Crowdfunding my work
February 17, 2014 Leave a comment
It was 1997. I was 25. I had spent two years working with a financial advisor to set up a translations brokerage company, at a time when no one else had done this in Ireland yet. Week after week debating cash flows and business procedures, drowning in paper, in the days before cloud computing or public awareness of the Internet. I was going to call it Impact! Translations Ltd., and I was going to focus specifically on the music industry. At the time, I wanted to do it because I loved translating (Spanish and Irish) and I saw a (humungous) gap in the market. In retrospect, I wouldn’t really have enjoyed it as much as I thought, as running the business of organising other translators and their contracts would have left me with very little time to do translations of my own.
I was sitting on my parents’ kitchen bench-top, swinging my legs, having a conversation with my Dad, about the business, about life.
“You’re running from something.” It was the kind of thing he would say; mysterious, philosophical, challenging.
“No I’m not.” My response was immediate, unthinking, not a little defensive.
“You are, you’re running from something.”
I had a feeling that what he wanted me to say was, “Yes, I’ve finally realised that I was wrong, that I actually do want to join the priesthood!” (Dad was a theologian). I checked in with that thought and it wasn’t that. In silence, I delved around in the shadowy parts of heart, looking for something that would fit with running, and fear, and escape, and avoidance. I was quite disappointed to find something.
“You might be right.” I was reluctant to say anything, to be honest. It wasn’t comfortable territory for me. If the truth be told, the thought of it was almost bringing me to tears. Some things leave traces.
Dad just sat there in silence. He did that a lot. It could be very infuriating.
“I think I’m afraid of being a scholar.” This might sound like a strange thing to say, but those were the kinds of conversations we would have.
I had always been academically bright, and if I didn’t find something challenging, I was easily bored. I was an expert technician at examinations. So much so that I would often finish exams an hour ahead of time and use the time to write poetry in the margins of the exam papers. From the start I was an enthusiastic student, with little wit. When a teacher would ask a question I would put my hand up if I knew the answer, because I didn’t understand a world where you wouldn’t do that. I loved learning, and didn’t really get that other people didn’t so much. I eventually learned to keep my hand down.
I was the captain of the quiz team, the captain of the debating team, the editor of the school science magazine, and I was in the school drama club. I won class prizes and school prizes. And my Dad was a religion teacher in the school. And now and then I got bullied.
I was tall, so I didn’t really get bullied physically. It was more taunting, teasing, being called a “stu” (short for ‘studious person’) or a “poof”, but it hurt, a lot. I didn’t kill anybody, but I once drew a picture of me killing someone who was taunting me. I still have the picture and I still remember his name.
My worst experience was when I was at Irish-language summer camp, otherwise known as “going to the Gaeltacht.” There was a chess competition, and we were staying as lodgers in different houses, so I headed off down the country roads of Donegal to play another student in a game of chess. I can’t have been more than 12 or 13 years of age.
I loved that place, Dún Lúiche, or Dunlewy as it is known in English, a small village nestled in the hills beside Eireagal/Errigal, the second highest mountain in Ireland.
I arrived at the other student house, took my coat off, and settled down to play the game of chess. I wasn’t as nonchalant as that sounds. I was a painfully shy kid, so being in the company of people I didn’t know very well was excruciating, and I felt very vulnerable. But I was there with a purpose, which made it easier.
I was an easy target. Not only was I a naively enthusiastic student generally, but I was also a naively enthusiastic Irish speaker, a naively enthusiastic Irish dancer, and a naively enthusiastic pacifist.
I don’t remember how many other boys were in the house at the time, maybe 6 or 7, but they were all older than me, most a year or two years ahead of me in school. What I do remember is that very shortly after I sat down to play, one of them poured an ashtray of cigarette ash on my head. I wasn’t good at conflict, but my normal strategy in the face of other kinds of bullying was to just ignore it, pretend it wasn’t happening. So that’s what I did. Then someone else attached a match to my coat and lit it. I only noticed it because of the small flash of sound as the match ignited. By this stage there was a lot of mocking laughter (the laughter of grouped teenage boys still sends a shiver up my spine) and taunting.
