Trinity College Dublin Appoints World Leading Writers, Theatre practitioners, Composers and Creative Technologists to Spearhead its Cutting Edge Initiative in the Creative Arts, Technologies and Culture

The appointments are part of a major initiative launched by Trinity College Dublin last year to spearhead a dynamic new approach to the Creative Arts, Technologies and Culture. Promoting the generation of new ideas, connectivity and programmes across the Arts and Sciences, and between the Capital City of Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, a new appreciation of creative practice within the university is at its core (

Drawing on the diverse strengths and expertise in the university, the unique cluster of cultural and performing arts institutions concentrated in Dublin city, and the range of existing and emerging creative industries, the initiative is forging a new network in education, research, creative practice and entrepreneurship, at the heart of the capital city in six flagship areas. They are creative writing, music composition, cultural heritage, creative technologies, visual arts, and dramatic arts.

The adjunct appointments include:
Novelist, Sir Terry Pratchett
Poet/Publisher, Peter Fallon
Literary Agent/Editor, Jonathon Williams
Music Composer/Producer, Bill Whelan
Music Composer, Gerald Barry
Music Composer, Kevin Volans
Director of Disney Research (Pittsburgh), Jessica K. Hodgins
Principal Researcher in Microsoft Research (Seattle), Curtis Wong
Co-founder of Havok and Kore Virtual Machines, Steve Collins
Science Gallery Founding Director, Michael John Gorman
Founder of visual effects software company, The Foundry, Simon Robinson
Artist & Dean of GradCAM, Mick Wilson
Playwright, Michael West

Commenting on the initiative and the invaluable contribution these artists and experts will make in their new roles, Provost, Dr John Hegarty, said:

“The Creative Arts, Technologies and Culture initiative at the heart of Dublin City, with Trinity as its catalyst, is about promoting dynamic new connections, ideas, and graduates equipped to re-imagine and re-design the future. Alongside our existing distinguished adjuncts and our new artists in residence, the appointment of this sizeable new cohort of creative practitioners and scholars from the arts and creative industry sectors is a significant step forward as it creates a formal space in the curriculum that is about valuing and developing the practitioner.”

“These adjunct appointments will bring the world of academia and creative practice closer together while at the same time reinforcing the great traditional values of the university. There is enormous potential benefit for Dublin city and Ireland in forging the new connections promoted under our creative initiative. This is but a first step.”

Trinity’s adjunct appointments are in title only and are reserved for distinguished people outside the university who can bring their expertise to bear on its activities and in turn have access to a community of scholars and ideas.

About the new Adjunct Professors and Lecturers:


The Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing (School of English) at Trinity College Dublin is renowned for its graduate creative writing programme. In collaboration with the School of Drama, Film and Music and the School of Languages, Literature and Cultural Studies, the remit of the Centre is being expanded to incorporate dramatic writing, publishing and literary translation. Contributing to this development will be new adjunct professors:

Jonathan Williams − Ireland’s senior literary agent and editor. He is widely respected for his tireless promotion of Irish writing worldwide and his in depth knowledge of the book publishing world.

Peter Fallon − one of Ireland’s best known and highly regarded poets and publisher of the internationally recognised The Gallery Press. His practical expertise of editing poetry, fiction and drama, along with book publishing, is matched by his own skills as a poet.

Sir Terry Pratchett − author of the Discworld series, he is a hugely successful novelist and recognised throughout the world. His unique blend of commercial success and practical artistic commitment, ranging over many decades, are priceless assets to share with students of all ages.

These new adjunct professors will join the Pulitzer prize-winning American novelist and short story writer Richard Ford, who has been contributing to the M Phil. in Creative Writing at the Oscar Wilde Centre for the past three years with classes on writing fiction.


The recently established Centre for Composition and Contemporary Practice (School of Drama, Film and Music) is building on Trinity’s tradition in composition and music technology to consolidate its position at the cutting edge of contemporary music. It will benefit hugely from the expertise of the following leading Irish composers as adjunct professors in music composition:

Gerald Barry – internationally regarded for a series of groundbreaking operas, including The Intelligence Park to the most recent, The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant. He is at present finishing The Importance of Being Earnest for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Kevin Volans – received international prominence with his string quartets White Man Sleeps, Hunting Gathering and Songlines. His music has been promoted by some of the major performing groups of our time, such as Kronos Quartet and the London Sinfonietta, and has been performed at most of the major international venues.

Bill Whelan − known throughout the world for Riverdance and other landmark compositions such as The Seville Suite and The Spirit of Mayo. He has also enjoyed a hugely successful career as a producer and arranger, and as a composer of film music.


The new Centre for Creative Technologies at Trinity is based on a unique collaboration of Computer Science, Engineering, Drama and the Arts and is harnessing the university’s critical mass in the technologies and sciences that underpin the Creative and Entertainment Industries, partnering with them to pioneer new research and graduate programs. It will benefit from the international expertise of the following adjunct appointments:

Jessica K. Hodgins − Professor in the Robotics Institute and Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University and Director of Disney Research, Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on computer graphics, animation, and robotics with an emphasis on generating and analysing human motion.

