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Strong DkIT Music Representation at Newcastle Conference

31 January 2023

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) was recently represented by three current postgraduate researchers from the Department of Creative Arts Media and Music and Creative Arts Research Centre who presented at the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) and Royal Musical Association (RMA) Research Students’ Conference 2023 at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The theme of the conference was 'Borderlands', which aligned well with the research focus of the DkIT researchers’ projects. Leandro Pessina, an IRC funded scholar, is examining the potential for music and tourism in Co. Louth and the surrounding region. He is considering the musical heritage of the Oriel region in the context of all-island tourism initiatives led by Tourism Ireland and in relation to the Ireland’s Ancient East programme. Colleen Savage, a DkIT Postgraduate Research Scholarship awardee, is exploring the song traditions of her native south Armagh and the impact of the border on the culture of this region. Darren Culliney, funded under the TUTF Postgraduate Research Scholarship Scheme, is reflecting on the impact of the Troubles and the running of events by the music organisation Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Ulster. The students are supervised by Dr Daithí Kearney, co-director of the Creative Arts Research Centre at DkIT, with Dr Ioannis Tsioulakis (QUB), Dr Gearóid Trimble (Foras na Gaeilge), and Dr Verena Commins (University of Galway).

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) is an Affiliate National Committee to the International Council for Traditional Music, whose aim is to advance the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music and dance, including folk, popular, classical, urban, and other genres, of all countries. It provides an excellent opportunity for the students to disseminate their developing research and meet with other postgraduate researchers to share ideas and learn. The Research Students’ Conference is an excellent opportunity for PhD students to gain valuable presentation experience in a friendly and welcoming environment, amongst peers and established academics, and to make connections with others.

The event also included workshops on career pathways after the PhD, and a workshop on practice research open to all those undertaking practice research as part of their postgraduate study. The BFE Keynote Address was delivered by Juan Diego Diaz, Associate Professor, UC Davis, with the title ‘Traveling Together: Reflections on Accompanied Ethnomusicological Fieldwork in West Africa’.

For more information on opportunities to undertake postgraduate research in the Creative Arts at DkIT email

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