In an attempt to get away from this, I moved away into an adjacent room, but felt totally trapped, and almost paralysed with fear. I can’t remember if I was crying or not. The only way out was through the front door, back through the room I had been in. I managed to find enough strength to get up and walk out. I thought that was the end of it.
The group of boys from the house followed me out. I started to walk down the road away from the house, but when I saw they were following me I got scared and decided to take a shortcut across the bog, which meant running though the wet, rushy, bog. I tripped and stumbled my way across. The boys behind me starting throwing stones and gravel at me. I ran faster. I was terrified.
I managed to get across the bog to the other side and rejoined the road, but the boys had dashed around the road to intercept me. I just managed to beat them to the road, but was so scared that I ran into the nearest house and stood in the doorway while the boys gathered at the gate like hyenas rounding on a kill. There was no one in the house, but I remember considering breaking into the house just to get away. After waiting there, terrified, for what felt like 15 or 20 minutes, the boys melted away back to the house, leaving me traumatised. I went back to my own house, which was thankfully empty, and cried my eyes out.
At school I learned that being yourself was something to hide. It was wise to pretend to be less smart that you were. That was just something that you had to learn to survive.
Here I was, almost ten years later, and the idea of allowing myself to celebrate my intelligence and scholastic abilities was still something that caused me fear, and hurt, and no little anger, at others and myself.
“I think I’m afraid of being a scholar.” I had been avoiding the possibility of doing a Ph.D., because that would mean publicly admitting that I was intelligent, academically able, and a scholar. I was scared of sticking out from the crowd, drawing attention to myself, being the person I knew I was best suited to being.
In Australia people apparently refer to Tall Poppy Syndrome. It’s the tendency that people have to cut other people down when they have the temerity to put their heads above the parapet of social order and status quo, whether through success, natural talent, or just pure charisma or eccentricity. We have this in Ireland in spades (and another day I will reflect on how the Mr. Men books are Tall Poppy Syndrome in book form). I was scared of being cut down.
Two things are coming to mind. One is the quotation from Marianne Williamson, often misquoted as being from Nelson Mandela, that goes:
Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
The other is from Gary Lightbody and Snow Patrol, which I hold closer since my father died:
Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I’ll be right beside you, dear.
As it happened, deciding to do a Ph.D. was the best thing I ever did. It felt like someone had strapped a rocket to my back. I came to have the confidence to learn from other thinkers, to think for myself, to celebrate my ability to find connections, to trust in the emergence of pattern and resonance and form. Doing my Ph.D. turned my world upside-down. I ended up developing a new theoretical framework which guides my work to this day. I travelled to the United States and learned the courage to be given responsibility. I found a way to integrate my intellectual life and my personal and political endeavours.
While I often enjoyed much of my time working in universities, especially my time teaching, I generally found they tended not to be places that left much room for joy or naively enthusiastic curiosity. Joy and naively enthusiastic curiosity are, for me, the heart of interdisciplinary endeavour. In every job I’ve had I have been expected to only contribute a portion of the range of work that I actually do. The more I have followed my heart in my research and have brought disparate threads together from different disciplines, and the more I have regained my enthusiasm, curiosity, and love for intellectual work and its relevance to everyday life, the more I have felt out of place in university environments. I may work in a university again, but if I do, it will because it supports me in doing what it is that I do, and feeds both my joy and naively enthusiastic curiosity and that of the students I work with.
In 2012 I was offered voluntary redundancy, after working in universities for 16 years. This was a major moment for me, offering, on the one hand, the symbolic cut-off point of a career that seemed, on paper, to be wandering all over the place, and, on the other, a symbolic launching-off point for an intellectual career that had always been integrated and focused from my own perspective, carrying clear threads of inquiry from discipline to discipline.
Sharing my life with a young child, a new one on the way, and a wife who lives with disability means that I cannot afford the risk of an entrepreneurial startup. We need a regular wage to offset the risks that come with what will always be a precarious life.
Recently, I lost faith that a life as an independent scholar was possible. It doesn’t pay well. Indeed, it doesn’t pay at all. I started applying for academic jobs again, knowing at every point that I would have to box myself up and deny significant aspects of my work.
