The project investigates the biological, cultural and historical context of the south west coast of Ireland from 1700 to 1920. The focus is on the rich maritime environment that is found along the arc of Cork’s Roaring Water Bay, from Clonakilty to Bantry Bay, as it is shaped by sea and land and as it is imagined within 18th -19th century cultural texts. The period to be researched begins with the emergence of wide-ranging antiquarian inquiries and poetic responses to the Cork coast and ends with the start of serious biological field research in this area. By advancing a transdisciplinary understanding of this coastline, the project forms a link between its cultural history, scientific research and environmental priorities while communicating a sense of cultural identity and fostering ownership of maritime heritage.
Central Research Questions
- How can interdisciplinary research that joins expertise from cultural history with marine biology, deepen knowledge of the heritage of European coastal and maritime regions via a focus on this particular stretch of coastline along the Roaring Water Bay in south-west Cork?
- What can literary, cultural and visual representations of this coastline tell us about the origins of environmentalism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries?
- How can the interests and knowledge of diverse audiences – cultural historians, environmental scientists, community stakeholders, tourists – be related and integrated so as to influence the health and sustainability of maritime areas?
- What questions emerge from eighteenth and nineteenth century representations of coastal environments and how can these questions inform contemporary environmental priorities?
The Deep Maps project focuses on the rich maritime environment that is found along the arc of Cork’s Roaring Water Bay, from Clonakilty to Bantry Bay. The below maps details the four areas and twenty-five sites that will be the focus of this project, which include:
- Bere Island
- Whiddy Island
- Bantry Bay
- Cape Clear Island
- Sherkin Island
- Lough Hyne / Lough Ine
- Union Hall