Juliana Adelman I have barely lifted my head above the parapet in the past few weeks and am a bit out of the cultural loop. For a break from work, I can recommend two bits of non-historical escapism tv: US series Bored to Death and the new RTE series Trivia. The current exhibition at Science Gallery, Visceral, is well worth a look. I dragged some students there recently because at the heart of some of the exhibits are questions about the past and future of human cells and genetic materials. When I have some time again I will be reading The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. In my several years at a lab bench I routinely grew and killed cells derived from Ms Lacks which I knew as ‘HeLa’ without stopping to ask where they came from. In reminiscing about my days in the lab, I came across a You Tube channel called ‘My favourite scientist‘ which asks researchers to name and explain their favourite scientists. It’s a good little introduction to the history of science according to scientists.
Lisa Marie Griffith February is a busy month and there is a long event list to ensure you shake of the January blues. The Jameson Film Festival takes over Dublin Cinema’s from 17-27 of February. While I am not going I feel I should mention Tedfest 2011, the fifth Tedfest to date, runs from the 24th-27th. Amazingly, Father Ted first aired in April 1995 making the programme almost 16 years old… which makes me feel incredibly old. The Project Art Center are currently taking bookings for a Blue Raincoat production of ‘At Swim Two Birds’. It runs from 22 February to 5 March and I am really looking forward to seeing it. I have never been to see St Valentine’s heart (this is Vatican approved but there are other claimants) although it is only in Whitefriar Church in Dublin. While I don’t normally celebrate festivities of this nature I thought I would make a pilgrimage there on Valentine’s day to check it out.
Christina Morin This week I’m off to Cambridge for a short research trip and am very much looking forward to checking out the “Great and Manifold Blessings: The Making of the King James Bible” exhibition now on in Cambridge University Library. First published in 1611, the King James Bible maintains an incredible staying power today, with 2011 marking its 400th anniversary. The exhibition promises to look at the translation and writing process of the Bible itself, as well as its contemporary and more modern reception; it runs until 18 June 2011. While I’m in Cambridge, I’m also hoping to pop down to London to visit the British Library, which also has a really interesting exhibition on at the moment. “Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices” considers the evolution of the English language from the 11th century to the present day, looking at the varied transformations of the language across the centuries in spoken and written word alike. Appropriately, the exhibition has its own blog, which is worth checking out if you’re interested in finding out more.
Kevin O’Sullivan So much to tell you about this month, but I’ll try to keep it short. Saturday’s Financial Times naturally gave a lot of space to the unfolding situation in Egypt, but Simon Schama’s piece about revolutions – 1789, 1848 and beyond – and the fortunes of autocracies therein, was among the most interesting responses to the uprisings in the Middle East I’ve seen so far. A lot of you are probably aware of the ongoing controversy over the Croke Park agreement, but there is another international story worth talking about in academia: whether expanding numbers of PhDs mean the rise of what the Economist called ‘the disposable academic’. By this stage, you’re probably also sick of hearing about elections and the will they/won’t they saga of Fianna Fáil’s predicted demise, but if you want a reminder of what life in Ireland was like without them in the Dáil, you could do much worse than read Ciara Meehan’s new book, The Cosgrave Party: A History of Cumann na nGaedheal, 1923-33. Finally, while looking for video material for my lectures to highlight the link between sport and the diaspora, I was reminded of Joe Connolly’s famous All-Ireland winning speech for Galway hurlers in 1980. It begins around 25 seconds in, and make sure you keep with it until the brilliant, pontiff-inspired end: ‘People of Galway, we love you!’