Memorial University will again bridge the waters to Ireland with three Coracle Fellowships this year.
The fellowships promote study and knowledge exchange between Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador in areas relevant to the relationship between these two regions and to Memorial University of Newfoundland. This year’s funding will cover three fields – literature, politics and archaeology – and support projects by researchers based in St. John’s, Corner Brook and Ulster.
“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,” said University President Axel Meisen, who established the Coracle program in 2005 in recognition of the significant relationship between the regions.
“I am delighted with the strong field of applicants and thank the selection advisory committee for its work. I have no doubt that the new fellows will make important contributions to knowledge and build on the work of earlier fellows.”
The 2007 Coracle Fellowship recipients:
Dr. Steve Wolinetz, a political science professor at Memorial’s St. John’s campus, was awarded a Coracle Fellowship into the Irish social partnership between trade unions, employers and government, how it compares to similar partnerships in continental Europe, and examining how such a model might work in this province.
Through the fellowship, he also plans to offer lectures on comparative and European politics at four Irish universities, to develop exchange programs that will allow Memorial students to study in Ireland. There will also be opportunities for him to collaborate with Walter Kirwan, who received a Coracle fellowship in the first round.
Dr. Randall Maggs, a professor of English at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook, will devote a portion of his Coracle Fellowship to provide guest lectures and readings in Waterford and Dun Loughaire, as well as to other Irish post-secondary institutions. He will also strengthen existing links with Irish literary and artistic communities. In addition, Dr. Maggs intends to establish a Grenfell-based literary review, which will provide a voice for established and emerging writers and commentators from Newfoundland and Labrador and Ireland.
Dr. Rory Quinn, a senior lecturer in marine geoarcheology at the University of Ulster’s Environmental Sciences Research Institute, will use the fellowship to enhance and share technological knowledge about mapping and interpreting submerged archeological sites off the coasts of Newfoundland and Ireland. Using marine geophysical techniques, researchers expect to find information on prehistoric human inhabitants of coastlines that were submerged at the end of the last Ice Age, as well as historic shipwrecks. This work will involve a number of researchers at Memorial University and builds on the marine archeological work Dr. Trevor Bell, another Coracle Fellow and professor of geography at Memorial’s St. John’s campus.
The fellowships derive their name from the legendary craft, the coracle, that sixth-century monk St. Brendan the Navigator is said to have sailed from Ireland to Iceland, Greenland and, perhaps, all the way to Newfoundland. The Coracle Fellowships awarded by Memorial University honour the longstanding relationship between Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador, and are designed to strengthen our ties.
The Coracle fellowships are funded by Memorial University and awarded annually, but 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. For details see www.arts.mun.ca/coracle