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Dr. Niamh Nicghabhann

BA (Hons) PhD

Biography

I am Assistant Dean, Research for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and lecturer in the Department of History, UL. I was the founding Course Director of the MA Festive Arts programme at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick between 2013-2020.
My research focuses on the construction of the devotional infrastructure of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I am particularly interested in the construction of church buildings, and on the interactions between procession, architecture and the performance of religious identity in public space.
My research also includes work on Irish art, the history of exhibitions, aspects of festivity, cultural policy and the creative industries.
I welcome expressions of interest from potential research students interested in working on the above areas.
I am currently Chair of the Irish Humanities Alliance, and a committee member of the Catholic Historical Society of Ireland. I am also a committee member of the Society for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Ireland.








Research Interests

My research focuses on aspects of power and public space, and my current research project is titled 'Territories of the Devotional Revolution', and examines the construction of the urban Roman Catholic landscape in Ireland, 1830-1930. I am also interested in the concept of 'respectability' as a key organising concept within Irish culture and society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

My research interests also include the dynamics of urban public space and festivity; the history of respectability in Irish culture; cultural entrepreneurship; and interdisciplinary research practices.
I also regularly work as a curator and writer on contemporary art.

Research MA and PhD supervision: I currently supervise MA and PhD theses at UL on the subjects of audience engagement, creative pedagogies, measurement and value in the visual art gallery, and on a range of issues relating to festival, festive practices, public space and identity.

I welcome new research proposals on these and related topics.

Professional Activities

Award

  • 2019 - New Foundations Grant Strand 2
  • 2017 - Publication grant from TRIARC: the Irish Art Research Centre at Trinity College Dublin
  • 2016 - Publication grant from Irish Cistercians
  • 2015 - Publication Grant from the National Monuments Service
  • 2015 - NUI Publication Grant
  • 2015 - Gradireland Best New Postgrad Course Award
  • 2015 - Publication grant from the Office of Public Works
  • 2015 - Research grant from Limerick County Council for work on Limerick 2020 bid
  • 2015 - Funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for the Designing Commemoration conference
  • 2014 - Exhibition development grant for WATERMARK
  • 2014 - Marc Fitch Foundation
  • 2014 - CIRCUS+ ERASMUS+ Award
  • 2014 - HSE project grant for World Within Walls
  • 2013 - Seed Funding Award - Innovation and the Humanities
  • 2013 - Monastic Ireland - Research Grant from Failte Ireland
  • 2012 - Graduate Certificate in Innovation, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship
  • 2010 - Trinity College Dublin Travel Fund Award
  • 2009 - Desmond Guinness Scholarship Award
  • 2008 - Irish Research Council Posgraduate Scholarship
  • 2006 - Homan Potterton Award
  • 2003 - Trinity College Dublin Foundation Scholarship Award
  • 2003 - Anne Crookshank Award

