About Me

Hi there, and welcome to my blog!  Feel free to have a browse around and check out some of my posts and pages. Have a read below to find out a bit about me and my research.

About Me

Graduating with a First Class Honors M. A. English, 18 Jan. 2017

I’m a Masters of Arts student by day: studying digital humanities: specifically focusing on 3d rendering and photography curating and manipulation. This is my website for Digital Humanities, and all the interesting new things that I’m learning through my MA which I am studying in Maynooth. I’m from Limerick where I studied for my primary degree at the University of Limerick. I Majored in English and Sociology; Minored in Psychology, Cultural Studies and International Law.

B. A. English and Sociology: minoring in Cultural Studies and Psychology

Through my primary degree I had already gotten the opportunity to live abroad twice: getting a work placement in Spain that was extended a few extra months and ERASMUS in Sweden. During my fourth year of college I also worked part time for Apple. I also got to study a diverse range of subjects and expand my own knowledge on a variety of topics including Literature, Sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history, critical theory, Linguistics, cultural studies, psychology and international law.

I also hold a First Class Honors Masters of Arts in English Literature, with a thesis “Reading Popular Print Folklore in Nineteenth Century Ireland”. My own academic interests would include Literary and Critical Theory, specifically focusing on Modernist, post structuralist and consequently Post-Modernist themes.

In my spare time I am also an amateur photographer, poet, artist and aspiring actor. My interests include Folklore, Folk Culture, Information Security and Travel.
I am particularly interested in ruins, monuments, churches, towers, dolmens and castles. You can read more about me and my interests in my personal blog https://w1ld3rcard.wordpress.com/about/ I’m also building an up-to-date comprehensive Curriculum Vitae online, which will be accessible on my personal blog.

Below I have included some images of my creations – and some photos of places I have found exploring using Ordnance Survey maps.

Acrylic and latex on wall

Picture 1 of 24

Research

I have several different research idea which I have thought of – all using computational methods to help try and build up a picture of Ireland’s rich history.

Ireland’s ancient past fascinates me, the megalithic monuments and bronze age sites that dot the countryside have been a point of fascination for me – including the alignments and orientation in the landscape which they are built into. Something that I would like to research is the possibility of these monuments being built with a cosmology in mind – but there are numerous difficulties with investigating sites from antiquity

The relationship between history and the written word also fascinates me – the changability of stories over time according to certain conventions. What do we have to go on going far back enough? Mythologies and folklore can sometime hold a grain of truth, but its hard to now exactly how to read them

Over time many sites have been repurposed, and others have been built

 

 

The potential to put together a resource for gathering and sharing information will be investigated

One of the area that I have learned as part of my MA Digital Humanities is the use of Geotagging in images, a project that I would like to work on is the mapping of castles in Ireland. One of my hobbies has been exploring historic ruins, and there are not a massive amount of resources out there on the hundreds of ruins in the Irish countryside. Rural Ireland is rich in heritage, but it is not always publicized or even accessible in some cases.

Using Ordnance Survey maps I have found many different examples of castles and tower houses in particular, which would narrow down a project that otherwise would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. As the castles in Ireland are in varying states of repair – photographs from now are not necessarily accurate depictions of what castles would have looked like or their structure. However, through research one can often find older drawings and information about such structures construction and history. A geotagged database of castles and tower houses, with photographs of the condition now, information about their history, photographs of them before and possibly a section for folk legends attached to such places.
One of the challenges for this project would be amassing a greater dataset, though I have made a start to this project – gathering photographs has been very time intensive. I have a large amount of photos from different angles and of different types for a large amount of castles and tower houses in the Limerick, Clare and Tipperary primarily. However, some examples would be incredibly hard to reach and in some cases site identified on maps would be bare and it as very hard to tell if the Castle was entirely removed at some point in history.
Information security would also be an issue, at least to an extend. While I personally feel that such heritage sites should be open to the public to explore, vandalism and littering are often a problem – especially in examples nearer to towns and cities. While “Leave No Trace” policies that I have encountered in other countries like Spain seem to have been proven effective in places I have been, quite a bit of effort would have to be made here to protect heritage if it is publicized. this is largely an issue with the dessimination of information, and while it is very much a concern – something should be done to catalogue and promote Ireland’s vast amount of cultural heritage in the form of buildings. There are literally hundreds of sites, many of which are ruins or falling into disrepair. Stone Circles, Norman Castles, Tower Houses, Manor Houses and Famine Villages are scattered across the country, a digital resource cataloguing these with pictures, links and information is long overdue.

I am still developing a research question and methodology, working out the specifics of such a project and accessing its viability and validity.

Watch this space, there are a lot of interesting things to come.