This week (beginning 18 May) The River-side will post a series of blog posts comprising a student-created online exhibition Mapping Cork: Trade, culture and politics in medieval and early modern Ireland. This online exhibition is curated and overseen by Dr Małgorzata Krasnodębska-D’Aughton, Senior Lecturer, UCC’s School of History and Elaine Harrington, Special Collections Librarian, UCC Library. Four MA in Medieval History students: Andrew […]
Cyclone Rep, Ireland’s leading Shakespeare Theatre-in-Education Company, is trying to help Leaving Certificate students during these difficult times, coming up with interesting new online ways to interact and make the works of William Shakespeare accessible to the young audiences. Due to the current lockdown the Cyclone Rep National Tour had to be cut short, but out of this unfortunate situation the company has come up with a solution to keep their mission alive.
RTÉ has announced that they will air Hamlet for the benefit of Secondary School students, showing the RSC Hamlet (2009) on Saturday 11th April 2020 on RTÉ2, 11.25am. All of the upcoming screenings of Shakespeare productions will be available on RTÉ Player for 30 days post-broadcast.
Following this announcement, Cyclone Rep has organised a live streamed discussion and Q&A on the themes of the Bard’s masterpiece.
On Saturday 11th of April at 3.10pm, after RTE’s screening of the RSC production of Hamlet (starring David Tennant & Patrick Stewart), Cyclone Rep Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Peadar Donohoe, together with Hamlet Session lead actor Marcus Balewill discuss the main themes of the play and will answer any questions posed by the viewers. The streaming can be found at 3.10pm on the company’s Facebook page (facebook.com/CycloneRep). Viewers are encouraged to contact the speakers through social media channels (commenting the stream or sending private messages to the company via Facebook or through Twitter (twitter.com/CycloneRep).
Donohoe and Bale have been directing and performing Shakespeare plays for Secondary Schools students for over 15 years and have developed several productions of Hamlet in that time, as well as all the other plays prescribed in the curriculum for Junior & Senior Cycle Students.
Cyclone Rep Theatre Company tours nationwide to venues and schools and performs each year in repertory the prescribed Shakespeare plays for both Junior and Senior Cycle students. Over the last 10 years, more than 200k Irish Secondary students have seen the works of the Bard through Cyclone’s sessions. Cyclone Rep’s plays are continuously updated for the students to keep them fresh and alive.
For more on Cyclone Rep Theatre Company, see www.cyclonerep.com
Publication: The Alliance of Pirates: Ireland and Atlantic piracy in the early seventeenth century by Connie Kelleher
In the early part of the seventeenth-century, along the southwest coast of Ireland, piracy was a way of life. Following the outlawing of privately-commissioned ships in 1603 by the new king of England, disenfranchised like-minded men of the sea, many who had been former ‘privateers’, merchant sailors and seamen and who had no recourse but to turn to plunder, joined forces with traditional pirates. With the closing of the ports, they transferred their base of operations from England to Ireland and formed an alliance. Within the context of the Munster Plantation, many of the pirates came to settle, some bringing families. These men and their activities not alone influenced the socio-economic and geo-political landscape of Ireland at that time but challenged European maritime power centres, while also forging links across the North Atlantic that touched the Mediterranean, Northwest Africa and the New World.
Tracing the cultural origins of this particular period in maritime plunder from the late-1500s and throughout its heyday in the opening decades of the 1600s, The Alliance of Pirates analyses the nature and extent of this predation and looks at its impact and influence in Ireland and across the Atlantic. Operating during a period of emerging global maritime empires, when nations across Europe were vying for supremacy of the seas, the pirates built their own highly lucrative and highly potent piratical power base.
Drawing on extensive primary and secondary historical sources Dr Connie Kelleher explores who these pirates were, their main theatre of operations and the characters that aided and abetted them. Archaeological evidence uniquely supports the investigation and provides a tangible cultural link through time to the pirates, their cohorts and their bases.