Committee

  • 2016 Technology Enhanced Learning committee, Irish World Academy nominee to the TEL committee overseeing developments and upgrades with SULIS 
  • 2016 Judging panel, 2016 Allianz Business to Arts awards, The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise and champion the spirit of collaboration between businesses, artists and arts organisations that develop creative partnerships; bringing the arts and artists into mutually beneficial relationships across society. 
  • 2015 Timetabling Group, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Working on timetabling issues, advising on the purchase of timetabling software, supporting admin staff when the need arises around timetabling issues.
  • 2015 Cultural Policy Research Observatory - An all-Ireland network - initial steering group member, Member of this steering group which defined the direction of this new cross-disciplinary research network, designing the initial conference held in Belfast in November 2015.
  • 2015 Irish Museums Association, Member of the Board of Directors.
  • 2015 Research Academic Panel (RAP) Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Reviewing incoming PhD and MA by research applications, leading and working collaboratively on initiatives surrounding research direction, strategy and supports within the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
  • 2015 Light Moves Screen Dance Festival - advisory board, Member of group advising on the development of the Light Moves Screen Dance Festival, based at Dance Limerick.
  • 2014 Open House Limerick steering group, Member of the Open House Limerick architecture festival steering group
  • 2013 'World Within Walls' exhibition steering group, Member, as curator of the exhibition and commissioned historian, of a steering group appointed to manage the World Within Walls project. This comprised members of the HSE, management figures within history and heritage at Monaghan county council, as well as the members of Stair: An Irish Public History Company Ltd. (of which I was a founding director), who had been comissioned to carry out this large, multi-strand research project.
  • 2012 Artefact - editorial board, Member of the editorial board for Artefact, the journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians
  • Chair, Irish World Academy 1916 Centenary Events Committee, n my role as Chair of the 1916 Centenary events committee, I organised a conference focusing on aspects of making, creating and participating in commemoration celebrations (part funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and listed as one of their recommended centenary events on their website). I have also led the development of a programme of events throughout 2016, including a performance at Colbert Station by undergraduate dancers and musicians, and a series of talks, lectures and performances by artists involved in creating work for the 1916 commemorations nationally and internationally - this programme focuses on the voice and experience of the artist as maker within the national context. 
  • Academy 20 Committee, As a member of the Academy 20 committee, I was involved in planning and delivering a range of events marking the twentieth anniversary of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. As part of this committee, I curated WATERMARK, an exhibition which was part of the overall programme of events, designed and delivered the opening ceremony, and worked on the planning and delivery of the overall programme. 
  • Inbhear committee, Chair, Editorial Committee of Inbhear: a journal of emerging research based at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
    As part of my role on RAP (the research academic panel) at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, I have been asked to chair the editorial board of Inbhear, a journal originally edited by Dr. Niall Keegan. The aim of this journal is to support emerging and postgraduate research, and to mentor researchers through the peer review process, building their publication profile and disseminating the research underway at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. In my role as chair of the editorial board, I am leading the redesign process and managing the peer review process, as well as the appointment of the international advisory board and the local editorial board, ensuring that it is in line with the broader UL Research Strategy. Development of Inbhear is subject to the approval of the UL Research office.

Association

  • 2012 Member of editorial board, Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy
  • Member of editorial board for Artefact, the Journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians, Irish Association of Art Historians
  • Member of steering group and affiliated researcher, Cultural Policy Research Observatory of Ireland
  • Member, Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland

Outreach

  • Public engagement/ outreach events

    In my role as Course Director, I lead an innovative and diverse programme of seminars and events. This work is part of the definition of the field of study, and of the disciplinary position of the MA Festive Arts, in that it builds the role of the MA Festive Arts, the Irish World Academy, and the University of Limerick as a centre of excellence in research in this area nationally and internationally.
    These seminars and events are also central to the development of industry links, and relationships with stakeholders such as internship and placement hosts. Therefore, I have also engaged in a series of outreach events, sharing the expertise available through the MA Festive Arts programme with a wode range of national and local festival and event organisations.
     
    (2016) Marketing for festivals, featuring Annette Nugent,arts marketer - open seminar for local festivals and arts organisations, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, 9 March.
     
    (2015) 'Community festival and parade open day', with presentations by Lucy Medlycott (ISACS) and Simon Thompson (parade and festival practitioner), open seminar for community arts, festival and parade organisations, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, 10 March.
     
    (2015) 'Creating the World Within Walls exhibition at Monaghan County Museum’, Monaghan County Museum, 26 February.
     
    (2014) The architectural heritage of St. Davnet’s Hospital guided tour and talk (presented as part of Heritage Week 2014), 23 August.
     
    (2014) Seminar organiser, ‘Open Education: Exploring Architecture in Primary Schools’, for Open House Limerick, UL, 15 August.
     
    (2014) MA Festive Arts open afternoon, featuring Tumble Circus and Fidget Feet aerial dance, 23 January.

  • Invited Panel member at the 2018 Cork Quarter Block Party Festival exploring participatory arts practices.

Other

  • External examiner for the Postgraduate Research Group Taught Module (MARE700) at the University of Plymouth (2020-2024) External examiner, Technological University Dublin for the BA Contemporary Visual Culture and the BA Creative and Cultural Industries (2019-2022) External Examiner, MA Arts and Heritage Management, Waterford Institute of Technology
    (2014 - 2017)
     
    In my role as external examiner for the MA Arts and Heritage Management at WIT, I am involved in examining all programme assessments, and in reviewing programme content, facilities and research direction. This role involves engagement with the overall curriculum, and an assessment of its position with regard to international standards in the fields of arts management education.

