Digital Arts and Humanities - Doctoral Theses

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    "Nordic Joyce: Old Cawcaws Huggin and Munin for his Strict Privatear"
    (University College Cork, 2022) Lawton, Mary; Davis, Alex; University at Buffalo
    Nordic Joyce compares the interrelationship of James Joyce’s works and specific Nordic literature in translation, employing an onomastic and etymological framework that offers an innovative opportunity to re-visit, re-view, and re-think Joyce’s canon. The thesis proposes a methodology to assess Joyce’s work and specific Nordic narratives, arguing that names and terminology may be defined through their respective engagement with thematic considerations, thus providing a relevant critical structure by which to study the application or construction of these in Joyce’s writing. It contributes to Joyce studies proper: detecting and interpreting specific Nordic texts and language’s role in Joyce’s oeuvre. Narratives, created under vastly different circumstances, reflecting distinct writing cultures, societies, and histories, connect and transform in Joyce’s modernist perspective. At the same time, I indicate how Joyce’s fiction appreciates Nordic literature’s role, both contemporary and medieval, broadly and narrowly defined as a recurrent theme in his work, and to a recognition of the influence of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, the Nordic languages, and other Nordic writers upon his innovating language creation and reconstruction. Terminology and methods of several practitioners in comparative, onomastic, and etymological disciplines are used to examine these associations. Comparative theories from Georg Brandes through David Damrosch, plus critical issues in onomastic and etymological lexical subdisciplines by theorists Warren R. Maurer, Grant W. Smith, Yakov Malkiel, Staffan Nyström, Willy van Langendonck, and David Seed amongst others, inform this study, emphasising the importance of Nordic, thematic content in Joyce’s style and form. Seminal figures, concepts, and terms in these theories will be introduced. Still, the most basic distinction is worth noting: the essential status of authorial name-giving, how Joyce distorts onyms to distribute autobiographical constructions in the disparate texts studied, and the meaning these misinterpreted, reconstructed, and sometimes hidden Nordic terms have for Joyce. This persuasive literary onomastic and etymological wordplay plays a crucial role in his fiction, demonstrating an interaction between language, characterisation, and authorial vision.
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    Transnational women’s poetry of the two World Wars: Lola Ridge, Winifred Letts, H.D., Sheila Wingfield
    (University College Cork, 2021-11-17) Condon, Gráinne; Jenkins, Lee; Collins, Lucy
    This thesis traces symmetries in the poetic responses of four women poets across two continents to the two World Wars: Lola Ridge, Winifred Letts, H.D. and Sheila Wingfield. This thesis considers the representation of the events and experiences of the two world wars in the work of four women poets: Lola Ridge (1873-1941), Winifred Letts (1882-1972), H.D. (1886-1961) and Sheila Wingfield (1906-1992). Adopting a comparative and transnational approach, the thesis traces the relationships and “touching points” between the lives and wartime poetry of Ridge, Letts, H.D. and Wingfield (Stubbs and Haynes, 2017: 7). It examines the ways in which this quartet of women poets creates a literary space of mutual understanding and shared concern in their responses to the trauma and upheaval of a world at war. This study explores how, thematically and formally, Ridge, Letts, H.D. and Wingfield fuse, reject and champion innovation and tradition in their wartime poetry. Collectively, the four women poets considered in this thesis disrupt the binary schema which still underpins critical conceptions; that war and Modernism are antipathetic categories, that women writing of war is an irreconcilable conundrum, and that the poetry of the First and Second World Wars, including civilian poetries, are wholly discrete. The four writers discussed in this thesis raise analogous, sensitive and contentious issues in the lead up to and during the First and Second World Wars. Read comparatively, their writing reveals formal and thematic parallels which breach temporal, geographical, gendered and political borders. This thesis identifies and explores the “transnational imaginative energies and solidarities” apparent in the wartime writing of Ridge, Letts, H.D. and Wingfield (Ramazani, 2020: 23). Their consistent and shared perceptions of warfare tether the two World Wars together. These four women poets present alternative perspectives and complicate received paradigms of war poetry, highlighting subjects and figures long excluded from the canon. Ridge, Letts, H.D. and Wingfield demonstrate that women’s poetry is an integral part of the continuing and evolving narrative of a world at war.
