Researchers at UCD


Síofra Pierse

Ollamh Comhlach Le Fraincis

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
Scoil na dTeangacha, na gCultúr agus na Teangeolaíochta
Áras Newman, A310
An Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath
Baile Átha Cliath 4, Éire.

Tel: +353(0)1 716-8273


Dr Síofra Pierse is Associate Professor in French and Francophone Studies in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at UCD Dublin (c/o A310 Newman Building, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland).
She may be contacted at her UCD email address (siofra.pierse

She specialises in 18th-century French literature and history of ideas, particularly Voltaire's historiography. 

During her doctoral studies, she taught early modern French tutorials at a variety of Oxford colleges (1995-7). She  held teaching posts as Lectrice d'Anglais and subsequently as Maitre de Langues at the ENS - Ecole normale superieure, rue d'Ulm, Paris (1997-99). She was also Chargée des cours d'anglais at the École des Chartes 97-99, before coming to lecture at UCD in September 1999.
She studied at University College Cork (BA) and Trinity College, Oxford (Masters & Doctorate):
-1999 D.Phil. (Oxon): 'Voltaire and Clio: From History to Story'
-1995 M.St. (Oxon): 'Voltaire and the Writing of History'
-1994 BA (UCC) Joint Hons: French & Italian


Honours and Awards

Year: 2016.
Title: NUI Publication Grant 1500euros
Year: 2013.
Title: VEOLIA Funding for International Diderot Conference Hospitality 600euros
Year: 2013.
Title: UCD College of Arts and Celtic Studies Conference Funding 500euros
Year: 2013.
Title: Dark Side of Diderot Conference Funding French Embassy 300euros & Champagne
Year: 2009.
Title: UCD Seed Funding Grant. 600euros
Year: 2009.
Title: UCD Seed Funding Grant. 600euros
Year: 2008.
Title: NUI Book Publication Grant. 2500euros
Year: 2007.
Title: UCD Seed Funding Grant. 1950euros
Year: 2007.
Title: UCD Seed Funding Grant. 2000euros
Year: 2004.
Title: NUI Book Publication Grant (2004). 3500euros
Year: 2005.
Title: IRCHSS Government of Ireland Research Fellowship (2005-06). 42,000euros
Year: 1997.
Title: Oxford Rhodes Scholar 1994-97
Year: 1995.
Title: Oxford: Trinity College Graduate Scholar 1995-97
Year: 1994.
Title: UCC University Graduate of the Year 1994
Year: 1994.
Title: UCC Peel Memorial Graduation Prize (1st in BA) 1994
Year: 1992.
Title: UCC College Scholar 1992-94
Year: 1992.
Title: NUI Dr H. Hutchinson-Stewart Literary Scholarship 1992
Year: 1992.
Title: UCC Mercier Prize 1992


Association: SEMFS Society for Early Modern French Studies, Function/Role: Ordinary Member
Association: BSECS: Member of British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Function/Role: Ordinary Member (conference contributions & article publications)
Association: ECIS: Member of Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society, Function/Role: Ordinary Member (conference and publication contributions)
Association: SFS: Member of Society for French Studies, Function/Role: Ordinary Member (conference papers and numerous requests for review articles)
Association: SEV: Member of Société des études voltairiennes, Function/Role: Ordinary member (conference papers and review articles)

Conference Contributions

Siofra Pierse (2017) Humanities and the Arts. [Invited Oral Presentation], 40 Years of Rhodes Women anniversary conference, Oxford , 14-SEP-17 - 17-SEP-17.
Pierse, Síofra (2016) Sex and Sequestration: book illustrations and filmic adaptations of Diderot's 'La Religieuse'. [Invited Oral Presentation], BSECS - British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies annual conference, Oxford , 06-JAN-16 - 08-JAN-16.
Pierse, Síofra with Jenny Collery (UCD Library) (2015) eLearning in UCD Library: Collaborative Creation Across the University. [Oral Presentation], EdTech conference, UCD Dublin , 19-MAR-15 - 20-MAR-15.
Siofra PIERSE (2013) International Tercentenary Diderot Conference. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], The Dark Side of Diderot, International Tercentenary Conference Organiser, UCD Dublin , 07-JUN-13 - 08-JUN-13.
Siofra PIERSE (2013) Diderot's Narrative of Doubt, Diderot International Conference. [Oral Presentation], The Dark Side of Diderot (Diderot's Narrative of Doubt), UCD Dublin , 07-JUN-13 - 08-JUN-13.
Pierse, Siofra (2012) Of Self and Of Truth: Teaching Rousseau's Reveries. [Invited Oral Presentation], Du Bon Usage de Rousseau, Tercentenary Conference, Trinity College Dublin , 13-SEP-12 - 13-SEP-12.
Pierse, Siofra (2009) La vitesse vitale du tigre celtique? 'Candide' sur scene en Irlande au 21e siecle (Vital energy of the Celtic tiger: Candide on stage in 21st-century Ireland). [Invited Oral Presentation], Les 250 ans de Candide Conference, Maison Francaise and Voltaire Foundation, University of Oxford , 15-SEP-09 - 18-SEP-09.
Pierse, Siofra (2009) Voltaire on the Anagni Slap: Imitation or Innovation?. [Invited Oral Presentation], Society for the Study of French History Conference, Trinity College Dublin , 29-JUN-09 - 30-JUN-09.
Pierse, Siofra (2007) Voltaire's article 'Histoire': Problematics of Inclusion and Omission in History. [International Refereed Conference], International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, Montpellier, France , 08-JUL-07 - 15-JUL-07.
Pierse, Siofra (2007) Secrets and Lies in the Eighteenth Century: Voltaire and Truth in History. [Invited Lecture], University of Ulster French Research Seminar, University of Ulster , 01-NOV-07 - 01-NOV-07.
Pierse, Siofra (2007) Les corbeaux de la littérature: Voltaire on Critics and other Literary Insults. [Invited Lecture], Print Culture Conference, Limerick, Ireland , 07-JUN-07 - 08-JUN-07.
Pierse, Síofra (2007) Goldoni's Mémoires: the Voice of an Octogenarian in Exile. [International Refereed Conference], Carlo Goldoni (1707-93): Tercentenary Conference, Dublin , 05-JUL-07 - 07-JUL-07.
Pierse, Siofra (2007) Voltaire and an 'embarras de richesses'. [International Refereed Conference], Perspectives de la Recherche Voltairienne Conference, Dublin , 27-APR-07 - 27-APR-07.
Pierse, Siofra (2007) Voltaire Historian and the Dual Anxieties of Appeal and Omission. [International Refereed Conference], Society for French Studies Conference, Birmingham, UK , 02-JUL-07 - 04-JUL-07.
Pierse, Siofra; (2007) In defence of female intellectuality: Emilie Du Chatelet 'au rang des plus grands hommes'. [Invited Oral Presentation], Ut Pictura Poesis Conference, University of Edinburgh, Scotland , 07-DEC-07 - 09-DEC-07.
Pierse, Siofra (2007) Conference Organisation: 'Perspectives de la recherche voltairienne.'. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Perspectives de la Recherche Voltairienne Conference Organisation, Dublin , 27-APR-07 - 27-APR-07.
Pierse, Síofra (2007) Conference Organisation: Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793) Tercentenary Conference. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Carlo Goldoni (1707-93) Tercentenary Conference Organisation, UCD, Dublin , 05-JUL-07 - 07-JUL-07.
Pierse, Síofra (2006) Towards a Redefinition of Truth in History: Voltaire's Break with Tradition. [International Refereed Conference], Modernities/Modernités Conference, St Catherine's College, Oxford, UK , 28-JUN-06 - 30-JUN-06.
Pierse, Siofra (2006) Facing Facts: Voltaire on historiography. [Invited Lecture], UCD French and Francophone Studies Research Seminar, Dublin , 14-NOV-06 - 14-NOV-06.
Pierse, Siofra (2005) Voltaire and Rousseau: Two Old-Age Citizens. [Invited Lecture], UCD French Department Research Seminar, Dublin , 18-JAN-05 - 18-JAN-05.
Pierse, Siofra (2005) Georges Moore agus Voltaire: Beirt briseurs de fers ('Georges Moore and Voltaire: Two briseurs de fers'. Delivered in Irish). [International Refereed Conference], George Moore: Literature and the Arts Conference, UCC, Cork , 18-MAR-05 - 20-MAR-05.
Pierse, Siofra (2005) Voltaire and the Re-Construction of the Aged Self. [International Refereed Conference], Narrating the Self in Early Modern Europe Conference, Maynooth, Ireland , 13-MAY-05 - 13-MAY-05.
Pierse, Síofra (2005) Voltaire and a Vision of Louis XIV. [Invited Lecture], UCD BA Student for a Day Open Day, UCD Dublin , 12-MAR-05 - 12-MAR-05.
Pierse, Siofra (2004) Disguise and Deceit: the Question of (Un)Truths in Novels by Mme de Villedieu, Mme Riccoboni and Mme de Staël. [Chaired Session], Les Supercheries/Artful Deceptions Conference, NUI Galway, Ireland , 01-APR-04 - 03-APR-04.
Pierse, Siofra (2004) Sincerely Imaginary: The City in Voltaire and Rousseau. [Invited Oral Presentation], Imagining the City Conference, Cambridge, UK , 30-JUL-04 - 01-AUG-04.
Pierse, Siofra (2002) Parisian Mirrors: the City as Reflected in Restif de la Bretonne's 'Les Nuits de Paris'. [International Refereed Conference], Les Savoirs au 17e et au 18e siècle Conference, Trinity College Dublin , 01-NOV-02 - 02-NOV-02.
Pierse, Siofra (2001) Voltaire, Le 'Siècle de Louis XIV' et l'historiographie. [Invited Oral Presentation], Voltaire et le «Grand Siècle» Conference, Universite de Paris IV-La Sorbonne , 01-NOV-01 - 03-NOV-01.
Pierse, Siofra (2000) La Princesse de Navarre: Fête pour un prince?. [Invited Oral Presentation], La Fête au dix-huitième siècle Conference, Oxford , 01-APR-00 - 01-APR-00.
Pierse, Siofra (2000) History is Dead. Long live History: Voltaire and a Vision of Historiogaphy. [National Refereed Conference Paper], Cultural Memory RIA Conference, Dublin , 01-NOV-00 - 03-NOV-00.
Pierse, Siofra (1999) Les sciences et les arts: Passion and Riposte in Rousseau and Voltaire. [Invited Oral Presentation], La Passion au dix-huitième siècle Conference, Oxford , 01-MAR-99 - 02-MAR-99.
Pierse, Siofra (1999) Parisian Mirrors: the Literary Picture in Les Nuits de Paris. [National Refereed Conference Paper], International Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Conference, Dublin , 30-AUG-99 - 04-SEP-99.
Pierse, Siofra (1998) Voltaire: les voix et les voies historiques. [National Refereed Conference Paper], Recherches voltairiennes Research Seminar, Paris, Sorbonne , 03-FEB-98 - 03-FEB-98.
Pierse, Siofra (1998) Limiers and Voltaire: Historical Games. [National Refereed Conference Paper], Le Jeu au dix-huitième siècle Conference, Oxford , 01-APR-98 - 01-APR-98.
Pierse, Siofra (1998) Voltaire: Story behind History. [Invited Oral Presentation], Compleat Eighteenth Century, Oxford English Faculty Research Seminar, St John's College Oxford , 02-MAR-98 - 02-MAR-98.
Pierse, Siofra (1997) Voltaire and Clio: History as Literature. [Plenary Lecture], Voltaire Foundation/ Oxford University Voltaire Lecture Series, Taylor Institution, Oxford , 14-FEB-97 - 14-FEB-97.
Pierse, Siofra (1997) Anti-Bodies and Voltaire: the early histories. [Invited Oral Presentation], 18th-century Bodies Conference, London , 01-APR-97 - 04-APR-97.
Pierse, Siofra (1997) Une histoire ou l'Histoire?: Voltaire's Le Siecle de Louis XIV. [Invited Oral Presentation], Renaissance to Enlightenment Research Seminar, Trinity College, Oxford , 06-MAR-97 - 06-MAR-97.