    Member of Programme Review panel, BA (Hons) Commercial Modern Music at BIMM Dublin (DIT)
    (March 2016)

     
    As a member of this review panel, I was tasked with assessing all programme content, interviewing students and faculty members, reviewing facilities, and making recommendations regarding the ongoing quality of the programme, and suggestions for future development. I was one of two external review panel members, the other being a music industry representative.

    Member, editorial board of the Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy

    (2015-present)

    Steering Committee member and affiliate researcher, Cultural Policy Observatory of Ireland
    (2014-present).

    Member, editorial board of Artefact, the journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians.
    (2012-2016)

    Establishment of LANDscape: history, theory, praxis, practice interdisciplinary research cluster with Dr. Anna Ryan (SAUL) at UL
    (2014 - present)

    Member of Limerick2020 research network
    (2014-2016)

     
    During the development of Limerick's bid to be European City of Culture in 2020, I contributed to the campaign by attending a range of meetings and panel discussions on the direction of the bid, assessing tender applications for leadership positions within the campaign on behalf of Limerick City Council, and was involved in the IU Culture Lab project which made a significant contribution to the successfully short-listed bid proposal. During 2014, I was the liaison between the the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and the Limerick 2014 National City of Culture team. I also led the November 2014 'Hackathon' based at Fablab in Limerick's City Centre as part of an audience research initiative around the 2014 Limerick City of Culture. (http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/arts---entertainment/195450/-Hackathon...)

    Member of steering group, Open House Limerick (within Limerick City Council)
    (2014)

     
    As a member of the steering group for this architecture festival, organised by Limerick City Council, I was involved in the development of the strategic direction of the festival, the management of volunteers, and developed a seminar aimed at first and second level educators interested in bringing architecture into the classroom.

    Contribution to the development of regional and national cultural policy and strategy documents
    (2013-present)

     
    In my role as Course Director of the MA Festive Arts programme, I regularly make submissions and give feedback on regional and national cultu

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

2021

Church building and rebuilding in Ireland, 1829-1929
Niamh NicGhabhann
Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland, 1829-1929

2020

‘Sermons and the performance of historiographical authority in the construction of the Roman Catholic built landscape, 1880-1890’
Niamh NicGhabhann
Figures of Authority in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, edited by Susan Galavan and Raphaël Ingelbien DOI: N/A

2019

‘Retreating for Interdisciplinarity: the case of the Health Research Futures Lab, Limerick’
Annmarie Ryan, Niamh NicGhabhann, Muireann McMahon and Jazmin Chiodi
The STEAM Revolution Transdisciplinary Approaches to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Humanities and Mathematics DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-89818-6

2016

The harp of Aaron: the Irish harp as shopping trolley: a polyptych in four movements
Aaron Lawless, Niamh NicGhabhann, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and Helen Phelan
Harp studies: perspectives on the Irish harp

2015

"….All the most approved modern arrangements': Building for mental health care at Monaghan, 1886-1950s"
Niamh NicGhabhann
World Within Walls: From Asylum to Contemporary Mental Health Services

2014

Mary Ward, Phoebe Traquair, Margaret McNair Stokes, William Wakeman
Niamh NicGhabhann
Art and Architecture of Ireland

2014

Gabriel Beranger
Niamh NicGhabhann
Art and Architecture of Ireland

2014

Antiquarian Artists
Niamh NicGhabhann
Art and Architecture of Ireland

2012

Reconstructions of the Gothic Past: ruins and the improving landlord in early nineteenth-century Ireland
Niamh NicGhabhann
Gothic Legacies: Four Centuries of Tradition and Innovation in Art and Architecture

2012

‘Owen Walsh 1933-2002: Colour and Light’
Niamh NicGhabhann
Owen Walsh 1933-2002: Colour and Light

