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Research Statement

My doctoral research is entitled ‘Audio-Describing the Maze and Long Kesh Prison.’ My research is practise-based and draws on the literature of translation studies, particularly audiovisual translation, film and heritage studies to mediate on some of the challenges of creating audio descriptions of the video tours of the Maze and Long Kesh prison for blind and partially sighted audiences in Northern Ireland as part of the Prisons Memory Archive. 

Taking the Prisons Memory Archive as my example, my research explores the ethics of description, reflecting on how to describe a contentious place, such as the Maze/Long Kesh prison, which has come to represent contrasting readings of the past across communities in Northern Ireland. This research entails investigating the complexity of meaning associated with the prison site within a dynamic framework exploring and re-evaluating the notion of objectivity and subjectivity in audio description research. While audio description is often considered a specialist or niche service, its application to the video tours of the Maze and Long Kesh prison provides us with the opportunity to re-examine the prison landscape and our relationship to it through the representational economy that the medium demands.

I have worked as research assistant on the Accessibility, Culture and Training (ACT) project, which is an EU-funded project in collaboration with various partners across the UK and leading institutions in Europe – such as Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. This project focused on research into the training of access providers, gauging audience expectations and developing a new professional profile, that of “Media Accessibility Expert,” together with the various types of training activities associated with this profession. This work involved researching the expectations of audiences with varying abilities as well as engaging with major stakeholders and access providers in the scenic arts to promote awareness of accessibility to the Arts.  

As of October 2019, I work as part of the communications team for the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation (ESIST).

My principal research interests are in audiovisual translation and media accessibility, particularly subjects related to accessibility in the arts, as well as, access facilities such as audio description, touch tours, sign language interpreting, and captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. I am also interested in contested heritage, particularly in relation to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and musuem accessibiity. 

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