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Lisa Godson

PhD Work

Thesis: Ceremonial Culture in the Irish Free State, 1922-1939

This thesis is an analysis of public ceremonial culture in the Irish Free State, from 1922 to 1939. It aims to establish the scope and nature of public events in the state and to demonstrate how ceremonial culture was used by various agencies. It also suggests a critical methodology for examining ceremony from a material culture perspective. Public ceremony is treated as a form of cultural action where power relations and identities are materialised.

A range of artefacts such as shrines, uniforms, medals and temporary architecture are analysed in the thesis, usually to show how an interlocking system of objects created a material habitus of ceremony and ritual for specific sites, events and organisations such as the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland and the Archconfraternity of the Holy Family (Limerick). As well as actual objects, this thesis analyses how certain discourses of materiality were played out through ceremonial culture in the Free State, particularly through Catholic ritual.

The thesis suggests that Catholic ceremonial culture was instrumentalist in a number of ways in the Free State. These include giving public approval and sanction to the new state, demonstrating a new ideal Irish male, expressing the unifying force of religion in the face of political divisions and providing a 'usable past' on which Irish identity could rest.

Info

  • PhD

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    History of Design–2008

  • Thesis: Ceremonial Culture in the Irish Free State, 1922-1939

    This thesis is an analysis of public ceremonial culture in the Irish Free State, from 1922 to 1939. It aims to establish the scope and nature of public events in the state and to demonstrate how ceremonial culture was used by various agencies. It also suggests a critical methodology for examining ceremony from a material culture perspective. Public ceremony is treated as a form of cultural action where power relations and identities are materialised.

    A range of artefacts such as shrines, uniforms, medals and temporary architecture are analysed in the thesis, usually to show how an interlocking system of objects created a material habitus of ceremony and ritual for specific sites, events and organisations such as the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland and the Archconfraternity of the Holy Family (Limerick). As well as actual objects, this thesis analyses how certain discourses of materiality were played out through ceremonial culture in the Free State, particularly through Catholic ritual.

    The thesis suggests that Catholic ceremonial culture was instrumentalist in a number of ways in the Free State. These include giving public approval and sanction to the new state, demonstrating a new ideal Irish male, expressing the unifying force of religion in the face of political divisions and providing a 'usable past' on which Irish identity could rest.

  • Degrees

  • MA History of Design, RCA/V&A, 1998; MA History of Art, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland, 1994
  • Experience

  • Lecturer in History of Design and Material Culture, National College of Art & Design, Dublin, 2007 to present; Tutor in Critical & Historical Studies, Royal College of Art, 2004-7; Lecturer in History of Architecture, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin, 2003-4; Weekly columnist (writing on design in Ireland), The Sunday Times, 1999-05
  • Awards

  • Postgraduate Bursary, British Association of Irish Studies, 2004; Postgraduate Bursary, Design History Society, 2003-4