Rióna Ní Fhrighil & Anne Karhio, (2022). ‘Human Rights and Poetry in a Global Context’, Law and Humanities 16(1), 3-7. Full text available open-access at Law and Humanities Achoimre/Abstract: This...
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WHAT IS RoC?
Republic of Conscience: Human Rights and Modern Irish Poetry (RoC) is an IRC-funded research project that examines how Irish poets respond to international human rights violations and crises in their poetry.
Tá idir fhilíocht Ghaeilge agus fhilíocht Bhéarla na hÉireann san áireamh sa taighde seo. Is í an tOllamh Rióna Ní Fhrighil, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh (NUI Galway) an Príomthaighdeoir.
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Poetry in Translation
This research strand investigates the political and the ethical aspects of the act of literary translation. How does literary translation by poets facilitate the circulation of ideas and the formation of conscience in a global context? Translated poems are included in this research as an important part of the Irish poet’s œuvre. This is a radical contestation of the view that literary translation is peripheral to the act of creative writing itself. Interesting examples of literary translations in a human rights context include:
This research strand focuses on how Irish poets, writing in the English language, have addressed international human rights questions and violations in their work since the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. It considers how the language of poetry can be employed to respond to specific conflicts, events, and challenges, which may take place at a considerable geographic distance.
Irish poets have increasingly recognized the role of media technologies and networks in transmitting news on specific events, and how the medium of poetry responds to the forms and rhetoric of news media, or the language of journalism. Information networks and digital platforms extend the scope and reach of both news reporting and poetry, but also raise issues related to political control, transnational power, and citizen agency.
In recent decades, advances in media technology have taken place alongside the growing environmental crisis and the escalation of climate change. The emergence of the posthumanist paradigm also informs a number of poems considering human rights alongside the rights of non-human life and vulnerable habitats supporting ecosystems as well as human communities. Such a change of perspective highlights the ethically problematic aspects of attempting to define the “human” or the “human person” as a distinct category.
This research strand focuses on how Irish poets, writing in the Irish language, have addressed international human rights questions and violations in their work. Our research shows that poets writing in Irish frequently engage with international issues of import. This challenges the conventional perception of Irish-language poetry as focusing on the language itself and on its increasing minoritization. For instance, poets writing in the Irish language in the twentieth and twenty-first century have addressed such varied issues as: