Member Details

Full Name

Elaine Sisson (Professional Historian)

Membership Type

Professional Historian



MA: College of William and Mary in Virginia
PhD: Trinity College, Dublin


I am a Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire. I am also the co-Chair for the BA in Design for Stage and Screen at the National Film School, IADT.

Consultancy work

Historical Consultant: Exhibitions and catalogues; GPO Witness permanent exhibition, Ouroboros Theatre Company, Project Arts Centre. Documentaries for television: RTE (Life Before the Rising; A Man Young and Old; Fanatic Heart); TG4 (The GAA; Seachtar na Casca; Cuchulainn (Mind the Gap Films);
National Forum for Teaching and Learning

Management & Administrative experience

I am a senior academic at IADT with experience in art and design education including operational academic management, validation processes, programmatic and institutional review, strategic and curriculum development, teaching and learning, programme co-ordination, and securing research funding. I have a track record in leading institutional change and identifying strategic pathways for development. In 2008 under PRTLI V I was one of the founders of the Graduate School for Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM). Seconded full-time to GradCAM as a key member of the start-up team we implemented a research strategy, recruited graduate students, wrote and developed strategic documentation, and developed external academic and industry links.


Irish visual and material culture; costume and theatre design history; history of stage and screen; Shakespeare on screen; research methods in art and design; critical writing. Postgraduate supervision in the areas of Animation and Film History, Performance and Theatre History, Costume and Production Design, Gender and Popular Culture; Irish Modernism; Cultural Politics and the Visual Arts

Outreach activities

Delivered public lectures on history for Heritage Week, the Festival of History, National Commemoration (RTE/Dublin City Council); The Road to the Rising (RTE/Dublin City Council), Crinniu na Casca (Dublin City Council); 1916 Programme Laois County Libraries, the National Gallery of Ireland, Magill Summer School, Parnell Summer School, Hugh Lane Gallery, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Pearse Museum, Dublin Design Week, Mendicity Institution

Committees & Associations

Member of the Historical Studies Committee at the Royal Irish Academy
Member of the Core Expert Group, Gate Theatre Research Network funded by the Dutch Research Council
Member of the American Conference for Irish Studies
Member of the Women's History Association
Member, International Editorial Board, Canadian Journal for Irish Studies


Delta Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, National Forum for Teaching and Learning, 2018
Moore Institute Research Fellowship, NUI Galway, 2016

Other activities

Curator: DL5-8 ArtsFest: five weeks of free public events run in conjunction with GradCAM and DLRCoCo
Conference Organisation: Small Histories (National Library); Creative Policies in Practice; Film and Education; Arts Research; Art and The Public; Art Education; Contemporary Dance (all with GradCAM/IADT)