“The language we speak is always borrowed. We don’t invent it ourselves. It comes from somebody else.” Some modernist writers in search of a way out of their alienation found that leaving their own native languages offered a new freedom. Professor of Comparative Literature Barry McCrea explores the unexpected choices that helped some find aContinue reading »
Steve Coleman is an American anthropologist at Maynooth University who studies the Irish language and the Gaeltacht way of life. As part of that project, in the 1970s he got to know the legendary sean-nós singer Joe Heaney, whose music we talk about here. Steve also talks about how the linguistic anthropology approach can influenceContinue reading »
The first million-seller in the global music industry was the sheet music of Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies. Using this as his starting point, music historian and industry insider Michael Mary Murphy shows that there are long chains of cause and effect that run through the history of Irish popular music from 19th-century ballads to 21st-centuryContinue reading »
Our current episode explores why various modernist writers opted for minor, dying languages that they were not even fluent in as their main mode of literary expression. Professor Barry McCrea of University of Notre Dame joins the dots. Recent episodes Joe Cleary of Yale University on the World Literary System and postcolonial criticism. Jordan Peterson,Continue reading »
Radar was a pivotal military development of the Second World War. Until now, the normal place to read about radar would be in the pages of a history of the war or of the history of engineering. But media theorist Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan suggests here that a different kind of history of radar can beContinue reading »
The artist Anselm Kiefer was born in Germany in 1945. In this interview, Caitriona Leahy opens up a new sidelight on the work of Kiefer, who is now one of the most prominent figures on the international art scene. When he appropriates the work of the poet Ingeborg Bachmann in his own artworks, argues Leahy,Continue reading »
The provocative and inflammatory punditry of Jordan Peterson is coming to Ireland. In this interview, Tina-Karen Pusse sketches and critiques the politics of libertarianism and the New Right and anti-feminism that will draw crowds to Dublin’s 3Arena on 14 July. ‘Winning the War of Ideas’ will feature Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, and Douglas Murray. AnticipatingContinue reading »
How does a political outsider establish himself as the leader of a modern democracy? In this episode, historian Laura O’Brien of Northumbria University analyses 5 key moments in the short political career of Emmanuel Macron, the current president of France. O’Brien parses Macron as a choreographed confection who consciously echoes other grand homme leaders ofContinue reading »
How we can blend the study of literary history with literary geography and political economy? Professor Joe Cleary of Yale University tackles this question by guiding us through the World Literary System, which is a mode of analysis associated mainly with the literary critics Pascale Casanova and Franco Moretti. Cleary shows how this approach canContinue reading »
Edmund Burke lived from 1729 to 1797, a period of great expansion of the British Empire and of revolutions in America and France. More a working politician than a systematic philosopher, Burke responded to the turmoil of his times by formulating a unique brand of political conservatism that has been interpreted in many ways downContinue reading »
Would there have been a Good Friday Agreement without John Hume? Maurice Fitzpatrick tackles this question in our second episode to mark the 20th anniversary of the historic agreement that marked an end to the Troubles. From his early involvement as an activist in 1960s Derry, Hume the pacifist schoolteacher transformed the corrupt state thatContinue reading »
Seán Ó hUiginn was probably the most important voice speaking on behalf of the Irish state through the years leading up to the Good Friday Agreement. Here the former ambassador gives his unique view of the long run-up to the negotiations that led to the final peace agreement that was signed in 1998. This fascinatingContinue reading »
What help is philosophy in the face of climate change? Norah Campbell of Trinity College Dublin explains the basics of the philosophical movement known as Speculative Realism. She makes the provocative claim that the tools for thinking that we get from Speculative Realism are the only way to comprehend climate change. This interview traces aContinue reading »
Architectural historian Merlo Kelly relates the story of Georgian Dublin.
Who were the developers? Who bought these houses? And what explains their slow demise over the centuries?
The leading authority on the history of the north side of the city in this period, Merlo Kelly puts these elegant buildings and streets in their social, aesthetic and political context.
At upper left is the Royal Circus, which was never built.
Angela Nagle chronicles the online culture wars that rumble underneath the news events that have shaken consensus politics in the last couple of years. Last year, her book Kill All Normies instantly became the go-to guide on everything from 4chan to Tumblr, from the manosphere to the lamestream, and from neckbeards to basic bitches. InContinue reading »
This is a reading by actor Stephen Rea of an account of events in County Cork during the Great Famine of the 1840s. Historian Breandán Mac Suibhne draws on the source material of a local doctor’s notes to describe how an entire society, its customs and norms, collapsed under pressure of dispossession, starvation and disease.Continue reading »