Archive for August 18th, 2009

Share and share alike

18 August 2009

By Juliana Adelman

pizza_sharing_slice-723637 I’ve been meaning to post on the subject of sharing research results for some time.  It’s been on my mind as I try to finish up publications from my PhD.  I’ll state my prejudices from the outset: I think Irish historians are bad at sharing.  Everyone involved in Irish history academic circles probably knows the story about how Irish Historical Studies (supposedly) had to change its policy of allowing postgrads to self-report on their PhD topics.  Apparently, students took it upon themselves to grab land in a way not seen since the settlement of the American west.  The website is still up, I can’t tell if this story is true.  However, it is indicative of a general attitude towards research work as your own private territory.  This often continues long after the PhD is finished and the result is, I think, damaging to history in general and a big waste of effort.  Of course people give conference and seminar papers and they also look to publish.  For those students who plan a book of their research, many are concerned about someone else ‘stealing’ their work or publishing on the same sources before they do.  If this is you, then I say have some more confidence in your originality!  But the fact is that not every PhD is going to end up in a publication and even for those that do, there is often material which is left out.  If you DO publish, there are some interested parties who your research will not reach.  So the following list suggests some ways to circulate your research.  In the interest of sharing, I’ve taken some excellent ideas from Joe Cain‘s recent article in Viewpoint, a newsletter of the British Society for the History of Science.  I hope to be able to make his article available here soon.  I think it’s a great reference for all PhDs, recent or otherwise. Read more

R.B. Sheridan’s The Rivals at the Abbey

18 August 2009

Contributed By Christina Morin

the rivals at the abbeyWhen I was a student in Dublin, one of my favourite evening outings was to the Abbey, especially when the Access All Abbey pass made it possible to see pretty much everything for about a tenner. So impressed was I with the deal, that when my family visited from the States I proudly trotted them in for a new reworking of Synge’s Playboy of the Western World by Roddy Doyle and Bisi Adigun. Then a seasoned veteran of Dublin humour myself, I never thought how incomprehensible this might be for American natives on one of their first visits to Ireland, and my hurriedly whispered explanations only seemed to confuse rather than enlighten. Nevertheless, I like to think they enjoyed the experience, despite the evident disadvantage of losing much of the subtler points of comedy ‘in translation’, as it were.

This episode came to mind last Tuesday evening, when I found myself back at the Abbey to attend a welcome revival of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s fantastic 1775 play, The Rivals. Like the recent performance of Playboy, this production of The Rivals has involved some updating, and an evident concern for cast and crew alike has been how to ‘translate’ Sheridan’s rollicking eighteenth-century comedy for a twenty-first century audience seemingly far removed from the interests, concerns, and intrigues of Sheridan’s society misses and misfits. Read more


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