Dr. Aileen Dillane

Aileen Dillane is an ethnomusicologist and performer. She received her PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Chicago where she was a Century Fellow and Fulbright Scholar. She has taught at the University of Chicago, University College Cork, and is currently lecturing in music at the Irish World Academy.

Areas of Interests

Irish Traditional and Popular Music Specialist with research interests in Ethnomusicological Theory and Practice; Ethnicity, Identity, Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism; Critical and Cultural Theory; Folk, Traditional, Celtic, and Popular Musics of Ireland, UK, North America, and Australia; Music, Emotions, and Society; Acoustic Ecology, Urban Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship; Music, Health and Cultures of Care.

 Current Research Projects

–        LimerickSoundscapes

An multidisciplinary, citizen-facilitated, collaborative, sonic and ethnographic-based mapping of the city in interactive, web-based form. Limericksoundscapes is now also an interdisciplinary research cluster with an upcoming conference. See www.soundandsociety2014.wordpress.com.

–        Songs of Social Protest: Contemporary Counter-hegemonic Irish Singer-Songwriters

An interdisciplinary research project on the social and political efficacy of contemporary Irish music with the Dept of Sociology. This research project has contributed to the founding of the Power, Discourse, and Society research cluster in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Limerick.

–        Music, Well-being, and Cultures of Care: A developing research project examining the interface between Irish music, memory, ethnography, and cultures of care in a community hospital setting bringing together approaches from medical ethnomusicology, music therapy and ethnography.

–        Performance, Text, Context

An interdisciplinary, Humanities-based research group (music, dance, Irish, folklore, literature, poetry) convened at the University of Limerick and connecting with scholars interested in all aspects of Irish culture and the Arts across and outside of Ireland.

Aileen is also a member of the Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies


–        2014.  ‘Irish Traditional Music, Nostalgia, and Cultural Intimacy’. 25th Annual Sean O Riada Memorial Lecture. Traditional Music Society, University College Cork.

–        2013. ‘Irish Nostalgic Song and the Performance of Identity’. Bealoideas Special Edition, Journal of the Folklore Society of Ireland, ed. Rionach Uí Ogáin, pp. 13-27

–        2013. ‘Composing Identity, Fiddling with (Post)Ethnicity: Liz Carroll’s “Lake Effect”’.  MusiCultures (Canadian Society for Traditional Music), Vol 40 (1), pp 7-34.

–        2013. Review of ‘Bright Star of the West: Joe Heaney, Irish Song-man’, Williams and Ó Laoire.  Ethnomusicology, Journal of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Sept 2013

–        2013. ‘Ethnomusicological Theory and Practice: Towards an Irish Ethnomusicology.’ Proceedings of the Crossroads Conference: Education and Traditional Music. Ed. Fintan Vallely et al.  Dublin: Whinstone.

–        2013. Fieldwork track (Jim Donoghue, musical tongs performer) in ICTM Ireland Fieldwork. An annotated CD publication of fieldwork recordings from Ireland by the International Council For Traditional Music, Ireland.

–        2012. With E. Devereux and M. Power. ‘A Push and A shove and this Land is Ours: Morrissey’s Counter-Hegemonic Stances” in Critical Analysis of Musical Discourse, ed. Theo van Leeuwen, a special edition of Critical Discourse Studies, Aug 2012, pp 375-392.

–        2012/11. With E. Devereux and M. Power, (eds). Morrissey: Fandom, Representations, Identities. Bristol: Intellect Press/University of Chicago Press. (hardback 2011, softback 2012)

–        2012/11. With E. Devereux. ‘Speedway for Beginners: Morrissey, Martyrdom and Ambiguity’ in Morrissey: Fandom, Representations, Identities: Bristol: Intellect Press/University of Chicago Press. (hardback 2011, softback 2012)

–        2012. ‘Jim Across the Road’ (An Ethnographic Vignette). New Hibernia Review. Vol 16, No 1, Spring 2012, pp 9-15.

–        2011. Contributor (various) to The Companion to Irish Traditional Music. 2nd edition, ed. Fintan Vallely. Cork: Cork University Press.

–        2011. Review of ‘Irish Pirate Ballads and Other Songs of the Sea’ Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40552 (2009). In Yearbook of Traditional Music Journal of the International Council of Traditional Musics.

 In progress


–        Sounding the City, Sounding the Self: Irish Music in an American Metropolis.

Edited Collections

–        David Bowie: Critical Perspectives. With E. Devereux and M. Power. Contracts signed with Routledge, New York. Due for publication, 2014/2015.

Under Review:

 – “I sing out to the youth of the slums”: Morrissey & Class Disgust. With E. Devereux and M. Power. 



–         ‘Considering Musically Mapping the City: The Case for LimerickSoundscapes.’ European Seminar in Ethnomusicology: Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity. Bern, Switzerland. Sept 2013. Panel Convener and Featured Speaker.