Committee : QA SLCL Chair SARCC 2016-17 (Self-Assessment Review coordinating committee)
Committee : Year Head.
Committee : Erasmus/Socrates Exchange Co-ordinator
Committee : MA Review committee
Committee : Senior Treasurer & Liaison Officer. Student French Society / Le Club Français
Committee : Bord na Gaeilge 2003-15
Committee : School Web Committee 2007
Committee : French & Francophone France-Ireland committee 2000-13
Committee : School of Languages & Literatures Student Liaison Officer
Committee : Lecteurs (Incoming/ Outgoing)
Committee : QA Quality Assurance External Review Group 2012
Committee : MA in French Admissions Committee
Committee : Steering Committee re Selection of future Head of School 2007
Committee : UCD Pétanque Club
Committee : QA Quality Assurance Internal School Review Committee 2008-09
Committee : QA Quality Assurance External Review Group 2015


Employer: UCD Dublin; School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
Position: Associate Professor in French & Francophone Studies
Employer: UCD Dublin: School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures
Position: Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies
Employer: UCD Dublin, French & Francophone Studies, School of Languages and Literatures
Position: Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies
Employer: UCD Dublin, French & Francophone Studies
Position: Assistant Lecturer
Employer: Paris: Ecole normale superieure
Position: Maitre de langues
Employer: Paris: Ecole normale superieure
Position: Lectrice
Employer: Paris: Ecole des Chartes
Position: Chargee des cours d'anglais


Year 1999 Institution: Oxford University, UK
Qualification: DPhil Subject:
Year 1995 Institution: Oxford University, UK
Qualification: M St Subject:
Year 1994 Institution: University College Cork
Qualification: BA Subject:


Client: Schwarzman Scholarship Selection Committee 2017 (Tsinghua University, China)
Client: Schwarzman Scholarship (Tsinghua, China) Selection Committee (2016)
Client: Schwarzman Scholarship (Tsinghua University, Beijing) Selection Committee (2015)
Client: External Examiner (French with Irish), National University of Ireland, Galway (2013-15)
Client: External Examiner (Thesis), University of Limerick (2012)
Client: Oakmount Creche
Client: Fiontar, Dublin City University
Client: Irish Civil Service Commission
Client: University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Client: French Civil Service Commission

Outreach Activities

(2016-17) Internet assistance with international student queries re Voltaire historian/ historiographer 
(2015) Invited Speaker, Prize-Giving ceremony, Regina Mundi College (secondary school) Cork. Talk: 'Work/Life happiness: energy, the open mind and serendipity'    
(2015) RTE Radio One BOOK SHOW (14 February) Choderlos de Laclos's 1782 best-seller libertine novel, Les Liaisons dangereuses. Focus was on treachery, trickery, revenge, duels and death.
(2016) Voice-over (Gaeilge) for DULALA (D'une Langue a l'autre) multilingual children's publication Sophie et ses langues (Paris: Dulala, 2016). 
(2011) Public Lecture to Sandymount Study Group. 
Lecture 11 October 2011 entitled 'Voltaire: philosophe
(1994-) Former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford (Trinity and Ireland 1994): Member of International Rhodes network.

(2010-15) Oakmount Crèche Irish Project. 
Linguistic support/advice.
Organisation of Bord na Gaeilge sp
onsorship for new Irish Language Crèche Book Library.

Sourcing and selection of Irish Language Books.
First delivery of Irish books, December 2012, thanks to sponsorship by Bord na Gaeilge, UCD.
Subsequent deliveries of Irish books, March 2014 and June 2015; sponsorship by Bord na Gaeilge, UCD, leading to establishment of 'Reading Corner' in creche entry, to house Irish language books for 0-5 year-olds.

Encouragement of employment of basic Irish words by creche teachers / minders at all levels. 
Assistance with instigation of Crèche Irish Signage & occasional Poster Translation.

(2001)Organiser of visit and theatrical performances by guest theatre troupe Only Kiddin' from Rouen, France.
(2001) Organiser of French Dept guest talk by author and Member of Academie Francaise, Michel Déon.
(2002) Organiser of French Dept guest talks and theatrical performances by playwright Noelle Renaude and actor Christophe Brault.
(2000-05) Director of French student play productions (Tardieu, 'Les Amants du métro' (2000); Reza 'Art' (2001); Ionesco 'La Cantatrice chauve' (asst. director, 2005).
(2005) Organiser on behalf of Bord na Gaeilge of Féile Drámaíochta Idirnáisiúnta (International Theatre Festival) UCD, involving theatre productions in French, Irish & Spanish (February 2005)
(2000-03) Organiser of four UCD European Theatre Festivals (co-organised with Dr G. Pye, German Studies, in 2001 & 2002). In Feb. 2003 the festival involved six departments and performances in six different languages.



