Lifelong Learning in the NLI

Adult Learning Courses in conjunction with UCD

Our cultural partnership with UCD Adult Education will continue with another series of learning opportunities in 2018

 NEW Courses starting in April/May include:

Memoir as Both Literature and History
Tutors: Dr. Fionnuala Dillane & Dr. Paul Rouse

Memoirs are both historical documents and literary narratives; creative works and social records.
This module asks questions about the relationship between how we remember and how we articulate or represent memory and memory making.  It draws on literary, historical, philosophical and creative approaches to individual and communal memory practices and considers how such practices change over time.  A key focus is the interrogation of the memoir as history and the memoir as art.  We analyse the subjective processes of selective memory making that are shared across literary and historical memoirs as well as examining how an individual life story generates broader historical meaning in wider national contexts and traditions.

4 Tuesdays, 10am – 12.30pm

April 3, 10, 17, 24                                             Fee €100

Dr. Fionnuala Dillane is a lecturer in the School of English, Drama and Film at UCD, where she teaches and writes on memory studies, genre history and print cultures. Her most recent publications include The Body In Pain in Irish Literature and Culture, co-edited with Naomi McAreavey and Emilie Pine (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) and work on Anne Enright and Tana French in a special edition of the Irish University Review 47.1 (2017) entitled ‘Moving Memory: The Dynamics of the Past in Irish Culture’.
Dr. Paul Rouse is a lecturer in the School of History at UCD, where he lectures in modern Irish History. His film on Irish emigrants to London –  ‘Lost Generation’ – was nominated Best Documentary at the Irish Film and Television Awards in 2003

Reading the Short Story

Tutor: tbc
In recent years, the short story has undergone a renaissance both in Ireland and abroad.  Reading a selection of Irish, British and American short stories, this (aptly) brief course examines the development of the genre from its origins in oral story-telling to its modernist and post-modernist incarnations.  In particular, the course examines the purchase of the short story form in the American and Irish literary traditions, exploring how the genre was theorised by some of its key practitioners (Poe, Joyce, Hemmingway) and also how the short story form can be read in relation to socio-political environments which motivate it. The course introduces students to some of the most influential brief fiction and short story writers of the past 100 years, and guides students in developing modes of analysis which will greatly enrich their reading, and enjoyment, of this compelling narrative form. 

4 Tuesdays, 10am – 12:30pm                                       Fee €100

May 8, 15, 22, 29

Places on these courses can be booked through  UCD Adult Education:      01 716 7123

Memoir Writing

The National Library of Ireland works with Irene Graham, founder of The Memoir Writing Club and author of The Memoir Writing Workbook to offer workshops and lectures on memoir writing as part of our ongoing events programme.

 Find out more about the course here.

Bealtaine Festival

The National Library takes part each year in Age and Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival. The Bealtaine Festival takes place in May and celebrates creativity in older people. The NLI hosts Bealtaine events and has also embarked on series of research projects. Man, Woman and Child

Man, Woman and Child was a research and performance project devised and co-ordinated by Michael Fortune and featuring traditional singers, Luke Cheevers, Niamh Parsons, John and Brigid Tunney, Mick Fowler, Jerry O'Reilly, Rosie Stewart, Tim Lyons and Aileen Lambert.

Supported by the Arts Council, the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Age and Opportunity and the NLI, the project was based on the Child Ballad Collection - a collection of traditional songs collected by the American collector Francis J Child in England and Scotland between 1882 and 1898. Although many of the songs or variants of them are sung in the Irish tradition, no comprehensive study and performance of the ballads had been undertaken in Ireland prior to this project. The Child ballad collection is in the library's collection and this project provided the opportunity to bring the ballads from the shelf to the stage.

Follow this link to explore the concerts on the website

As I roved out

 In 2012, the group of traditional singers Jerry O'Reilly, John Tunney, Brigid Tunney, Cilona Ni Shuilleabhain, Brendan Kennedy, Larry Joy and Roisin Gaffney researched material and composed new songs on the theme of travel and emigration. The songs were performed in the library on May 30th as part of the Bealtaine 2012 Festival. The project was facilitated by Aileen Lambert and Michael Fortune in collaboration with the Bealtaine festival, the National Library and the ITMA and supported by the Arts Council. To  read about the project :

Read more about previous projects:

The Magpies Nest

In this project six local historians from County Wexford and artist Michael Fortune worked with the NLI and Age and Opportunity on the research of historical themes of local interest. The project was documented on the Magpies Nest website and features diary entries, images and video footage of the research process. The project culminated in an exhibition at the National Library for the duration of the Bealtaine Festival 2009.

The Wild Bees' Nest

The Wild Bees' Nest was a research and songwriting project involving a group of traditional singers throughout Ireland. Research for the project was carried out in the National Library of Ireland and the Irish Traditional Music Archive.  The project was conceived and devised by Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert and supported by The Arts Council in conjunction with The Bealtaine Festival and the National Library. Performances of the newly composed songs took place in the NLI during the Bealtaine Festival. The project was documented on The Wild Bees Nest website.  A CD of the songs was launched in May 2012. 

Wild Bees Nest performanceWild Bees Nest performance

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