Researchers at UCD


Niamh Pattwell

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of English, Drama & Film
Newman Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168251


Education and Experience:
I am  a graduate of University College Cork (BA, H.Dip. Ed., H.Dip.T. Rel. Ed., and MA) and of Trinity College, Dublin (PhD). Before returning to UCC in 1996 to complete an MA in Medieval and Renaissance English Literature, I worked as a secondary school teacher for four years, teaching English and French to all year groups. Prior to joining UCD in 2004, I worked as a tutor in UCC, TCD and UCD.  I held a Teaching Fellowship in Queens University Belfast (2002-3) and a Broad Curriculum Teaching Fellowship in TCD (2003-4). I am an experienced teacher at second and third level, including the successful supervision of postgraduate students to both MA and PhD level.

I have worked on a number of roles within the College of Arts and Humanities, including a Project Champion on the Curriculum Review Enhancement Process (2015-2017) for the taught graduate programmes in the College of Arts and Humanities. Since 2013, I have been a Member of the Board of Trustees for UCD Volunteer Overseas during which I have worked with students as they prepare, plan and review the myriad of projects that UCDVO sponsors in the developing world.  

Research Interest in Brief
I work in the area of religious vernacular prose writings of the late middle ages, with a particular interest in their production and circulation. I have published an edition with Middle English Text series (Winter, Heidelberg) and a number of articles that explore the circulation of heterodox and orthodox texts among lay and clerical readers. My work on the Index of Middle English Prose for TCD, with its significant collection of orthodox and Wycliffite material, provides ample opportunity to develop this work further. I have built considerable expertise in codicology and palaeography, and now work with Marsh's library on their medieval manuscript fragments, both publishing material and developing research-based modules for postgraduate students.
I look forward to welcoming international scholars, interested in the field of early books, to UCD in 2019 for the Early Book Society conference. 



Honours and Awards

Year: 2003.
Title: Broad Curriculum Post-doctoral Teaching Fellow T.C.D
Year: 1999.
Title: Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate scholarship.
Year: 1999.
Title: Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Scholarship
Year: 2012.
Title: National Digital Learning Resources Award


Association: Early English Book Society, Function/Role: Conference Organiser 2019
Association: The New Chaucer Society, Function/Role:
Association: Early English Text Society, Function/Role: Member
Association: Cost Action Network IS1301, Function/Role: Management Committee Member

Conference Contributions

Niamh Pattwell (2018) Discovering the sources of the derived Wycliffite Sermons in TCD 241. [Invited Oral Presentation], Staff/Postgraduate Seminar, Trinity College Dublin , 26-SEP-17 - 24-APR-18.
Niamh Pattwell (2017) Reading and Re-reading a medieval Manuscript. [Unrefereed Article], Staff/Postgraduate Seminar, UCD , 20-SEP-17 - 06-DEC-17.
Niamh Pattwell (2017) Threads of Continuity: Looking Again at TCD 70. [International Refereed Conference], Gower, His Contemporaries, and Their Legacy in MSS and Early Printed Books, 1350-1550 (Early Book Society), Durham , 09-JUL-17 - 14-JUL-17.
Niamh Pattwell (2015) Editing and Interpretation. [Invited Oral Presentation], Editing and Interpretation: Literatures of Medieval England, University of Hull, England , 08-SEP-15 - 10-SEP-15.
Niamh Pattwell (2015) EBS 2015. [Non Refereed Paper/Abstract Presented at Conference], Early Book Society: Telling Tales, Manuscripts, Books and the Making of Narratives, Oxford , 02-JUL-15 - 05-JUL-15.
Pattwell, Niamh (2014) Engaging the Medieval in Frank McGuinness' Someone Who'll Watch Over Me. [National Refereed Conference Paper], Medievalism on the Move, Atlanta, Georgia US , 23-OCT-14 - 25-OCT-14.
Pattwell, Niamh (2012) O bush unbrent: Chaucer and His Virgins. [National Refereed Conference Paper], International Medieval Congress, Leeds , 09-JUL-12 - 12-JUL-12.
Pattwell, N.; (2010) Dead Ends in the Prioress's Tale. [National Refereed Conference Paper], Chaucer at Galway, Galway , 19-MAY-10 - 20-MAY-10.
Pattwell, N.; (2009) An international conference organised by the Faculty of English, University of Oxford, in association with the Bodleian Library, marking the 600th anniversary of the publication of Arundel's Constitutions. [National Refereed Conference Paper], After Arundel: Religious Writing in the Fifteenth Century, Faculty of English, Oxford , 16-APR-09 - 18-APR-09.
Pattwell, N.; (2007) 650 years ago this year, the Archbishop of York, John Thoresby, issued a set of instructions to the clergy concerning pastoral care. These instructions were closely modelled on the earlier Syllabus of Archbishop Pecham (1281), and form part of a tradition of responses to Omnis utriusque sexus, Canon Twenty-one of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215). Unusually, however, Thoresby¿s response took the form of a set of Latin instructions and also of an English translation, the so-called Lay Folks¿ Catechism, suggesting a broader concept of his intended audience and of how that audience might be reached. [Non Refereed Paper/Abstract Presented at Conference], Educating the Laity: Pastoral Care, c.1200 - 1600, University of Canterbury, Kent , 11-DEC-07 - 11-DEC-07.
Pattwell, N.; (2006) 'On reading and writing at the Court of Isabella.'. [Invited Oral Presentation], Age and Youth in Late Medieval and Early Modern Literature, TCD , 01-SEP-06.
Pattwell, N.; (2005) 'Schemas and Diagrams in Sacerdos Parochialis British Library MS Burney 356'. [Invited Oral Presentation], Early Book Society, QUB , 01-JUL-05.
Pattwell, N.; (2004) 'Exornatorium Curatorum, Caxton, Wynkyn de Worde and Jean Gerson.'. [Invited Oral Presentation], Postgrad & Staff Seminar UCD , UCD , 01-JAN-04 - 01-FEB-04.
Pattwell, N.; (2004) Postgraduate seminars T.C.D. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Postgraduate seminars T.C.D, T.C.D , 01-JAN-04.
Pattwell, N.; (2004) 'More on Eucharistic Practices in Chaucer's The Pardoner's Tale'. [Invited Oral Presentation], Practising Pieties Symposium, * , 01-NOV-04.
Pattwell, N.; (2003) 'Sacerdos Parochialis and its manuscripts'. [Invited Oral Presentation], International Medieval Congress, Leeds , 01-JUL-03.
Pattwell, N.; (2003) 'Wynkyn de Worde and Jean Gerson'. [Invited Oral Presentation], Early Book Society, Durham , 01-JUL-03.
Pattwell, N.; (2002) Borderlines VI, an interdisciplinary postgraduate conference. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Borderlines VI, TCD , 01-MAR-02.


