The speakers list will be updated on an ongoing basis. The current confirmed speakers include:

Dr. Ann Lynch

Senior Archaeologist, National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.

A graduate of University College Cork and the Universiteit van Amsterdam, her main research interests are in prehistory. Her work with the National Monuments Service has been primarily concerned with the conservation and interpretation of national monuments in state care and she has directed excavations at many of Ireland’s premier monuments including Skellig Michael, Newgrange. Poulnabrone and Dublin Castle.

Professor Alison Beach, Ohio State Univeristy

Alison Beach is an historian of medieval history at Ohio State University. From 2011-2013 she was an Assistant Professor and as of September 2013 will be an Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Department of History.

She was an undergraduate at Smith College, where she studied with Prof. Lester Little and received a B.A. She did her graduate work at Columbia University, where she received an M.A. (History), an M.Phil. (Religion) and a Ph.D. (Religion). Her Doktorvater was Prof. Robert Somerville and she also worked closely with Prof. Caroline Walker Bynum.

Prof. Beach has held visiting and permanent positions at the College of William and Mary, Temple University, the University of Cologne, the University of Trier, the University of Bonn, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary (New York). In addition, for two years she was a post-doctoral research assistant for Prof. Giles Constable at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Prof. Beach’s first book, Women as Scribes: Book Production and Monastic Reform in Twelfth-Century was published by Cambridge University Press in 2004. In 2002, she organized a conference at Stift Admont in Steiermark, Austria, which brought together medieval scholars from both the English- and German-speaking traditions. Prof. Beach subsequently edited a volume based partially on the conference entitled Manuscripts and Monastic Culture: Reform and Renewal in Twelfth-Century Germany, published by Brepols in 2007.

Alison Beach has received fellowships and grants from the German-American Fulbright Commission, the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, and the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. In addition, her excellence in teaching was honored with several awards at the College of William and Mary.

Dr Yvonne McDermott, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology

Dr Yvonne McDermott lectures on the Heritage Studies programme in the Castlebar Campus of Galway Mayo Institute of Technology where she teaches Archaeology and Folklore.  She is a graduate of the B.A. in Heritage Studies in GMIT Castlebar and completed her M.A. by research at the same institute on the late medieval mendicant friaries in County Mayo.  She completed her Ph.D. in NUI Galway on the topic of the Franciscan and Dominican friaries established in the Connacht Burke lordships 1350-1550.  She has also worked for the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life.

Dr. Niamh NicGhabhann & Dr. Edel Bhreathnach

Monastic Ireland 1100-1700AD project, UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, University College Dublin (joint paper).

Dr Niamh NicGhabhann completed a PhD in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, Trinity College Dublin, as part of the IRCHSS Reconstructions of the Gothic Past Project. Her research areas include the use, reuse and restoration of medieval buildings, the historiography of medieval architecture, medieval visual culture and the digital humanities, and contemporary practices in the display and interpretation of the past. Her most recent publication is ‘Irish Architects and the Restoration of Medieval Buildings, 1835 – 1904’, in Roger Stalley (ed.), Irish Gothic Architecture: construction, decay and reinvention (Wordwell, 2013). She is preparing a monograph on attitudes and practices around Gothic buildings in Ireland from 1789 to 1915, and an edited section in the Journal of Art Historiography on the historiography of Irish art. Recent curatorial work includes Owen Walsh 1933 – 2002: Colour and Light (2012, Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, and the NCAD Gallery, Dublin 8), and the forthcoming exhibition Shaping Identities Together/ Ag Cruthú le Chéile, which opens on 9 May 2013 at the Institute for Ireland in Leuven, featuring the work of Geraldine O’Reilly, Colin Martin, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Hughie O’Donoghue and Robert Russell. This exhibition forms part of the cultural calendar for Ireland’s EU Presidency in 2013.

Dr Edel Bhreathnach is a historian of medieval Ireland who has worked extensively on many aspects of the field including the Hill of Tara, the nature of the Irish historical tradition, the Irish Franciscans, and death and burial in early medieval Ireland.  She has recently been appointed as the CEO of the Discovery Programme.

