I received a BA in English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 2013 and an MPhil in Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin in 2014. I am currently back in England at the University of Leeds, writing a PhD under the supervision of Professor John McLeod.
I am interested in modern Irish literature and its engagements with twentieth century history. My PhD thesis considers the significance of ruins to processes of cultural memory in Irish literature set between 1916 and 1945. Tracing Irish history from the revolutionary period to postcolonial sovereignty and Emergency-era isolationism, I investigate how novels and short stories use ruinous environments to represent and resist mainstream structures of memory and heritage.
This work examines ruined space as a productive resource which authors deploy to unsettle established historiography in a process I call 'radical decay': the use of fragmentation and transition to unfix a space’s meaning, allowing the narrative of history read from it to transgress rigid boundaries of interpretation. Radical decay is found in images of physical ruins, such as torched big houses and or neglected asylums, but also in the presence of ruin as a human or personal condition, and as a force that authors self-inflict on their work at the level of textual form. Authors featured in this project include J. G. Farrell, Elizabeth Bowen, William Trevor, Sebastian Barry, Seán Ó Faoláin, and Máirtín Ó Cadhain.
Broader research interests include space and place; apocalypse and post-apocalyptic environments; ruins in video games; fictions of World War II.
I have taught in the School of English for the modules Writing Critically and Twentieth Century Fiction in English.
‘Squabbling in the graveyard clay’: Ruin and Historical Boundaries in Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Cré na Cille
Common Ground: Divided Selves and Societies in Irish and American Literature and Culture conference, Queen's University Belfast, 2018
Ruin and Resistant Memory in Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture
Irish Time? Temporalities in Irish Literature and Culture symposium, Trinity College Dublin, 2017
‘Ireland of the ruins’: Resistant Cultural Memory in William Trevor’s The Story of Lucy Gault
International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL) annual conference, Nanyang Technological University, 2017
A Wasteland or a Playground? Variations of the Post-Apocalyptic in Contemporary Fiction
GIFCON Fantasy at the Crossroads: Intersections, Identities, and Liminality conference, University of Glasgow, 2017
Consumerism and Individual Consciousness in Ulysses’ Media Culture
Sensory Modernism(s) conference, University of Leeds, 2015
'Irresistible decay': Ruins and Cultural Memory in Literary Representations of Ireland
Ottoman Cosmopolitanism Masterclass: Transmedial/Transcultural Memories: Points of Convergence poster presentation, Birkbeck, University of London, 2014
- MPhil Irish Writing, Trinity College Dublin
- BA English, University of Cambridge