The School of English is one of the largest in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. We currently have 20 full-time academic staff members, 4 adminstrative staff including our School manager, and 6 postdoctoral research fellows.

Academic Staff


Professor Graham Allen 

Professor of Modern English

Dr Tom Birkett

Lecturer in Old English

Professor Claire Connolly

Chair of Modern English 

Dr Miranda Corcoran

Lecturer in 21st-Century Literature

Professor Alex Davis

Professor of Modern Literature

Dr Anne Etienne

Lecturer in 20th-Century British Drama

Dr Alan Gibbs

Lecturer in English

Dr Adam Hanna

Lecturer in Irish Literature

Dr Joanna Hofer-Robinson

Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature

Professor Lee Jenkins

Professor of Modern Literature / Head of School

Dr Andrew King

Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance English

Dr Heather Laird

Lecturer in English


Mary Morrissy

Lecturer in Creative Writing

Dr Maureen O'Connor

Lecturer in English


Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir

Lecturer in English


Leanne O’Sullivan

Lecturer in Creative Writing

Dr Kenneth Rooney

Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Literature

Dr Edel Semple

Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies


Dr Eibhear Walshe

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing




Emeritus Professors


Prof Patricia Coughlan


Professor Colbert Kearney Ph.D. (Cantab)

 Colbert Kearney joined the English Department in 1972, was appointed to Chair of Modern English in 1989 and retired in 2008.

His teaching concentrated on Shakespeare and on Irish writers such as Joyce, Yeats, Synge, O’Casey and Behan, his research on the Gaelic background and oral culture of Irish literature in English, the basis for The Writings of Brendan Behan (Gill & Macmillan, 1977) and The Glamour of Grammar: Orality and Politics and the Emergence of Sean O’Casey (Greenwood Press, 2000).

He was visiting professor at University of California at Irvine, University of Montana at Missoula, Colby College, University of Padua, l’Ecole Normale Superieur at Cachan and guest lecturer at various other universities in Europe and North America.  

 He wrote the script for the 1982 RTE television documentary on Joyce entitled Is there one who understands me?  His translation of Eoghan Ó Tuairisc’s ‘Aifreann na Marbh’ is included in Leabhar na hAthghabhála: Poems of Repossession (ed Louis de Paor, Bloodaxe, 2016).  He has published a novel, The Consequence (Blackstaff Press, 1993) and a memoir of his parents, Down By the Liffeyside (Somerville Press, 2019).

Administrative Staff

Name: Anne Fitzgerald
Position: School Manager
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Name: Elaine Hurley
Position: Executive Assistant
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Name: Jennifer Crowley
Position: Senior Executive Assistant (Job-Share)
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Name: Christine O'Regan
Position: Senior Executive Assistant (Job-Share)
T: 353 (0)21 +353 (0)21 4902664

Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr Richard Scriven (Ports, Past and Present: Cultural Crossings between Ireland and Wales)

Dr Richard Scriven is a social and cultural geographer whose works examines the intersections of cultural heritage, tourism, sustainability,  and creativity through human-environmental relations. He was a Lecturer in the Department of Geography UCC and NUIG, as well as being a former Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow and a Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Scholar. His work has been featured in leading geographical journals (GeoHumanities, Cultural Geographies, Social & Cultural Geography) and he puts a strong emphasis on public engagement by working with local heritage groups and artists, curating public exhibitions, and producing his own podcast, Littoral Space ( 

Dr James L. Smith (Ports, Past and Present: Cultural Crossings between Ireland and Wales)

Dr James L. Smith is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of English and Digital Humanities at University College Cork, working on the 2019-23 EU Regional Development project Ports, Past and Present. His work is at the intersection of the blue, environmental, spatial and digital humanities. His first monograph is Water in Medieval Intellectual Culture: Case-Studies from Twelfth-Century Monasticism (Brepols, 2018). James is the editor of The Passenger: Medieval Texts and Transits (punctum books, 2017), and co-editor of the Open Library of the Humanities collection New Approaches to Medieval Water Studies (2019). His current monograph project has the working title of Deep Maps of Lough Derg.

Dr Tim Groenland (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2019-2021)

Dr Tim Groenland’s research focuses on the role of literary editors in twentieth- and twenty-first century American fiction. His first book, The Art of Editing: Raymond Carver and David Foster Wallace, was published in 2019 by Bloomsbury Academic. As the recipient of an IRC Postgraduate Scholarship, he completed a PhD from Trinity College Dublin in 2016; since then, he has held (fixed-term) positions as Lecturer in American Literature and Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary English Literature in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin. His writing has appeared in Critique, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Dublin Review of Books, among other venues.

While at the School of English, Dr Groenland will be researching the role of editors in post-war US magazine fiction – specifically, Theodore Solotaroff’s editing of the New American Review/American Review (1967-1977).


Dr. Seán Hewitt (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2019-2021)

Dr Seán Hewitt was awarded his PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2017, and previously studied at the University of Cambridge. He was Leverhulme Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin from 2018-2019. His first monograph, on the works of J.M. Synge, is forthcoming. His research at UCC, which is funded by the IRC, is titled Acts of Enchantment: Natural History in British and Irish Writing, 1870-1930. The project works across poetry, literary prose and scientific writings to explore the place of natural historical study in post-Darwinian texts. Seán is also a poet. His pamphlet Lantern (Offord Road Books, 2019) won an Eric Gregory Award in 2019, and was Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. His first collection, Tongues of Fire, will be published by Jonathan Cape in 2020. 


Dr Joseph Shafer (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2019-2021)

Dr Joseph Shafer specializes in twentieth-century American poetry, transatlanticism, critical theory and aesthetics. He received his PhD from the University of Warwick in 2018, and previously studied at Dartmouth College. In 2018, he was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Auburn University, and, in 2019, a Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford's Rothermere American Institute. His PhD dissertation introduced the privileged transatlantic reception of D.H. Lawrence within America's post-WWII poetic communities, and how that reception critiques Lawrence criticism and alters counter-cultural literary history and its varying forms. His current monograph, The Flesh of Literal Space: Aesthetics, Politics and Page in Post-1945 American Literature, offers a new lexicon for addressing types of literary space and their different relations, in order to introduce an overlooked yet underlined politic in the poetry and poetic prose of writers such as Charles Olson, Susan Howe, Robert Duncan, Ronald Johnson, Sylvia Plath, Kathy Acker, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Stephen Jonas, Jayne Cortez, and Sonia Sanchez. Aside from related publications in literary and cultural studies, in journals such as Arizona Quarterly, Textual Practice, Journal of American Studies, D.H. Lawrence Review, PN Review and Oxford Literary Review, Shafer has published on Jacques Rancière, two forthcoming book chapters on Lacan's aesthetics in Reading Lacan's Seminar VIII: On Transference, another on Badiou's modernist aesthetics, and an interview with Rancière.

Dr Ailbhe McDaid (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2018-2020)

Dr Ailbhe McDaid is a graduate of UCC (BA, English and Irish), Trinity College Dublin (MPhil, Literature) and University of Otago, New Zealand (PhD). Her first monograph, The Poetics of Migration in Contemporary Irish Poetry, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017 and she has published articles and book chapters on poetry, migration, memory studies and the literature of conflict. In 2017, Ailbhe was awarded the Busteed Postdoctoral Research Fellowship by the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool for her project 'Women and War: conflict, bereavement and Irish cultural memory’. Most recently, Ailbhe held a role as Lecturer in English at Maynooth University.




Dr Kenneth Keating (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Dr Kenneth Keating joins the School of English as an IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in October 2017, having studied at University College Dublin where he was awarded a PhD in 2014. He is the author of Contemporary Irish Poetry and the Canon: Critical Limitations and Textual Liberations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and has published widely on modern and contemporary poetry. He was previously a postdoctoral researcher working on the Digital Platform for Contemporary Irish Writing. He is currently editing a collection of essays on the work of Maurice Scully, forthcoming with Shearsman Books, and is the editor of Smithereens Press. His current postdoctoral research examines Transnationalism and poetic form in contemporary Irish poetry in an effort to reconceptualize conventional understandings of nation-centred literary inheritance.

Dr Declan Taggart (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

In October 2017, Declan Taggart was awarded an IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship at the School of English in UCC to write a monograph entitled Rethinking old gods: An investigation of Old Norse conceptions of the divine under the mentorship of Dr Thomas Birkett. His work examines cognitive variation in representations of Old Norse deities and their perceived interactions with the human world, touching on areas like the difference between theological and non-theological religious concepts, perceptions of divine intervention and representations of morality.

Declan is the author of How Thor Lost His Thunder (Routledge, forthcoming), which is adapted from his doctoral thesis ‘Understanding diversity in Old Norse religion taking Þórr as a case study’ (University of Aberdeen, 2015). He graduated with a BA in English Literature from Durham University and an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of York, and after finishing his doctoral studies he undertook a research stay at Stockholm University’s Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, sponsored by the Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy for Swedish Folk Culture’s Bernadotte Programme. He has also taught seminars in the History department of the University of Aberdeen, and he regularly publishes popular articles about topics of historical and cultural interest, often related to Old Norse culture and society.

