College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences - Doctoral Theses

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 574
  • Item
    L’infante, la donna, la bestia: un’analisi ecocritica degli incontri non umani in Federigo Tozzi, Dino Buzzati, Anna Maria Ortese
    (University College Cork, 2023) Ceravolo, Marco; Ross, Silvia; Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology
    The authorial connections between Federigo Tozzi, Dino Buzzati and Anna Maria Ortese are notable and varied. Linked by a fervent animalistic and, in the case of the latter two, also environmentalist spirit, the non-human plays a central role in the works of the authors, who represent natural entities, animals, or fantastic creatures as narrative archetypes of universal pain. This thesis investigates the encounters between the human and the nonhuman in the works of Tozzi, Buzzati, and Ortese with the aim of answering the questions “what does otherness represent for the authors?”, and “how is this 'other' portrayed in their novels, short stories, and journalistic writings?”. To tackle these issues, my analysis considers three thematic areas, namely the representation of the child, the woman, and the beast, categories united by a perception of inferiority, and thus of marginalization, in a purely patriarchal social context. In the three chapters, one per individual author, the investigation of the three principal thematic areas makes use of a range of critical theories such as Ecocriticism (Garrard, Buell, Wolfe, Iovino), Animal Studies (Derrida, Cimatti, Regan, Singer), Ecofeminism (Warren, Adams, Plumwood, Ruether) and Children's Studies (Freud, Joosen, Khan, Kellert). In the works of the three authors, the animal is portrayed as abused, castrated, and killed, and this confirms how, due to a lack of logos, the nonhuman can be easily subjugated in human society. On other occasions, the animal, as a model of otherness, is acknowledged by the authors as a fragile entity, and thus in need of protection or defense. However, animality also serves the function of representing human figures through animalistic characteristics, or portraying characters who are placed on the same social scale as beasts enslaved to man: namely, women and children. Therefore, after having traced the narrative archetypes and symbolic connections between the child, the woman, and the animal in selected works of Tozzi, Buzzati and Ortese, the last part of the respective chapters addresses the salient themes of the three authors' attitude towards animals from an ethical-moral perspective. In the case of Tozzi, I analyze texts that draw upon his strong influence by nonhuman agents. For Ortese and Buzzati, I consider a selection of the authors’ militant journalistic production which advocates for the protection of those who have no voice to denounce their own oppression, existential imperatives of an ethical-moral order which constitute the critical building blocks of their animalist spirit. The conclusions highlight the connections between the authors through the three thematic cores examined (child, woman, and beast), and trace the positioning of the nonhuman in the authorial imaginary of Tozzi, Buzzati and Ortese, authors who are only seemingly dissimilar, but who are linked, instead, by a profound, indissoluble interest in the other.
  • Item
    The socio-cultural terroir of Irish craft brewing
    (University College Cork, 2024) Day, Shawn; Crowley, John; O'Connor, Ray; Murphy, Orla
    This thesis provides a rich and unique exploration of the world of craft brewing in Ireland. One of the key concepts underpinning the research is that of socio-cultural terroir, which captures the all-important nexus between craft, practice, and place. Cultural geography provides a way of seeing and understanding the craft of brewing in all its richness, diversity and complexity. Foregrounding the brewers’ own experiences reveals how the craft is learned, affirmed and sustained. Applying emerging digital humanities methodologies such as textual analysis, information and knowledge visualisation to more conventional cultural geographic approaches allows for an exploration of how the journeys and values of Irish craft brewers emerge from, shape and (re)create meaning, identity and place in a rapidly growing and evolving community. Consisting of two parts, this thesis first seeks to bring a cultural geographic lens to bear on the craft brewing trade while carefully detailing the historical tradition from which it emerged, and secondly, it demonstrates how digital humanities practice can be employed to expand, augment, amplify, and enhance that exploration. The design, development, and deployment of an exploratory interactive platform to disseminate the findings facilitates an open sharing of the data, inviting further exploration, interpretation, and engagement with the research by a wider network of interested parties, including most importantly, the brewers themselves who have been a central focus of this research.
  • Item
    The power of empty places. A re-appraisal of modernity through void experiences
    (University College Cork, 2023) Bollard, Kate; Szakolczai, Arpad; Boland, Tom
    Social media has been established as a central feature of the modern world and a propagator of contemporary culture. The problematic effects of engagement in the social domain have been widely recognised across various disciplines. However, the compelling force and limitless nature of social media have previously gone undetected because they are veiled by its innovativeness and suitability to the fast-paced modern world. This thesis will employ anthropological theories to help understand the modern world. The theory of the void is utilised to examine the destructive features of social media that induce an unreality and provoke users to unfold in alternate ways. Voids can be regarded as brutal traps that promote capturing, limitlessness and disconnectedness. Application of void theory to the realm of social media highlights its vicious qualities such as an entrapping force and transformative power. Classifying the realm of social media as a void illustrates how the intangible non-place is a divisive feature of modernity. To gain comprehension of the pervasive void created by technology, historical phenomena must be considered and evaluated. Comparative analysis of the most varied types of voids offers insight into how voids operate to exert dominance over their respective cultures. The circular formation of stone circles establishes a void, which functions as a representation of the realm of social media. Evaluating tangible characteristics of stone circles, such as their material character, configuration and optical display on the solstice offers insight into how social media operates to lure people into its domain and promote entrapment. Social media and stone circles are analogous void typologies that possess the ability to disrupt an individual’s internal equilibrium and alter reality. Envisaging highly influential facets of society as voids highlights the prevalence of absurdity in the lifeworld.