Dr. Rachel Moss, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland & Trinity College Dublin

Rachel Moss (B.A., Ph.D., F.S.A.) is a lecturer in Department of History of Art and architecture, Trinity College, Dublin. She is the current president of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland and a member of the directorate of the Discovery Programme. Her research interests include Irish medieval architecture and sculpture, and in 2009-12 she took part in a collaborative research project investigating the effects of the Reformation on medieval church architecture. She has published numerous articles on medieval art and architecture and edited/ co-edited two books, Art and Devotion in Late Medieval Ireland (2006) and Making and Meaning in Insular Art (2007). She is editor and principal author of the medieval volume of Art and Architecture of Ireland, a major reference text to be published in 2014 by the Royal Irish Academy and Yale University Press.

Prof.  Steinunn Kristjánsdóttir, National Museum & University of Iceland Setberg

Steinunn is a professor of archaeology at the University of Iceland Setberg and the National Museum of Iceland. From 2008-2012, she was head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Iceland Setberg. She received her Bachelors in Archaeology from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden in 1993 and continued on to complete her Masters in 1994 and received her PhD in Archaeology in 2004.

Steinunn has been a member of the Societas Scientiarum Islandica board since 2011. From 2001-2010 she was the Chair for The Association of Icelandic Archaeologists (FFÍ), and for The Reykjavík Academy from 2001-2004. She has published articles on medieval Iceland, the Vikings and monasteries of Iceland. Her current research interest is focused on the monastic activities and archaeobotnay at Skriðuklaustur monastery in Eastern Iceland including its vegetation and flora, cultural and relic plants and contemporary plant names.

Dr. Annejulie Lafaye, University College Dublin

Born in Normandy France, AnneJulie completed her BA in history and archaeology at the University of Rouen, during which time she spent an Erasmus year in NUI Maynooth (Ireland), where she developed an interest in Irish history and archaeology. She subsequently undertook a masters in medieval archaeology in the Sorbonne, with a focus in the settlements of the mendicant orders and their impact on the urban space.

Encouraged to carry out further study in Ireland, AnneJulie intended to undertake an Mlitt under the supervision of Prof. Tadhg O’Keeffe at UCD. She was offered a PhD scholarship by the O’Cleirigh Institute of Franciscan Studies. Her research revolves particularly around three axes: the landscape context of the friaries, their architectural chronology, and their spatial organization, with a focus on East Munster (Ireland). An important aspect of the research is her methodology, a cross-disciplinary approach incorporating several disciplines, archaeology, history, art history and geography, to bring the most complete picture of the settlements of the mendicants in Munster.

Annejulie is currently part of the team of the O’Cleirigh Institute Monastic Ireland Project, funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Fáilte Ireland. The project aims to collate a narrative of sources and landscape relating the  Augustinian, Cistercian, Dominican, Franciscan and other foundations that continued to receive the support and patronage of Irish and Anglo-Norman nobles throughout the medieval period, to build a website, database and image sensitive application of Irish monasteries, nunneries, houses of canons and mendicant foundations dating from 1100-1700AD.

Br. Colman Ó Clabaigh, Glenstal Abbey

Br Colmán Ó Clabaigh is a monk of Glenstal Abbey Co. Limerick and a former research fellow of the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute. He is the author of The Franciscans in Ireland 1400-1534 (Dublin, 2002). He co-edited The Irish Benedictines: a history (Dublin, 2005) and also Art and devotion in late medieval Ireland (Dublin, 2006).  His book, The friars in Ireland 1224-1540 (Dublin 2012) is a survey of the history and lifestyle of the mendicant friars in Ireland beginning with the arrival of the Dominicans in Dublin in 1224 and concluding with the Dissolution campaign of 1540.

