New Director of Irish World Academy at Limerick

Professor Helen Phelan. has been appointed as the new Director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (IWAMD) at the University of Limerick.

A member of the IWAMD faculty, Doctor Phelan has been its Professor of Arts Practice since 2009. She is also an Irish Research Council recipient for her work in music, migration, and the use of arts-based research methods.Chair of IMBAS, a national network for artistic research in Ireland, her recent books include her monograph, Singing the Rite to Belong: Music,
Ritual and the New Irish,
with Oxford University Press and The Artist and Academia, co-edited with Graham Welch.

A singer, Helen is co-founder of the female vocal ensemble, Cantoral, specializing in Irish medieval chant. She is the founder of the Singing and Social Inclusion research group and she is the HRI cluster lead for PART-IM: Participatory and Arts-Based Methods for involving Migrants in Health Research.

Helen succeeds Dr. Sandra Joyce in the role of Director. Sandra is now the Interim Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Limerick – of which the IWAMD forms part.

The first Director of the Irish World Academy was Helen Phelan’s husband – the late Míchéal Ó Súillieabháin who was responsible for establishment of the academy in 1994. Since then the IWAMD has achieved an international reputation for excellence in nurturing performance and academic talent (including research) in music, dance and related areas. Many of the younger generation of traditional performers who have emerged in recent years are alumni of the academy.

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