–        ‘Danny Boy as Ethnic Avatar’. Love and Sentimentalism in Popular Music: An Interdisciplinary Symposium. Royal Holloway, University of London. June 2013. Featured Speaker.

–        ‘Irish Music, Ethnicity, and Identity’. Presentation to the Global Irish Studies Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW. Apr 2013.  Invited Speaker.

–        ‘Ethnicity, Identity, and Iconicity: Donnacha Dennehy’s Grá agus Bás’. American Conference for Irish Studies. Northern Illinois University, Chicago, IL. Apr 2013. Featured Speaker.

–        ‘Composing Identity, Playing with (Post)Ethnicity: Liz Carroll’s Lake Effect. Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music Research Seminar. Monash University, Mar 2013.

–        ‘Irish Music, Performativity, and Cultural Intimacy’. Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Research Seminar, University of Melbourne. Mar 2013. Invited Speaker.

–        ‘Aislings and Avatars: Irish (Traditional) Music, Performativity, and Cultural Intimacy’. Sean Ó Riada Annual Memorial Lecture.  National University of Ireland, Cork (UCC). Jan 2013. Invited Speaker.

–        Ethnomusicology, Creativity, and Holism’. Graduate Medical School Annual Research Day, University of Limerick, Jan 2013. Invited Speaker.


–        ‘Music, Space, Utopia’. SAUL Senior Research Seminar, School of Architecture, University of Limerick, Nov 2012. Invited Speaker.

–        ‘Textures of Place in Music: Phenomenology, Biography & Spatial Stories’ for ‘Music, Place, Self’.  Tower Seminar Series, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Nov 2012. Featured Speaker and Seminar Convener.

–        ‘Conversations and Play’, Performance, Text, Context Interdisciplinary Group. Tower Seminar Series, Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, Oct 2012. Feature Speaker and seminar co-convener.

–        ‘Playing with Identity, Fiddling with Post-Ethnicity? Liz Carroll and the Turtle Island String Quartet’. ‘The North Atlantic Fiddle: Historical, Analytical, and Ethnographic Perspectives on Instruments and Styles in Motion’ Panel. Society for Ethnomusicology International Conference, New Orleans, Nov 2012. Featured Speaker.

–        ‘Sentimentalism in Irish Music’, Music in Ireland Lecture Series, School of Music, University College Dublin, Oct 2012. Invited Speaker.

–        ‘Irish (Traditional) Music, Nostalgia, and Cultural Intimacy’.  Banchnoic Éireann Ó!: Folklore, Music and Song of Ireland. Princess Grace Library, Monaco, Sept 2012. Invited Speaker.

–        ‘Irish Nostalgia’.  ‘What is Different About the Irish?’ Irish Studies Interdisciplinary Conference, University College Dublin, Sept 2012. Invited Speaker.

–        ‘You’re Gonna Need Someone On Your Side: Morrissey’s Fans’.  9th International Conference Crossroads in Cultural Studies, Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris, July 2012. Featured Speaker.

–        ‘Ora(l)iteracy – At the Juncture of Music Theory and Practice’ paper presentation as part of the ‘Institutionalising Irish Traditional Music at Third Level: BA In Irish Music and Dance’ panel at NAFCO (North Atlantic Fiddle Convention Conference), McGee University, Derry, June 2012.

–        ‘An Emotional Air-Raid? Morrissey and Class Disgust: The Case of The ‘Slum Mums’.

Regulating Emotions: Contemporary Understandings and Interdisciplinary Perspectives Conference, University of Limerick, May 2012.  Featured Speaker.

–        Songlines as Social Movement: Reappraising Two Australian ‘Protest’ Songs Twenty Years On’. Paper presentation at ICTM Ireland, Trinity College, Dublin, Feb 2012. Featured Speaker.

–        ‘Texting the City: Francis O’Neill’s Irish Music and Chicago’s Modernity’.  Tower Seminar Series Interdisciplinary Group ‘Performance, Text, Context’, Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, Feb 2012. Featured Speaker and Seminar Co-convener.


–        ‘Mighty Lift and Drive: Music: Music, Dance, and the Creation of Effervescence at an Irish Ceilí’.  Society for Ethnomusicology International Conference, Philadelphia, Nov 2011. Featured Speaker.

–        ‘Traditional Music Performance Degrees: Translating Program Vision to Curriculum Delivery’. International Conference for Traditional Music Conference, Newfoundland, July 2011. Featured speaker and panel discussant on an International panel of experts.

–        ‘Migrating Music, Musical Migrations’ with Dr. Byron Dueck, Open University. Irish World Academy Seminar Series, Oct 2011. Discussant.

 Contact Details:

Dr. Aileen Dillane
Room No: IW1.18,
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,
University of Limerick,

Tel: +353-61-202918
Fax: +353-61-202159
email: aileen.dillane@ul.ie

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