Dublin 2010

In 2010, I worked with Dublin City Libraries on One City One Book, through my research at Dublin University of Technology, to create the first Digital Civics Pedagogy Project. The Book of Choice was Oscar Wilde’s “A picture of Dorian Gray”, released in 1891 (the work that many have argued sits at the heart of the later court cases and imprisonment of Wilde). A global network of players collaborated to develop an environment, incorporating both online and offline worlds, that reenacted Oscar Wilde’s 1891, as a literacy education project.

The Project

A series of events around Dublin at different historical sites and landmarks allowed offline interactions to take place, while Dublin’s over-arching One City, One Book project- that included other literary and artistic, and educational events, information, and advertising- kept participants immersed in the physical realities of the world of Oscar Wilde in 1891. Meanwhile, online, Oscar Wilde and other historical characters from his circle, recreated a digital 1981. Many of the characters moved between online and offline, crossing back and forth between their digital 1891 world, and the live streets of Dublin (in full Victorian garb).

The Doctoral Work

Before the project could take place, interdisciplinary research formulated a foundational framework for digital civics through the development of underpinning philosophical, ethical, and historical concepts. These were then enacted to create the digital civics pedagogy project which also became a research environment. Combining this theoretical and practical research, a model for digital civics in pedagogy was developed.

Hosted on social media, and centred around the Facebook platform 30 participants, (including actors, teachers, university professors, retirees, undergraduate students, and other interested persons), took part in a month long digital reconstruction of Oscar Wilde’s Victorian London in 1891. Revived from the dead and unleashed into the online realm, the Victorian characters were free to interact with each other, students, and the public, and to contemplate the world of digital 1891 that they now inhabited. They posted pictures, offered Facebook feedback to one another, created fan pages, and formed Facebook groups. They gossiped about their lives, commented on “current” events (current to April, 1891), and discussed the connectivity, ethics, and technology of their world.

Meanwhile, A group of performers roamed the streets of Dublin, dressed as Oscar Wilde and his associates from 1891. Interacting with the public, they visited local venues, attended literary and educational events, and even took part in a ball, performing dances from 1891. True to their activities of the day, they held a meeting of the Rhymer’s Club (their literary and artistic exchange) that welcomed members of the public to watch performances from local modern artists as well as their historical counterparts (this was hosted at the Chester Beatty Library)


Saturday 10th April Afternoon

Oscar Wilde, Bosie, Lady Gregory, Sarah Bernhardt, Ada Leverson, Bernard Shaw promenade around the city ending with a ‘ball’ at the bandstand in St Stephen’s Green at 4pm

More Coming Soon

Sunday 25th April 2pm

The Rhymers’ Club Re-enactment Concert – a tribute to the club founded by W. B. Yeats and Ernest Rhys in 1890. Performing avant-garde works from Oscar Wilde’s literary circle in their original context. Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle 

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Sunday April 3
Costumed Promenade in Dublin, Dublin City Gate, Haypenny Bridge, and South Street Cafe

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Monday April 12
Camden Street Appearances

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Tuesday April 20th
National Library Costumed appearance

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Monday April 26
Jerusha McCormack delivers a lecture on celebrity culture


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