Irish Studies Würzburg

Guest Lecture: Dr. Joanne Cusack (Maynooth University), "Understanding the Experiences of Women in Irish Traditional Music"

Datum: 28.05.2024, 10:00 - 12:00 Uhr
Ort: Domerschulstraße 13, Institut für Musikforschung, Raum 113

As part of the seminar "Gender and Sexuality in Music", Dr. Joanne Cusack (Maynooth University) will give a lecture on "Understanding the Experiences of Women in Irish Traditional Music"

This talk documents the experiences of women performing in Irish traditional music. Drawing on extensive ethnographic research and statistical studies from her forthcoming monograph and PhD research, Cusack discusses how and in what way expectations differ according to an Irish traditional performer’s identified gender. She reflects on her experience as a researcher, musician, and activist with the volunteer grassroots organisation, FairPlé, and demonstrates the challenges and prejudices impacting the participation of women in today’s Irish traditional music and dance scene, and commercial music industry. Cusack concludes by emphasising the importance of action-based research projects that actively benefit the community that is being studied.

Dr Joanne Cusack is a researcher, musician, and FairPlé activist. She is a first-class honours graduate of Dundalk Institute of Technology specialising in Irish traditional solo performance, and holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from Maynooth University. Her research interests include cultural/critical studies, identity studies, feminist activism, and performance. As an activist, Joanne has contributed to the creation of numerous policy and support documents, and has been invited to speak at several events including, most notably, before the Oireachtas Joint Committee to discuss a safe and respectful working environment for the arts in October 2021. Aside from this, Joanne has an active record as an Irish traditional musician having performed both nationally and internationally. Joanne currently coordinates and delivers undergraduate modules on performance, and gender and musicology for the Department of Music at Maynooth University.


This lecture is organized by the chair of Ethnomusicology. For more information, please contact Prof. Dr. Juniper Hill (