Committee : BA Recruitment
Committee : College Teaching and Learning
Committee : UCD Volunteer Overseas Board of Trustees
Committee : Cost Action IS1301 Management Committee (host MC meeting UCD in February 2015)
Committee : 'Insular Relations' International Society of Anglo-Saxonists Conference
Committee : Transitions: Celebration of the teaching of Anglo-Saxon Literature


Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Lecturer in Old and Middle English
Employer: Trinity College, Dublin
Position: Broad Curriculum Postgraduate/Post-doctoral Teaching Fellow
Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Lecturer in Middle English
Employer: Queen¿s University Belfast
Position: Teaching Fellow
Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Teaching Assistant
Employer: Trinity College Dublin
Position: Teaching Assistant
Employer: F.C.J. Bunclody, Co. Wexford
Position: Secondary School
Employer: Sacred Heart, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Position: Secondary School


Year 1998 Institution: University College Cork
Qualification: MA Subject:
Year 1993 Institution: University College Cork
Qualification: H Dip in Education Subject:
Year 2004 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 1992 Institution: University College Cork
Qualification: BA Subject:

Outreach Activities

Five public Lectures to 500 A-level Students in Belfast 2004-2006, 2010 organised by Sovereign Education, Belfast on Chaucer and a selection of the Canterbury Tales

Public lecture in Trinity College Dublin as part of 'Beyond the Book of Kells' series, organised by Dr. Mark Faulkner. The series began in October; my lecture is scheduled for February 8th. Here is a link to the series:
The event also received coverage in the Irish Times (Sept 26th 2017): 

Other Activities

Funded by Cost Action IS1301, hosted Short-term Scientific Mission for scholar working in the area of 'Religious Miscellanies'.

Radio Programme on Robin Hood for Talking History, NewsTalk, Sunday 15th May
Public Lecture as part of Trinity College Dublin, 'Beyond the Book of Kells' series scheduled for February 2018.
Link here: 



Niamh Pattwell; (2013) Exornatorium Curatorum. Heidelberg: Universitatsverlag, Middle English Texts. Available Online [Details]