Then, last week I came across Gittip.
Crowdfunding a Dream
It’s time. My name is Anthony and I’m a scholar. As of this week I am going to be out and proud as a social philosopher and independent scholar. This may seem a little weird, but it’s a big deal for me. I’m a thinker, a writer, a cultural, anthropological, and sociological critic. This is what I do, this is my “element”, this is what lights my inner fires and keeps me strong. I believe passionately in the political possibilities of gentleness, and I want to find out more about what that means. I believe passionately in the identification and critique of processes and practice of personal, political, and social ‘enclosure’, and I want to find out more about what that means. I value the need for prolonged reflection in the development of theoretical work. I value not knowing exactly where a writing project is going, and not knowing what it’s going to look like until it’s finished. I value the relevance of contemplative scholarship and writing to the social, political and ecological realities of our time.
I have a dream. I dream of being able to build a career as a social philosopher and independent, contemplative scholar. I dream of having the time to write for as long as the integrity of the theoretical work demands. I dream of having the time to write down the thoughts, ideas, systems, and frameworks that have been in my head for twenty years.
According to a Crowdfunding Industry Report, in 2012 crowdfunding platforms (308 of them) raised £1.6 billion.
The other day I came across a relatively new crowdfunding platform, Gittip.
Where most crowdfunding platforms allow people to source money for a single project, Gittip allows people to give money to people on a week-by-week basis. Users donate money towards a weekly salary for “people you love and are inspired by”.
Part of my being okay with lighting up, with allowing myself to shine (without compromising my or others’ dignity!) is believing people when they have said that they are inspired by the work that I do.
So, I’ve set up a Gittip account at http://www.gittip.com/AnthonyMcCann/. I am placing myself in the hands of the crowdfunding fates, and ask for assistance in my quest to be a social philosopher and independent scholar.
The core of my work is exploring the optimal conditions for what I term “ordinary ethics” (for example, compassion, gentleness, kindness, hospitality, generosity, and trust) in social life.
I am working on a book called, Heart of the Commons: the hidden wealth of ordinary ethics. In this book I hope to combine the following research themes:
- Social and ethical dynamics in Irish traditional culture;
- The impact of intellectual property discourses and practices on the communities and contexts of traditional and indigenous expressive arts, in particular, Irish traditional music;
- The development of a general theory of ‘enclosure’, to understand particular kinds of unhelpful, intensifying, and accelerative social change within personal life, business, institutions, organisations, and communities.
- Enclosure in the contexts and communities of Irish traditional music during the period 1994-2000, with a particular emphasis on commercial performance, education, and developments in discourse, aesthetics, and affect;
- A “pedagogy of gentleness”, including the development of a presence-based and practice-based theory of learning as ‘increasing or decreasing awareness of being here’, as distinct from theories of learning understood as ‘increasing resources of knowledge, skill or information’;
- Cultural climate, culture change, enclosure and ‘ordinary ethics’ in institutional practice, with a particular emphasis on institutions in education, healthcare, and business;
- The elaboration of a general framework of presence, relational ethics, and cultural sustainability emerging from an exploration of the Irish vernacular (Irish-language) concepts of garaíocht, mothú, and caidreamh, evidenced by ethnographic analysis of the social systems of relational interaction in the communities and contexts of Irish traditional culture.
I am aiming to produce a number of books, articles, and videos based on this work. I am hoping to balance publication of my theoretical work with more popular publications.
If you think my work is valuable, if you have found my work has inspired you in any way, or if you suspect that my developing work might inspire you in the future, please consider offering even the smallest meaningful contribution on Gittip. Contributions are anonymous and can be as little as $0.25 a week.
To give you a better sense of my work, here are some paragraphs from what I’ve written:
“It interests me that many people dismiss gentleness as irrelevant to a serious, strategic engagement with politics. Often when I use the phrase ‘politics of gentleness’ in conversation I receive a look of pleasantly-surprised intrigue followed by a furrowed brow of puzzlement. For me, gentleness is our baseline, the attitude that grounds us in being politically and personally present. I think of an attitude of gentleness as a way of really confronting the oppressive structures we encounter in others, in our environments, and in ourselves, and a way of looking after ourselves as we do so.
