Research Degrees in Progress


Donna Maria Alexander, BA, MA (NUI-UCC)

Donna Maria Alexander is a third year PhD candidate in the School of English and Department of Hispanic studies under the supervision of Dr. Lee Jenkins and Prof Nuala Finnegan respectively. She completed her BA in English and Geography in UCC in 2009. She then graduated from an MA in American Literature and Film from UCC in 2010. Her MA dissertation focused on Chicana poetry, an interest she developed as an undergraduate. This was fuelled by several modules on American literature and culture as well as her interest in representation of gender, race, class and sexuality in literature and film. Her lifelong relationship with poetry encouraged a natural engagement with this as her primary research. Donna’s PhD thesis continues the research into the poetry of Gloria Anzaldúa and Lorna Dee Cervantes that began in her MA dissertation. Her research is generously funded by the Irish Research Council.

Her research interests include Chicana poetry, feminism, border studies, coloniality, and transnationalism. Among her other interests lies American television studies and she has presented several papers on this topic. Donna is also a blogger on her website, where she discusses literature, film, current affairs, and research.

Eoin Barrett, BA, MA (NUI-UCC)

Eoin Barrett is studying for a PhD in Latin American Studies under the supervision of Prof. Nuala Finnegan. Eoin began studying Spanish as a beginner here at UCC in 1995, and spent a year in Málaga teaching English to the local police force in 1998, before graduating with a Joint Honours degree in English and Spanish in 1999. Having read the stories of the Argentine Jorge Luis Borges in his final year, Eoin decided to study for a Masters degree in Latin American Studies, focusing on the short story as a genre, more specifically the short narrative of the Mexican writer Juan Rulfo. Upon completion of his MA thesis, he took up a position as a Language Assistant at the University of La Coruña in Galicia, Spain, teaching courses in English Language, Translation and Media Studies. Returning to Cork in 2004, Eoin began his PhD in 2005. While he is interested in all aspects of Hispanic culture, his doctoral project involves an examination of the detective fiction tradition in Latin America and an assessment of the work of Jorge Luis Borges within this tradition - Thesis Title: ‘Examining the File on Borges and the Detective Story’.  

In his spare time Eoin enjoys following current affairs, spending weekends by the sea and creating eclectic playlists for his iPod!

Dylan Brennan, BA (Trinity College Dublin), MA (NUI-UCD)

Dylan Brennan is studying for a PhD in Hispanic Studies under the supervision of Prof. Nuala Finnegan. Dylan has completed a BA in Italian and Spanish & Portuguese at Trinity College Dublin (1998-2002) and a MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at UCD (2003-2004). Dylan's PhD research will focus on the work of Juan Rulfo with particular attention being paid to his photographic output, mainly carried out between the late 40's and mid-50s and his cinematic works which date from the early to mid-60s. Dylan spent much of 2009 in Mexico City where he continued his research at UNAM under the supervision of Rulfo biographer Alberto Vital. This was made possible by a scholarship awarded by the Mexican Foreign Affairs Secratariat which he applied for through the Mexican Embassy in Dublin. He recently assisted the Fundación Juan Rulfo on their forthcoming publication on the translated work of Rulfo and he has provided the Fundación with a definitive version of Rulfo's text for the experimental film- La fórmula secreta.

Emer Clifford, BA (ITT) HDip (NUI-UCC)

In 2004 I graduated with BA in Information Systems Management from the Institute of Technology, Tralee.  Having studied Spanish for my Leaving Certificate I have always been interested in Hispanic Studies.  However, it was most regrettable that Spanish was not available as an elective for my BA.  Despite this, my enthusiasm for the Hispanic World never ceased.  In 2007 after three years of working and travelling, my flight was finally destined for Latin America.  Upon returning to Ireland, I decided to enrol in evening Spanish classes.  Ultimately that trip and the evening classes led to a meeting with Professor Nuala Finnegan.

Last year (2008-2009) I completed the Higher Diploma in Hispanic Studies in UCC.  The completion of two dissertations during this time, further spurred my desire to research and learn more.  Therefore this year, under the supervision of Prof. Nuala Finnegan, I have registered for the MPhil - which I hope to upgrade to PhD in a year.  At present the working title of my thesis is: 'Cinematic Feminist Representations of Women in Mexico From 1999 - 2009.'  The research will focus on Mexican Film, Literature and the Media, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Politics and Human Rights.

Niamh McNamara, BA (NUI-UCG),  MSc (University of Edinburgh)

Originally from Cork, I studied for my BA in NUI Galway, as a beginner in Spanish. From there I moved to the University of Edinburgh where I studied for my MSc in Literature and Transatlanticism. It was through this course that I came into contact with Chicana literature and on my return to Ireland I set about investigating ways to continue with my research in this area. I am currently a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Nuala Finnegan.

My research interests include gender studies, Chicano/a literature, mythology and Digital Humanities.

Centre for Mexican Studies

Room 1.51, First Floor - Block B East, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork Ireland