Prof. Tadhg O’Keeffe MA, PhD, DEA, FSA, UCD School of Archaeology

Tadhg graduated from UCD (MA 1st class hons) in Archaeology in 1984 and followed on with the National University of Ireland three-year Travelling Studentship award in Archaeology that year. Tadhg used this opportunity to study in the  University of Durham in 1985-86, the Courtauld Institute of Art in the University of London in 1986-87, and the Centre d’Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale of the Université de Poitiers in 1987-88. His research interests have broadened from castellology and medieval landscape/settlement histories to include Romanesque architecture. In 1988 he was awarded a DEA in the History of Art (specialising in Romanesque) by the Université de Poitiers. He returned to UCD to complete his PhD in Archaeology, and presented a thesis on Irish Romanesque buildings in 1991. After a number of years in the commercial archaeological sector, Tadhg joined the Department (now School) of Archaeology in UCD as a post-doctoral Newman Scholar. In 1996 he joined the academic staff and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002 and to Associate Professor in 2006.

Currently serving on the editorial boards of three international refereed journals, Tadhg has refereed papers for a dozen-odd comparable journals as well as book proposals for a similar number of major international publishers. Tadhg was awarded a UCD President’s Research award in 2002-3 and an IRCHSS Senior Research Fellowship in 2008-9, and was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA) in 2007. He is the current Head of School in the School of Archaeology, UCD.

Dr. Rachel Scott, Arizona State University

Rachel is Assistant Professor with the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University at Tempe.  She holds a BA from the University of Chicago, a Higher Diploma in Celtic Archaeology from UCD, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.  Her areas of specialization are bioarchaeology, social identity (especially gender and religion), social construction of disease and disability, and European archaeology (especially early and late medieval Ireland), mortuary practices, and paleopathology.  She has undertaken field work in Ireland, France, and Iceland, and major publications include “Exploring the Role of Analytical Scale in Archaeological Interpretation” (ed. with J.R. Mathieu, BAR International Series 1261, 2004); “Key concepts in identity studies” (with J.E. Buikstra, in Bioarchaeology and Identity in the Americas, ed. K.J. Knudson and C.M. Stojanowski. 2009); and “Religious Identity and Mortuary Practice: The Significance of Christian Burial in Early Medieval Ireland” (in Baadsgaard, A., Boutin, Alexis T.  & Buikstra Jane E. (eds) Breathing New Life into the Evidence of Death: Contemporary Approaches to Bioarchaeology. SAR Press. 2012).

Rachel is the bioarchaeologist on the Black Friary Community Archaeology Project; the project is investigating the Black Friary Dominican Abbey site in Trim Co. Meath. Archaeological excavations are being undertaken by the Irish Archaeology Field School.

Finola O’Carroll MA, Irish Archaeology Field School

Finola is co-founder and senior archaeological partner of CRDS Ltd.  She is also co-founder of the Irish Archaeology Field School and Cultural Tourism Ireland.  Finola holds an honours BA in Archaeology and History (1982) and an MA in Archaeology (1986) from U.C.D.  She has twenty-three years experience working as a professional archaeologist, covering a wide range of research projects and commercial work.  Finola is a full member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists and a full member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (board member since 2006; Chairperson 2009-2012); she has full archaeological excavation licence eligibility.

Finola is currently the principal investigator on the Black Friary Community Archaeology Project; the project is investigating the Black Friary Dominican Abbey site in Trim Co. Meath. Archaeological excavations are being undertaken by the Irish Archaeology Field School.

Dr Stephen Mandal, Irish Archaeology Field School

Stephen is co-founder (in 1997) and CEO of CRDS Ltd, Archaeological & Historical Consultants.  He is also co-founder of the Irish Archaeology Field School, Cultural Tourism Ireland, and Dig it Kids. He holds an honours science degree in Geology (1991) and a PhD in Geoarchaeology on the petrology of the Irish stone axe (1995) from Trinity College Dublin.  He also holds Certificates in Safety and Health (1999) and Occupational First Aid (2000) from UCD.  On completion of his PhD, Stephen spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Archaeology Department, UCD, during which time he also undertook a three-month research fellowship in Cineca, Bologna, Italy.  Since 1991 Stephen has been petrologist for the Irish Stone Axe Project. He is a professional member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland, the Institute of Geologists of Ireland, and the European Federation of Professional Geologists.  In 2009 Stephen was elected to the Royal Irish Academy Committee for Archaeology and was subsequently elected as Vice Chairperson of the committee.


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