Gentleness is, for me, about assuming that we all matter, that we all make a difference, all the time, often in the subtlest of ways. Understanding how we do this can make us far more helpful as we play our part in particular kinds of social change. Each of us has, I believe, opportunities to really transform our lives and the lives of others, and gentleness for me is at the heart of how I think about that; a deeply political engagement, a deeply political critique, a very immediate way to think about empowerment.”
“Enclosing characters of social change don’t happen by way of humungous invisible hands that sweep us into an inevitable further stage of commodifying existence. Enclosure happens when people interact with people, when attitudes have consequences, as they only ever do, when the smallest rhetorical layerings of absolutism, domination, oppression, coercion, and violence are anointed with stealth and blessed with the silent pull of gravity on account of their banal humanity. What in the long term will be a pretty big deal is often in the short term left unnoticed. Such ways of thinking are not better or Darwinistically superior. For those of us who are uneasy about them they can be simply different, but the consequences of that difference are where the possibilities of critique and transformation lie. Whether or not such ideas become more influential depends on politics – on how energetic, persuasive, or coercive people become with regard to their propagation – and on how acquiescent or participatory we become with regard to their acceptance. Enclosure tends to be a process in which we ourselves often engage and participate, often regardless of, or on account of, our oppositional rhetoric. As such, our greatest contribution in our encounters with the dynamics of enclosure may well be to consider that there is nothing more political, personal, or relevant than the character of our own attitude. This would implicate us in the continual clarification of our own priorities of importance with regard to what we value, and evaluation of the dissonances between our values and what we find ourselves being expected to concede to, or, often, what we find ourselves conceding to.”
“People often reach for notions of “tradition” to speak of ways of thinking and ways of doing that were and continue to be important to them, especially when they feel that the persistence of their ways of life may be under threat by particular kinds of unhelpful social change … At such times, many people would like to speak about feelings of encroachment, a sense of injustice, anger about misrepresentations of what they believe and stand for, or maybe express their sense of deep relational connection with those who have gone before and who are yet to come. These deeply felt, profoundly emotional ways of thinking about “tradition” are not readily articulable if the ways of speaking about “tradition” centre on resource management or prescriptive invariance. The temptation is great, however, to accept the terms of discussion, and to join a reductionist dance that does violence to the experiential richness of what we can and do learn from those around us, both helpfully and unhelpfully. Fundamentally, workaday understandings of “tradition” can frequently leave little room for heart, for love, for people, or for hope.”
As well as research, I have some practical projects I am developing:
Crafting Gentleness: promotes the study and practice of gentleness in everyday life and promotes social sciences research into the transformational possibilities of gentleness as a form of politics.
The Homecomers Network: designed to provide a social support and business support network for people who have returned to Northern Ireland after a number of years away, who often come back with lots of energy and ideas and enthusiasm for innovation and change .
The Kinder Culture Initiative: The Kinder Culture Initiative aims to help people facilitate and implement practical, meaningful actions to improve the cultural climate of their community and environment, whether in a school, an organisation, a university, a town, or a city. Improvements in cultural climate can bring significant benefits for health and wellbeing.
The Garaíocht Initiative: The underlying logics, philosophies, and perspectives of the Irish language provide a distinct and valuable perspective on social and political possibilities. Garaíocht is an Irish-language term that encapsulates the core values of relationship, community, and interdependence in a single concept. This project explores the potential of garaíocht as a value in social transformation, leadership, creative entrepreneurship, community development, and professional ethics. This project explores the potential of this and other (often untranslatable) concepts in the Irish language to offer guidance and insight in our responses to social, political, and economic challenges.
I am hoping that Gittip will eventually provide me with about 95% of my income to support me in all of the above work.
I live with my wife and my two children in Holywood, Co. Down in Northern Ireland. I share the childrearing duties with my wife, who is disabled, and any income I might get through Gittip allows me to be a lot more flexible in how I devote my time and energy to my work and my family.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and a special thank you if you are able to help with a contribution.
