I was seconded at Trinity College Dublin from September 2014 to February 2015. This was my second time in Ireland, but the first experience of living abroad for a long period. While at Trinity, I worked at the Long Room Hub, a wonderful space that inspires research and debate. I also attended the various activities promoted weekly in the Hub, which allowed me to meet people from different parts of the world and specialists on several fields.
My work consisted primarily on research and study. I tried to make the most of my time going to and back from the library, where I could find books that are not available in Brazil. Since my research is about contemporary Irish literature and its relation to history, I had access to many historical and critical works, both in print and online.
The aim of my study in Ireland was to build a corpus of historical novels published during the Celtic Tiger period and to gather references on literary trauma theory. I was able to find four novels that work on history published between 1994 to 2008: Roddy Doyle’s A Star Called Henry (1999), Jamie O’Neill’s At Swim, Two Boys (2001), Joseph O’Connor’s Star of the Sea (2002) and Sebastian Barry’s A Long Long Way (2005). These novels are set during important periods of Irish history, such as the Great Famine, the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and World War I. Regarding to theory, I came up with some theorists that work with the representation of trauma and denial in literature, such as Joshua Pederson (2014) and Stanley Cohen (2001).
My time in Dublin also allowed me to travel to some Irish cities where I have friends. I went to Cork to visit Professor Claire Connolly and to Limerick to visit Professor Tina O’Toole, two longtime friends of mine. I could also attend cultural events such as the Dublin Theatre Festival and some Q&A sessions with writers at Hodges Figgis bookstore.
Overall, my experience in Dublin was very valuable and enlightening both personally and professionally. I am sure that my research developed considerably during the secondment and I will take the experience with me for the rest of my academic career.