Symposium on Artist/Academic Collaborations: Uncomfortable Encounters, Disruptive Pedagogies (10 December)

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I’m pleased to share details of an event I’m helping to co-organize in Dublin on 10 December, led by my colleague Dr Alice Feldman (UCD Sociology).

Uncomfortable Encounters, Disruptive Pedagogies is a symposium funded by the UCD+NCAD Alliance project (organized by a team of artists and academics from NCAD, UCD, UCD Parity Studios and Create – the National Development Agency for the Collaborative Arts) that will explore collaborative teaching and research practices between academics, artists and activists in Ireland.

We are delighted to welcome guest speaker Marina Gržinić (University of Vienna) who will introduce and discuss her own transdisciplinary conceptual work. An artist and academic, her work concerns neoliberal global capitalism and necropolitics (eg the politics of death and technologies/modes of power), and its manifestations in post-socialist transformations within Eastern Europe.

Her presentation will be followed by three mixed panels of Irish researchers and practitioners who will discuss how their work relates to the symposium’s three central strands of aesthetics, knowledge and pedagogy.

The purpose of the overall project (and this event) is to cultivate collective understandings and vocabularies surrounding this sphere of work in Ireland; to support an evolving network and community of practice; and to locate Irish practice internationally. It will be followed in the new year by additional workshops focused on networking and funding opportunities to support future research endeavours.

All are welcome! This event is free, but please register your attendance.

Download: press release/event info (pdf)

Ways to make a living (in the arts)


NINE TO FIVE, (aka 9 TO 5), Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, 1980. TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved..

The jobs page has just been refreshed — an unusual amount of public history positions on offer at the moment (maybe it’s the 1916 effect?) as well as many other positions… but what a week it’s been, especially for the ladies!

The Waking the Feminists campaign for gender equality in Irish theatre has been extraordinary, in its intensity, its reach, and hopefully its impact — catch up on the video of the public meeting held last week (12 November) in the Abbey. Possibly one of the defining moments for women in the arts over the last decade in Ireland.

My colleague Niamh NicGhabhann has penned an insightful blogpost on women and leadership in higher education – very kindly including me in her list of inspiring Irish academic women – thank you Niamh!

Some very cool theatre apprenticeships / residencies worthy of note:

  • Pan Pan Theatre is offering an International Mentorship & Bursary with Stewart Laing of Untitled Projects (deadline 19 November)
  • Applications for the 2016 MAKE residencies for developing creative theatre work (based at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and co-organised by Theatre Forum, Cork Midsummer Festival, Project Arts Centre and Tiger Dublin Fringe) are closing soon (deadline 20 November)
  • The Lyric Theatre (Belfast) is hiring an Apprentice Producer as part of its participation in the Stage One: Regional Apprenticeship Scheme (deadline 30 December)

The Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray has come up with a groovy idea: it’s offering a funded ‘Gap Day’ to independent theatre creatives (directors, makers, writers, designers, production managers and creative producers) to take a day off to concentrate on creative thinking and dreaming – deadline for applications is 23 November.

Time’s running out to add your two cents on how CIRCA – Ireland’s only contemporary art publication for many years, until it folded in 2011 – might be revived /re-invigorated, with a series of small grants to support new ideas: deadline is this Thursday (19 November).

Would you know what to do if you made an archaeological discovery? Help out a Galway-based researcher who is conducting a survey to assess public awareness of reporting procedures.

Cobwebs plaguing your parlour? A day long seminar on taking care of historic houses is taking place on 26 November at Russborough House: Heritage Housekeeping: Philosophy and Practice is sponsored by the Irish Georgian Society and the Institute of Conservators-Restorers in Ireland, aimed at owners, managers and curators of heritage properties (both public and private).

The Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy will shortly be launching its third issue – a special issue featuring contributions from the UCD/IADT cultural policy conference, ‘Mapping an Altered Landscape‘ held last year – watch for an announcement, I’m putting the finishing touches on it this week!

Our colleagues over at University of Warwick are hiring an Associate Professor in their acclaimed Centre for Cultural Policy (deadline is 2 December).