You can find out more about me at: http://www.anthonymccann.com
You can read some of my work elsewhere on this blog at: http://anthonymccann.wordpress.com
or at: http://independent.academia.edu/anthonymccann
You can follow me on twitter at: @anthonymccann
Below are some specific details about my career and work.
Ph.D. Humanities and Business (Ethnomusicology), University of Limerick, 2002.
M.Phil. Irish Studies (Interdisciplinary), First Class, University College Galway (now NUIG), 1997.
B.A. Joint Honours Celtic Studies and Spanish, First Class/First Class, Queen’s University, Belfast, 1994.
July 2012 – present
Independent social philosopher, educator, coach, and facilitator.
June 2006 – June 2012
“Lecturer in Contemporary Folk Culture,” University of Ulster, UK
Folklore, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies; Ethnomusicology; Cultural Theory; Music Business; Design; Spanish.
Feb. 2005 – May 2006
Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Art and Visual Culture; Cultural Policy and Management; Media Studies (Popular Music, Alternative Media).
Oct. 2004 – Jan. 2005
Lecturer, University of Sheffield, UK
Jan. 2004 – June 2004
Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Feb. 2002 – Feb. 2003
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Smithsonian Institution, USA
Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Sept. 2000 – June. 2001
Assistant Lecturer, University of Limerick, Ireland
March 1999 – June 1999
Assistant Coordinator, UNESCO/Smithsonian World Conference
Smithsonian Institution, USA.
Sept. 1997-June 1998
Assistant Lecturer, University of Limerick, Ireland
2013 Unltd Spark Award, UK
2010 Unltd Social Innovation Award, UK
2002-2003 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian Centre for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, USA
1999-2000 Government of Ireland Scholar, IRE
1999 Charles Seeger Prize (Society for Ethnomusicology)
1998-1999 Fulbright Award, USA
1998 Royal Irish Academy/British Academy Research Bursary (Oxford University), UK
Indicators of Esteem:
2014 Keynote Speaker, IPDC (International Practice Development Collaborative) Enhancing Practice 14 healthcare conference, Toronto, CAN.
2013 Peer-reviewer, Ethnomusicology, Ethnomusicology Forum.
2013 Keynote Speaker, International Symposium on Person-centredness in Nursing Education, Institute for Nursing Research, University of Ulster, N. Ireland, UK.
2013 Invited Participant, “Compassion in Education”, Private Audience with Dalai Lama, Derry, N. Ireland, UK
2012-2015 Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, USA
2012-2015 Visiting Fellow, Bristol University Graduate School of Education, UK
2012-present Board Member, Echo Echo Dance Company, Derry-Londonderry, N. Ireland, UK.
2012 Invited Participant, “Education for the Crisis” symposium, University of Leicester, UK
2011 Advisor, Sion Mills Buildings Preservation Trust, N. Ireland, UK.
2010-present Associate, Center for Emergent Diplomacy, Santa Fe, USA.
2010 Inclusion in 10th Anniversary IRCHSS (Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences) book of 25 scholar profiles from 3,000 awardees, IRE
2009-2010 Curatorial advisory panel, Ulster Museum, N. Ireland, UK.
2007-2010 Moderator, SEM-L, Society for Ethnomusicology mailing list, USA.
2006 Scholar-in-Residence, Social Ecology/Education Summer School, University of Western Sydney, AUS.
2005-2006 Research Associate, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, UK.
2005 Invited Participant, International Symposium: “The Law and Information Interface in the Digitally Networked Society: Is a Conceptual Rethink Imperative?” The Information Law Research Group of
the School of Legal Studies, University of Wolverhampton, UK.
2004 Invited Participant, International Symposium, “Music, the Public Domain, and the Cultural Commons,” Manhattanville College, USA.
2003-2005 Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution, USA
2002 Invited participant, symposium of experts, “Intellectual Property and Cultural Production”. MacArthur Foundation. American University, Washington DC, USA.
2001-2005 Chair, Music and Fair Use Forum of the Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology.
2000-2003 Council Member, The Society for Ethnomusicology.
