Digital Arts and Humanities - Doctoral Theses

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 17
  • 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
    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.
  • Item
    Mad mums, bad dads and heroines with "street cred”: an analysis of multiple perspectives on the appeal of Jacqueline Wilson's dark realism
    (University College Cork, 2023) Quinlan, Áilín; O Gallchoir, Cliona; Martin, Shirley
    Jacqueline Wilson remains one of the most controversial – and popular - children’s authors writing today. Many of her stories focus on uncomfortable family and social issues, ranging from separation and divorce to infidelity, domestic violence, child abandonment, foster care, breast cancer and mental illness. Wilson’s depiction both of the dark side of domesticity and of how her realistic young protagonists respond to the challenges they face in chaotic, deprived and sometimes frightening home environments, has brought her a mixture of disapproval and renown from the adult world and earned her an enormous fan base amongst child readers. The question addressed in this study is why such apparently bleak and depressing topics hold such enormous attraction for young girls, and what it is about the darkness in these stories that they enjoy. Furthermore, given how these popular books are characterised by such grim modern social realism, it is also important to determine whether the young readers are receiving an accurate and fair picture of the reality of life for some children. This thesis will explore these issues and others. A study of the available literary criticism on Wilson’s work in terms of her realism, characterisation, style and technique, was supported by extensive research into the perspectives of renowned literary scholars in the area, and an examination of traditional realistic children’s literature whose roots stretch back to the publication of A Pretty Little Pocket Book in 1744 by the publisher John Newbery. This was followed by an examination of relevant sociological research on the impact on some children of living in families headed by lone parents and/or in circumstances of financial deprivation, relationship breakdown and blended families in order to determine whether the experiences of Wilson’s young protagonists accurately reflect those of real children in similar situations. Following extensive engagement with both literary criticism and sociological research, the thesis will then present the results of primary research conducted to further explore the research questions. This primary research methodology was qualitative and involved both adults and children. A series of semi-structured interviews with adults explored the perspectives and insights of parents and experienced professionals working in the area of childhood who were familiar with Wilson’s work. The research with children was conducted using participatory research methods to seek the views of some of Wilson’s young readers on what attracted them to the dark realism of her complex and often grim family stories. The researcher established a Jacqueline Wilson Book Club which met seven times and utilised focus group participatory methods. It should be emphasised that the young focus group members in particular contributed significantly to the findings of this research, offering thought-provoking perspectives on how girls are often portrayed in literature, and on the dynamics of family relationships and the complex web of child and adult behaviour which lie at the heart of Wilson’s work. It is important to state here that a significant issue to emerge from the research carried out for this thesis was the absence of the voice of the child reader in scholarly discussions of children’s literature. This thesis sets out to help address this lacuna by giving children the opportunity to express their opinions on Wilson’s work in terms of why they enjoy it, thus demonstrating the potentially significant contributions that can be gained from exploring the perspectives of child readers and thereby corroborating or contesting existing scholarly theories on the benefits or otherwise of including children’s voices in literary criticism.
  • Item
    'Scéal to Storia': creating a framework for cultural heritage education, outreach learning methodologies and international exchange in primary schools
    (University College Cork, 2022) Hegarty, Aoife; Murphy, Orla; Cosgrave, Michael
    This research was initially inspired by the obvious differences between a childhood growing up in London, to one based in rural Ireland. For instance, regardless of financial status, educational opportunities can vary widely based simply on geographic circumstances. Following some initial reading in public history and outreach programmes, it became clear just how variable learning can be. The development of this investigation grew over time to consider the ways in which educational barriers could be alleviated, and how learning opportunities could be adapted and delivered within alternative settings. The theme of such learning programmes was focused entirely on arts, cultural and historical knowledge using museum-style exhibition-based teaching as its core inspiration. Following a connection with Swiss-based student Giulia Ferrati, the research began to take more focus into addressing the methodologies of arts or museum-based teaching for delivering educational opportunities as an alternative to formal learning practices. This focus was particularly aimed at children who were experiencing a barrier to accessing such opportunities. Shortly following this connection, an intensive collaboration was founded and the creation of Scéal to Storia came into being. This was an international project, practically designed to explore learning methodologies that help primary school-aged children experience arts, cultural and historical education in the classroom. While these topics are often on school curricula, in this instance, the project was concentrating on the styles of learning that normally occurs in an informal setting, such as a cultural organisation; with the intention of bridging the accessibility gaps that can so often occur in education. The research took place in Cork, Ireland and Milan, Italy with the practical delivery of the project spanning the course of one academic year in two primary schools in each respective location. The schools groups followed a framework of learning designed by the researchers, which incorporated a knowledge exchange for the students to interact with each other throughout the duration of the programme. The project was supported by both respective universities, University College Cork (UCC) and Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD), as well as both respective city councils. This thesis examines the development of this project through its design and implementation, and analyses the outcomes. This analysis provides insight into a variety of learning methodologies, and arts and cultural education in the classroom. It further provides an examination of cultural exchange and how it can be adapted to maximise its strengths. It looks at how digital innovation can aid the exploration of intercultural learning and the implications of digital humanities and public history in a classroom setting. The study contributes to ongoing research and debates within public history as well as education, and curriculum structures.
  • Item
    The smart way of life: an inter-generational study of the use of smart technological devices in modern Irish society
    (University College Cork, 2022-04-15) Ansaroglu, Adil Cahit; Murphy, Orla; Hourigan, Niamh M
    This thesis examines the impact of the usage of smart technological devices (such as smartphones, tablets, computers) in Irish society by comparing older (50-70 years old) and younger generations (18-25 years old). 16 interviewees participated in this qualitative study, eight from each age generation. This study draws on two major disciplines, namely, Digital Humanities and Sociology, while also taking elements from Psychology. It uses an interpretivist methodology to critically explore the main findings. Relying on the notion of intuitiveness, the findings of the first chapter develop the notion of “What is beautiful is usable” into “What is beautiful and intuitive is usable”. The chapter, through an in-depth discussion on intuitiveness, ease of use and perceived usefulness shows how smart devices respond and adapt to users’ daily activities. Rooted in a discussion on neuroplasticity and the life course, different learning stages of the younger and older generations are compared. The chapter illustrates how each generation learns to use and adapt to smart devices based on their stage of life. The second chapter explores how the concept of privacy is engaged with smartphone use for both generations. It uncovers how people, through using these smart devices, may be unaware of their activities being tracked across the web by companies for specific purposes such as advertisement targeting. Significantly, this chapter also finds that the participants are more aware about their privacy when it comes to social media activities, but to a lesser extent when it comes to browsing the web. It is clear from the current study that smartphone usage in both generations also leads to some negative effects for the participants. The time spent on smart devices emerges in chapter three as being a key contributor to what has been called addictive tendencies. Chapter three explores in detail the potential for emotional contagion, the impact of No Mobile Phone Phobia (NoMoPhobia), fear of missing out (FoMo) and the impacts of social media on both the younger and older generations. The final theme, social class, examines how older and younger people differ when it comes to the consumption of technological devices. The older generation explain how they prefer to have functionality over style or brand. On the other hand, the younger generation explain how the ‘style’ or in Bourdieusian terms ‘taste’ affects the usage of their smartphones and smart devices. These findings are discussed through the lens of Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of ‘Capital’ and Thorstein Veblen’s ‘Conspicuous Consumption’.