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Dr Sile De Cleir

Biography

Síle de Cléir has been researching, writing and lecturing in Irish folklore and ethnology for some years, combining this with a career in public libraries until 2008. She studied folklore and ethnology in University College, Cork, and attended the Folklore Fellows’ Summer School in Turku in 1993. Her research MA (UCC, 1992) was centred on Irish cloth and dress traditions and complemented an earlier period spent studying fashion design in LSAD and working for three years in the fashion/ clothing sector. Her MLIS (UCD, 1999) included a study of popular religious reading in early twentieth-century Ireland, and her PhD (UCC, 2011) was a study of popular religious culture in Limerick city during the same period. Publications on dress include ‘Creativity in the margins: identity and locality in Ireland’s fashion journey’ in Fashion Theory, Vol 15, Issue 2, June 2011 and on popular religion, ‘Ritual and the city context’, Béascna 6 (2010). A book on this same topic, entitled Popular Catholicism in Ireland: locality, identity and culture was published in 2017. She has also researched the heroic storytelling tradition in twentieth-century Ireland, and an article based on this research ‘Gaisce, greann agus grá: Conall Gulban agus féidearthachtaí na scéalaíochta gaisciúla’, (‘Heroism, humour and love: Conall Gulban and the scope of heroic storytelling’) has been published in Béaloideas, 82 (2014). She is currently lecturing in Irish in the School of English, Irish and Communication, University of Limerick. Bhí an taighde, an scríobh agus an léachtóireacht sa Bhéaloideas agus san Eitneolaíocht á meascadh ag Síle de Cléir le slí bheatha sna leabharlanna poiblí go dtí 2008. Fuair sí céim BA ó Choláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh i 1989, agus MA sa Léann Dúchais ón gcoláiste céanna i 1992. Bhain an taighde MA aici leis an dtraidisiún éadaigh / feistis, ag tógáil ar thréimhse níos luaithe dá saol, nuair a dhein sí staidéar ar dhearadh an fhaisin sa Scoil Ealaíne agus Deartha i Luimneach, agus ag obair in earnáil an fhaisin/ an fheistis ina dhiaidh sin. Bhain sí céim MLIS amach ó Choláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath i 1999, ag déanamh taighde ar léitheoireacht reiligiúnda na ndaoine in Éirinn go luath sa 20ú haois mar chuid den gcéim sin; bhain a céim dhochtúireachta (Colaiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh, 2012) le cultúr an reiligiúin chomónta i gcathair Luimnigh sa 20ú haois. Foilsíodh leabhar ar an ábhar seo darb ainm Popular Catholicism in Ireland: locality, identity and culture (Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2017). I measc na bhfoilseachán aici ar fheisteas, tá ‘Creativity in the margins: identity and locality in Ireland’s fashion journey’ Fashion Theory, Vol 15, Issue 2, June 2011, agus ar an reiligún, ‘Ritual and the city context’, Béascna 6 (2010). Tá sí ag léachtóireacht sa Ghaeilge i Scoil na Gaeilge, an Bhéarla agus na Cumarsáide, Ollscoil Luimnigh.

Research Interests

  • Irish cloth and dress traditions and their interactions with fashion
  • Popular Catholicism in twentieth-century Ireland and its connections to identity
  • Oral narrative in Ireland; the heroic tradition and the wonder-tale

Teaching Interests

With regard to teaching, an understanding of folklore and popular culture is a crucial part of the study of Irish, and I have worked to make this a continuous, identifiable subject stream in the undergraduate degree here in UL. However, as well as training students to think deeply about literature and culture, we are also responsible for developing language skills to a high level. With Irish the second largest language in the university (next in size to English) we teach significant numbers of undergraduates with career options such as education at all levels, translating / interpreting in official contexts such as the European institutions, or employment in the creative media sector which now includes many companies working in the Irish language. Thus we are acutely aware of the need to develop high calibre graduates whose language skills include both everyday communication and technical and professional competence in the medium. Since 2009, I have designed a strong language curriculum in Irish, and have overseen its implementation by all staff. This programme includes substantial attention to grammar and grammatical concepts built up over a four-year period; it also regularly targets the greatest areas of difference between English and Irish, and includes innovative teaching methods such as student grammar presentations, and feedback as a constant, core activity. We are now seeing the fruits of this approach, with fourth-year students who are well-versed in grammatical concepts and structures, and who are attuned to the nuances of the language and with near-native fluency in many cases.

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

2012

Léann an Fheistis: ábhar machnaimh’ (‘Notes on the study of dress’)
Síle de Cléir
Léann an Dúchais: aistí in omós do Ghearóid Ó Crualaoich,

2010

'Ireland'
Síle de Cléir
Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, Volume 8: West Europe

Conference Publication

Peer Reviewed Journal

2011
2010

‘Ritual and the City Context: Limerick 1925-1960’
Síle de Cléir
Béascna: The UCC journal of folklore and ethnology