Pierse, Síofra (2008) Voltaire Historiographer: Narrative Paradigms. Oxford: SVEC, Voltaire Foundation, University of Oxford. Available Online [Details]

Book Chapters

Pierse, Síofra (2016) 'Subversive Scepticism: Diderot and Narrative Doubt' In: Síofra Pierse and James Hanrahan (eds). The Dark Side of Diderot / Le Diderot des ombres. Oxford: Peter Lang. , pp.57-83 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra and James Hanrahan (2016) 'Introduction: Darkness in Diderot' In: Pierse, Síofra and James Hanrahan (eds). The Dark Side of Diderot/ Le Diderot des ombres. Oxford: Peter Lang. , pp.1-17 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2014) 'Voltaire et la vitalité du tigre celtique: 'Candide' sur scene dans l'Irlande du XXIe siecle'' In: Nicholas Cronk and Nathalie Ferrand (eds). Les 250 ans de Candide. Louvain, Belgium: Peeters. , pp.551-562 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2013) 'Voltaire: Polemical Possibilities of Historiography' In: Pierse, Síofra (eds). A Companion to Enlightenment Historiography. The Netherlands: Brill. , pp.153-189 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2012) 'Francois Ier, Charles-Quint, et Soliman' In: Bruno Bernard, John Renwick, Nicholas Cronk, Janet Godden (eds). Essai sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations, Chapitre CXXIV. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation. , pp.337-354 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2012) 'Conduite de Francois Ier' In: Bruno Bernard, John Renwick, Nicholas Cronk, Janet Godden (eds). Essai sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations. Chapitre CXXV. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation. , pp.355-377 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2010) 'Du roi de France Philippe le Bel, et de Boniface VIII' In: Bruno Bernard, John Renwick, Nicholas Cronk, Janet Godden (eds). Voltaire, Essai sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations. Chapitre LXV. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation. , pp.513-534 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2008) 'Disguise as self-defence. The veiling of true identity by the early modern female novelist' In: Brophy, M., Gaffney, P. and Gallagher, M (eds). Reverberations: Staging Relations in French since 1500. Dublin: UCD Press. , pp.248-259 Available Online [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2007) 'Voltaire and the Re-Construction of the Self in the Mémoires and Later Correspondence' In: Tribout, B., and Whelan, R (eds). Narrating the Self in Early Modern Europe. Bern: Peter Lang. , pp.211-229 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2007) 'Discarding Convention: Voltaire's repositioning of Truth in History' In: Brooks, B., Zaiser, R (eds). Religion, Ethics and History in the Long Seventeenth Century. Bern: Peter Lang. , pp.243-257 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'Georges Moore in the shadow of Voltaire: two 'briseurs de fers'' In: Pierse, M (eds). George Moore: Artistic Visions and Literary Worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press. , pp.49-63 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'On the Cusp of Truth: Deceit and Lies in the Early Modern Female-Authored French Novel' In: Emerson, C. and Scott, M (eds). Artful Deceptions. Bern: Peter Lang. , pp.243-258 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'The City for Voltaire and Rousseau 1776-1778: the Imaginings of Old Age' In: Emden, C., Keen, C. and Midgley, D (eds). Imagining the City. Bern: Peter Lang. , pp.39-57 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2004) 'Introduction' In: Pierse, Síofra (eds). The City in French Writing: the Eighteenth-Century Experience / Écrire la ville au dix-huitième siècle. Dublin:: UCD Press. , pp.1-8 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2004) 'Restif de la Bretonne's Les Nuits de Paris: a very urban promenade solitaire' In: Pierse, S (eds). The City in French Writing: the Eighteenth-Century Experience / Écrire la ville au dix-huitième siècle. Dublin: UCD Press. , pp.86-121 [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2003) 'A Sceptic witness: Voltaire's vision of historiography' In: Caldicott, C.E.J. and Fuchs, A (eds). Cultural Memory. Bern: Peter Lang. , pp.69-83 [Details]