For more info, see the book on the Cork University Press website. Published April 2020 | 9781782053651 | €30 £27| Hardback |234 x 156mm| 552 pages | 60 illustrations
The Centre for Early Modern Studies, Limerick, presents the 2nd Winter School in Archival Research Skills & Book History 2nd – 3rd December 2019
Supported by the AHSS Teaching Board
Venue: University of Limerick, Glucksman Library GLO – 068 (unless otherwise indicated)
Monday 2nd December
|9.30 am||Welcome / Opening of Winter School|
|10-11am||Olivia Lardner, Glucksman Library: “The hunter, Martin Luther, and some griffons: aesthetics of the Bolton Library”|
|11.30-12.30||Dr Kirsten Mulrennan & Sinéad Keogh, Glucksman Library: “Digital Approaches to Early Modern Works”|
|1.30-2.30||Dr Aengus Finnegan, School of English, Irish, and Communication, UL: “Researching Irish Placenames, Surnames and Personal Names : An Introduction to the Major Sources”|
|3-4pm||Dr Coleman Dennehy, Department of History, UL: “The printed case as a source for Irish legal history…..and so much more”|
|5.15pm|| 3rd Annual Bolton-King Lecture
Professor James Raven (University of Essex, University of Cambridge)
Tuesday 3rd December
|10-11am||Prof Michael J. Griffin, School of English, Irish, and Communication: “Editing Irish Verse in English in the Eighteenth Century”|
|11.30-12.30||Dr Clodagh Tait, Department of History, MIC: “Records of Urban Ireland: The Curious Case of the Sextons of Limerick”|
|1.30-2.30||Josefin Jiminez, Glucksman Library: “Conservation priorities for the Bolton Library”|
|3-4pm||Dr Alistair Malcolm, Department of History: “Spanish book preliminaries and dedications in the seventeenth century”|
|4pm||Closing Address: Professor Kerstin Mey, Vice President Academic Affairs & Student Engagement|
|c. 4.30||Printing Workshop / Demonstration (venue TBC)|
To register for this event, please visit this webpage.
General queries may be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In mid-November 2015, the Irish Renaissance Seminar met in Marsh’s Library. The seminar theme “Time, Memory, and Commemoration” looked back back to the past but also looked expectantly to the future via an open discussion of plans for the Shakespeare quartercentenary. Many of the proposals which were aired at the meeting bore fruit and have been promoted and cataloged on this blog. My project “Celebrating Shakespeare 400: Performing Pericles, Prince of Tyre”, funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme, was one of the final commemorative events in Irish universities in 2016.
The project’s primary aim was to make a unique contribution to the worldwide celebrations of Shakespeare 400. It sought too to inspire interest in Shakespeare’s lesser-known drama; to deepen our understanding of Shakespeare’s sources and his legacy; and to cultivate networks between scholars, theatre practitioners, and the general public. The project comprised a staged reading of Shakespeare’s critically-neglected late play Pericles, Prince of Tyre (c.1606) held in the Unitarian Church in Cork city, and a symposium and public lecture held in University College Cork.
Although unfamiliar to a general audience, Pericles proved to be ideally suited to performance as a staged reading. Story-telling is central to its dramaturgy and, as its narrator Gower insists, the tale is designed to “glad your ear and please your eyes”. As hoped, the performance introduced a new audience to this little-known Shakespearean romance. Part of this new audience included the cast of community actors – students from UCC Drama and Theatre Studies and the local LittleShoes drama group – as Pericles was unfamiliar to them and indeed most had never performed Shakespeare before. After just two days of rehearsals we were delighted to take to the stage, with our director Sinead Dunphy, to perform for a packed house. The reading had in fact sold out quickly and we even had to secure extra chairs on the night – as the British Council’s Shakespeare 400 programme suggested, it seems that “Shakespeare Lives…in Cork”!
The reading attracted a diverse audience which included the general public, as well as UCC staff and students of all levels. Cork is a designated UNESCO Learning City and both during and after the project, it was evident that the performance inspired an enthusiastic response from the city’s lifelong learners. The production was filmed and is available online here. A scholarly review of the production can be found on Dr Peter Kirwan’s Bardathon blog.
In addition to the IRC New Foundations funding, the project was also supported by UCC’s CACSSS Graduate School, the UCC Information Services Strategic Fund, and UCC’s School of English. This group of supporters were invaluable when it came to organising the symposium/graduate masterclass which explored Pericles, its sources, and critical and performative history, as well as issues relevant to the plot. With papers that addressed a wide range of topics including Old English, Middle English, neo-Latin, Shakespearean drama, gender studies, and Shakespeare on film, the interdisciplinary symposium explored and enhanced our understanding of Shakespeare, his influences, and his place in the literary canon.