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    Viewing as if in a female network: towards a reparative reading of post-crash female-centred US TV series
    (University College Cork, 2020-11-25) Laugalyte, Marija; Magshamhráin, Rachel; De La Garza, Armida; University College Cork
    This thesis explores and advocates for an imaginative and creative way of viewing screen texts where the purpose is to come up with alternatives for the images and narratives onscreen. This approach involves a deliberate focalisation at the level of viewing that solicits the liberation of characters from the images and narratives onscreen by way of considering what could be onscreen instead of what is onscreen. Focusing on my own viewing activity as the object of study, and my feminist commitments, I direct this strategy to post-crash US female-centred television series of the 2010s. I do so to experiment with this viewing strategy more generally but also to consider what alternatives I can come up with, and how I can come up with them, to resist the images and narratives of the individualistic white working-woman who is so often placed as the symbol of feminism in popular culture. Using Parks and Recreation (2009-2015), Girls (2013-2017), Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2016), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015-2019) and The Bold Type (2017- ) as the series on which I experiment with this strategy of imagining alternatives, I do so in relation to my feminist commitments whereby I hope to bring new awareness to the relationship between viewer and the text. Because of my particular use of this strategy (to imagine feminist alternatives to the screen) and because of where I find the most relevant examples of it (the work of Ned Schantz), I have named this strategy ‘viewing as if in a female network’, an adaptation of what Schantz calls ‘reading as if in a female network’ (2008). I use Schantz’s proposed way of reading as a jumping off-point to articulate and develop my own, I argue, more radical way of viewing texts. This reading is also proposed as an antidote and alternative to forms of feminist academic analysis focused on critiquing gender representation; this mode of viewing proposes instead imagining what is lacking. Like the reparative reading style of Eve Sedgwick which introduces hope and joy into a text, this speculative reading focuses on constructing and producing nourishing alternatives to the screen where, as a feminist viewer, I am unsatisfied with what is on the screen. Thus, this thesis asks and illustrates what an imaginative viewing practice looks like that 1) addresses the pre-domination of whiteness and capitalist ideologies and 2) on the level of reception, repairs the damage through imaginative departure from the screen by way of considering alternatives to the screen, i. e. what might be onscreen instead. The results of this experimental study includes 1) a ‘toolbox’ of different ways that this strategy can be implemented that I offer to other viewers to take up and use; 2) the alternative images, narratives and meanings I conceive of by using this strategy that I call “viewing as if in a female network”; and 3) the address of the ethical questions and issues that arise when this viewing strategy is employed. I argue that this practice is a politicised strategy of viewing, especially when aligned with one’s political commitments and when our offscreen alternatives are conceived in line with our preferred visions of the world.
