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DkIT Research Conference ‘Reworking Folklore for Sound, Stage and Screen’

15 November 2022

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) Creative Arts Research Centre (CARC) are delighted to announce that they will be hosting an interdisciplinary symposium entitled ‘Reworking Folklore for Sound, Stage and Screen’ on campus, Thursday 1 December. This conference has created a lot of excitement within creative academic circles both nationally and internationally.

On the day the symposium will consist of scholars from DkIT, University of Limerick, University of Ulster, and Queens University Belfast. In addition to our keynote speaker Dr Susan Motherway from Munster Technological University, other speakers will include a new DkIT Lecturer Carol Leavy Joyce, a former choreographer with Riverdance, who will present on her production Mnà na hÉireann, which premiered in September 2019 at An Táin Centre, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Also speaking on the day is Roy Arbuckle, from the Unionist tradition in Northern Ireland who describes himself as “a product of a British education which paid no attention to Irish history or folklore”.  He composed and released an album based on “The Legend of Tuan Mcarill” by James Stephens which Arbuckle reported “arose out of a long process of trying to understand what my identity and ethnicity could be in modern Ireland”. The line-up of other presenters at the event includes Leandro Pessina (DkIT), Dr Glenn Doyle (DkIT), Dr Maurice Mullen (DkIT), Joanna Sweeney (UL), Dr Daithí Kearney (DkIT), Colleen Savage (DkIT), Luke Malone (DkIT), Dr Gerard Gibson (UU), Dr Maria Behrendt (Philipps-Universität Marburg), Dr Adèle Commins (DkIT), Annalisa Monticelli (DkIT) and Orly Watson.

This live face to face event which will take place in the Fr McNally Recital room situated in the heart of the Creative Arts Department, Carroll’s Building, will have a blended aspect to it as the Institute will facilitate a German scholar who is unable to travel and an American professor online.

The reworking of Irish folklore is a process that surrounds us every day, coming to define how our communities speak, write, sing, and dance. For centuries, the constant rejuvenation and reinvention of these customs, what Lauri Honko calls folklore’s “second life”, has been fuelled by the shifting social and political environment of Ireland. The diverse works of poets, singers, stage writers, filmmakers, archivists, and lawmakers contribute to a cultural landscape that never remains static. In an age when new technologies allow these traditions to reach fresh audiences, transformed in ways never seen before, an understanding of reworking has never been so pertinent to the study of Irish folk culture.

This symposium’s intention is to bring together new perspectives on Irish folk heritage and the organisers of this conference invited papers from researchers in all disciplines that engage with the history and reinterpretation of folklore.

The conference will also include a collaboration with the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music in DkIT who will produce a related concert that evening. The line up for this recital will include a recent PhD graduate Dr Maurice Mullen who will bring a group of musicians from Fingal to demonstrate aspects of his doctoral research. Current PhD student Darren Culliney will perform on button accordion and Colleen Savage, a DkIT MA student, will sing songs from her research drawn from the rich musical heritage of south Armagh.

 Dr Daithí Kearney, Co-Director of the Centre for Creative Arts Research said

“We are extremely excited to host this multidisciplinary event and we are delighted with both the interest and calibre of academics who have expressed an interest in participating and attending. Its fascinating to review the cultural richness of our folklore and how it continues to inspire our creative outputs across all creative disciplines which this symposium will showcase”

All our welcome to this event, if you would like to attend, please register on our event page

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