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Dr. Karol Mullaney-Dignam

BA, HDip IH, PhD

Biography

I am Lecturer in History and Director of the MA in Public History & Cultural Heritage at the University of Limerick. I am a cultural historian working on Irish history (mid-1700s to mid-1900s), music histories, country houses and landed estate histories, and contemporary public history. I welcome enquiries from potential MA and PhD students, as well as postdoctoral colleagues, interested in working on these topics.

Research Interests

My research interests lie in the cultural and social history of Ireland in the long nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing on processes of individual and collective identity formation. I have a particular interest in socio-economic and political aspects of music history, particularly the roles that music has played in Irish nation-building. I also explore the social life and musical culture of country houses and landed estates in Ireland, work that has been supported by the Irish Research Council and the Royal Irish Academy.

As well as contributions to local and national radio and television programmes, my work includes public history and heritage interpretation projects with the Office of Public Works including a travelling exhibition on pioneering Victorian Irish photographer W.D. Hemphill, and the Bryce House restoration project at Garinish Island in Co. Cork, specifically its reinterpretation as a historic house museum.
I am a member of the international Sound Heritage network – leading the Irish Research Council-funded Sound Heritage Ireland project – an inter-sectoral forum for communication and collaboration on issues concerning the ‘sounding’ of historic properties with a particular focus on music in country houses.

MA theses recently supervised

  • Collaboration, trust and publichistory in the digital age: a critical analysis of the National Museum of Ireland’s IrishCommunity Archive Network (iCAN) initiative
  • Democratising access to thepast through digital public history: digital archives, digital interpretationand the creation of the enslavement to citizen project
  • Public history in Ireland’soldest city: heritage, tourism and the evolution of Waterford’s Vikingtriangle as a shared cultural resource
  • Exhibiting late nineteenth-century cultural nationalism in Irelandand Catalonia: digital public history interpretation in a cross-nationalcontext
  • History, heritage or hyperreality?Irish tweed and hand-knit heritage fashion imagery as cultural reworking ofhyperreal rural Ireland, 1895-2020
  • Reimagining the Tipperary Tower Ballroom 1940-1969: a public historyperspective
  • Girls of the ‘dangerous and perishing classes’:The institutionalisation of female youth in Irish industrial and reformatory schools1871-1911
  • Teachers and Training in Mayo National Schools 1825-1925
  • Planters to patriots: the Hunt/De Vere family of Curraghchase, Co. Limerick, 1761-1904
  • Heterogeneous lives: the tenant-family experience on the Coote estate, Co. Roscommon, 1818-1881

PhD theses examined

  • Ticking the box? An investigation of visitor research in Irish museums and galleries post-recession through the lived experience of staff, 2015-2017


Teaching Interests

I coordinate and contribute to a range of survey and elective modules on Irish, cultural and social history at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

I am also Director of the MA Public History and Cultural Heritage. This unique online MA is offered as a one year full-time or two-year part-time online/blended postgraduate degree programme, and aims to provide a structured academic approach to the practice and performance of history in the public domain: https://www.ul.ie/gps/course/public-history-cultural-heritage-online-ma

Professional Activities

Award

  • 2016 - IRC New Foundations Grant Awardee
  • 2015 - Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Research Scholar
  • 2010 - IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Consultancy

  • 2014 Office of Public Works -

Research Collaborators

  • E A E R N: Eighteenth-century Arts Education Research Network - International Collaboration Type - University of Glasgow -Scotland
  • Sound Heritage - International Collaboration Type - University of Southampton -England

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

2021

Expanding the narrative: public history, music, and the Irish country house
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Sound Heritage: Making Music Matter in Historic Houses

2021

‘No accomplishment so great for a lady’: women and music in the Irish country house
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Women and Music in Ireland (IMS 13)

2019

‘Music masters' and 'musicianers': census records and Irish music history, 1821-1911
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Documents of Irish music history in the long nineteenth century (IMS 12)

2018

‘“What do we mean by Irish music?”: the politics of state-sponsored music publication in independent Ireland’
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Music Preferred: Essays in Musicology, Cultural History and Analysis in honour of Harry White

2016

‘Useless and extravagant? The consumption of music in the Irish country house’
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
The country house: material culture and consumption

2014

French horns playing at every meal: musical activity at Carton, 1747-1895'
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Aspects of Irish aristocratic life: the FitzGeralds and Carton House

2014

Persevering post-PhD: contemporary issues for early career academics’
Karol Mullaney-DIgnam
Restating the value of Humanities in contemporary contexts

2014

‘Hemphill’s world: Clonmel and beyond’
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
William Despard Hemphill, Irish Victorian Photographer

2011

‘The Music in the Irish Country House project: origins and objectives’
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
The Irish country house: its past, present and future

2008

Forging a musical culture: state, nation and music in Ireland, 1922-1932
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Musical Culture and Memory

Edited Book

Other Journal

2015

Treasure island [on Ilnacullin/Garinish island, Co. Cork]
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Irish Arts Review

2013

'An “Italian palace” in Co. Roscommon: the creation of Rockingham House, Boyle’
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Roscommon Historical and Archaeological Society Journal

Other Publication

2018
2015

Bryce House Museum, Co. Cork
Karol Mullaney-Dignam

2014

The FitzGeralds in Ireland
Karol Mullaney-Dignam

2013

Tailteann Games [Aonach Tailteann]
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Encyclopeadia of Music in Ireland

2013

The Big House in Ireland
Karol Mullaney-Dignam

2013

Feis Ceoil
Karol Mullaney-Dignam

2012

Music and the Irish Country House
Karol Mullaney-Dignam

Peer Reviewed Journal

2013

Review: Helen Berry, The castrato and his wife (Oxford, 2011)
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Eighteenth Century Ireland

2012

‘Spacious and splendid': music, dancing and social life at Glin Castle, 1781-1854
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Irish Architectural And Decorative Studies

2012

'Irish country house music collections: Birr Castle, Co. Offaly'
Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Brio: Journal of the International Association of Music Libraries, UK and Ireland Branch