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    Retrieving the textual environment of the "Old English Bede": a digital remediation of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 41
    (University College Cork, 2019-01-04) O'Connor, Patricia; Murphy, Orla; Birkett, Thomas; Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences; University College Cork
    This thesis advocates for the digital remediation of the textual environment of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 41 (CCCC41). CCCC41 is an early-eleventh-century manuscript witness of the Old English Bede (OEB), the vernacular translation of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica (HE). In addition to this important ecclesiastical history, CCCC41 contains unique textual evidence for creative and intellectual scribal engagement: Old English charms, homilies, a fragment from the Old English Martyrology and an extract of the wisdom poem Solomon and Saturn as well as Latin charms, masses, prayers and offices for the liturgical season were added to the manuscript’s margins shortly after the composition of the central text. Although the marginalia of CCCC41 continue to excite scholarly attention, the current representation of the marginalia in print and digital format has not been able to accurately convey the complex textual configuration within this manuscript. This thesis first highlights how the current forms of representation have adversely affected critical opinion on the relationship of these marginal texts to the OEB. Furthermore, through its examination of the marginalia of CCCC41, this thesis demonstrates how research on this remarkable manuscript could be better served by a new digital edition that enables researchers to incorporate the marginal texts in a reading of the OEB. A digital remediation of CCCC41 prompts urgent questions, namely: what was the function of the margin in medieval culture and what has prevented scholarly print editions and previous digital scholarly editions from faithfully representing the reality of medieval texts such as CCCC41? These questions are answered in Chapter Two’s interrogation of scribal, print and digital technologies. Lastly, this thesis proposes a freely accessible digital documentary edition to provide future researchers with a much-needed accurate and faithful representation of CCCC41’s textual environment. To justify this thesis’ decision to retrieve CCCC41’s textual environment in a digital documentary edition, Chapter One adopts a New Philological approach to illustrate the inherent value of reading the marginal texts alongside the OEB. The critical evaluation of text technologies in Chapter Two sustains this thesis’ argument that a digital documentary edition of CCCC41 is urgently needed. By elucidating the role of the margin in medieval culture and critiquing the limitations of editorial practice in scholarly print editions, Chapter Two shows how digital scholarly editions are better equipped to provide a scrupulous representation of all manner of scribal activity. Moreover, by marshalling a range of digital languages, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JSON and XML, Chapter Three outlines how this interdisciplinary approach to CCCC41 enables a digital transcriber to accurately encode and, therefore, convey the complicated page layout of the manuscript. In reconciling the marginalia with their original textual environment by complying with the TEI Guidelines, this thesis reflects the reading habits of the early medieval community that produced and engaged with CCCC41 and in doing so, greatly expands our knowledge of the reading and scribal practices in late Anglo-Saxon England.
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    Exploring ethnography and digital visualisation: a study of musical practice through the contextualisation of music related projects from the Seán Ó Riada Collection
    (University College Cork, 2019) Egan, Patrick; Pitt, Ian; Murphy, Orla; Mercier, Mel; Irish Research Council; University College Cork
    This thesis explores how cultural data of musical practice is contextualised during the process of digital visualisation and ethnographic research. The investigation utilises a two-pronged approach to examine music related projects from an archive, the Seán Ó Riada Collection, and focuses on how mid-twentieth century Irish artist Seán Ó Riada rose to prominence. Humanities scholars and digital humanists are increasingly engaged with digital technology in their work. Although ethnography and digital visualisation have often been used in research, both processes are beginning to be used in tandem. This project makes an original contribution to the scholarly literature through interrogations of how a hybrid of concepts and methodologies drawn from digital humanities and ethnomusicology may work in tandem or may be complementary. Practice theory is advanced as a suitable methodology for historical analysis, facilitating an investigation of musical practice in order to reveal evidence of change or continuity during the development of Seán Ó Riada’s career. Analysis of music related documents discovered within the Collection is framed by the circumstances through which projects were rehearsed and presented to audiences in a number of different mediums. I argue that the development of digital datasets and iterations of visualisation enable more informed questions and suitable theories to emerge when engaging with the contents of archival collections. I also argue that as a result of this activity, the selection process for suitable methodology and theory (such as event-based research) are important considerations when attempting to combine the practices of ethnography and digital humanities. This thesis also examines the complexities that emerge with exploring musical practice with digital cultural data, arguing for deeper engagement with data and digital tools in the structures where they are recombined and represented. Digital practices are perceived as challenging, informative and evolving processes of engagement. The debate concerning the use of more elaborate systems of classification for the representation of cultural data is not solved, instead it is utilised constructively and considered as part of an ongoing, self-reflexive process of research that enables knowledge discovery. In addition, this study introduces a series of semi-structured interviews that were carried out in order to assess the accounts of performance related activities, related by contemporaries and critics of Seán Ó Riada. The ethnographic section of this thesis demonstrates how ethnomusicology contributes to an improved interpretation and understanding of digital data. This study contributes to the ongoing discussion about digital humanities activities in ethnomusicology and ethnomusicology in digital humanities. It demonstrates the use of novel digital processes alongside long-form ethnographic fieldwork to contextualise historic materials in archive collections.