Book Chapters

Niamh Pattwell (2012) 'Gide and Lady Sovereine: Reinterpreting the Later Life of Isabelle of France 1295-1358' In: Karen Hodder and Brendan O'Connell (eds). Transmission and Generation in Medieval and Renaissance Literature: Essays in Honour of John Scattergood. Dublin: Four Courts Press. , pp.78-88 [Details]
Pattwell, N.; (2012) 'Canons and Catechisms: The Austin Canons of South East England and Sacerdos Parochialis' In: Vincent Gillespie and Kantik Ghosh (eds). After Arundel. Turnhout: Brepols. , pp.381-393 Available Online [Details]
Patwell, Niamh; (2007) 'The Venym of Symony:the debate on the eucharist in the late fourteenth century and The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale' In: Cawsey, K. and Harris, J (eds). Transmission and Transformation in the Middle Ages: Texts and Contexts. Dublin: Four Courts Press. , pp.115-130 [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Niamh Pattwell (2016) 'An Unnoticed Fragment of the Anglo-Norman Miroir by Robert Gretham in Marsh's Library Dublin'. Journal of the Early Book Society, 19 :217-226. Available Online [Details]
Niamh Pattwell (2015) 'I heard him in that ancient poem: An Interview with Frank McGuinness on the influence of Old and Middle English on his writing'. Irish University Review, 45 (2):215-228. [Details]
Niamh Pattwell (2015) 'Introduction: Medieval Literature and Contemporary Irish Writing'. Irish University Review, 45 (2):195-198. [Details]
Clarke, Danielle, Fionnuala Dillane, Katie Long, Naomi McAreavey and Niamh Pattwell; (2009) 'Literature in Context: Enquiry-Based Learning for First Years'. Working with English, . [Details]
Pattwell, N.; (2007) ''Providing for the Learned Cleric: Schemas and Diagrams in Sacerdos Parochialis in British Library MS Burney 356.''. Journal of the Early Book Society, 10 :129-149. [Details]
Pattwell, N.; (2004) ''A Sentence of Cursing in Cambridge MS Pembroke 285''. Leeds Studies in English, 35 :121-136. [Details]

Conference Publications

Niamh Pattwell; (2013) Patterns of Disruption in the Prioress¿s Tale . In: Cliodhna Carney, Frances McCormack and John Scattergood eds. Chaucer at Galway Dublin, [Details]

Book Reviews

Niamh Pattwell (2015) The Art of Preaching: Five Medieval Texts and Translations, Ed. Siegfred Wenzel. Indiana, USA: Book Reviews Available Online [Details]
Niamh Pattwell (2014) Sacred Space, Sacred Text. Ed. J. Sterrett and P. Thomas. Book Reviews Available Online [Details]
Pattwell, N.; (2004) 'What do we mean by Europe?' review of Engaging Modernity: Readings of Irish Politics, Culture and Literature at the Turn of the Century, ed. Michael Boss and Eamon Maher, (Dublin: Veritas, 2003) in Doctrine & Life 54. Book Reviews [Details]
Pattwell, N.; (2003) Review of Dublin III: Conference Proceedings, ed. Seán Duffy, 2002 in Medium Aevum, 72. Dublin: Book Reviews [Details]
Pattwell, N.; (2001) 'Seeking understanding in the face of Death,' review of Anticipate Every Goodbye by Jean Sulivan, trans. Eamon Maher, Dublin: Veritas, 2000 in Doctrine & Life 51. Book Reviews [Details]

Review Articles

Niamh Pattwell (2017) III. Middle English. Religious Prose. Oxford: Review Articles Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

  • The circulation and transmission of vernacular religious prose of the later middle ages, leading to a growing expertise in the field of manuscripts and book production. I have published an edition of Exornatorium Curatorum (2013) with the Middle English Text Series and a number of articles on Sacerdos Parochialis, including one on Austin Canons and their programme of theological reform which was published in After Arundel (eds Vincent Gillespie and Kantik Ghosh). 
  • The medieval manuscript fragments in Marsh's Library, with the publication of an article on an unnoticed fragment of Gretham's Miroir (JEBS) and the introduction of a research-based module for MA students. 

  • A volume of the Index of Middle English Prose (IMEP) for TCD; the IMEP volumes seek to record every item of prose in repositories across the world, with twenty-two volumes already published and several others in production. The emphasis on religion, history and science in TCD reflects the interests of James Ussher, whose collection forms the basis of the TCD manuscripts. The significant number of religious writings has already prompted in-depth studies on two of the manuscripts in that collection. 
  • UCD has a long tradition of teaching Old and Middle English, which culminated in the hosting of the Anglo-Saxon International Conference in 2014 under the auspices of Prof. Mary Clayton. To celebrate the Dublin ISAS conference, I worked with Bernard O'Donoghue, Eilean ní Chuilleanáin, Frank McGuinness to produce a short collection of articles on the influence of Medieval literature on Anglo-Irish literature for the Irish University Review (2015). There is scope for further development in this field of research. 

Recent Postgraduates

with Prof. Mary Clayton, Dr. Huiyi Bao, English Department, Fudan University, PhD (UCD) 2015. Thesis: 'Shaping the Divine: The Pearl Poet and the Medieval Sensorium'

with Dr. Frank Lawrence, Dr. Sarah Nangle, Research Office, Trinity College Dublin, PhD (UCD) 2016. Thesis: 'Both the edge and the centre: the politics of understanding music in Middle English poetry - an interdisciplinary study.'

with Prof. Danielle Clarke, Mark Ronan, current student working on the representation of addiction in medieval and early modern writing.  