Arts news round-up: 19 October 2015

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A few bits and pieces for your Monday…

Last call! We’ve more than 70 signed up for The Creative Museum: Extending Participation Through Collaboration’ this Friday/Saturday at Queen’s University Belfast; a few extra tickets have been released through the link above, and there are some additional seats on the (free!) Dublin-Belfast bus taking folks up & returning on Saturday. It’s going to be a great day — many thanks to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for their sponsorship of this event.

Always love seeing arts organisations venturing into new territory, and the Royal Hibernian Academy’s been leading the way on this one: their Blue Moon Lost Wednesdays events have been fab mixes of music, food and art — and their inaugural Interlude festival this weekend looks promising, with a live music room, club space, cabaret cinema, cocktail club, craft beer bar, vinyl room and pop-up restaurant!

Congratulations to my colleagues Victoria Durrer (QUB) and Kerry McCall (IADT) on the imminent launch of the Cultural Policy Research Observatory Ireland, a new network and resource for Irish academics (north and south) engaged in cultural policy research, across disciplines. Seed funded by the Irish Research Council, its inaugural event (by invitation) is taking place this Thursday, 22 October at QUB on the subject of The Production of Our Contemporary Livelihood. More great things are to come!

The details of Budget 2016 were announced last week; however the rather cheerful press release from the Department was quickly countered with more negative assessments from the National Campaign for the Arts and Theatre Forum. Both correctly highlight that most of the significant new funding allocations are devoted only to impending commemorations: core funding is only being increased by €4.5 million, a very disappointing sum given the substantial cuts to the arts & culture budgets since 2008. The Department has further indicated a ‘boost in funding for the National Cultural Institutions and the Arts Council’, but few details of what this constitutes are yet available (excepting a €2.5 million increase for the AC, but the wording suggests this may be a one-off). There’s no two ways about it: funding for the centenary is eclipsing investment into core arts and cultural funding. This is very problematic, especially for any and all activity falling outside that narrow categorization. I’m feeling a 2016 hangover coming on already…

Applications for the 2016 Government of Ireland postdoctoral scholarships are now being accepted. This is the primary means by which arts & humanities postdoc work is funded at Irish universities; if you’ve a PhD and would like to come speak with us about postdoc opportunities, feel free to get in touch!

Along with colleagues at Maynooth University and the International Network of Irish Famine Studies, I’m co-organising a conference on The Great Famine and its Impacts: Visual and Material Culture (14-16 March). Our call for papers has just been announced; we’ll be producing an edited volume, and have planned several special events in conjunction with the conference, so do consider sending in an abstract if you work in this field…

On 29 October I’ll be participating in the symposium Talking About Perpetrators, a cross-disciplinary event taking place in Dublin Castle and co-organised by College of Arts & Humanities Artist-in-Residence Dominic Thorpe, and Dr Emilie Pine from UCD School of English, Drama & Film. Tickets are very limited, so do book asap if you wish to attend!

New Research Centre: UCD & NCAD Centre for Creative Arts & Critical Cultures

UCD Artist in Residence Dominic Thorpe, working with students from the Visual Arts Society (Drawsoc), Spring 2015

UCD Artist in Residence Dominic Thorpe, working with students from UCD’s Visual Arts Society (Drawsoc), Spring 2015

As many of you know I’ve been working for the past year as part of the NCAD + UCD Strategic Alliance project. I’m delighted to share today that we’ve received the green light from UCD to officially establish the UCD & NCAD Centre for Creative Arts & Critical Cultures, of which I will be Co-Director (along with Prof. Jessica Hemmings, Visual Culture, NCAD).

This is the first research centre at UCD to be formally co-hosted with another higher education institution. Its aim is to promote, initiate and coordinate cross-institutional academic activity in the domain of creative arts and critical cultures, across NCAD and UCD’s schools, colleges and disciplines. Here are a few more details of our ambitions:

The Centre for Creative Arts & Critical Cultures supports a cross-institutional, creative academic community whose work bears an affinity of interest in the arts, culture and critical studies — amplifying the impact and reach of this work across both institutions, and beyond to wider society. It will achieve these aims by developing new teaching and research initiatives, promoting and supporting the activities of its affiliated members, and facilitating collaborations between the two institutions.

