Department of Folklore
Béaloideas, Folklore and Ethnology
This small unit clearly has a steady research output in different media. The published outputs were presented in both English and Irish (RAI 1). The standard of published outputs was equally impressive in both languages, satisfactorily addressing the concern raised about publishing in Irish only in the last review. Research follows a number of pathways, from urban field research, with the Cork Folklore project, to theoretical and historical approaches to popular culture and folklore. The public folklore initiative, an approach not well known in the Irish paradigm, although common in the US and Canada, is a unique ground breaking project with major research potential yet to be fully realised.
Departmental Journal Béascna
The Panel viewed the scope and ambition of the work submitted as an indicator that a strong research culture pervades the unit. The journal Béascna, is produced in the Department to rigorous academic and presentational standards. Staff also publish in this journal, undergoing the same rigorous peer-review as external contributors.
The Léann Dúchais Leictreonach initiative and other digital outputs show strong development in the online area. The impression is of a hard working team struggling to keep abreast of its teaching and research commitments.
Conference attendance is high with research groupspresenting Panels at international meetings e.g. SIEF (The International Society for Ethnology and Folklore). Invitations to speak and teaching appointments at other institutions also clearly signal the unit’s high esteem among international peers. Béascna is now regarded as a leading forum for publishing in Folklore. Staff publications are standard items on postgraduate reading lists in other institutions for students studying through Irish. Recent publications, encompassing a great deal of current scholarship, provide sterling models of writing and research for young scholars to emulate.
Both the selected published output and the total published output of the Department have been demonstrated to be of a very good standard. The peer esteem activity of the Department has been demonstrated to be to be of an excellent standard.
Cork Folklore Project
Unique to Ireland, the Cork Folklore Project (CFP), represents a burgeoning and highly commendable aspect of the Department’s research activities exhibiting a high level of social responsibility. As reported in the last review, CFP is on the leading edge of development. One staff member bears the majority of the responsibility for managing and directing the CFP with restricted administrative support. Léann Dúchais Leictreonach is a similarly exemplary initiative encompassing ethnographic fieldwork, textual production and an online dimension.
The website Sean-nós Beo shows research-related initiatives combining successfully with community outreach. The fact that MA students are not counted for research is detrimental to the Department’s profile. Masters’ level study remains a significant indicator of activity in Humanities oriented research. The research-related activity of the Department has been demonstrated to be of an excellent standard.
Léann Dúchais Leictreonach
The Léann Dúchais Leictreonach initiative to provide an online web page to support a publication on women’s experiences from the Gaeltacht areas of Ireland will significantly address the gender bias toward male experience found in many folklore records. Collaboration with Raidió na Gaeltachta to publish the Joe Daly radio series indicates a keen awareness of achievable small projects with potential for considerable impact.
The Kevin Danaher Lecture and Oireachtas Prize
The Kevin Danaher Lecture commemorates the Department’s founding scholar and represents welcome public outreach. The first year essay Draddy prize is a commendable way to recognise excellent undergraduate work and the sponsorship of Corn Bhab Feiritéar at an tOireachtas for the performance of storytelling promotes the connection between Folklore as a research discipline and the artists that continue to practice storytelling, however, attenuated their modern contexts. A student’s success in open competition across theUniversity at the annual doctoral showcase presentations testifies to the unit’s high research standards. Béascna provides another strong indicator of excellence in this category.
The RQR Spotlight Series Archive is available here