Professor Caitríona Ní Dhúill - Burning Up With Rilke: Elegy, Ecology, Action

Thursday 13 October 2022 @ 5 pm in Boole 4

Speaker: Prof. Caitríona Ní Dhúill, Department of German, SLLC / ERI

Respondent: Prof. Astrid Wingler, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences / ERI

An open discussion and wine reception will follow the lecture and response

How do we read major works of literature and art in new ways in the face of climate change, and how does the practice of attentive reading help us to navigate an increasingly uncertain future? Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies – completed a century ago, the same year in which Eliot’s The Waste Land and Joyce’s Ulysses were published – serve in this lecture as a challenge to the ‘Future Humanities’ in an era of ecological crisis. The lecture asks how we can encounter Rilke’s poems on their terms and our own, while disentangling our readings from outmoded discourses of mastery and mystery and from the industrious gatekeeping of professionalised philology. Finding ourselves atthe crossroads between ecocidal destruction and necessary transformation, we can do worse thanslow down, acknowledge our differences, and learn to read with more care. Rilke’s Elegies can allow
us to do precisely that; what we do after we read them is up to us.

Caitríona Ní Dhúill is professor in German at the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, UCC, and an affiliate of the Environmental Research Institute. Her research interests are in modern German literature and thought, utopian imagination, and life writing. Her monograph Metabiography: Reflecting on Biography was published in 2020 by Palgrave.

Astrid Wingler joined UCC as Professor of Plant Biology in 2015, and she is Head of the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences. Her main research interest is the response of plants to their environment, with her current work focusing on how plant biology can contribute to addressing the climate crisis through mitigation and adaptation.


The purpose and legal basis for collecting your data

Any personal data you provide to us will be used for the purposes of promotion of the activities of the Future Humanities area at UCC and wider UCC staff research and outreach activities.

How long we will keep your data

In keeping with the data protection principles we will only store your data for as long as is necessary.

Your rights

You have various rights under data protection law, subject to certain exemptions, in connection with our processing of your personal data, including the right:

  • to find out if we use your personal data, access your personal data and receive copies of your personal data;
  • to have inaccurate/incomplete information corrected and updated;
  • in certain circumstances, to have your details deleted from systems that we use to process your personal data or have the use of your personal data restricted in certain ways;
  • to object to certain processing of your data by UCC;
  • to exercise your right to data portability where applicable (i.e. obtain a copy of your personal data in a commonly used electronic form;
  • where we have relied upon consent as a lawful basis for processing, to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time;
  • to not be subject to solely automated decision;
  • to request that we stop sending you direct marketing communications**.

If you wish to avail of these rights, please contact UCC’s Information Compliance Manager by emailing or writing to Information Compliance Manager, University College Cork, 4 Carrigside, College Road, Cork.

Questions or Complaints

If you have any queries in relation to FH events please contact a member of the Future Humanities Insitute on  

If you have any complaints in connection with our processing of your personal data, you can contact UCC’s Information Compliance Manager at the address above.

You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Commission if you are unhappy with our processing of your personal data. Details of how to lodge a complaint can be found on the Data Protection Commission’s website (


Future Humanities Institute

Institiúid na nDaonnachtaí Feasta

O’Rahilly Building ORB 2.20.,