Researchers at UCD


Noreen C Giffney

Post Graduate Co-Ordinator

UCD Humanities Institute
Humanities Institute Ireland
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7164685


Dr Noreen Giffney BA (NUI), PhD (NUI), MSc Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (Dubl), Diploma in Clinical Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IIPP)

I coordinate early stage researcher training in the UCD Humanities Institute.

I completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) in English and history at University College Dublin, and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree for a thesis on atrocity propaganda, monstrosity and medieval apocalypticism, entitled '"The Age is Drowned in Blood": Reading Anti-Mongol Propaganda, 1236-55', also by University College Dublin. 

I completed a Master of Science (MSc) in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (clinical specialisation) in the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin, as well as with the Irish Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IIPP). I have a Diploma in Clinical Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, awarded by the Irish Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IIPP), and work as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Clinic, which I established, in Dublin. I am a member of the Training Committee in the Irish Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IIPP), which delivers a four-year clinical training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, including a two-year Master of Science (MSc) degree in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin. 

I am, at present, working on the discourses of desire in the work of the psychoanalyst Wilfred R. Bion within the context of the Kleinian tradition of psychoanalysis. I have written a number of pieces which have been published or are forthcoming as articles on, for example, discourses of desire in Bion's work (Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 27.3, 2013); a theory of desiring within the context of Bion's theory of thinking; desire in relation to the experience of reading Bion's writings (The American Journal of Psychoanalysis 73.3, 2013); and the operation of craving rather than desiring in the film, Shame (part of a forthcoming cluster of essays in Studies in Gender and Sexuality). I am also co-editing, with Michael O'Rourke, a special issue of the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality (Routledge) entitled 'The Womb/Intra-Uterine Complex and the Analytic Encounter: Clinical and Theoretical Responses to Bracha L. Ettinger's Persephone-Demeter Complex'. 

I am the co-editor of Twenty-First Century Lesbian Studies (Taylor and Francis 2007); Queering the Non/Human ('Queer Interventions' book series, Ashgate 2008); The Ashgate Research Companion to Queer Theory ('Queer Interventions' book series, Ashgate 2009); The Lesbian Premodern ('The New Middle Ages' book series, Palgrave Macmillan 2011) and Theory on the Edge: Irish Studies and the Politics of Sexual Difference ('Breaking Feminist Waves' book series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). I am completing a book, with Dr Eve Watson, entitled Clinical Encounters: Psychoanalytic Practice and Queer Theory with contributions by theoretical specialists in gender and sexuality, and clinical practitioners in psychoanalysis. I have also edited special issues, or clusters, of the following journals: Studies in the Maternal (2009); Irish Feminist Review (2007); Studies in Gender and Sexuality (2012); The Journal of Lesbian Studies (2007, 4 issues) and The History Review (2001, 2002).

I founded two book series with Michael O'Rourke: Queer Interventions at Ashgate, which I edited from 2006 to 2009, and Cultural Connections: Key Thinkers and Queer Theory at the University of Wales Press. I continue to serve on the international advisory board of Queer Aisthesis (new title of Cultural Connections) (Punctum Books). I served as the Humanities Book Review Editor for the leading international, peer-reviewed journal, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (Duke University Press) during 2007-2011. I am currently a Contributing Editor of the clinical/theoretical journal, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, published by Routledge. I am or have been on the editorial boards of a number of international journals relating to critical theory, and gender and sexuality studies, including Postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies (Palgrave Macmillan).

I have organised, solely and in collaboration with colleagues, over one-hundred and fifty high-profile international, interdisciplinary conferences, symposia, intensive seminars, roundtable discussions, panels of academic papers, and reading groups relating to academic and clinical work. I established, with Michael O'Rourke the Dublin Queer Studies Group in 2001 and have been convening The(e)ories: Critical Theory & Sexuality Studies with him since 2002. I have been organising academic events with Dr Anne Mulhall since 2007 (who joined the organising committee of The(e)ories in 2012). I was the organiser of Gender, Culture & Society Seminars at the University of Limerick (2009-2010), and the co-organiser of the Horror Cinema Discussion Forum (2006-2007) and the Feminist Research Seminar Series (2006-2007) at University College Dublin. I was on the organising committee of the UCD Humanities Institute Theory Reading Group during 2012-2013. I was a member of the Education Sub-committee of the Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IFPP) during 2010-2013 (Sub-committee Chair 2012-2013), which organises a further professional development programme of events for psychoanalytic psychotherapists and other clinical practitioners, such as psychologists and psychiatrists. I currently co-convene the Object Relations Clinical Reading Group, which meets monthly in Dublin. I have given over sixty invited lectures and conference presentations on my research at academic institutions based in, for example, London, Manchester, Brussels, Cambridge, Chicago, Belfast, Leeds, Newcastle, Vienna, Amsterdam, Oxford, Swansea and Texas. I have given talks to the public in Filmbase and at film festivals, including in the Lighthouse Cinema and the Irish Film Institute, and I delivered the plenary talks at the Irish Psychoanalytic Film Festival in 2012 and 2013.

I am currently co-organising a two-day international, interdisciplinary seminar on the topic of Melancholia, which will take place in Dublin on Friday 7-Saturday 8 November 2014. The event will explore the theme from clinical, artistic, theoretical and film studies perspectives. There will be an art performance , a film screening, an installation screening, and some panels with talks, responses and discussion. Participants will include clinical practitioners, visual artists, academics and postgraduate students. The organising committee includes Dr Tina Kinsella, Dr Anne Mulhall, Dr Emma Radley and Dr Eve Watson. 
I have devised and lectured undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses and given guest lectures in the areas of psychoanalytic theory, gender and sexuality studies, and cultural studies at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Limerick, the National University of Ireland, Galway, Independent College, Dublin and the Donnybrook Centre for Psychotherapy, Counselling and Onward Professional Development. I have taught courses on research methods, have supervised postgraduate and undergraduate dissertations, and have acted as the internal and external examiner for doctoral and masters theses. I lecture on the MSc in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (clinical specialisation) in the Department of Psychiatry and the MPhil in Psychoanalytic Studies in the School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin, as well as the MA in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (clinical specialisation) and the Higher Diploma in Psychotherapy Studies in the School of Psychotherapy at Independent College, Dublin. I currently convene and deliver Film: In Session, a further professional development course on psychoanalysis and film, for psychotherapists, psychologists and people interested in visual culture, in Dublin.

I am a member of the BABEL Working Group at Southern Illinois University, USA, the Queer(y)ing Psychology Collective at the Open University, UK and the Bioethics, Sexuality, and Gender Identity Consortium based at the University of Pennsylvania, USA; a research affiliate in Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK; and a research associate in the Somatechnics Research Centre at Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia. I was previously a research affiliate in the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Sexuality and Gender in Europe at the University of Exeter, UK




Year 2005 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 1996 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: BA (Hons.) Subject: English; History




Research Interests

  1. Clinical and theoretical psychoanalysis, with an emphasis on the work of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Wilfred R. Bion and the object relations tradition
  2. Critical and cultural theories of gender and sexuality
  3. Film studies, especially psychoanalytic, queer and feminist approaches to film