Project Proposal

Project Members: Maddy Saboe and Marissa Bunting

Area of Study: History and Culture in Suburban Dublin

Project Title and Justification: We would like to call our project “Experiencing Irish Suburbia through Portobello, Dublin.”  

So far, our study-abroad program has focused predominantly on the heart and inner city of Dublin through its history, architecture, social issues. This is why we would like to use our independent research project to explore beyond the city center and into its surrounding areas. More specifically, we are interested in the “Suburbia” of Dublin because as we have learned from our modules and from interacting with locals, most people who work in the city commute from outside neighborhoods. Through researching these areas we discovered Portobello, which is an area of Dublin with a rich historical background and many small local businesses.  Our project will hone in on studying this neighborhood and how its history has led to its current status as a vibrant place to live.

Methodologies: First, we would like to perform a literature review to learn about the neighborhood’s background and how it has developed since the 17th century. This information will allow us to historicize and contextualize our observations in field research. We hope to then conduct interviews with locals and business owners of Portabello to gain personal insight into life in neighborhood, and contextualize them in a study of broader development and history of Portobello.

Creative Aspect: We want to be able to communicate Portabello’s vibrancy in real time as we research and experience the area through social media by including photos, videos, and text posts. To do this, we plan on developing a blog (using WordPress) to trace our research process and learning of Portobello, where each week we will compose a long-form post about a new focal topic such as Portobello’s architectural development or interviews with locals. However, we also plan to create additional, smaller posts containing photos or interesting observations between main posts.

Initial Research Question: As like any case study, our initial question is rather broad. We hope to narrow our focus and hone the research as we discover more about Portobello. Therefore, our initial research question is as follows: How is Portobello’s long history reflected in its daily life and culture today?