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 Orla Murphy

Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities 


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

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)
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Postdoctoral Fellows

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 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). 


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 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’.


Postdoctoral Fellows, 2008-2016


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).

PhD Researchers

Tom Dennehy
Thesis Title: Experiencing Maternal Abondonment, Sea Monsters, Child-Eating Witches on an East Coast Odyssey: The Tillermans Make a Home on Chesapeake Bay.
Supervisors: Dr Maureen O'Connor and Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir

Mairead Mooney
Thesis Title: Recovering Children's Reading: The 'Queer Treasures' of Children's Collection, Cork Public Library, 1922-1939.
Supervisor: Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir. Advisor: Mr John Fitzgerald.

Ailin Quinlan
Thesis Title: Family dysfunction in Modern Children’s Literature and Young Adult Literature
Supervisors: Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir and Dr Shirley Martin (Applied Social Studies)

Paul Griffin
Thesis Title: Dark Interpreters: Psychotropic Agents and the Victorian Gothic
Supervisors: Prof. Graham Allen & Prof. Alex Davis 

Ian O' Sullivan
Thesis Title: The Masks of Mnemosyne: Modulations of Memory from Ancient Greece to Contemporary Paris
Supervisor: Prof. Graham Allen

Loretta Goff
Thesis Title: Hyphenating Ireland and America: Examining the Construction of Contemporary Hybrid Identities in Film and Screen Media 1990-2015
Supervisor: Dr. Barry Monahan

Kathy D'Arcy
Thesis Title: Weighted Silences: a Poetic Heteroglossia Re-Articulating Irish Women's Poetry
Supervisor: Prof. Alex Davis and Adjunct Prof. Bernard O'Donoghue

James Lawlor
Thesis Title: A Cultural History of the Great Book of Ireland.
Supervisors: Prof. Claire Connelly and Prof. Alex Davis

Seán Travers
Thesis title: Innovative Representations of Trauma
Research Areas: Trauma Fiction, Contemporary American Literature, Popular Culture and Postmodernism
Supervisors: Dr. Alan Gibbs and Prof. Graham Allen

Patricia O Connor
Research Areas: Old English and Digital Humanities
Supervisors: Dr. Tom Birkett and Dr. Orla Murphy

Jasenka E. Jones 
Thesis Title: Death and the Digital: Absence and Persistence
Supervisors: Dr. Orla Murphy, English Dept. Dr. Sean Power, Philosophy Dept.

Ciarán Kavanagh
Thesis Title: Reading Postmodernism: Ambiguity, Instability and the Changing Role of the Modern Reader
Supervisor: Dr. Alan Gibbs

Alison Killilea
Thesis Title: Translating the Past: An Analysis of 'Beowulf''s Reception History Through the Figures of Grendel and Grendel's Mother
Supervisors: Dr. Tom Birkett and Dr. Orla Murphy

Niamh Kehoe
Thesis Title: Humour, Violence, and Gender in Vernacular English Hagiography, c.900 - 1300
Supervisors: Dr. Tom Birkett and Dr. Ken Rooney

Meadhbh O'Halloran
Thesis title: Marlowe's Medievalism
Supervisors: Dr. Edel Semple and Dr. Andrew King.
Academia profile

Eoin O'Callaghan
Thesis title: Submerged Stories: The Evolution of William Faulkner's Short Fiction
Supervisor: Prof. Lee Jenkins 

Andrew Farrow
Thesis Title: Blake’s Chaucer and the Eternized Mythological Nation
Supervisors: Prof. Graham Alle and Dr. Ken Rooney

Nicholas O'Riordan
Thesis title: Changing Accents in Contemporary Irish Cinema: Dialogues and Ideological Positions
Supervisors: Dr. Barry Monahan 

Caroline Schroeter
Thesis title: The Media(tisa)tion of the Slave Experience – Prosperity or Perdition?An interdisciplinary analysis of the multidimensionality of 21st century cinematic neo-slave narratives, exemplified by The Book of Negroes, 12 Years a Slave, and Django Unchained
Supervisors: Prof. Lee Jenkins and Dr. Gwenda Young

Yen-Chi Wu
Thesis title: Temporalities of Modernity and the Novels of John McGahern
Supervisors: Professor Claire Connolly, Dr. Heather Laird
Academia Profile

Martin McConigley
Thesis title: The Border in Contemporary Irish Fiction 1970 - 2014: Interrogating the Lines That Continue to Separate
Supervisors: Heather Laird & Maureen O'Connor
Academic profile: Having completed an MA in Irish Writing & Culture in 2007, I joined the Department of English at All Hallows College, DCU. For seven years I lectured in English Literature to BA students, as well as working in the School of Adult Education, providing workshops on Academic Writing and Study Skills to adults returning to education. In October 2015, on receipt of a scholarship from the Irish Research Council, I committed myself, on a full-time basis, to completing my Doctoral studies at UCC.


School of English

Scoil an Bhéarla

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