Thursday 3 July 2014

'Emotional Life in Ireland' - Merriman Summer School 2014

The 2014 Merriman Summer School will take place in Ennis, County Clare, from August 13th to 17th. This year's theme is 'Emotional Life in Ireland'. It is a timely topic for a country which has yet again been dealing with the aftermath of trauma as we listen to stories of hidden pregnancies, secret births and unacknowleged deaths. How do we deal with our emotions and their consequences? Are we better at it now than we have been? What legacies have been left by our difficulty in understanding and reluctance to deal with our emotions? These are some of the areas for discussion at this year's Merriman Summer School. The director of this year's school is Dr. Patrica Coughlan, Professor Emerita in the School of English at UCC. She has selected a rich panel of speakers. Social historians, writers, ethno-musicologists, psychologists, a psychiatrist, journalists and critics will explore a wide range of topics which touch on our experience in Ireland of dealing with emotion, and its consequences. The opening lecture of the school on Wednesday evening, August 13th, will be given by Prof. Jim Lucey, medical director of St. Patrick's Hospital, Dublin. As always, poetry and prose will be a central part of the school's proceedings with a morning seminar series in English on 'Reading Edna O'Brien', and one in Irish dealing with aspects of emotion in the writings of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Tomás Ó Criomhthain and Seosamh Mac Grianna. There will be poetry readings from William Wall, Paula Meehan and Bernard O'Donoghue, and plenty of music, formal and informal, including a fascinating talk by Lillis O Laoire and colleagues, incorporating performances, entitled ‘Emotion in the Irish Song Tradition'. The full programme and details about speakers are available on Most events take place in Ennis' excellent cultural venue, Glór, with tickets and reservation available through

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