Steve Collins − Co-founder of Havok and Kore Virtual Machines. Havok was a spinoff company of Trinity where he was Senior Lecturer for a number of years, holding funded research projects in physically based animation and global illumination.

Michael John Gorman − Founding Director of Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. He also leads an international consortium that won the first ever EU Framework 7 call for projects bridging science and the arts, StudioLab, with partners including Ars Electronica (Linz), Royal College of Art (London), Le Laboratoire (Paris) and MediaLab Prado (Madrid).

Simon Robinson − Chief Scientist and founder of leading visual effects software company, The Foundry, based in the UK. He is the driving force behind many of The Foundry’s cutting edge software developments which serve leading visual effects facilities worldwide, including Industrial Light & Magic, Weta Digital, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Digital Domain. In 2007 he received a Sci-Tech Academy Award.

Mick Wilson − Artist, Writer and Head of Fine Art at DIT, currently on secondment as Dean of GradCAM. His teaching practice has been primarily focused in recent years on the critical re-construction of creative arts education in a way that is informed by trends and tendencies within international contemporary cultural practice.


The Cultural Heritage Initiative draws on Trinity College Dublin’s uniqueness as a historic city centre university campus, surrounded by a thriving cluster of cultural institutions with similar collections and traditions. In an unprecedented level of collaboration, Trinity is partnering with each of these institutions to create new paradigms and networks of learning, professional practice, research, and outreach in tangible expressions of cultural heritage enabled by new technologies. Joining the staff at Trinity as adjunct professor in digital cultural heritage (School of Histories and Humanities) is:

Curtis Wong − Principal Researcher in Microsoft Research, Seattle, focusing on interaction, rich media, and data visualisation. His vast expertise will contribute to the development of programmes in Digital Humanities, Cultural Preservation and Intelligent Systems.

Curtis Wong will join Michael Ryan, Director of the Chester Beatty Library and a world authority on the art of metalwork in the early middle ages, who has been an honorary professor in the School of Histories and Humanities for many years.


The School of Drama, Film and Music provides the largest number of programmes in the Arts at Trinity College Dublin with practice-based dimensions and has been forging links with the arts profession and cultural industries for many years. In 2011, the School will open the professional training conservatoire, the Lir, the National Academy of Dramatic Art, in collaboration with the Cathal Ryan Trust and RADA, as a centre of excellence for professional training in all the dramatic arts (acting, design, directing and writing), advancing the rich theatrical heritage of both Trinity and Ireland.

Michael West − award winning playwright, will join the School as adjunct lecturer in Drama. Plays include Dublin by Lamplight, Foley and Everday and his latest play, Freefall, was voted the Irish Times Theatre Awards Best New Play 2009. Michael has also translated or adapted many texts including The Marriage of Figaro for the Abbey and Tartuffe for the Gate. He has written the libretto for Ahakista, an opera by Jürgen Simpson, which will premiere in January 2012 in Canada.

He will join the distinguished panel of existing Adjunct Professors in Drama:

Fiona Shaw − leading Irish actor regarded as one of the finest classical actresses of her generation;

Michael Bogdanov − award winning director and producer, co-founder of the English Shakespeare Company and also involved in the founding of the Wales Theatre Company;

Anne Bogart – an American theatre director and a professor at Columbia University, heading the Graduate Directing Program;

Marina Carr − leading Irish playwright, with plays translated and performed throughout the world. Her best known works include By the Bog of Cats, Portia Coughlan, The Mai, and Woman and Scarecrow.


Also as part of the Creative Arts, Technologies and Culture Initiative, the following artists in residence have been appointed at the School of Drama, Film and Music:

Michael Keegan-Dolan – Theatre-Maker in Residence − instructing students in theatre movement, use of sound and music, choreography and how to devise their own pieces. He is the Artistic Director of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre and has choreographed nine works including the internationally acclaimed Midlands Trilogy, Giselle, The Bull, James Son of James and most recently The Rite of Spring in collaboration with the English National Opera.

Selina Cartmell − Arts Council Artist in Residence − is the Artistic Director of Siren Productions for whom she has directed Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Fando and Lis and Medea. She has directed Marina Carr’s The Cordelia Dream at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Only an Apple, Big Love, and Woman and Scarecrow for the Abbey Theatre.

Lenny Abrahamson − Film-Maker in Residence − will be offering master classes to film students at Trinity. He is the director of Adam and Paul, Garage and the RTE TV series Prosperity and is now considered one of the leading young directors of Irish cinema.

Ensemble Avalon − has been appointed as the Allied Pension Trustees (APT) Ensemble in Residence at the Centre for Composition and Contemporary Practice, in partnership with Dublin City Council, the Hugh Lane Gallery and the National Concert Hall. Ensemble Avalon is a fresh and dynamic piano trio featuring three of Ireland’s finest internationally accomplished soloists and chamber musicians. As an ensemble in residence, Ensemble Avalon will interact with the student body both in structured courses and in organising performances.