The National University of Ireland Galway is recruiting one full-time, fixed-term Postdoctoral Researcher Irish Language Archives for the project CARTLANN: Activism, language and media: using the archives of Conradh na Gaeilge to understand Irish language policy on both sides of the border , led by Dr John Walsh, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. The position is supported by a grant from the Higher Education Authority North-South Research Funding Program 2021, awarded to Dr Walsh. The successful candidate will be expected to start on 1 January 2023.
CARTLANN investigates the Ireland’s cross-border Irish language voluntary body, Conradh na Gaeilge, which was founded in 1893 and continues to operate today. Drawing on extensive archival records on both sides of the border, the project focuses on the central role of the media in Conradh na Gaeilge’s work, both as a platform for disseminating information and as a recurring campaign aim. A key source for the project is the Conradh na Gaeilge archival collection at NUI Galway which consists of over 600 boxes of records and is the largest Irish language archive ever acquired by the University.
Focusing on 1922-1940 and 1970-2000, the project will examine the use of mainstream media by Conradh na Gaeilge, the development of its own broadcast and print media and its involvement in campaigns for local and national media in Irish. This is the first major research project examining the relationship between Conradh na Gaeilge and the media on both sides of the border and will provide insights into how language activism understands media, the success or failure of various campaigns and the delicate relationship between the two jurisdictions around the contested terrain of the Irish language. Conceptually, it will draw on a range of theories from media studies, archival studies and sociolinguistics including minority language media, language revitalization and language policy.
Since its inception, Conradh na Gaeilge has recognized the significance of the media, evidenced by its involvement with late 19th and early 20th Century newspapers in Irish, its sustained campaigns for Irish language radio and television and its use of social media today. Its campaigns have been intertwined with the media from the outset and have engaged with a wide range of platforms in Irish and English and in analogue and digital formats. Conradh na Gaeilge’s development over the past century straddles tradition and modernity: while championing Ireland’s ancestral language and culture, it has engaged with each technological advance in broadcasting and media to promote its campaigns and spread its philosophy among the wider public.
The research team will comprise the PI (Dr Walsh) and co-PI (Dr Niall Comer, Ulster University) and two postdoctoral researchers. This postdoctoral researcher recruited to work with Dr Walsh on the basis of this advertisement will be based in the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, located in the Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway. The second postdoctoral researcher will be recruited separately by Ulster University. The project is structured as follows:
- Work Package 1 (NUI Galway). The specific objective of WP1 is to analyze the series about media, campaigns and the Gaeltacht in the Conradh na Gaeilge archival collection at NUI Galway during the period 1970-2000. Under WP1, the postdoctoral researcher will work with Dr Walsh on sub-series of the Conradh na Gaeilge collection at NUI Galway, focusing on media and campaigns with particular attention to local activism in or aimed at the Galway Gaeltacht. This period has been chosen because it includes key milestones in language activism when media took centre-stage. These include Conradh na Gaeilge’s involvement in or support for pirate radio and television in Irish, its campaigns for licensed national radio and television stations and its use of media to advance other causes.
- Work Package 2 (Ulster University). The specific objective of WP2 is to investigate activism and media in archives in Northern Ireland during the period 1922-1940. Under WP2, Dr Comer will work with a second postdoctoral fellow, to be recruited separately by Ulster University, on papers of the northern section of Conradh na Gaeilge, Comhaltas Uladh. This work will focus again on media and campaigns with particular attention to activism in the crucial early decades following Partition when Irish was marginalized under Unionist government.
Contract duration: 1 January 2023 31 July 2024 (19 months)
The successful candidate will be employed on Work Package 1 in Galway and will examine the use of mainstream media by Conradh na Gaeilge, the evolution of its own media such as radio stations and printed journals, and its support for campaigns for dedicated media outlets in Irish . They will use their expertise in Irish language archives to work with the project team and PI Dr John Walsh in evaluating the archival records related to media in the Conradh na Gaeilge collection at NUI Galway. They will interpret a range of primary and secondary sources including press releases, flyers, posters, policy documents, newspaper cuttings and audiovisual recordings. Through the use of document analysis of such records, they will unearth salient themes and patterns about how media influences Irish language activism.
The work of this postdoctoral researcher includes the following duties:
- Analyzing the various series related to media activism in the Conradh na Gaeilge collection at NUI Galway.
- Assessing how Conradh na Gaeilge used different types of media across the range of campaigns illustrated in the collection.
- Contributing to the project website, social media outputs.
- Preparing research work for publication, individually or in collaboration with research team (peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations).
- Engaging in outreach activities aimed at disseminating the project outputs to academic and lay audiences.
- Organizing an academic conference at the end of the project term.
- Undertaking associated administrative duties.
The appointment will be made in relation to the following criteria:
- PhD in Irish/History/Archives/Language Policy or cognate discipline (awarded before interview date or submitted).
- Significant experience with primary sources or qualitative research.
- Advanced competence in the Irish language, written and spoken (level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages/level-descriptions ) .
- Excellent writing and communication skills.
- Ability to work well both collaboratively and independently.
- Highly motivated, with excellent organizational skills.
- Interest in archives / cultural history / sociolinguistics / language policy / language activism / media studies.
- Peer-reviewed publication record.
- Experience of working with digital humanities.
The researcher will work under the direct supervision of Dr John Walsh.
Applications should be in Irish and include a covering letter outlining the applicant’s suitability for the role, CV, a sample of academic written work in Irish relevant to the post and of at least 1,000 words in length (eg extract from unpublished paper, published article, thesis chapter etc.), and the contact details of two referees. Applications should be sent via email (in PDF only) to email@example.com.
Please put the relevant reference number NUIG RES-202-22 in subject line of e-mail application.
Salary: 39,523 per annum (public sector pay policy rules pertaining to new entrants will apply)
Start: 1 January 2023 Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway For information on moving to Ireland please see www.euraxess.ie
Further informal inquiries concerning this position may be made by contacting Dr John Walsh: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm, 25 August, 2022.
Interviews are planned to be held week beginning 12th September, 2022.
Due to the University closure related to COVID-19, interviews will have to take place virtually and start dates may need to be adjusted.
NUI Galway reserves the right to readvertise or extend the closing date for this post.
National University of Ireland Galway is an equal opportunities employer.
All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment.