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The Department 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, 2 adminstrative staff including our School manager, and 6 postdoctoral research fellows.

Administrative Staff


Position:   School Manager, School of English

                  and Digital Humanities

Tel:            021-4902241




Position:    Senior Executive Assistant

Tel:             021-4903677



Name:        MS Louisa O'Reilly

Position:    Senior Executive Assistant (part-time)

Tel:             021-4902664



Department Administrative Office:

O'Rahilly Building - room 1.57 

Office hours for in-person enquiries are as follows:

Monday 9.30 am to 1 pm

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30 am to 1 pm and 2.30 pm to 5 pm

Outside of these hours, enquiries can be sent to  

In all communications, please clearly identify your name, student number, and year. You should also check Canvas regularly for Department information and updates.





Postdoctoral Fellows



Sophie Corser (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2021-2023)

Dr Sophie Corser’s research focuses on issues of reading in modern and contemporary literature and criticism. Her first monograph, The Reader’s Joyce: Ulysses, Authorship, and the Authority of the Reader (under contract with Edinburgh University Press), rethinks the relationships between author, reader, and text through a study of James Joyce’s Ulysses. After working on Joyce for several years, Sophie has more recently been exploring her interests in intertextuality, metacriticism, classical reception, and formal experimentation within the field of contemporary writing; this informs her Irish Research Council funded project, ‘Women Reading in Contemporary Anglophone Writing: Disruptive Representations’. Before joining UCC, she held a Leverhulme Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at University College Dublin from 2019-21, following the completion of her PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2018.  

As a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of English from 2021-23, Sophie’s research will examine representations of reading through a comparative analysis of contemporary works of women’s writing in English: short stories, novels, poetry, and hybrid texts merging memoir, fiction, and criticism. Through experimental uses of form, these various texts represent reading as an activity with the potential to radically unsettle how women perceive themselves and their relationships to the world around them. Responding to these innovations, this project will revise concepts of reading to emphasise its creative, active, and disruptive properties; rethinking notions of ‘the woman reader’ and the act of reading itself.  

Dr Ailbhe McDaid (Ports, Past and Present Project)

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.


Claire Nolan (Ports, Past and Present Project, 2022-2023)

Claire Nolan is a postdoctoral researcher for the Ports, Past and Present project ( Her work is situated within the purview of the public, medical and environmental humanities. Claire’s doctoral research (University of Reading) focused on heritage experience and the capacity for the historic environment to promote individual wellbeing in the present day. She has recently produced a number of papers on this topic, including the co-authored Historic England (2018) Report, Wellbeing and the Historic Environment.

Claire is currently investigating the potential for engagement with pre-industrial archaeology to facilitate ecotherapy and greater ecological awareness. Her other research interests include: strategies for mindful heritage engagement and learning; collaborative community heritage practice; and the incorporation of community narratives within the management of heritage landscapes. 

Dr James L. Smith (Ports, Past and Present: Cultural Crossings between Ireland and Wales, 2019-2023)

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 Anna McKay (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2021 - 2022) 

Dr Anna McKay’s research focuses on confinement and the British maritime world. Her PhD on British prison ships was an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Collaborative Doctoral Project between the University of Leicester and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. She joins UCC in January 2021, following her post as Pearsall Fellow in Naval and Maritime History at the Institute of Historical Research, London (2019-20). Prior to this, she undertook a Caird Library Research Fellowship at Royal Museums Greenwich (2019). She has a BA in English and Related Literature and MA in Global Eighteenth Century Studies from the University of York. Anna has secured a range of grants, awards, and bursaries to support her doctoral and postdoctoral research. She has taught at University College London and the University of Leicester, taken part in the Edinburgh Television Festival’s ‘TV PhD’ scheme, and worked as a UK Research and Innovation policy intern at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at their Whitehall office. 

Anna was awarded an IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to write her monograph, ‘British Prison Hulks, 1775-1875: Wicked Noah’s Arks?’, and develop various public-facing outputs. As a member of the School of English, Anna will interrogate a wealth of government correspondence, letters, diaries, and news media that demonstrate how prisoners, parliament and the public experienced and conceptualised shipboard confinement in England, Bermuda, Ireland, and Gibraltar between the years 1775-1875.   

Dr Edward Molloy (GOIPD Postdoctoral Fellow, 2020-2022)

Edward was awarded his PhD from Queen's University Belfast for his doctoral thesis entitled 'Race, History, Nationality: An Intellectual History of the Young Ireland movement 1842-52'.  Previously, he studied at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he received a distinction in the MA programme in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy.   Before that he studied at the University of Glasgow. He joined the University of Liverpool Institute of Irish Studies as a Busteed Postdoctoral Scholar in the summer of 2018 before being appointed lecturer there the following year. He has also taught at Queen's University, Belfast and Newham College in East London. Edward has also worked as a researcher for the Electoral Reform Society. He has recently been awarded a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship for his two year project entitled ´Between History and Revolution: Radical Irish Separatism from Tone to Pearse´, which re-evaluates the intellectual underpinning of Irish nationalism in the long nineteenth century.



Dr. Emma Penney (GOIPD Postdoctoral Fellow,)

Dr. Emma Penney is a GOIPD postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English where she is working on her monograph provisionally titled Social-Class and the Women’s Movement in Ireland: A Second look at the Second-Wave. She holds a ‘New Foundations’ Government of Ireland research grant at UCD through which she aims to establish a Working-Class Studies Network and organise Ireland’s first Working-Class Studies conference. As a recently elected ‘At-Large’ steering committee member of the Working-Class Studies Association of America (WCSA), Emma hopes to facilitate links between emergent scholarship in Ireland and the United States. To support the development and consolidation of working-class writing in Ireland, Emma continues to build an archive of working-class women’s creative and intellectual history - through her doctoral field research Emma acquired previously uncollected works from working-class communities, much like her own. She has published with The Irish University Review, The Journal of Working-Class Studies and The Journal of International Women’s Studies (forthcoming). Her research and teaching interests also include decolonial approaches to Irish Studies and the reconfiguring of Irish historiography to better face up to state racism and other challenges that are historically embedded in Irish culture. She enjoys building supportive networks among working-class, first generation and financially insecure faculty and staff and enjoys listening to other working-class students and academics about their own experiences in higher education

Dr. Colleen Taylor (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Dr. Colleen Taylor joins the UCC School of English after earning her PhD from Boston College in 2020. She holds an MPhil in Irish Writing from Trinity College Dublin and a BA from Fordham University, where she was Valedictorian in 2012. Colleen specializes in eighteenth-century Irish and British literature, material culture, and feminism, and has published articles on these topics in Éire-Ireland: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish StudiesTulsa Studies in Women's Literature, and Persuasions: the Jane Austen Journal. She also contributed a book chapter on Irish feminist playwrights to Ireland, Enlightenment and the English Stage, 1740-1820. Colleen has taught courses on satire, eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature, and Irish women’s writing at Boston College, the latter of which won the American Conference for Eighteenth-Century Studies Innovative Course Design Competition in 2018. Before coming to UCC, Colleen spent time researching at Queen’s University Belfast under the Irish Studies Exchange Fellowship and was a visiting researcher at Boston College Ireland as winner of the Dalsimer Fellowship. She has also been the recipient of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures scholarship. Colleen is currently working on a monograph that introduces and applies new materialist theory to Irish Studies. Her project, Irish Writing and the New Materialism: Objects of Irish Character, 1720-1830, funded by the Irish Research Council, examines the development of an Irish, Enlightenment-era subjectivity through material objects that defined Irish national character, such as coins, mantles, linen, and spinning wheels. Her research examines the material details of eighteenth-century Irish life in order to expand scholarly understanding of colonial culture in that century, particularly the interconnectedness of subjective human expression and material thing, which appears in writings by Jonathan Swift, Maria Edgeworth, and Sydney Owenson. When she's not spending her time in the eighteenth century, Colleen writes a music column for the Irish Echo newspaper in New York.


Dr Jonathan Evershed (Ports, Past and Present: Cultural Crossings between Ireland and Wales)

Dr Jonathan Evershed is a political anthropologist with a research interest in postcolonial politics, culture, heritage and identity in the UK and Ireland. His first monograph, Ghosts of the Somme: Commemoration and Culture War in Northern Ireland (University of Notre Dame Press, 2018) is  an ethnographic examination of Ulster Loyalist identity and the contested politics of commemoration in Northern Ireland during the Decade of Centenaries (2012-2022/23). Before joining Ports, Past and Present, Jonathan was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Government and Politics at UCC, where his work as part of the ESRC-funded project, Between Two Unions: The constitutional future of the islands after Brexit focused on the implications of Brexit for the island of Ireland and for British-Irish relations. He is currently working on a co-authored book with the working title, Brexit and Northern Ireland's Constitutional Futures. 


Dr Tim Groenland (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

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 Joseph Shafer (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

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 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).

Visiting Researchers

 Michael O’Sullivan (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Visiting Fellow

Michael O’Sullivan is a Professor at the Department of English of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has BA, MA and PhD degrees from University College Cork. He has published 15 books in the fields of literature, education studies and philosophy. Recent books include Irish expatriatism, language and literature (Palgrave, 2019), Cloneliness: on the reproduction of loneliness (Bloomsbury, 2019/2021), and The Economics of Empire: the Genealogy of Capital and the Colonial Encounter (co-edited with Maureen Ruprecht Fadem, Routledge, 2021). His first novel will be published by Penguin in January 2021.

Research Support and Project Management

Aoife Dowling
Aoife Dowling is the project manager of Ports, Past and Present.  Aoife has a BA in History and Greek & Roman Civilisation from UCC, and an MA in Cultural & Creative Industries from King’s College London.
Before joining the project  Aoife was deputy editor of the video team at Storyful, a social media news agency in Dublin. Her role on the project combines her interests in project management and cultural heritage
Maria FitzGerald Houlihan 
Maria FitzGerald Houlihan is the research support officer for Ports, Past and Present. She has a First-Class Honours Degree in English and Geography from University College Cork and was UCC College Scholar in 2017. She has worked in DGXII Science, Research and Development and DGVII Transport Research with the European Commission in Brussels and the heritage sector in Ireland.

PhD Researchers



Beth Aherne is a PhD student in the School of English and Digital Humanities. Her supervisors are Dr Miranda Corcoran and Dr Maureen O’Connor. Beth completed both her Joint Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and English and her Master’s in English - Modernities: Literature, Theory and Culture from the Romantics to the Present in UCC. Her research focuses on representations of the family in American science fiction. In particular, she is concerned with portrayals of queer families in feminist, Afrofuturist, and Indigenous futurist science fiction novels. Her research project is entitled “Queering the Family in Science Fiction: An Intersectional Approach”.






Holding a PhD (English Literature) and two Masters Degrees (M. Litt in Sociology and MSC in Audit and Consultancy) Gráinne Condon has simultaneously pursued lifelong academic and commercial careers. 

In the commercial arena Gráinne is a highly capable Risk professional with extensive executive and leadership experience in several areas of Banking within the Financial Services Sector. Gráinne currently works on a consultancy / contract basis assuming high impact senior roles in financial services.
Academically Gráinne holds a Phd (English Literature) from University College Cork (2021); MSc in Audit Management & Consultancy from Birmingham City University (2009); M. Litt (Sociology) from University College Dublin (2002). 

Gráinne completed a Bachelor of Arts Applied Psychology and Sociology (1999), achieved a Diploma in Arts – Film Studies and English Literature 2006 & 2014 from University College Dublin and a Diploma in Arts - Sociology and Applied Psychology from UCC in 1997. 

Gráinne has led a second year English seminar "Crossing Boundaries - women's writing of the First World War" in UCC in the academic year 2021-2022. Gráinne is currently also pursuing her interests as an independent scholar.





Clodagh Troelstra Heffernan is a working-class scholar and an awardee of the Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship. She completed a BA in English and History at Maynooth University in 2018. Following this, Clodagh spent two years working in precarious low-paid jobs and reading contemporary Irish literature in her spare time. This led her to University College Cork, where she achieved a First Class Honours MA in Irish Writing and Film in 2021. Upon completion of her MA, Clodagh began her PhD at UCC under the title Protest Writing and Dissent Culture in Contemporary Working-Class Ireland: Poetics of Defiance, supervised by Dr Heather Laird and Dr Adam Hanna. Her PhD combines Gramscian Marxism with working-class autoethnographic reflections to illuminate the subversive aesthetic and conceptual qualities of the work of Irish writers who self-identify as working class. Clodagh’s work focuses on working-class Irish poetry, hip hop, crime fiction, and unpublished community writing from the neoliberal period in Ireland (1980 – present), examining the representation of working-class interactions with state forces such as the systems of social welfare, policing, education, and public arts funding bodies. Her research interests include working-class studies, the intersections between literary form and content, Irish social policy, genre fiction, traditional and alternative poetic forms, hip hop studies, Marxism, and cultural theories.






