The Faculty of Arts at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) has announced details of a free public lecture series being held every Thursday in February and which will showcase the wide range of research interests and expertise within the Faculty. The lecture series is being held as part of the celebrations to mark the College's 125th anniversary.
The series of five lectures, which begins on Thursday 1 February, will explore topical issues such as climate change and Irish media, in addition to a dive into the history of the religious history of Limerick, a literary insight into Oliver Cromwell and his tour of Ireland, and a fascinating philosophical exploration of arguing both sides of a question.
According to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor William Leahy: “We are delighted to announce the details of this year’s Faculty of Arts Lecture Series and to invite the general public along to experience the breadth of research interests in our Faculty. This year’s lecture series builds on the success and positive feedback we had to a similar series last Spring to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our Faculty. We are very proud of the 14 wide-ranging subject offerings we have at undergraduate and postgraduate level in the Faculty and the five fascinating public lectures next month are a good chance for the general public to get a taste of that offering and I look forward to welcoming those visitors to our Faculty soon.”
Dr John McDonagh, Lecturer in English Language and Literature, will deliver the first lecture on 1 February. The lecture will revisit Brendan Kennelly’s Cromwell, a book of poetry published 40 years ago which gives a voice to the Lord Protector. Dr McDonagh will explore Kennelly’s efforts to give Cromwell’s side of the story through his poetry and examine the process of writing back from history.
On 8 February, Dr Catherine Swift, Lecturer in Medieval Ireland, will discuss the Black Book of Limerick. The medieval manuscript is still kept in the city and, although understudied until now, provides a unique resource for studying urban and colonial Irish history. The manuscript stretches from the pre-Norman period to the later 14th century and provides vital insights into the political interactions of Irish kinds, is an important corrective of the traditional imagery of armoured knights and military conquests, and celebrates Limerick’s heritage as a thriving cosmopolitan and mercantile urban centre.
Professor Paul Aplin, Head of the Department of Geography, will examine 50 years of satellite imagery of the Earth and demonstrate how image analysis can be unambigious in mapping the rapidly changing of the Earth’s surface. In this talk on 15 February, Professor Aplin will present state-of-the-art science and technology in the field of remote sensing to showcase how advancing instrumentation and novel methodologies shed light on a range of environmental applications.
Dr Rosemary Day, Head of the Department of Media & Communications Studies, will chart almost 100 years of broadcasting in Ireland and ask how radio has affected our understanding of who we are as a nation and as individuals. Drawing on archive material and on the personal memories of listeners through the years, the lecture on 22 February will illustrate some of the social and cultural changes that occurred from the foundation of the state to the 21st century.
The series will close with a fascinating investigation by Dr Daniel Vázquez, Head of the Department of Philosophy, into the ethics of arguing both sides of a question. Philosophers and scientists have disagreed about the appropriateness and limits of arguing both sides since ancient times. On the one hand, discovery and the search for truth require the freedom to assess all possible arguments to maximise the chances of success. On the other hand, sometimes pondering both sides strikes us as morally intolerable, a waste of time or falling into rhetorical traps that harm rather than benefit an investigation. In this talk on 29 February, Dr Vázquez will examine the merits to both sides.
All talks take place at 6pm in T118 in MIC’s TARA Building (V94 4D85). Click here to book your free place at the Faculty of Arts Public Lecture Series.