Category Archives: Ireland

Through the Fanlight Glass: Space and the Dublin Townhouse

Recently I have begun to think anew about space. No not what lies above in the starry heavens, but instead the spaces we inhabit and how we use them. Some of these spatial thoughts have been influenced by the practicalities of an impending move abroad, and the realisation I won’t have space for my whole library! Most of these thoughts have been inspired by my rather eclectic reading and watching experiences over the last few weeks, not to mention ongoing discussions about a proposal for a TV documentary on cooking and eating in the Irish country house (More of that in the future perhaps). Watching TV3’s fantastic documentary on Dublin’s Tenements has encouraged me to consider more fully the changing functions and arrangements of Dublin’s townhouses. The programme together with a relatively recent visit to New York’s brilliant Tenement Museum (why don’t we have one?) has given me a new insight into the appalling reality that lay behind so many beautiful if faded Georgian facades. Continue reading

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Posted in Books, Film and television, History, Ireland | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Political and Social Density in the age of Bubbles: Making Sense of the Present and the Past

By Patrick Walsh There is an old Chinese curse that says ‘May you live in interesting times’. Few of us would dispute that we are living in ‘interesting times’ today. In Ireland, as elsewhere in the world, the last few … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Books, Education, History, Ireland | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Escaping the ivory tower: academics and the city

By Niamh Cullen Last Wednesday I attended the inaugural event of a new group of Dublin based humanities scholars, Dublintellectual. The idea behind Dublintellectual – bringing the research of Irish based scholars and researchers to a wider public – is … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Education, Events in Dublin, In the news, Ireland | Tagged , | 10 Comments

‘Arts degrees. Please take one’… Is a humanities degree worth the paper it’s written on?

By Niamh Cullen I think most humanities students are asked at least once – and realistically, probably a lot more than that – why they chose to do an ‘arts’ degree. After all, what does history, English, Spanish or film … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Education, History, In the news, Ireland | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

‘Sure they only work six hours a week’: Defending Irish academia

By Patrick Walsh Irish universities and the academic blogosphere are currently full of academics reflecting upon their position, as they attempt to generate responses to increasingly restrictive, and frequently ill-thought out new policy directives. Reflection of course comes naturally to … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Education, In the news, Ireland | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

What’s the point of universities?

I know this blog has been very quiet for a while – unfortunately I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had much time for writing blog pieces in the last few weeks, although, annoyingly, I’ve had loads of ideas! However, … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Education, In the news, Ireland | 2 Comments

A ‘ghastly heap of fermenting brickwork’? Cities and progressive politics

Fintan O’Toole’s intriguingly entitled article in Saturday’s Irish Times, ‘The decision that I made on contesting this general election’, got me thinking about a few things. I was enthusiastic about his idea of seeking out people who were active in civil society – whether the arts, business, education or community work – at a local level, but were emphatically not politicians, to contest the election. But at the same time, I could see why such an idea was probably doomed to failure – or at least not to live up to the expectations placed in it – especially given the very short time frame. But it was O’Toole’s citing of Mary O’Rourke’s dismissive comment that all it would amount to would be a ”a few gurus in posh areas” that really made me wonder about why people vote the way they do. Continue reading

Posted in History, In the news, Ireland, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments