Previous New Reads

Nov 2021:

Waking the Feminists Northern Ireland: ‘The Headcount’ A survey on the gender breakdown of eight Arts Council of Northern Ireland core-funded theatre companies 2014-2019 
Maggie Cronin in discussion with Dr Ali FitzGibbon

The full report is available here.

Between August 2017 and March 2019, the research group of Waking the Feminists Northern Ireland (WTFNI) undertook a survey of the gender breakdown within eight Arts Council of Northern Ireland core funded theatre companies during the time period of 2014 – 2019. Their aim was to collect data on the number of female theatre practitioners working and the types of roles they had within these companies. Please join us to reflect on (in)equality in theatre and the role and potential of research in campaign for change. In conversation with Ali FitzGibbon, Maggie Cronin will discuss the emergence of Waking the Feminists NI. This Northern movement emerged from the grassroots campaign, Waking the Feminists, started in 2015 as a call for equality for women across the Irish theatre sector. Maggie will present the approach and journey of the collaborative research and share insights from their findings. 

Maggie Cronin’s career spans many genres including TV, film, stage, radio and voice over. Previous and current professional work includes the films includes ‘Gravest Hit’, (LA Shorts International Festival & Belfast Film Festival). ‘Zone 414’, and Academy Award winning short ‘The Shore’, directed by Terry George. For theatre, she has appeared on London’s West End, New York’s Broadway and many points in between! Her first solo show, ‘A Most Notorious Woman’ won the Stewart Parker Trust/BBC Radio Drama Award (publisher: Lagan Press). As part of WTFNI’s research group she surveyed the gender breakdown in eight ACNI core funded theatres, producing the ‘Headcount’ report. Currently, Maggie is undertaking a full time Practice as Research PhD at Queen’s  University, Belfast, on the ‘Lived experiences and unique challenges facing female theatre practitioners in Northern Ireland’.

Ali FitzGibbon is a Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast and head of Arts Management and Cultural Policy. She researches decision-making, ethics and labour in contemporary cultural production. Her doctoral research on the artist as stakeholder was shortlisted for the 2020 ENCATC Research Award and she has published in a range of international journals. She has over 25 years’ experience as a multi-arts producer, programmer and consultant. She is Co-Investigator on ‘Freelancers in the Dark’ (ESRC) and ‘Future Screens NI’, part of the UK Creative Industries Clusters Programme.

Trad Nation: Gender, Sexuality, & Race in Irish Traditional Music, A joint seminar by Arts Management & Cultural Policy & Music Events at Queen’s University Belfast

Just how “Irish” is traditional Irish music? In her recent book Trad Nation: Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Irish Traditional Music, Tes Slominski uses ethnography, oral history, and archival research to challenge the longstanding practice of using ethnic nationalism as a framework for understanding vernacular music traditions. Tes Slominski argues that ethnic nationalism hinders this music’s development today and is at odds with an increasingly multiethnic Ireland. 

Following a short talk about her book, there was a Q&A chaired by Dr Ioannis Tsioulakis

Tes Slominski is a music and sound scholar who studies music, identity, and nationalism in Ireland and in its diaspora. She recently published Trad Nation: Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Irish Traditional Music, and is co-editor (with Kimberly Francis) of the gender/sexuality revision of Oxford University Press’s Grove Music Online. She served as Secretary of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s board from 2019-2021 and is currently on the board of the Ward Irish Music Archive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

June 2021: Inequality & Racial Stratification in Ireland: Thinking about the Arts 
Dr. Ebun Joseph and Dr Francesca La Morgia 

The relationship of race to cultural production—how race is represented, but also how it is experienced and how it may serve as a source of exclusion—has been a topic of growing importance in cultural policy studies and amongst those working across the arts and cultural sThe relationship of race to cultural production—how race is represented, but also how it is sector who are seeking to make positive change. Are labels like ‘Diversity and inclusion’ and ‘Widening participation’ perpetuating inequality or a step towards change?  Sharing research from her book, Racial Stratification in Ireland: A Critical race theory of labour market inequality (Manchester University Press, 2020), Dr. Joseph discussed the operation, research, maintenance and impact of racial stratification through her study of the experiences of migrants in Ireland. While her work explores how race and class interact in our society in ways that may produce persistent inequality in the labour market, at the same time, Dr. Joseph’s framework for analysis assists us in thinking about our own role in structuring a more antiracist society.  In response, Dr. La Morgia shared insights from her experiences in the arts and cultural sector.

Dr Ebun Joseph is a Race relations consultant, Director Institute of Antiracism and Black Studies and Chairperson, African Scholars Association Ireland (AFSAI). Dr Joseph is the Coordinator and Lecturer in UCD of the first Black Studies module in Ireland.

Dr Francesca La Morgia is a linguist, researcher and social entrepreneur based in Dublin. She is the founder and director of Mother Tongues and Mother Tongues Festival.