Moore Institute Response Group Perspectives from arts, humanities and social sciences

The Moore Institute, along with other research institutes within NUI Galway, have formed COVID-19 Response Groups within their respective areas of research. The purpose of these groups is to draw on colleagues’ expertise with regard to the impact of COVID-19 and to foster potential research and collaboration.

In leading the initiative from a humanities and social studies perspective, the Moore Institute is exploring the effect of this pandemic in relation to areas such as political culture and its influence on decision-making; social media and the virus; education; racism; historical precedents; the psychology of infectious disease; security; and globalisation.

The Moore Institute also continues to publish contributions from colleagues, in the form of blogs, on topics relating to the impact the crisis is currently having, how it compares to pandemics of the past, and what we think the future might look like as a result.

The Moore Institute is hosting a series of webinars related to aspects of the COVID-19 crisis. These sessions featured both NUI Galway and external speakers, and were broadcast live using Zoom, Facebook Live, and on local radio by FlirtFM. The sessions were also recorded and published on the Moore Institute’s YouTube account and are also available below.

Literature, Narrative, and Covid-19

This webinar, arising from NUI Galway’s participation in the new ENLIGHT consortium of European universities, concentrates on literature and narrative in relation to the current crisis. Daniel Carey will be joined by Marysa Demoor, Ghent University (Belgium), Stephen Donovan (Uppsala University, Sweden), and Raili Marling (University of Tartu, Estonia) to discuss in Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year and The Storm; coverage of epidemics in 19th-century periodicals; and the representation of epidemics as looming but invisible crises in fiction.

For more information, see: https://enlight-eu.org/index.php/university-about-us/news-events/347-enlight-lecture-literature-narrative-and-covid-19-1-july-2020

To join, please use this link on the day: https://uni-goettingen.zoom.us/j/91802407670.

Political and societal considerations

Political and societal considerations of COVID-19 were the topics of the first session chaired by Moore Institute Director, Prof Dan Carey on 2 April. The speakers were Dr John Morrissey (Geography), Dr Nessa Cronin (Irish Studies), Dr Kevin O’Sullivan (History) and Dr Pádraic Moran (Classics).

Surveillance and societal benefit

This session on 23 April explored questions of surveillance and social benefit in the midst of the corona virus pandemic. Topics included data gathering and contact tracing apps, and the associataed advantages, risks, and ethical challenges. Chaired by Prof Dan Carey, the panelists were Professor Mathieu d’Aquin (Director of Insight and the Data Science Institute, NUI Galway), Dr Heike Felzmann (Philosophy, NUI Galway), Professor Rob Kitchin (Geography, Maynooth University), Karlin Lillington (Irish Times) and Professor Linnet Taylor (Law, Tilburg University)

Education during COVID-19

This seminar looked at pressing concerns emerging from current research on education provision, such as the exacerbation of existing educational inequities and the pivot to technology. Speakers also considered longer-term implications and asked whether this could be an opportunity to reimagine education and schooling. The session was chaired by Dr Manuela Heniz and the participants were Dr Cornelia Connolly, Tony Hall, Ian Munday and Clíona Murray, all from the School of Education

Writing during the crisis

This seminar heard from contemporary Irish authors who discussed the challenges, dislocations and opportunities of writing during the Covid-19 crisis. Chaired by Prof Dan Carey on 4 May, the event included Mike McCormack and Sinéad Gleeson. Mike is the author of two collections of short stories Getting it in the Head and Forensic Songs, and three novels Crowe’s Requiem, Notes from a Coma and Solar Bones, winner of the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize and the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award. Sinéad is an essayist and short story writer. Her debut essay collection, Constellations: Reflections from Life, won Non-Fiction Book of the Year at 2019 Irish Book Awards.

The Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies

The Moore Institute stands at the forefront of NUI Galway’s commitment to world-leading inquiry in humanities, culture, and society.

Founded in 2000, and named after the distinguished Moore family of Moore Hall, Co. Mayo, the Institute has earned major national and international grants and led projects across the disciplines in areas from archaeology to ancient history and medieval studies, and from the early modern period to the present day, including politics, gender, and performance.

If you are interested in being part of the COVID-19 conversations and would like to be involved with this group, please contact Dan Carey, Director of the Institute – daniel.carey @ nuigalway.ie.