Sonic Hospitality: Music, Ritual and the New Irish - Guest Lecture Helen Phelan, PhD
Thu Oct 2, 2014 5:30PM - 7:00PM Crowley 115
The ‘Celtic Tiger’ years in Ireland witnessed a dramatic shift in Irish migration patterns, including a significant growth in the numbers of asylum seekers from parts of the world not strongly represented in Ireland prior to this time. Among other manifestations of cultural expression, these groups formed new religious ritual communities based both within and outside of pre-existing church structures. This presentation is based on over a decade of ethnographic study from 2000 with new ritual communities in Limerick city, including the Russian Orthodox, the Nigerian Pentecostal and Congolese Catholic comunities. Using the musical repertoires of these communities as a point of departure, it explores the Derridean construct of ‘hospitality’, and interrogates the potential of music to act as an agent of sonic hospitality against the backdrop of the Irish citizen referendum of 2004.
Helen Phelan is the founder programme director of the PhD in Arts Practice at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland. Commencing in 2009, this is the first doctoral programme of its kind and has pioneered the introduction of structured doctoral level scholarship in arts practice research in Ireland. On her appointment to faculty in 2000 she was made course director of the MA Ritual Chant and Song programme, a position she held for nine years. She also served briefly as the course director of the Graduate Diploma in Music Education during her time as a doctoral scholar, researching Irish liturgical music since the second Vatican council. Her research interests are in the areas of performance studies, ritual studies and music education philosophy. Her ritual publications have appeared in Journal of Ritual Studies, Public Voices, Orientalia and Occidentalia and The International Journal of Community Music. More recently, she was invited to include chapters in both the Oxford Handbook of Music Education and theOxford Handbook of Music Education Philosophy. She is currently working on a book on music and ritual for the Oxford Ritual Studies Series entitledSonic Hospitality. She is co-founder of the female schola, Cantoral, specialising in Irish medieval chant and polyphony. She was also founder director of the Anáil Dé/ Breath of God Festival of World Sacred Music in Limerick in 2000 and is founder-director of Sanctuary, a Higher Education Authority initative supporting the cultural expression of new migrant communities in Ireland. Her administrative roles have included appointments as Academic Co-ordinator, Irish World Academy (1995-1999), Assistance Dean Academic Affairs, College of Humanities (2003-2005), Associate Director, Irish World Academy (2009-2013) and Acting Director (2012). In 2012, she was also appointed the Herbert Allen and Donald R. Keough Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Notre Dame.