2012

Irish architects and the restoration of medieval buildings, 1835 - 1904
NicGhabhann, Niamh
Irish Gothic Architecture: construction, decay and reinvention

2009

Ancient and Modern
Niamh NicGhabhann
Nano Reid and Gerard Dillon

2008

A Delicate Line
Niamh NicGhabhann
House Projects - artworks, documents, analysis

Conference Contribution

2019
2018

SSNCI Annual Conference
Niamh NicGhabhann

2016

RUIN-Nation
Niamh NicGhabhann

2016
2016
2016

Health Research Futures Showcase
Niamh NicGhabhann, Muireann McMahon, Annmarie Ryan, Jazmin Chiodi, Marilyn Lennon, Tracy Fahey

2016
2015
2015

Talking About Perpetrators
Niamh NicGhabhann

2015
2013

Fáilte Ireland Research Forum
Niamh NicGhabhann

2013

The Limerick Experiment - Imagining the future for the arts in Limerick
Niamh NicGhabhann, Boris Hunka (Limerick Music Generation), Kevin Wallace (Theatre Producer), Gavin Kostick (Fishamble), Patrick Gyger (Le Lieu Unique, Nantes), Monica Spencer (organiser)

2012

Innovation and the Humanities
Niamh NicGhabhann, Stuart McLaughlin, CEO, Business to Arts, Dr Ciara Leonard, UCD Innovation, Brian Donovan Director, Eneclann Ltd, Dr Kelly Fitzgerald, Sruth/ Irish Folklore Commission, Dr Danielle O’Donovan and Jennifer McCrea, Marisa Ronan, Aidan Pender, Director of Strategic Development, Fáilte Ireland, Dr Paul Rouse, UCD School of History and Archives, Dr Marc Caball, UCD Humanities Institute of Ireland.

2011

Reconstructions of the Gothic Past Colloquium
Irish Architects and the Restoration of Medieval Buildings, 1800 – 1930

2011

Association of Art Historians Annual Conference
Niamh NicGhabhann, Caroline McGee, Mary-Jane Boland, Christopher Jordan, Gabriel Gee, Una Walker, Roisin Kennedy, Craig RIchardson

2010
2010

Writing Irish Art History
Niamh NicGhabhann

2010

Writing Irish Art History’, a student-led seminar at TRIARC, Irish Art Research Centre at Trinity College Dublin
Niamh NicGhabhann, Caroline McGee, Yvonne Scott, Tom Dunne, Roisin Kennedy, Colleen Thomas, Bláithín Hurley, Tara Kelly, Jenny Fitzgibbon, Jane Humphries, Keith Smith, Emma Dwan O'Reilly, Mary Jane Boland, Eimear O'Connor, Nicholas Johnson, Nathan Gordon

Edited Book

Other Journal

2018
2018

Genius Loci (essay on the painting of Charles Harper)
Niamh NicGhabhann
Irish Arts Review

2017
2015
2014

Review of Gavin Murphy’s 'On Seeing Only Totally New Things'
Niamh NicGhabhann
Architecture Ireland

2009

Museum Ireland - the journal of the Irish Museums Association
Philippe de Montebello, Nigel Rolfe, Matthew Parkes, Paula Murphy, Nicholas Johnson, Patrick Duffy, Linda Ballard, Suzanne Bardgett, Anne Hodge, Donal Maguire, Kieran Burns, Jayne Clarke, Nathalie Weadick, Simon Lincoln, Padraic E. Moore, Shirin Johnson, Lizanne Jackman, Rosemary Ryan, Mike Maguire, David Snook, Marie Louise Blaney, Michael Harrison, Sarah Campbell, Liam Bannon, Luigina Ciofi, Marc McLoughlin, Kurshid Ahmed, Daniel Isemann, Maighread McParland, Marie Bourke
Museum Ireland

Other Publication

2020

Religious Spaces in Transition
Niamh NicGhabhann

2018

Music Industry Day 2018
Professor Mel Mercier, Karan Casey, Sheena Keane, Valerie Dolan

