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Vol 39  No 12
Apr. 5, 2007


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Coracle Fellowships awarded

by Leslie Vryenhoek and Pamela Gill


Coracle Fellow Dr. Steven Wolinetz will explore the Irish social partnership between trade unions, employers and government. (Photo by Chris Hammond)

Memorial has awarded three new Coracle Fellowships that will bridge the waters between this province and Ireland, while supporting political, literary and archaeological research relevant to both regions and to this university.

Dr. Steve Wolinetz, a Memorial political science professor, received a Coracle Fellowship to explore the Irish social partnership between trade unions, employers and government, how it compares to similar partnerships in continental Europe, and how such a model might work in this province.

The fellowship will allow him to offer lectures at four Irish universities, and to develop exchange programs for Memorial students who want to study in Ireland. In some of this work, he will collaborate with former Irish civil servant Walter Kirwan, who received a Coracle fellowship in 2005.

Dr. Randall Maggs, a professor of English at Grenfell College and an accomplished poet with an impressive track record of creative and productive engagement with Ireland, will use his fellowship to provide guest lectures and readings in Waterford and Dun Laoghaire.

The centrepiece of his Coracle proposal, he said, is a literary review that he and colleagues Drs. Adrian Fowler and Martin Ware plan to establish at Grenfell College.

“This review will provide a needed voice not only for established and emerging writers and scholars from this province and Canada, but from Ireland as well,” said Dr. Maggs. “This is what I want to make known in the Irish literary world.”

SWGC Principal Dr. John Ashton noted that Dr. Maggs’ fellowship is an endorsement of Grenfell’s ongoing efforts to further scientific and artistic links with Ireland.

The third Fellow selected was Dr. Rory Quinn, a senior lecturer in marine geoarcheology at the University of Ulster’s Environmental Sciences Research Institute. He has proposed to enhance and share technological knowledge about mapping and interpreting submerged archaeological sites off the coasts of Newfoundland and Ireland. This work will involve a number of researchers at Memorial University, and build on the work of Dr. Trevor Bell, a 2005 Coracle Fellow and professor of geography at Memorial.

University President Axel Meisen established the Coracle program in 2005 in recognition of the significant relationship between the regions.

“Our province and Ireland share many ideals and interests. By scholarly work and sharing the results of this work, we can create a better understanding of our past and build a better future,” he said.

The Coracle program derives its name from the legendary craft, the coracle, that sixth-century monk St. Brendan the Navigator is said to have sailed from Ireland across the north Atlantic, possibly all the way to Newfoundland. Awarded annually, they can cover multi-year projects. Fellows can be academics, senior civil servants, business leaders, professionals and eminent practitioners from a broad range of fields, and can be based in either this province or in Ireland.

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