Edited Books

Síofra Pierse and James Hanrahan (eds) (Ed.). (2016) The Dark Side of Diderot / Le Diderot des ombres. Bern: Peter Lang. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (Ed.). (2004) The City in French Writing: the Eighteenth-Century Experience /Écrire la ville au dix-huitième siècle. Dublin: UCD Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Pierse, Siofra (2018) 'Review of 'Gustave-Wasa' by Alexis Piron, ed. by Derek Connon'. Modern Language Review (MLR), 113.1 (113.1.2018):244-245. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2016) 'The Spectatorial Gaze: Viewer-Voyeur Dynamics in Book Illustrations of Diderot's 'La Religieuse''. Journal For Eighteenth-Century Studies, 39 (4):599-620. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Pierse, Siofra (2015) 'Marquise Emilie Du Chatelet as Lady Newton: prefatory nuances and problematic ambiguities in the writing of an early-modern female scientist'. Women's studies, 44 (8):1156-1177. [DOI] [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2014) 'Review Article. 'Dramatic Battles in eighteenth-century France' by Logan J. Connors'. H-France Review, 14 (185):1-5. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2014) 'Review of 'Fiction and the Frontiers of Knowledge in Europe 1500-1800', edited by Richard Scholar and Alexis Tadié'. The Modern Language Review, 109 (2):511-512. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2013) 'Review of Nicholas Cronk (ed), 'Voltaire and the 1760s: Essays for John Renwick''. Journal For Eighteenth-Century Studies, 36 (4):589-589. [DOI] [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2013) 'Compte rendu du livre de James Hanrahan, 'Voltaire and the parlements of France''. Revue d'histoire littéraire de la France, 113 (2013/2):446-447. [DOI] [Details]
Pierse, Siofra (2013) 'Review of Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire 75A: oeuvres de 1773'. French Studies, 2013 (67):251-252. [Details]
Pierse, Siofra (2013) 'Review of Derek Connon (ed), 'L'Antre de Trophonius' et 'La Rose de Dissention, ou le faux-prodige' by Alexis Piron'. The Modern Language Review, 108, 2013 (1):304-305. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2012) 'Review of Les Oeuvres completes de Voltaire, 75B: Fragments sur l'Inde et sur le general Lalli'. French Studies, 66 :398-399. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2011) 'Review of Christophe Cave and Simon Davies (eds), 'Les Vies de Voltaire: discours et représentations biographiques, XVIII-XXIe siecles' (SVEC 2008:04)'. Journal For Eighteenth-Century Studies, 34 (3, 2011):402-403. [DOI] [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2011) 'Review of Robert L. Dawson, 'Confiscations at Customs: Banned Books and the French Book Trade during the Last Years of the Ancien Régime' (SVEC 2006:07)'. Journal For Eighteenth-Century Studies, 34 (1, 2011):110-111. [DOI] [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2010) 'Review of A.J. Nemeth, 'Voltaire's Tormented Soul: a Pyschobiotic Inquiry' (Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 2008)'. French Studies, 64 (3):348-349. [DOI] [Details]
Pierse, Síofra; (2010) 'Review of 'Emilie Du Chatelet. Rewriting Enlightenment Philosophy and Science', ed. by Judith P. Zinsser and Julie Candler Hayes'. British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 33 (3):415-416. [DOI] [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2009) 'Breaking Away from Battles: Voltaire and the Everyday in History'. Eighteenth-Century Ireland; Iris an Dá Chultúr, 24 :85-100. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra; (2009) 'Review of ' Francois II, roi de France. By Charles-Jean-Francois Hénault', edited by Thomas Wynn. London: Modern Humanities Research Association. 2006'. British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 32 (4):630-631. [DOI] [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2009) 'Review of Olivier Ferret, Gianluigi Goggi and Catherine Volpilhac-Auger, eds, 'Copier/Coller. Écriture et réécriture chez Voltaire' (Pisa: Pisa University Press, 2007)'. The Modern Language Review, 104 (1):202-203. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2009) 'Review of Olivier Ferret, Russell Goulbourne, Ralph A. Nablow and David Williams, eds, 'Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire, 28A. Oeuvres de 1742-1745 (I)' (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2006)'. French Studies, 63 (2):212-213. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2008) 'Review of Voltaire, 'Histoire du parlement de Paris''. British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 31 (1):178-179. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2008) 'Review of Derek Connon, 'Identity and Transformation in the Plays of Alexis Piron' (Oxford: Legenda, 2007)'. French Studies, 62 (4):477-478. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2008) 'Review of Voltaire, Histoire du parlement de Paris, ed. by John Renwick (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2005)'. British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, . [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2007) 'Review of Nora M. Heimann, Joan of Arc in French Art and culture (1700-1855): from Satire to Sanctity. (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2005)'. French Studies, 61 (2):375-376. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2007) 'Review of Frédéric Deloffre et Jacques Cormier, eds, Voltaire et sa « grande amie ». Correspondance complète de Voltaire et de Mme Bentinck (1740-1778) (Oxford: Vif, Voltaire Foundation, 2003)'. British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 29 (2):303-304. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2007) 'Review of Jean-Marie Roulin, L'Épopée de Voltaire à Chateaubriand: poésie, histoire et politique SVEC 2005:03'. French Studies, 61 (4):517-518. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'Review of Gwenaëlle Boucher, 'La poésie philosophique de Voltaire' and Jennifer Tsien, 'Voltaire and the Temple of Bad Taste: A Study of La Pucelle d'Orléans''. British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 29 (1):133-134. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'Voltaire, George Moore agus Eagnaíocht na Fraince II'. Comhar, :9-11. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'Le Siècle de Louis XIV: la peinture d'un siècle admirable  '. Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 10 :51-63. Available Online [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'Review of Theodore E.D. Braun and John B. Radner (eds), The Lisbon earthquake of 1755. Representations and Reactions, SVEC 2005:02'. The Modern Language Review, 101 (2):505-506. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'Review of Orest Ranum, Paris in the Age of Absolutism, an essay. Revised and expanded edition. University Park, Penn State University Press. 2003'. French Studies, LX (3):387-388. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'Voltaire, George Moore agus Eagnaíocht na Fraince I'. Comhar, :24-26. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2005) 'Review of Jean-Claude Bonnefont, ed., Stanislas et son Académie: colloque du 250e anniversaire (Nancy: Presses universitaires de Nancy, 2003)'. French Studies, LIX (3):403-404. [Details]
Pierse, Siofra (2004) 'Review of 'Cahiers Voltaire''. French Studies, LVIII (3):413-414. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2003) 'Review of Máire Kennedy, French Books in Eighteenth-century Ireland (Voltaire Foundation, 2001)'. French Studies, LVII (2):233-234. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2002) 'Review of Stephen Bird, Reinventing Voltaire: The politics of commemoration in nineteenth-century France SVEC 2000:09'. French Studies, 56 (3):404-405. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2002) 'Review of Michel Delon and Catriona Seth, eds, Voltaire en Europe: Hommage à Christiane Mervaud (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2000)'. French Studies, 56 (2):242-243. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2002) 'Review of Raymond Trousson, Visages de Voltaire (XVIIIe-XIXe siècles) (Paris: Champion, 2001)'. French Studies, 56 (3):403-404. [Details]
Pierse, Siofra; (2001) 'Les sciences et les arts: Passion and Riposte in Rousseau and Voltaire'. Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 2001:12 :451-457. Available Online [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2000) 'Limiers and Voltaire: historical games'. Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 08 :203-209. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2000) 'Review of Graham Gargett and Geraldine Sheridan eds, Ireland and the French Enlightenment 1700-1800 (London: Macmillan Press, 1999)'. Eighteenth-Century Ireland; Iris an Dá Chultúr, 2000 (15). [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2000) 'Review of Jay Caplan, In the Kings Wake: Post-Absolutist Culture in France. (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press. 1999). French History. (2001)'. French History, 14 . [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (1997) 'Review of Voltaire, The English Essays of 1727: An Essay on the Civil Wars of France. Essai sur les guerres civiles de France. An Essay on Epic Poetry. Essai sur la poésie épique. Critical editions by Richard Waller and David Williams'. French Studies, 51 (4). [Details]

Published Reports

Pierse & CO (2012) Review Group Report: UCD School of Psychology QA. UCD Quality Office, UCD Quality Office website. [Details]
Pierse, Síofra & review panel (Prof. Ciaran O'hOgartaigh; Prof. Peter Green; Prof. Colin Sparrow; Prof. Ivan Netuka (2015) Review Group Report: UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics QA. UCD Quality Office, UCD Quality Office website. [Details]

Encyclopedia Entry

Pierse, Síofra (2013) Voltaire 'Histoire de Charles XII', in Literary Encyclopedia Online, Robert Clark (Ed). Encyclopedia Entry Available Online [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2012) Incogniti (Incogniti) in 'Encyclopédie'. Encyclopedia Entry [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2012) Innominati (Innominati) in 'Encyclopédie'. Encyclopedia Entry [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2011) Faculty (Faculté) in 'Encyclopédie'. Published online at Encyclopedia Entry [Details]

Newspaper Articles

Pierse, Síofra (2010) 'Montaigne's Maxim?: Don't Worry, Be Happy.'. The Irish Times: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2009) 'The People's Revolutionary.'. The Irish Times: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Pierse, Síofra; (2009) 'The remarkable life of Lucie.'. The Irish Times: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2008) 'France's long 19thc century.'. The Irish Times: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2007) 'A Catastrophic Craft.'. The Irish Times: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'The Sovereign of Style.'. The Irish Times: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'An Icon of Free Expression.'. The Irish Times: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'Life in the golden goldfish bowl.'. The Irish Times: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'Gallic Gems of a Bygone Era.'. The Irish Times: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2006) 'Insanity of the Incorruptible.'. The Irish Times: Newspaper Articles [Details]