Teaching Philosophy

To offer students an opportunity to test their assumptions about a past that is essentially other, in the process teaching them to interrogate earlier writings, and to debate, research, and articulate their findings in order to bring a new understanding to their present.

Modules Coordinated

201700   ENG30400     English: Talking Animals
201700   ENG41210     English: Medieval Lit Dissertation
201700   ENG41950     English: Medival Manuscript Fragments

Enhancement of Teaching

My enthusiasm, course design, clarity of module descriptor are some of the favourable comments I receive in student feedback. The Stage 3 seminar module 'Talking Animals' continues to draw large numbers. The research question of the module is tight, allowing students to build confidence in addressing a few key points across a range of texts moving from the late middle ages up to the mid-twentieth century. External Examiners often comment positively on the comparative nature of the module, which allows students to see medieval literature in a larger context. I have made changes in response to student feedback or classroom engagement. Of note, is the change made to my continuous assessment strategy, partly because students could not quite see its purpose and partly to reduce their workload. I designed continuous assessment in recent years so that it enables progression towards the summative assignment. This has worked well. Since 2015, I have been experimenting with Stage 3 modules that work with my own interest in manuscript production. The Book of Kings seminar module focuses on a number of key romance narratives as they appear in a well-known manuscript (Auchinleck), of which a digitised facsimile is available online. I have only taught this twice (due to other commitments), but look forward to developing this module. Since 2016-17, I have worked with Dr. Elizabeth Mullins in archives on the delivery of a palaeography module to graduate students. Our MA students have benefitted from working on a specialised skill in a larger group and I have also benefitted from the collegiality, gaining courage and energy to continue to refine my approach. I am already looking forward to teaching the gothic script next year, using one manuscript (that I know well), but with connections to other manuscripts for a breadth of engagement.

Review and Enhancement of Curriculum

As Project Champion (2015-2017) for taught graduate programmes in the College of Arts and Humanities, I read widely to prepare for leading programme directors through the CREP. Consequently, I developed a greater understanding of the broader challenges, as well as the need to more closely define the purpose and scope of any one MA programme. The MA programme remains a key structure for a student seeking to mature their understanding of a subject, whether for CPD, further academic work or personal development, but there might be scope for a more flexible approach in attracting students to participate in modules, which would lead to Grad Cert and Higher Diploma qualifications. Under the leadership of our MA Director, I am exploring possibilities in this regard in the School of English, Drama and Film. As School T&L Director (2013-2016), in response to the Quality Review process (2014) I led the School in establishing a clear path for curriculum review. Given the immanent CREP and the changes to the BA programme (2018), we assessed the recommendations , leading to immediate minor changes while planning for larger changes to be implemented under the new BA programme. The advocacy of colleagues for medieval literature as a core subject on our undergraduate programme both encourages and challenges me to actively review the place of Medieval Literature in the curriculum (BA and MA), particularly in moving towards teaching that showcases the medieval team research strengths.

Developing as a Teacher

Attended: Workshops on articulation of programme vision and value statements; development and mapping of learning outcomes (UCD, T&L, 2015; 2016) Forum on assessment (UCD, Autumn 2016) Completion of module in Curriculum Alignment and Design with Geraldine O'Neill (Spring 2011). Completion of Certificate in Educational Technology ((2012) leading to award of grant to develop a learning tool (see below) Nov 2011 for independent practice in Middle English language. Two-day workshop on development of Engquiry-Based Learning modules with international expert, Prof Karen O'rourke, Univresity of Manchester (UCD T&L 2007) 1996-1998 D.Teaching Rel. Ed. (UCC) part-time 1992-1993 H.Dip. Ed. (UCC) Workshops Given: School Tutor Training workshops at the start of each year (2012-15) in which I introduced a greater emphasis on classroom skills and management. Contribution to Workshop on EBL (by invitation) in 2009 under the auspices of UCD T&L.

Innovation & Leadership

Since 2013, I have taken a leading role in the University (UCDVO), College (Project Champion) and School (Director of T&L).


Internal Collaborators

Dr. Elizabeth Mullins (School of Archives) and Dr. Frank Lawrence (School of Music) in relation to ongoing work on the medieval manuscript fragments in Marsh's Library Dublin.

External Collaborators

Member of COST Action IS1301: New Communities of Interpretation: Contexts, Strategies and Processes of Religious Transformation in Late and Early Modern Europe. 
Religious Miscellanies Group led by colleagues in University of Hull and St. Andrews University.
Teaching and Research with Marsh's Library, Dublin.
Public lectures with Trinity College Dublin.
Postgraduate workshops and seminars with Trinity College Dublin.