This summer’s Applied Field Program will explore the material history of the Irish Diaspora in County Cork. The location of the study is the area around Skibbereen, County Cork. This year, we will be working near the southwest coast of Co. Cork – between Skibbereen and Baltimore. The site contains cabins (above ground and sub-surface) dating from the early 19th century to the first decades of the 20th century. Skibbereen is located 51 miles (82 km) southwest of Cork City. It became infamous as a metaphor for the impacts and horrific sufferings of the Great Starvation. Skibbereen is ideal due to its commitment to collecting Ireland’s rich heritage. The Skibbereen Museum and Heritage Center is a natural conduit between the archaeologist and the local community.
Through archaeological investigations, archival research, and interviews with local historians of the Skibbereen Heritage Center and members of the community, you will receive extensive and intensive experience learning the importance and meaning of material culture as it relates to the larger study of the Irish Diaspora, socio-cultural change in Ireland over time, as well as form the foundation for a comparable database to model and interpret the diverse worlds and experiences of Irish immigrants internationally.
This research is an important move forward in modeling the diversity of material identities in Ireland and creating a database that will be significant not only to Ireland, but also to understanding material and social continuity and change in Irish diasporic communities worldwide.