The keynote public lecture, delivered by Dr Peter Kirwan (University of Nottingham), gave a rare insight into the herculean task of editing Pericles. The symposium concluded with a convivial roundtable on the performance of Pericles, involving the director, actors, and myself as project leader. Full details on the symposium’s schedule can be found here.
Report by Dr Edel Semple.
The aim of these visualisations is to use the XML files from the New Variorum Shakespeare edition of The Comedy of Errors to create a resource for exploring patterns of speeches by and mentions of characters in Shakespeare’s work. Visualising the frequency, extent, and position of dialogue relating to a particular character presents users with a simple and immediate measure of that character’s prominence within the play. The tool enables users to select and visualise individual characters’ involvement, producing a novel means of exploring large-scale structural, narrative, or character-focused patterns within the text.
Value of the Tool
This tool is intended to facilitate character-based analysis and reveal structural patterns at the scale of the play. It is primarily exploratory, and is designed to allow users to customise the visualisation according to their particular interests or to follow a more speculative and disinterested reading of the play’s character-based features.
This deliberate aim emerged from the heuristic development process described below, and a desire to produce an extensible exploratory tool for dramatic texts. From an initial focus on using digital tools to visualise the tangling and disentangling of character names and identities in The Comedy of Errors, our interest broadened into exploring the potential for using character data to visualise larger structural and narrative patterns.
We were also motivated by the use of network analysis and visualisation for Shakespearean scholarship, including work by Grandjean, Moretti, and Stiller, et al. These analyses are similarly character-based and have yielded many interesting insights. But in the reduction of the textual data to nodes and edges (characters and their interactions), network analysis has obscured the temporal. By preserving characters’ locations within the space of the text, this tool enables analysis of the dramatic time and structural duration of the play.
Moreover, a major part of the tool’s value is its extensibility. It may be used to create character visualisations for any play which is XML-encoded according to quite minimal specifications, and offer the opportunity to undertake comparative analysis of structural, narrative, and character-based patterns in different plays.
As a point of contrast, we have generated a second visualisation for The Winter’s Tale from the code initially developed for The Comedy of Errors.
Shakespeare 400 has kept myself and many Irish Shakespeareans busy these past ten months. With many stage productions, screenings, conferences, public lectures, festivals, and workshops to organise, participate in, and attend, both here and abroad, these wonderful events can seem like a burden and the associated demands on one’s personal finances, time etc. present a substantial challenge. (If Shakespeare is sat merrily in a pantheon of literary gods somewhere, I hope he appreciates all the fuss! And while I’m at it, I hope that Jonson, Beaumont, and Cervantes, who have their own anniversaries this year, are giving him a right ribbing!)
Thus, it was a joy to find that the recent launch of the Centre for Early Modern Studies, Limerick, offered an array of pleasures for the weary early modernist. The launch took place on one of October’s prettiest autumn evenings in the inviting surrounds of the Glucksman Library’s Reading Room. Against the backdrop of the green surrounds of the University of Limerick campus, the audience were warmly welcomed by Dr. Richard Kirwan, the chair of CEMS, and his colleagues. Dr. Kirwan paid tribute to the Irish Research Council for their support of CEMS (via a New Foundations grant) and to his scholarly and administrative collaborators across the disciplines in Mary Immaculate and UL who were instrumental in establishing the new Centre.
The importance and value of collaboration and networking seemed to be something of a theme for the evening, as Prof. Jane Ohlmeyer (TCD) touched on this subject many times during her lecture on “Ireland in the Early Modern World”. The author of several influential monographs, including Making Ireland English: The Irish Aristocracy in the Seventeenth Century (2012) and Ireland from Independence to Occupation, 1641-1660 (2002), Prof. Ohlmeyer presented the audience with many insights into the seventeenth century and into her approaches to and aspirations for early modern research in Ireland.
Prof. Ohlmeyer, who has been recently appointed as Chair of the Irish Research Council, highlighted how collaboration can enrich our studies, enabling us to broaden our knowledge and share it with a national and global community. The lecture and post-Q&A discussions reminded me too of the value of encouragement to and role models for emerging scholars; sometimes only senior scholars can take on new initiatives and create opportunities in our fields and the importance of their leading by example cannot be underestimated. Prof. Ohlmeyer continued to urge the audience to apply for funding for research projects and to take advantage of the excellent resources which Irish research has already produced. Should we need inspiration, the fruits of such successful bids were in evidence before us – the foundation of the Centre for Early Modern Studies, Limerick and the digitisation of the 1641 Depositions (a project funded by the IRC, AHRC, and TCD), which Prof. Ohlmeyer discussed during her talk. Prof. Ohlmeyer stressed too the significance of the Bolton Collection; not only do its treasures make Limerick a desirable place to conduct research on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Collection can help us to reconstruct and understand Ireland’s place in the early modern world.
Prof. Ohlmeyer’s wide-ranging, illustrated talk on the position of early modern Ireland and its global connections combined a ‘big picture’ approach with fascinating detail. The audience learned of the exotic items found in a washpit in Rathfarnham Castle in 2014. This treasure trove of objects, including shoes, buttons, jewellery, and jars of cosmetics, demonstrated that the Loftus family were fashion conscious and on top of the latest trends. The Castle’s inhabitants were also consumers of luxuries from far flung lands; the pit contained evidence of tea, coffee, and sugar from the West Indies, and dozens of pipes were found, the tobacco likely sourced from South America. A Spanish coin made of silver mined in Peru was also found in the pit.
Prof. Ohlmeyer discussed Ireland’s maritime connections, including pineapples arriving in to Ireland in the 1660s and the voyages of Irish sailors to Asia and the Americas. Questioning what did it mean to be ‘Irish’ in the seventeenth century, Prof. Ohlmeyer examined the complex identities of social groups such as Irish Catholics, the Old English, and New English. Prof. Ohlmeyer closed her talk by examining the impact on Ireland of the European global empires in the Atlantic and Eastern worlds. The political, social, and economic effects on Ireland were both large and small. For instance, the audience was much amused to hear of Bailey, an inhabitant of Hacketstown, Co. Carlow, who irately complained to the authorities of the loss of his spices and who suspected that the local insurgents who had stole his cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon were using them to flavour their morning droughts!
The launch of the Centre for Early Modern Studies, Limerick, concluded with a convivial gathering and looked forward to the next such gathering in Limerick for the Irish Renaissance Seminar in November.
Report by Dr Edel Semple, UCC.
To celebrate the anniversary of Shakespeare’s (probable) birthday and death, here’s a link to a digitised copy of Shakspere: A Critical Study of his Mind and Art (1875) by Edward Dowden, the great Irish Shakespearean.
Marsh’s Library is looking for an intern to work in our Rare Books Reading Room. The successful candidate will already have a postgraduate library qualification, and will gain valuable experience in:
– supervising academic readers and students
– cataloguing of rare books
– handling and retrieval of rare books
– dealing with general library administrative duties
– using social media to promote a cultural attraction
The internship is offered as part of the Jobbridge programme.
If you would like more details please see http://tinyurl.com/oybznfu
Closing date for applications is 28 November 2014 at 5pm.
Details available here.
Reading East: Irish Sources and Resources is a window onto Dublin’s extraordinary collections of rare books.
The heart of the website is a selective catalogue of early modern printed texts attesting to encounters between Europe and the East during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The project covers a variety of genres (including travel accounts, historical and geographical texts, but also books about oriental medicine, languages, religions, to name but a few examples), thus showcasing the complex and multifaceted relationships between East and West in the Renaissance. Providing detailed descriptions of each text, the site includes bibliographical reports, copy-specific information, images, scholarly essays, and links to relevant online resources. Participating libraries include Marsh’s Library, The Chester Beatty Library, The Edward Worth Library, The Royal Irish Academy Library, University College Dublin Library Special Collections, and Trinity College Library Dublin.
Reading East was developed as a postdoctoral research project by Dr Marina Ansaldo, under the supervision of Dr Jane Grogan, at the School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin. The project was developed from January to December 2012 under the Government of Ireland Research & Senior Research Fellowship Project in the Humanities and Social Sciences, funded by the Irish Research Council. The website itself was created in collaboration with Niall O’Leary of the Digital Humanities Observatory, a project of the Royal Irish Academy.