I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Michael Cronin

Shaping ‘Nature’

The problem for many of the ‘improvers’ of 19th century Ireland was that they saw too much ‘nature’ – wild, uncivilised, uncouth. An unwillingness to face the implications of expropriation meant that ‘improvement’ was more often tendentious, moral scold than economic remedy.

Our Language, Their Babble

German concentration and extermination camps were run by the speakers of one language but inhabited by speakers of many others. Interpretation became necessary to both sides. Linguistic skills helped some inmates to survive, but the deployment of these skills could involve a cost.

Your language or mine?

A language, it has been said, is a dialect with an army, or at the least one with a regional assembly. A new study, which seeks to identify patterns of ecological constraints operating on the circulation of literary texts, suggests that a “language is a dialect with a literature”.

Ireland’s Disappeared

In ‘the new entrepreneurialism’, workers are expected to be their own timekeepers (automated flexi-time systems), secretaries (word processing tools), accountants (automated payroll systems, online banking, revenue online services) and travel agents (online ticketing).

The Scruple of Detail

Shifted whole from one language to another, philosophical terms leave behind a rich history of usage, interpretation, and interaction with other terms. To understand them properly we must recover some of that past, working against the grain of the monologic of the monoglot.

The Gaelic Hit Factory

In what might be called the cartoon version of our modern history, the Irish language is corralled in with land and religion as a shibboleth of the anti-modern. This is to ignore elements of the language movement which were innovative, dynamic and successful.

The Last Post

Animals have been divided into those we watch TV with, those we eat and those we’re scared of. If ‘becoming animal’ is understood in Hiberno-English as an unfortunate consequence of excessive alcohol consumption, here it is rather a way of perceiving that we exist on a planet that we share with innumerable other species that we continue to destroy in vast numbers.

All in the Mix

Inspired by atomistic science, thinkers in early modern England, including John Locke, developed a conceptual framework whereby it is the mixture of parts, unregulated by any superior form, which constitutes both the natural world and the body politic.

The Meaning of Ryanair

Orwell got it wrong. It is not governments but banks, insurance companies, pension funds and low-cost airlines, the raucous cheerleaders of deregulation, that oppress and stupefy us with a network of small and baffling rules.

Half the Picture

Historians who cannot engage with Irish-language sources risk fundamentally misunderstanding the nature of the public sphere, which in Ireland was long associated with orality and manuscript rather than print culture.