  • Item
    Symptom or Sickness? - A sociological (re)imagination of the high rates of anxiety, depression, and self-harm amongst young adults in Ireland as social pathologies through interviews with counsellors
    (University College Cork, 2023) Meyer, Melissa Isabella; Keohane, Kieran; Balfe, Myles
    This multi-disciplinary, qualitative study investigated the high rates of mental illness and distress amongst young adults in Ireland through the perspectives of the counsellors and therapists that they turn to for help. The study explored whether viewing these high rates of pathologies as ‘social pathologies’ might offer new and valuable insight into the problem. This was done by relying on equal parts interdisciplinary literature and interview data in trying to establish what it was about this generation that made them more susceptible to ill-being. Data was collected through the Delphi method with two rounds of in-depth interviews (N = 16) and analysed through reflexive thematic analysis. The participants were counsellors and therapists who self-identified as working with young adults at colleges in Ireland and on the IACP website’s databases. Findings suggest that the most dominant underlying factor was social acceleration, as conceptualised by Hartmut Rosa, and its damaging consequences on the individual’s self-concept and relation to themselves and their world. Interviewees reported that young people today seem to be suffering from a ‘performance anxiety’ as they’re caught between the need to ‘keep up’ at all costs and that perceived failure is experienced as a profoundly distressing personal flaw, which is greatly intensified by social media and the highly competitive nature of contemporary life in educational, occupational, and social spheres. The resulting mental distress young people experience was reconceptualised as ‘strains’ using an adapted model of general strain theory. This enabled us to map out how these strains developed and what can be done to intervene in a way that is more effective and sustainable. The thesis concludes with recommendations on how therapists can be empowered through training that incorporates a more robust socio-political understanding, and efforts to encourage employment in trades for young people instead of conventional higher education.
  • Item
    Things in time: a digital synchronic analysis of manuscript newsletters (1575-76)
    (University College Cork, 2023) Kreuze, Wouter; Dooley, Brendan; Cosgrave, Michael; Irish Research Council
    The development of a news culture in early modern Europe profoundly affected the perception of time. Because political conceptions are generally understood to be historically rooted, this also affected the way in which political identities and unities were defined. I have therefore analysed and described the news network as it functioned within one moment in time using two different collections. This description has been made for the timeframe 1575-76, as for these years the archival documents have been well-preserved and coincide with an important political event in Genoa that is symptomatic for how the news system functioned. As the principal news genre of the sixteenth century the manuscript newsletter (or avviso) was created according to certain formal and textual properties that defined it as a genre. Its very recognizable lay-out, repeated in every document, divided material into separate header sections consisting of different news items per paragraph. This makes the avviso very suitable for collection in digital repositories and relatively easy to submit to a digital analysis. The analysis carried out here has been able to clarify that most avvisi came from a handful of locations where they appeared with regular intervals. That these really were continuous serials, is shown by the fixed weekdays on which they were usually published. Furthermore, authors writing from the same location seem to have relied on the same sources as testified by the many similarities between the series. This further proves that we are dealing with a proper news network that was impersonal and international. The writing style of the manuscript newsletters can be characterised as descriptive and devoid of embellishments. Yet, in the sixteenth century, news writing was often considered a questionable practice, as it had the reputation of spreading lies. Speculative accounts, furthermore, were seen as an eschatological hazard. That might explain the descriptive writing style and the avvisi’s apparently sympathetic stance towards Catholic causes. That is not to say that the world was regarded from the standpoint of universal values alone. News was probably more than anything an enumeration of particular events. That comes even more to the fore where the news was placed within its historical context. The prime example here is the Republic of Genoa, that was represented as not existing universally and perennially but as moving between key moments in its constitutional history. Having said that, Catholic world views are clearly deeply interwoven in the fabric of the news system. The texts often spoke in terms of ‘ours’ whenever discussing Catholic forces fighting Protestants or Muslims. The newsletters in general had a bias favouring ‘the Catholic kings’ of Spain, who were perceived as being more supportive of the Catholic cause. The Republic of Genoa was perceived as being part of this Catholic world order just as much as other states. There does appear to be a tendency, however, to see the party that did not enjoy the sympathy of most avviso writers, in this case the Genoese nuovi, as lacking in Catholic fervour. We can conclude therefore that in the second half of the sixteenth century, newsletters, notwithstanding their descriptive writing style, spoke with a distinct, especially Catholic, voice. By regularly dispatching news, they harnessed a distinct Catholic identity and created a community of readers. The news, however, was by its very nature transnational and reported upon what happened in remote areas. Its main purpose was to make particular events known to the public, not to communicate universal values. Therefore, it appears that the system was already inclined to the integration of areas with different confessional backgrounds, although this development began to gain momentum only around the year 1600.