Dylan Phelan is a PhD researcher in the school of English at UCC, supervised by Prof. Graham Allen and Dr. Miranda Corcoran. Dylan received an honours bachelor degree in English from the Waterford Institute of Technology in 2019. He received a Master’s degree in Modrnities: Literature, Theory and Culture from the Romantics to the Present from UCC in 2020. His MA thesis, “It’s a Shame She Won’t Live”: Posthuman Othering in Contemporary SF, examines the filmic portrayal of the posthuman subject in contemporary science fiction. Dylan’s PhD thesis, The Posthuman Other and Capitalist Co-option, examines the influence of capitalist co-option on the problematic portrayal of the posthuman subject in science fiction. This thesis uses the posthuman theory of Donna Haraway and Rosi Braidotti to define the theoretical implications and radical liminality of the posthuman subject. Additionally, Dylan’s research takes a schizo-analytic approach to literary analysis, drawing from Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari to better account for the radical potential of the posthuman subject. Additionally, his research uses a post-Marxist lens in order to account for the influence of capitalist co-option in the posthuman’s filmic treatment. This approach relies on the critical theory of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.







Éadaoin Regan is a final year PhD student in the School of English and Digital Humanities, UCC. The title of Éadaoin’s thesis is ‘A method to the madness?: Representations of psychological disorder in Irish women’s fiction 1870-1914’. Her research focuses on representations of madness in Irish womens fiction published during this period, and draws upon feminist psychoanalysis and postcolonial contexts. Éadaoin graduated with a BA Hons in English and History from UCC in 2012 and an MA in Literature from Ulster University in 2015. In 2019, Éadaoin was the recipient of the CACSSS Travel Bursary which facilitated her attendance at a symposium in the University of Hertfordshire. This trip directly contributed to Éadaoin’s first academic publication. She has been a First Year Tutor in the Department of English since 2017 and has been a Senior Tutor in the UCC Skills Centre since 2019.






Holly Walker-Dunseith is a PhD researcher at University College Cork, specialising in Irish literature and medical humanities. Holly holds an MA in Gaelic Literature, also from UCC, and worked as a teacher of English at secondary level and A level. Prior to Holly’s teaching career, she was awarded a BA(Hons) in English Language and Literature from the University of Leeds. The title of Holly’s PhD project is: Revival: Traditional Medicine in the Work of W. B. Yeats, Lady Augusta Gregory, and J. M. Synge. Holly can be found on Twitter: @HWalkerDunseith.







Dr Jennifer deBie is a native Texan living in Ireland where she earned an MA in Creative Writing from University College Cork in 2017 and finished a PhD on Mary Shelley in 2021. She has been widely published with critical works appearing in anthologies by Raven Chronicles Press, PactPress, and Bloomsbury, something that neither impresses her cat nor pays her rent. Her first novel was published in 2020, her second is forthcoming from Wild Wolf Press. When not reading, writing, or teaching her seminar on plague literature, Jennifer enjoys typical millennial pastimes like eating brunch and neglecting her blog at







Laura Mulcahy has graduated with a BA in English (2014-2017) and an MA in Modernities: American & British Literature and Film (2017-2018). Since 2019, she has been working on her thesis, “Representations of Trauma in the Works of Stephen King”. This project aims to explore how trauma can successfully be explored through the horror genre and to dispute the idea that trauma can only be represented through highly experimental literature. She has been specifically researching the relationship between insidious trauma and misogyny, generational trauma and American history, and exploring trauma through fantastical landscapes. Her research is conducted with reference to the works of theorists such as Judith Herman, Barbara Creed, Marianne Hirsch, and Tony Magistrale. Her main research interests include trauma theory, popular fiction, and Gothic horror.







Building on her MA in English from UCC focused on Bram Stoker's Dracula, Mairéad's PhD research considers the representation of female vampires both on the page and screen from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Mairéad’s thesis title is 'When monsters speak: exploring the societal preoccupation with the monstrous with particular focus on representations of the vampiric female in literature, television and film from the early nineteenth century to the present.'






Maria Butler is a PhD candidate in the School of English and Digital Humanities under the supervision of Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir and Dr James O'Sullivan.  She has a BA in English and French from UCC and an MLIS from UCD.


Maria's project Marian Keyes and the Irish Socio-Literary Landscape: A Critical Analysis using Close and Distant Reading is jointly funded by the Irish Research Council and the National Library of Ireland through the IRC Enterprise Partnership Scheme. The study is an interdisciplinary analysis of the work of popular Irish novelist, Marian Keyes, combining feminist literary-critical approaches and close textual analysis of Keyes’ writings with the materials present in The National Library of Ireland (NLI)’s Mystery of Mercy Close Digital Archive to examine the work and authorial persona of a commercially successful but critically neglected author. 




English Department

Roinn an Bhéarla

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