in literature.

Conflict reaches beyond the strictly delineated timeframe of warfare itself, and this project examines the different ways in which contemporaneous and later twentieth-century literature represents or represses women’s experiences of conflict. Taking narrative, theme and form into consideration, the project explores the literary strategies deployed in conflict literature, while also considering the longer cultural reach of war in twentieth-century Irish writing. Topics to be considered include the disruption of domestic spaces, epistemological uncertainty, the disintegration of community, the threat of displacement and fragmented and fractured narratives. Domestic Disruptions offers a new account of the gendered dimensions of conflict during 1914-1923 and shows how the affective reverberations are felt into the twentieth century.

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Dr Monica O'Mullane

Dr Monica O’Mullane is an ISS21 research fellow funded by the EC Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship programme. Monica will explore gender equality in Irish higher education through qualitative research on Athena SWAN, a gender equality programme which seeks to promote good practice in retaining and promoting women in science and research. The project seeks to understand the role, position and perception of Athena SWAN within Irish higher education. Monica will work with Dr Caitríona Ní Laoire, who was the Irish PI on the FP7 funded GENOVATE project, in which Monica also participated, as scientific coordinator of the Slovak partner team.


College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

Room G31 ,Ground Floor, Block B, O'Rahilly Building, UCC.