IASIL 2014 Scholarship Winners

Lisa Fitzgerald, Robert Welch Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Lisa Fitzgerald

Biographical Information

Lisa Fitzgerald is a PhD candidate based in the National University of Ireland, Galway. Funded by the Digital Arts and Humanities PhD program, her research interests focus on site-specific theatre, cultural memory, and the role of place on the theatrical stage. Recent research projects have explored the relationship between site-specific performance and historical sites throughout Ireland. She has a Master’s degree by research from the Graduate School of Creative Arts & Media (GradCAM)/Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (DLIADT) funded by Strand One PRTLI scholarship and a BA from the Crawford College of Art & Design.

Research Profile

Changes within Irish theatre studies reflect the deepening relationship between the theatrical experience and what is termed the spatial turn. Disciplines such as archaeology and wider geographical concerns offer a more considered examination of place – not just in site-specific – but also in traditional theatre. Drawing on ecocritical discourse, Lisa’s PhD research is concerned with the intersection between geographical/landscape studies and Irish theatre. Using the work of Synge, Friel and Beckett as lynchpins, the thesis addresses how place is translated into theatrical space.Titled ‘Re-Place: Spatialising Theatrical Performance in the Work of J.M. Synge, Samuel Beckett and Brian Friel’ the thesis argues that a reassessment of the work of these playwrights through an ecocritical lens can challenge the traditional binary of nature/culture that is inherent in Irish theatre.

James Little, IASIL Scholarship Recipient


Biographical Information

James Little is a PhD student in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin. His research interests include institutionalisation in Irish writing. In 2013 he received an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship and he is currently writing his thesis on Samuel Beckett and confinement which examines the function of spatial restriction in Beckett’s work, from the asylums of his early novels to the bare spaces of his later prose and drama.

James’ comments on IASIL

The 2014 IASIL conference in Lille gave me the opportunity to meet friends, make new contacts and put faces to names of people whose work I have come across in the course of my own research.  A friendly and professional tone for the week was set by the warm welcome we received from the organisers and their helpers; this facilitated an atmosphere in which ideas were exchanged between all participants. The feedback I received following my paper on Samuel Beckett’s Watt, both in the course of the panel discussion and in conversations afterwards, has given me fresh impetus as I start work on a new section of my thesis.