Founded as a research centre in 1994, the Irish World Academy has grown to include a vibrant undergraduate and taught postgraduate suite of programmes but has remained committed to its initial vision of being a home for researchers in music, dance and other performing arts disciplines. Research at the Academy is conducted by faculty, doctoral and postdoctoral candidates and artists-in-residence. Faculty at the Academy lead and contribute to a number of interdisciplinary research clusters including:
Performing Arts Practice Research Cluster:
The Performing Arts Practice Research Cluster brings together artist-scholars from all universi- ties in Ireland who are interested in advocating for arts practice research in the performing arts. The group is primarily engaged in research towards the development of national policy around arts practice research for performers, as well as holding shared events to profile member research. The current steering group includes faculty from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick; the School of Music and Theatre, University College Cork; Drama and Theatre Studies, NUI Galway; the Department of Drama and Theatre Studies, Mary Immaculate College and the Department of Drama, Trinity College, Dublin.
Singing and Social Inclusion Research Cluster:
Arising from the Irish Research Council funded ‘Singing and Sustainable Social Inclusion’ project, the Singing & Social Inclusion cluster brings together researchers in community music ethnomusicology, Irish traditional song, music education music therapy, ritual studies and arts practice research to support interdisciplinary research around issues of singing & inclusivity.
TradSong Research Cluster:
The mission of the TradSong research cluster is to provide an academic forum for sharing expertise on Irish traditional song and related performance practices, cultures and communities. With performance at the heart of its scholarship, TradSong engages with Irish song communities and academics through meetings, symposia, performances and conferences. Over the next year, the cluster will focus on producing publications, as well as events embracing the wider Irish traditional song community and international scholars. While maintaining our focus on the Irish song tradition, we warmly welcome any scholar who has an interest in our events.
Arts and Health Research Cluster:
The Arts and Health research cluster was formed by researchers interested in the relationship and interaction arts and health. The cluster aims to create a hub for networking and collaboration between academics and practitioners in this field, facilitate collaborative research between arts and health disciplines and to promoted and develop interdisciplinary research between humanities and STEM experts. The cluster welcomes a diverse array of theoretical perspectives and research methodologies. To date there are 30 members, from a diverse range of academic disciplines includ- ing music, dance, medicine, nursing and midwifery, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, visual art, law, sociology and history as well as service user representatives.
ETHNOS Research Cluster:
The Academy is home to a wealth of expertise in ethnographic theory and method as applied to dance and music practice. It is central to the research of faculty and postgraduate research students in ethnochoreology and ethnomusicology as well as key in arts practice research, ritual studies, and Irish music and dance. The collec- tive energy of this cluster has enabled the Academy to host a number of significant international conferences: The International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Study Group on Ethnochoreology; a Joint Forum of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the ICTM; and, largest of these, the upcoming biennial World Conference of the ICTM.
Immigration & Integration Research Cluster: This research cluster is an interdisciplinary space for research around issues concerning immigration and integration. There is research being carried out by researchers in this area in every faculty in the University of Limerick. The cluster is currently developing a directory of such projects for use by NGOs and other research bodies.
Irish Traditional Dance Research Cluster:
The Irish Traditional Dance Research Cluster consists of scholars and performers of Irish traditional dance who are committed to engage- ment with living traditions, archival and scholarly documentation, and reflexive inquiry into contemporary choreographic exploration and performance. The research cluster aims to provide a diverse range of fora for the support, development and dissemination of Irish traditional dance expertise and research – both academic-based practices and practice-based. These fora include meetings, seminars, symposia, conferences, workshops, concerts, exhibitions, and festivals.