Current Research Projects

  • NEW BOOK: For Palgrave Macmillan with Donna Schatt, based on our research into: ‘School Storytelling Programmes for 5, 6 and 7 year olds’ Donna Schatt, researcher at the University of Chicago, and I are examining the records of a long-running storytelling programme. We hope to identify patterns in the choice of stories popularly told across generations of librarians and teachers, and to find a method for measuring the impact of such long-term storytelling programmes on learning and child development.‘A Queen of the Fit-Ups, A Queen of Storytellers: The Life and Times of Mealda Hall’ Mealda Hall (née Doherty) is a storyteller and actress, born and raised in Strokestown, Roscommon and a long time resident (and storyteller, women’s activist and peace activist) in Belfast. For 15 years I’ve been recording Mealda’s amazing life stories and have nearly finished compiling these in an archive we hope to make available for publication and for other scholars. Her life stories reflect the social and political history of the island of Ireland over the past 90 years, with unique insight into the Fit-Up theatres (travelling rural theatre companies where Mealda starred the ’30s and ’40s)
  • ‘Talking the Game’ Over the last ten years I’ve been working with various football clubs in England and Wales, and football, GAA and rugby clubs in Ireland and Northern Ireland. During this time I’ve also been gathering stories by the players and coaches, and making observations of their stories and storytelling skills. I’m compiling this data for analysis in a range of academic papers.
  • ‘Seven Wise Masters and Seven Wise Mistresses’ When researching Shakespeare’s Storybook, I came across a medieval frame narrative equally popular in Classical, Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions. From the 17th through early 19th centuries in Ireland it was used to teach children to read. I’m looking at earlier sources of these two chapbooks, studying various stories from this series. I hope to develop these for performance and to use them in residencies and workshops to explore how stories link and are even a fusion of ideas, narratives and experiences shared by diverse, interacting cultural groups.
Current Projects »

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