Dundalk Institute of Technology invite applications for PhD Postgraduate Scholarship


Full-Time: 36 months

Project overview 

Title: An Analysis of Cultural Life on the Irish Border 1898-1925: Newry.

Supervisor: Dr Fiona Fearon (DkIT) and Dr Aoileann Ni Eigeartaigh (DkIT)

Position Reference: 05AHSS2020

Keywords: Cultural Studies, Theatre, Drama, Film, Performance, Borderlands, Literature

This project will focus on archival research to assess the changes to the cultural life of the border towns of Ireland, with a particular focus on Newry.

From the anniversary of the Irish Rebellion in 1898 to the establishment of the Irish Border by the Boundary Commission in 1925, the people of Border towns like Dundalk and Newry experienced a huge transformation in their cultural life.  Where once they had been part of an integrated cultural whole, sharing professional theatre tours that passed through Ireland from North to South and East to West using the railway system, they became isolated enclaves of amateur performance within two decades – cul de sacs at either end of a line. Commemorating “1898” was celebrated in both towns by the Nationalist communities with parades and street performances, part of a wider performative culture in Irish society, which included public funerals, military manoeuvres and parades as well as popular public demonstrations, fairs and circuses. Amateur and professional performances at the beginning of the twentieth century were dominated by nationalistic melodramas by Boucicault, Whitbread and O’Grady, but as the decade progressed many local groups adopted the plays of the Irish National Theatre and its northern counterpart, the Ulster Literary Theatre. As cultural nationalism morphed into political nationalism, even Sinn Fein produced amateur plays in Dundalk. However, following the outbreak of the First World War and the 1916 Rising, performance of plays of any kind became challenging.  However, both musical and theatre performance did continue during this period, though professional touring declined radically.  By the time these border towns emerged from the Civil War address the impact of the establishment of the Border, their cultural life had radically changed.  Not only was live performance very different, the impact of recorded music and particularly cinema had changed the expectations and assumptions of what entertainment should or could be.

Dundalk Institute of Technology

Dundalk Institute of Technology is a dynamic, world class Institute that has developed an international reputation in both basic and applied research through its Research Centres. This PhD Scholarship is offered through the Humanities Research Group, within the School of Business and Humanities at DkIT. The successful applicant will be registered as a full time postgraduate research student in the DCU-DkIT Graduate School. The PhD position will be located on the DkIT campus and the Degree will be awarded by Dublin City University.


This project is co-funded by the HEA Technological Universities Transformation Fund and DkIT.
The successful candidate shall receive a postgraduate stipend of €16,000 per annum, plus fees and a contribution to their direct research project costs up to a maximum of €2,000 per annum.  The duration of this PhD studentship is 36 months.  Terms and conditions will apply.


Qualifications – Essential
2:1 Honours Degree (or equivalent) in Drama/Performance/Theatre Studies and/or English

Qualifications – Desirable
Previous studies in twentieth century Irish Drama; Previous studies in Irish history, politics or society

Experience/knowledge – Essential
Experience in academic research at undergraduate +/or postgraduate level. Demonstrable organisational skills 

Experience/knowledge – Desirable
Experience in archival research

It is also a requirement that any applicant whose first language is other than English must have a certified English language proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.


Application process

Please send a copy of your CV and a 1-page cover letter to orla.lynch@dkit.ie no later than 4.00 pm on Wednesday 1st December 2021.  Applications received after this time will not be considered.

Please use the position reference “05AHSS2020” in the subject title.  

Short listed candidates will be invited to interview. 

Informal inquiries should be sent to; Fiona.Fearon@dkit.ie

Please note, canvassing will render an applicant ineligible.