2018

Festivals and Social Change
Dominic Campbell and Charlotte McIvor

2016

Curating performance
Niamh NicGhabhann

2016

Conversations in the Consortium
Niamh NicGhabhann, Kathleen Turner, Helen Phelan

2015

CIRCUS+ research into youth and social circus in Europe
Niamh NicGhabhann, Dr. Stephen Cadwell (UL), Ulla Hokkanen (Galway Community Circus), Will Chamberlain (Belfast Community Circus)

2015

IU Culture Lab
Grainne Hassett, Stephen Kinsella, Niamh NicGhabhann, Annmarie Ryan

2015

Inventing Ireland: 20 Years Later. A seminar exploring contemporary approaches to Irish Studies at the Irish World Academy
Niamh NicGhabhann, Catherine Foley, Mattu Noone, Orfhlaith Ni Bhriain and Sandra Joyce

2015

Presentation of IU CultureLab findings to key stakeholders
Niamh NicGhabhann, Grainne Hassett, Annmarie Ryan, Stephen Kinsella

2015

Inaugural LANDscape research cluster meeting
Niamh NicGhabhann, Anna Ryan

2015

Festival and placemaking in Scotland
Niamh NicGhabhann, Kirsty Strang

2015
2015

Visual Art Ecologies
Niamh NicGhabhann

2014

Different views on the Second Coming by Yeats: Artists-in-residence and arts practice research at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance
Niamh NicGhabhann, Dr. Helen Phelan (UL) Professor Meg Harper (UL), Dr. Michael Finneran (Mary Immaculate), Fidget Feet aerial dance and Mikel Murfi (director and actor)

2014

WATERMARK
Niamh NicGhabhann

2014

Open Education: Exploring Architecture in Primary Schools - presented as part of Open House Limerick
Niamh NicGhabhann, Rachel McAree (Open House Dublin), Caelan Bristow (Architect), Dominique Bouchard (Hunt Museum), Ann-Marie Morin (Marry Immaculate College of Education)

2014

Vertical Dance Symposium
Niamh NicGhabhann, CIE Retouramont will join Fidget Feet and Aeriosa Dance Society (Canada), Gravity & Levity (UK), Histeria Nova (Croatia), Il Posto Vertical Dance Company (Italy), Kate Lawrence Vertical Dance (UK)

2014

The Frost is All Over: Writing about traditional Irish music
Niamh NicGhabhann, Vincent Woods (RTÉ and Aosdána), Dr. Philip Coleman (TCD) and Toner Quinn (The Journal of Music) Irish World Academy of Music and Dance

2014

Waking St. Munchin
Niamh NicGhabhann, Gothicise Art Collective, MA Festive Arts Students

2014

Making it happen: a vibrant and sustainable arts environment for Ireland
Niamh NicGhabhann, Dr. Michelle O’Dwyer (Associate Dean, Director of the Corporate MBA Programme and Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Kemmy Business School, UL), Rowena Neville (Business to Arts) and Dr. Annmarie Ryan (Lecturer, Kemmy Business School, UL)

2013

Artworks seminar
Niamh NicGhabhann

2013

Artworks seminar
Niamh NicGhabhann

2013

Festive Arts Tower Seminar
Niamh NicGhabhann

2013

Artworks seminar
Niamh NicGhabhann

2013

Artworks seminar
Niamh NicGhabhann

2012

Owen Walsh 1933 - 2002: Colour and Light
Niamh NicGhabhann (curator)

2007

Museums Matter: Accessing Ireland’s Heritage
Niamh NicGhabhann (exhibition manager and developer)

Peer Reviewed Journal

2016

Editorial and Introduction to edited special issue of the Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy on cultural policy in Ireland
Niamh NicGhabhann - editor of special issue of journal on cultural policy in Ireland
Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy

2011

‘Writing Irish Art Histories’
Niamh NicGhabhann
Journal of Art Historiography

2009

Reconstructions of the Gothic Past: Cultures of Conservation
Niamh NicGhabhann
Artefact, the Journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians

Published Report

2016

CIRCUS+ Research on youth and social circus pedagogy
ERASMUS+ working group - an international group including UL authors Niamh NicGhabhann, Stephen Cadwell and Shane Holohan