1999 UNESCO/Smithsonian Institution World Conference Plenary Address. “The 1989 Recommendation: a brief analysis”. Washington DC, USA.
2013. “Questioning Educational Strategies: The Challenges of Radical Pedagogy in Discussions about Irish Traditional Culture.” Crosbhealach an Cheoil – the Crossroads Conference 2003: Education and Traditional Music. 288-298. Dublin: Whinstone.
2012. “Opportunities of Resistance: Irish Traditional Music and the Irish Music Rights Organisation 1995-2000.” Popular Music and Society 35(5):651-681.
2010. “A Tale of Two Rivers: Riverdance, A River of Sound, and the Ambiguities of “Tradition”.” Ethnologie Française 41:323-341.
2010. “A Gentle Ferocity: In Conversation with Derrick Jensen.” In Dark Mountain 1:108-118
2010. “What might I like my kids to learn about life?”: in search of “tradition”.” Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics 4(1):75-92.
2006. “’Ar Lorg na Gaoithe’: The Impossibility of Translating Cuaifeach Mo Londubh Buí into English.” In Back to the Present, Forward to the Past: Irish Writing and History Since 1798. Edited by Patricia Lynch et al. 175-186. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
2006. Book Review: “Noisy Island: A Short History of Irish Popular Music, Gerry Smyth (Cork University Press, 2005).” Journal of the Society for Musicology of Ireland. URL: http://www.music.ucc.ie/jsmi/index.php/jsmi/article/view/15/8 (accessed September 2013)
2006. Book Review: “Identity and Everyday Life, Harris M. Berger and Giovanna P. Del Negro (Wesleyan University Press, 2004).” Western Folklore 65(3):346-348.
2005. “Enclosure Without and Within the “Information Commons”.” Information and Communications Technology Law 14(3):217-240.
2003. Various entries. In Encyclopaedia of Ireland. Edited by Brian Lalor and Fergal Tobin. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
2003. Anthony McCann and Lillis Ó Laoire. “‘Raising One Higher than the Other’: The Hierarchy of Tradition in Representations of Gaelic and English Language Song in Ireland.” In Global Pop, Local Language. Edited by Harris M. Berger and Michael T. Carroll. 233-265. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
2002. Anthony McCann and Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain. Video Review: “Riverdance – The Show; Lord of the Dance.” Ethnomusicology 46(2):366-369.
2001. “All That is Not Given is Lost: Irish Traditional Music, Copyright, and Common Property.” Ethnomusicology 45(1):89-106.
2001. Anthony McCann et al. “The 1989 Recommendation Ten Years On: Towards a Critical Analysis.” In Safeguarding Traditional Cultures: A Global Assessment. Edited by Peter Seitel. 57-61. Washington DC: Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage/UNESCO.
2001. Tressa Berman, Peter Seitel, and Anthony McCann. “Local Empowerment and International Cooperation: A Report on the Working Conference ‘A Global Assessment of the 1989 Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore’.” Cultural Survival Quarterly 24(4):28-31.
2000. “The Giving: Copyright, Conflict and Cultural Crisis in Irish Traditional Music.” The Common Property Resource Digest 51:7-8.
1999. Various entries. In The Companion to Irish Traditional Music. Edited by Fintan Vallely. Cork: Cork University Press.
1997. “‘Cuaifeach Mo Lionndugh’ – Athfhéachaint ar ‘Chuaifeach Mo Londubh Buí’ Mhic Annaidh mar Nivola.” An tUltach 2:17-21.
1990. “Similarities in the Development of the Gaelic-Ulster and Maori Cultures”. Familia: Ulster Genealogical Review 2(6):20-25.
Selected Seminars and Conference Presentations:
2013. “Towards Integrative Design.” Guest Lecture, Dept. of Product Design, Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado, El Salvador.
2013. “Revisiting Register: Affectual Intensity and Diagnostic Opportunities in the Analysis of Discourse and Power.” Register II Conference, University of Helsinki, FIN.
2013. “Beyond the Commons to Enclosure – Beyond Enclosure to the Heart of the Commons.” The Political Economy of the Commons symposium, University of Helsinki, FIN.
