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Climate and Society in Ireland podcast ep. 2: Lucy Collins

In episode 2 of our new podcast, host Gill Plunkett talks to Lucy Collins about representations of climate change in Irish poetry between 1600 and 1820.

In this new series of four podcasts host Gill Plunkett explores the long view of climate change by interviewing the authors of Climate and Society in Ireland. We talk about hunter gatherers, disease, poetry, weather events and consider our future vulnerabilities. In today’s episode, Lucy Collins (UCD) explores the changing representation of weather in poetry written in Ireland between 1600 and 1820 and examines the relationship between literary convention and political and intellectual transformation in these texts.

The Climate and Society in Ireland podcast goes live on Wednesday and episodes are available on SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Climate and Society in Ireland is also a blog series based on the book chapters. Find the full list of blogs here.

About the book

Climate and Society in Ireland is a collection of essays, commissioned by the Royal Irish Academy, that provides a multi-period, interdisciplinary perspective on one of the most important challenges currently facing humanity. Combining syntheses of existing knowledge with new insights and approaches, contributors explore the varied environmental, climatic and social changes that occurred in Ireland from early prehistory to the early 21st century. The essays in the volume engage with a diversity of pertinent themes, including the impact of climate change on the earliest human settlement of Ireland; weather-related food scarcities during medieval times that led to violence and plague outbreaks; changing representations of weather in poetry written in Ireland between 1600 and 1820; and how Ireland is now on the threshold of taking the radical steps necessary to shed its ‘climate laggard’ status and embark on the road to a post-carbon society. Purchase Climate and Society in Ireland.

About the speaker

Lucy Collins joined UCD in 2008 after previously teaching at Trinity College Dublin and in the UK at the University of Cumbria. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where she completed both her BA and PhD degrees, she spent a year at Harvard University on a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her research interests are in poetry and poetics; recent publications include Contemporary Irish Women Poets: Memory and Estrangement (2015), Poetry by Women in Ireland 1870-1970: A Critical Anthology (2012) and a co-edited collection of essays Aberration in Modern Poetry (2011). She has published widely on individual poets from Ireland, Britain and America and has a particular interest in gender issues and in ecocriticism. A co-edited anthology, The Irish Poet and the Natural World: An Anthology of Verse in English from the Tudors to the Romantics, was published by Cork University Press in 2014. She is co-founder of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, a national digital repository.

About the host

Dr Gill Plunkett is Reader in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University Belfast. Gill is an archaeologist and palaeoecologist with a specific interest in understanding human-environment interactions in the past. As an archaeologist, Gill has worked on Irish prehistoric and Medieval sites, and has several years experience of wetland archaeology survey and recording. Her palaeoecological expertise includes palynology and plant macrofossil analysis (peatland and archaeobotanical), as well as the application of tephrochronology as both a dating and correlation method and a means of examining volcanic impacts on climate and society. While much of her research is based on Irish bogs, her tephra work extends to polar ice cores, the Caspian Sea and lakes and bogs in North America, Kamchatka and southeast Asia.