O’Donnell Research Fellowship Awarded to Dr Aileen Dillane

Dr Aileen Dillane Awarded O’Donnell Research Fellowship

Dr Aileen Dillane of the Irish World Academy has been awarded the 2016 O'Donnell Research Fellowship in Irish Studies by Newman College, University of Melbourne, Australia, for a project in Irish Music Studies. The six-week O’Donnell Fellowship commemorates the donation to Newman College, University of Melbourne, of the personal library of Melbourne-based doctor and Irish scholar, Nicholas Michael O’Donnell (1862-1920).

The O’Donnell library forms the core of an Irish Studies collection in Melbourne. When visiting the library while on sabbatical in Monash University in 2013, Aileen uncovered some undocumented ephemera relating to a Melbourne musician who frequently performed at events patronized by Archbishop Daniel Mannix (originally from Charleville and famous for his long episcopacy in Melbourne), and who also taught music in a variety of contexts across the city.

Aileen has since being following the trail of this female, ethnic entrepreneur and the fellowship offers her the opportunity to engage more thoroughly with archival research not just in the Newman holdings but also throughout the city, including the State Library and the downtown Celtic Club. Aileen's proposed research is entitled ‘Exploring Cecilia Curtin’s Role as Irish Australian Entertainer, Vocal Pedagogue and Catholic Chorister, (Performances, Texts, Contexts)’.

As part of the fellowship, Aileen will deliver a seminar in the Melbourne Irish Studies Seminar (MISS) series hosted by the Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (ISAANZ), and this paper will subsequently be published in the Australasian Journal of Irish Studies.

While in Melbourne this January, Aileen hopes to strengthen ties with the University of Melbourne Conservatoire of Music and the Irish World Academy, as well as build upon her previous research into the staging and performance of Irish identity and sentimentality in large, diasporic, urban centers in the 19th and 20th centuries (most notably, Chicago).