2013. “Gentle Coaching: The Relevance of Presence-Based Practice and Gentleness for Coaching Professionals.” EMCC Research Conference, Trinity College, Dublin, IRE.
2013. “Towards a Pedagogy of Gentleness: Sustaining Change and Development in Nursing Education.” Keynote Address, International Symposium on Person-centredness in Nursing Education, Institute for Nursing Research, University of Ulster, N. Ireland, UK.
2013. “Musical Media Ecology: Theoretical Implications of Digital Environments for Ethnomusicology.” BFE/ICTM Conference, Queen’s University, Belfast, N. Ireland, UK.
2011. “History, Historiography, and Social Context.” Guest Lecture, MA in History, University of Ulster, N. Ireland, UK.
2010. “Music and copyright: a case study.” Guest Lecture, Anthropology Dept. University of Ljubljana, SLOV.
2010. “Tradition.” “Enclosure.” “Gentleness.” Three Guest Lectures, Anthropology Dept. NUI Maynooth, IRE.
2010. “Crafting Gentleness.” Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Conference. Bogazici University, Istanbul, TURK.
2009. “Towards a Northern Irish Model for Peace? The political possibilities of ‘ordinary ethics’.” PSAI Specialist Group in Peace and Conflict Conference, “An Irish Model for Peace?: Interdisciplinary debate, International lessons,” Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, IRE.
2008. “The Dynamics of Enclosure and the Opportunities of Gentleness in Irish Traditional Music.” Conference Poster, SIBE Ethnomusicology conference, Salamanca, SPAIN.
2008. “Beyond Orality: Audio-Ocularcentrism and the Dynamics of Enclosure.” SIEF Conference, University of Ulster, N. Ireland, UK.
2007. “Crafting Gentleness?: The Challenges of Gentleness in Folklore and Ethnology.” Folklore and Ethnology Symposium, University of Tartu, EST.
2007. “Enclosure, He(d)gemony, and the Politics of Gentleness.” Guest Lecture, Dept. of Folklore and Ethnology, University College, Cork, IRE.
2006. “Questioning Educational Strategies: The Challenges of Radical Pedagogy in Discussions about Irish Traditional Culture.” Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
2006. “A Common(s) Language?: The Growing Challenges of Interdisciplinarity in Common Property Studies.” International Association for the Study of Common Property Conference, Ubud, Bali, IND.
2005. “Traditional Music and Intellectual Property: A Critical Perspective.” European Network of Traditional Music and Dance Conference – “Árinn: International Property Rights and Traditional Music and Dance,” Kristiansand, NOR.
2004. “UNESCO and the Best of Intentions: Globalization, Intangible Heritage, and Paradoxes of Protection.” IASPM (Europe) Conference, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, IRE.
2004. “The He(d)gemonies of Bushism: Participative Commodification and the Paradoxes of Enclosure.” Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Public Lecture, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.
2004. “WIPO, Legal Doctrines, and Academic Responsibility: Towards Critical Perspectives on Intellectual Property Protection.” American Folklore Society Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
2004. “Understanding Enclosure Without and Within the Commons.” International Association for the Study of Common Property Conference, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Oaxaca, MEX.
2003. “Beyond Resource Management: Humanising Approaches to Intellectual Property.” Guest Seminar, Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute, University of London, UK.
2003. “Questioning Educational Strategies: The Challenges of Radical Pedagogy in Discussions about Irish Traditional Culture”. Crosbhealach an Cheoil/The Crossroads Conference, University of Ulster, N. Ireland, UK.
2002. “Beyond Access and Control: Intellectual Property and Sonic Regimes of Enclosure.” Guest Seminar, University of California Los Angeles, USA.
2002. “Beyond the Term ‘Music’.” American Anthropological Association Conference. New Orleans, USA.
2000. “Traditional Transmission as Cultural Commons: The Conflicts and Crisis of Commodification.” The International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP) Comference, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
1999. “Breaking the Code: Irish Traditional Music and Common Property.” Guest Speaker, EthNoise! Graduate Colloquium, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
1999. “Breaking the Code: Irish Traditional Music and Common Property.” Guest Seminar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.