Concordia University


New Publication by School of Irish Studies Fellow and Co-Founder Dr. Rhona Richman Kenneally, Professor, Department of Design and Computation Arts

November 30, 2017
By Angie Parker

The Vibrant House

The Vibrant House: Irish Writing and Domestic Space

We are delighted to announce that Rhona Richman Kenneally’s co-edited volume with Lucy McDiarmid, The Vibrant House: Irish Writing and Domestic Space, will be officially launched by Professor Margaret Kelleher, Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama, University College Dublin. The launch will take place in Dublin on Saturday, December 9.  

The ARENA Show on RTÉ Radio One will be dedicating a whole show to The Vibrant House on Thursday, December 7 between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; Rhona and other contributors will be in studio talking about the book with the host, Seán Rocks. The Irish Times is planning to use an extract from Theo Dorgan’s essay “Home is where you start from” in the Saturday edition of the newspaper on December 23.

This collection of short memoirs and critical essays explores the relation between home as metaphor and symbol, and home as a physical, material and spatial entity. In the first section, ‘Our house’, Colette Bryce, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Theo Dorgan, Mary Morrissy and Macdara Woods remember houses from their childhoods and show, in Ní Chuilleanáin’s words, how the house is a ‘way of understanding the world, its differences and boundaries’. In the second section, entitled ‘Their house’, Angela Bourke, Nicholas Grene, Adam Hanna, Howard Keeley, Lucy McDiarmid, Maureen O’Connor and Tony Tracy look at domestic sites as various as Maeve Brennan’s childhood home in Ranelagh, Dublin, and Synge’s stage spaces. An essay by Rhona Richman Kenneally serves as a conceptual introduction to the collection, and framing poems by Vona Groarke suggest a poet’s version of ‘How to read a building’. A stand-alone visual essay of images and discursive captions featuring domestic spaces addressed in the contributions supports this book’s emphasis on the Irish home as a vibrant space of personal and national identity formation.

Rhona Richman Kenneally is a professor of Design and Computation Arts and co-founder of the School of Irish Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. She is editor of The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies.

Lucy McDiarmid is Marie Frazee-Baldassarre Professor of English at Montclair State University and former president of the American Conference for Irish Studies. Her most recent book is At Home in the revolution: what women said and did in 1916.

Cover design: Pata Macedo, part-time faculty member, Dept. of Design and Computation Arts, Concordia University

To learn more about this book, visit the Four Courts Press website.



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