The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Elaine Sisson


Dr. Elaine Sisson is a cultural historian and Senior Lecturer at IADT, Dublin where she is the Academic Lead for the Creative Futures Academy, a new collaboration between IADT, NCAD and UCD Humanities. She has extensive expertise in leading initiatives in art and design education, including strategic and curriculum development, research initiatives and funding in the sector. She was one of the founding members of the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, the first inter-institutional initiative to offer taught doctoral programmes for creative practitioners. She has broadcast and published widely on early C20th Irish visual and literary culture including a book on Patrick Pearse, and edited volumes in Irish design and visual culture, Irish theatre history and the Irish literary revival. More recent research has focused on the Gate theatre, and histories of performance, design and modernity. A recent contribution to the RIA’s publication 1922 is on race, blackness and Irish modernity. In 2021 she commissioned, curated and produced a series of podcasts for the Royal Irish Academy exploring new approaches to historical study. The series, called From Grief to Wonder: Exploring Emotions in Irish History, comprises six podcasts focused on different emotions in a particular historical Irish context and hosted by a range of early-career to established historians. See She is currently writing a history of counter-cultural experiment and modernity in the Irish Free State, for Bloomsbury.

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