Dr Brandon C. Yen (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Brandon C. Yen holds a PhD from Queens’ College, University of Cambridge. He is the author of ‘The Excursion’ and Wordsworth’s Iconography (recently accepted for publication by Liverpool University Press) and, with Peter Dale, The Spirit of Paradise: The Gardens of William Wordsworth and the Poetry of his Flowers (to be published by ACC Art Books in spring 2017). Prior to coming to UCC as an IRC Postdoctoral Fellow, he was an Early Career Fellow jointly supported by the Wordsworth Trust and the British Association for Romantic Studies. In March 2017, he curated an exhibition on ‘Wordsworth’s Flowers’ for the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere. His project at UCC is entitled ‘Wordsworth’s Ireland: Belonging in Ireland and Britain’.


Dr Laura Lovejoy (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Dr Laura Lovejoy was awarded her PhD at University College Dublin in 2017 and joins the School of English as an IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in October 2017. At UCC, Dr Lovejoy will develop her doctoral research into a monograph, States of Decline: Irish Modernism, Degeneration and the Body. The monograph maps the relationship between Irish literary modernism and degeneration and explores the intersections between themes of decline and modes of embodiment in works of Irish modernist fiction published in the 1920s and 1930s. Her research interests include modernism and biopolitics and her work has been published in the journal Humanities.


Dr Rachel Murphy (IRC Postdoctoral Researcher: Deep Maps)

Rachel is a postdoctoral researcher on Deep Maps: West Cork Coastal Cultures, an interdisciplinary project led by Prof Claire Connolly (School of English) and Dr. Rob McAllen (School of BEES). The project, which is funded by the Irish Research Council, investigates the biological, cultural and historical context of the south west coast of Ireland from 1700 to 1920.

Rachel is a graduate of the University of Oxford where she studied English Language and Literature. After graduating, she spent 20 years working in strategy, marketing and project management for companies including Lloyds of London, Accenture, eBay, PayPal and Eneclann. During this time she completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). She holds an MA in the History of Family from the University of Limerick and a Higher Diploma in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) from University College Cork.

Rachel recently completed a PhD in History and Digital Humanities at UCC, funded under a PRTLI-5 Digital Arts and Humanities Postgraduate Fellowship (2011-2015). Her thesis examined 'Place, Community and Organisation on the Courtown Estates, 1649-1977' and used GIS to map the Earl of Courtown's Irish estates over time.

Twitter: @rachelmurphy, Website:



Dr Michael Nott (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Dr Michael Nott received his PhD in 2015 from the University of St Andrews. He joined UCC as an IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in October 2016. In 2016/2017 he was a visiting Fulbright fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. His Fulbright/IRC project is entitled “Thom Gunn and Anglo-American Poetry: Transient and Resident”, and he is mentored by Prof Alex Davis. He is the author of “Photopoetry, 1845-2015: A Critical History” (Bloomsbury, forthcoming). 




Postdoctoral Fellows, 2008-2018 

Dr Mary O'Connell (NUI Postdoctoral Fellow)

Dr Mary O’Connell received her PhD from the School of English, University College Cork, in 2009. From 2012-2013 she was Leverhulme Visiting Fellow at the School of English, University of St. Andrews. She is the co-editor of Readings on Audience and Textual Materiality (Pickering & Chatto, 2011). Her first monograph, Byron and John Murray: A Poet and His Publisher was published by Liverpool University Press in 2014. Her research interests include Romantic literature, particularly the work of Byron, and publishing history in the 18th and 19th centuries. She is currently writing a biography of the second John Murray.




Dr Roderick Dale (IRC Postdoctoral Researcher on the World-Tree Project)

Dr Roderick Dale joined the School of English in February 2015 to work on the IRC 'New Horizons' World-Tree Project, a digital multimedia archive of teaching and study resources about the Vikings. He previously taught Old English at the University of Nottingham where he completed his doctoral thesis on Berserkir: A re-examination of the phenomenon in literature and life and was awarded his PhD in 2014. He is currently working on a monograph based on his doctoral thesis. Prior to obtaining his PhD, Roderick worked and published as an archaeologist, and is co-author of The Viking Experience. He is mentored by Dr Tom Birkett.


Dr Anna Pilz (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Dr Anna Pilz studied at the European University Viadrina (Germany) and Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies where she received her PhD in 2013. Her doctoral thesis examined the relationship between playwright Augusta Gregory and her audiences. She has published articles on Gregory’s class politics and short stories. Joining the School of English as Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in October 2014, she is working on a monograph on Trees, Inheritance and Estates in Irish Writing. She is co-editor of a collection of essays on Irish Women’s Writing, 1878-1922: Advancing the Cause of Liberty, forthcoming with Manchester University Press in 2015. Her research interests include the Irish Literary Revival, theatre history, and landscape and national identity in Irish writing. She has previously lectured at Liverpool’s Centre for Lifelong Learning and Leeds Metropolitan University. She is currently on the editorial advisory board for The Onslaught Press.


Dr Adam Hanna (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Dr Adam Hanna joined the School of English as IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in October 2015, having previously taught in the English departments of the Universities of Bristol and Aberdeen and practised as a solicitor. He is the author of Northern Irish Poetry and Domestic Space (Palgrave, 2015), which was adapted from his doctoral thesis (Bristol, 2012). He is co-organiser of the conference 'The House in the Mind: Architecture and the Imagination' (Oxford, 2016), which follows on from this research. He is mentored by Dr Heather Laird for his current project, entitled 'Literature and Legislation in Ireland: Poetic Justice', an examination of how Irish poets have reflected and responded to legislative changes in their work since the 1920s. He is also the co-editor of The Echoing Gallery (Bristol, 2013), an anthology of ekphrastic poetry, and has also served on the executive committee of the British Association of Irish Studies (2014-15). He is a member of the organising committee for IASIL 2016 and the contributor of the 'Modern Irish Poetry' section to The Year's Work in English Studies.



Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowships, funded by the Irish Research Council (IRC)

Dr Katie Garner, ‘Women Writers and the Arthurian Legend’ (1 year fellowship; mentor Prof Claire Connolly).

Dr Liam Lanigan, ‘Dublins of the Future: The City in Irish Modernism’ (1 year fellowship; mentors Dr Heather Laird and Prof Alex Davis).

Dr Sarah Hayden, ‘Mina Loy and Avant-Garde Artisthood 1909-1945’ (1 year fellowship; mentor Dr Lee Jenkins). 



Harriet O’Donovan Sheehy Postdoctoral Fellow, funded privately by Harriet O’Donovan Sheehy via the Cork University Foundation

Dr Hilary Lennon, Selected Letters of Frank O’Connor. (Appointed for 2 years in 2012 and renewed for a further two years in 2014; mentor Prof Claire Connolly).



Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, funded by the European Union

Prof Goran Stanivukovic, Early Shakespeare: Shakespeare and the 1590s Style (2 year fellowship; mentor Prof James Knowles).

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, funded by the European Union

Dr Sergei Mainer, The Epic in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland (2 year fellowship; mentor Dr Andrew King).



Cara Postdoctoral Mobility Fellowships in the Humanities And Social Sciences, funded by the Irish Research Council For Humanities And Social Sciences and Marie Curie (IRCHSS)

Dr Carrie Griffin, ‘Learning and Information in the English Middle Ages and Early Modern Period: An Analysis of Textual Genres, Material Structures and Reorganisation’ (3 year fellowship held in conjunction with Queen Mary University, London; mentors Professor James Knowles and Professor Julia Briggs).

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, funded by the European Union

Dr Stephan Schmuck, European Orientalisms (2 year fellowship; mentor Prof James Knowles).



Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship, funded by the Irish Research Council For Humanities And Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Dr Siobhan Collins, ‘Bodies, Politics, Transformations: John Donne's Metempsychosis’ (1 year fellowship; mentor Prof Patricia Coughlan).

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, funded by the European Union

Dr Peter Sillitoe, Performing Spaces - Architecture, Spatiality, and Politics in European Ceremonial Cultures, circa 1550-1700 (2 year fellowship; mentor Prof James Knowles).

NUI Centennial Fellow in the Humanities, funded by the National University of Ireland

Dr Liam Lenihan, ‘James Barry and History Painting’ (2 year fellowship; mentor Prof Graham Allen).

Postdoctoral Researcher on IRCHSS-funded research project ‘Christ on the Cross’

Dr Richard Hawtree (2 year fellowship; mentor Dr Juliet Mullins).



Frank O’Connor Postdoctoral Fellow, funded by School of English

Dr Hilary Lennon

Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship, funded by the Irish Research Council For Humanities And Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Dr David Coughlan, Ghosts in American Writing (1 year fellowship; mentor Dr Lee Jenkins).

School of English

Scoil an Bhéarla

O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Cork. Ireland