Our population includes undergraduate and postgraduate students, postdoctoral scholars, academic faculty and staff, and associated artists, critics/writers, designers, architects, and cultural producers. From music to theatre, visual arts to literature, to architecture and design — researchers at NCAD and UCD are nationally and internationally recognized as experts and innovators in the creative arts. However, the Centre’s mission is not constrained to any single discipline, or limited to the arts and humanities. What connects our community is a spirit of intellectual openness and the belief that imaginative thinking and approaches can transform scientific, social scientific, and humanistic enquiry.

By creating this community of scholars we seek to explore alternatives to traditional disciplinary canons; collectively propose new theoretical frameworks; and inspire in each other new forms of artistic and intellectual practice. The Centre will promote cross-disciplinarity and the scholarly ambitions of the community at its core, by:

  • Hosting symposia, conferences, exhibitions and joint events
  • Supporting joint publications and creative dissemination of research
  • Encouraging and sharing information about funding and training opportunities (national, international, European), with the aim of developing joint applications
  • Developing opportunities for staff exchange, mentorship and career development (postgraduate and staff)
  • Developing ‘research clusters’ that will bring together groups of researchers working across both institutions on related themes
  • Promoting the co-supervision of PhDs and funding applications to support them
  • Informing the development of UCD and NCAD’s strategic research objectives
  • Promoting the vision of an interlinked creative campus which welcomes and supports cultural activity, and innovative, cross-disciplinary thinking

The Centre will be discussed further at the NCAD Academic Council meeting on 17 June. We’re looking forward developing a full programme and formal launch event for the autumn semester (lots more details to come) — and announcing the outcome of our recent €30,000 seed funding call — but for now, I’m really excited about this new challenge ahead, and the possibilities it will create for students and staff!

More details are also available here:

€30,000 NCAD + UCD Seed Funding Call now open

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NCAD + UCD Project website
(featuring work by Avril Corroon: NCAD’s Thomas St arch transported to UCD on graduation day)

I’m very pleased to announce that an internal seed funding call for the NCAD + UCD Strategic Alliance is now open! I’m part of the project management team coordinating a range of activities and initiatives between the two institutions — in particular, heading up the development of a new NCAD + UCD academic research centre in Creative Arts and Critical Cultures. In addition to the Centre, we are also developing a new MA in Interaction Design and an interdisciplinary Summer School, ‘City Life’. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, and do share this seed funding call with colleagues and postgraduate students at NCAD or UCD.

Project & Seed Funding Call – Creative Arts and Critical Cultures

Deadline: 16 March 2015
Contact: Amy Smith, NCAD + UCD Project Coordinator ( / Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald, NCAD + UCD : Creative Arts & Critical Cultures (

Supported by the Higher Education Authority of Ireland, the NCAD + UCD venture aims to identify, examine and develop the potential practical and operational synergies resulting from closer ties between the two institutions. The venture encompasses teaching projects, research initiatives, and cross-institutional programmes and events, with a view to deepening the relationship between NCAD and UCD.

We are happy to announce a Seed Funding Call which seeks to encourage closer collaboration and support the establishment of a new shared NCAD + UCD academic research centre in Creative Arts and Critical Cultures. The funding scheme will provide support for projects that are ambitious and innovative and that will lead to new knowledge and capacities. It offers staff and postgraduate students the opportunity to apply for internal funding to enhance existing and future activities.

This competitively-awarded funding is open to staff and registered postgraduate students of UCD and NCAD, in any department and discipline. Funding will be awarded to projects that involve interdisciplinary collaborations, and promote cross-overs between artistic activity, cultural production and intellectual engagement. A maximum of €5,000 will be awarded to any one project (smaller applications are also encouraged). A total fund of €30,000 has been made available.

For full details of the scheme, and the online application form, please see: