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Spring 2017 Round Up: Gender ARC

Spring 2017 was another successful semester for Gender ARC (Advanced Research Consortium on Gender), a research network linking more than fifty academics at the University of Limerick and the NUI Galway who engage in gender-focused research across diverse disciplines. Gender ARC is committed to exploring gender dimensions of all aspects of human endeavour in order to deepen understanding of past and current events and challenges, inform and enhance public debate and policy formation, and foster appreciation of human creativity and diversity, locally and globally. Here we present a roundup of recent events.

The Gender ARC Colloquium: Engaging Emotion presented a workshop format intended to stimulate discussion and debate amongst those for whom emotion is a research theme. An exciting schedule included guest speaker Dr Willemijn Ruberg, Utrecht University, who discussed “Hysteria in the Courtroom: Gender, Emotion and Dutch Forensic Psychiatrists Around 1900”. Also presenting were Dr Sinead McDermott, UL, on “Shame and Anger in Michele Roberts’s Daughters of the House” and Dr Maggie O’Neill, UL, on “The Politics of Emotion in Irish Women’s Popular Fiction”. A round table activity comprising of short presentations and group discussion provided for faculty, guest speakers and postgraduate students to share and develop subject knowledge in an interdisciplinary setting.

The Gender ARC Public Lecture Series presented lively talks by leading and emerging voices in women’s and gender studies in Ireland and internationally, discussing a wide range of contemporary topics. Guest speakers included: Prof Pascale Dufour, University of Montreal, discussing “Food Sovereignty in the World March of Women: How (Feminist) Collective Autonomy might be Strengthened”; Dr Sinead Walsh, UL, on “Transnational Feminisms and Postsocialist Spaces: From Theory to Practice”; Dr Anne Mulhall, UCD, discussing “The Politics of Personal Narrative: Race, Class and Feminism Since the Irish ‘Second Wave’”; and Prof Dr Magdalena Nowicka, Humboldt University, Berlin, with a lecture entitled, ‘”On an Island’ – Perceptions of Britain’s Poles of Immigration and the Brexit Vote”.

The Gender ARC Reading Group also provided a lively forum for discussion and debate. We enjoyed a fascinating selection of readings from contemporary cultural and feminist theory, including work by Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, and Sara Ahmed. Topics of discussion included: sexual subjectivity and identity, science in culture from a gender perspective, and the history of the mother and baby homes in Ireland. Revealing conversations raised questions on everything from Donald Trump to Mrs Brown’s Boys! The group will continue next semester and, as with all events, everyone is welcome to take part.

Most recently, two Gender ARC affiliates, Yvonne Murphy and Margaret O’Connor, who are currently completing the MA in Gender, Culture and Society, presented on their research at the Women and Irishness Conference at Waterford Institute of Technology. This symposium brought together current scholarship critiquing how women are represented in culture, media, and society through the lens of an Irish experience. Both students did extremely well, presenting on “Sexual consent; are the lines really that blurred?” (Yvonne) and “Decision making regarding motherhood in Ireland – has anything changed?” (Margaret). Engaging with colleagues at this prestigious event, the research the students are engaged in has real potential to inform and positively impact social debate and policy making in Ireland.

Look out for Gender ARC events forthcoming in Autumn 2017! Visit

Contact Dr Breda Gray, Gender ARC Convenor, or Dr Maggie O’Neill, Gender ARC Project Coordinator, for general queries.


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