Pierse, Síofra (2007) 'Historical hospitality meets cultural cuisine.'. Foreword [Details]
Pierse, Síofra (2003) 'Molière: a man of many masks'. GATE Theatre Programme Notes. Foreword [Details]


Research Interests

I am an 18th-century Voltaire specialist and an early-modern French scholar.
My primary research focus has long been on the large corpus (over thirty-eight texts) of Voltaire's historical and historiographical works; my wider research interests and publications thus divide into four broad areas:

1. 18th-century historiography [Voltaire and contemporaries]
2. 18th-century literature and ideas [Voltaire; Rousseau; Charriere; Diderot; Disguise; Deceit; Old-age; the early-modern Self; Truth; Scepticism]
3. The early modern female-authored French novel [Mesdames Tencin, Riccoboni, Graffigny, Charriere, Gouges, Staël...]
4. The city in 18th-century French literature [Restif de la Bretonne, Voltaire; Rousseau; Mercier...].

- (2016) Co-editor of 'The Dark Side of Diderot/ Diderot des ombres' a bilingual collection of articles celebrating the tercentenary of Diderot's birth year 1713 (in collaboration with Dr James Hanrahan, TCD (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016).
- (2008) Author of a monograph 'Voltaire Historiographer: Narrative Paradigms' (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2008).
- (2004) Editor of a volume of essays 'The City in French Writing: the Eighteenth-Century experience' (Dublin: UCD Press, 2004).

The fruits of my research continue to appear in articles in peer-reviewed journals, in book chapters, and in book reviews in peer-reviewed journals, as well as in online publications. A list of my publications is available on this website under 'Publications'. 
RECENT: Have published a key article on early illustrations of Diderot's 'La Religieuse' appearing in a volume of JECS (Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2016). Whereas heretofore it was generally accepted that Le Barbier (1799) was the first illustrator of this novel, I posit here that the first illustrations were actually available in 1796 and produced not by Le Barbier but by a series of illustrators including Anonymous (1796) and Challiou (1797). This was an exciting and novel project for me as it entailed chasing the earliest editions of the novel through libraries all over Europe (Paris, Bonn, Oxford, Fontainebleau...). This article arose out of a UCD module lecture and then a conference paper on the filmic adaptations of the novel.

Collaborative Team Research Project: 
Between 2009-2013 I was intensely involved in a team project at the Voltaire Foundation, Oxford, involving preparation of the critical edition of Voltaire's work of universal history, 'Essai sur les moeurs'. This collaborative project was generously funded by the AHRC, UK. I worked as part of a team of international scholars, which was a very exciting and unique opportunity for dix-huitiemiste (18th-century) specialists. Volume III appeared in October 2010 and Volume V was published in October 2012. As part of substantial contributions, I edited chapters and wrote extensive pieces of work for both Volume III and Volume V, including sole critical edition of chapters 56 and joint critical editions of chapters 124 and 125 of Voltaire's ground-breaking histoire universelle.

-One of my more topical articles includes a piece on 'Candide' as interpreted via the prism of the Celtic Tiger, analysing the acclaimed Irish 'Performance Corporation' theatre company's 2003 reinterpretation and performance of 'Candide' (published in 2014, just after the 'Performance Corporation's 10-year celebrations (2013) and to mark 250 years of Voltaire's 'Candide').
-As expert on Voltaire's historiography, I was invited to write a chapter for inclusion in Brill's new 'A Companion to Enlightenment Historiography' volume (edited by Prof. Robert Sparling). I contributed a chapter situating Voltaire within early modern historiography, amidst the leading historians of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, right up to Gibbon. The volume was published by Brill in June 2013.
In 2016 James Hanrahan (TCD) and I published a collection of articles exploring the Dark Side of Diderot. The collection is international and bilingual. Chapters mainly focus on the schism between positive images of the Enlightenment and an undercurrent of disorder, transgression and clandestine intellectual and social practices. Diderot's role in this fissure is critically scrutinised through an analysis of the interface between Enlightenment and its dark side. In his own reticence before authority and censorship, in the richness and complexity of his literary and philosophical works, or in his innovative aesthetic vision, Diderot consistently evokes the darker side of the Enlightenment.
I have an article in this collection entitled 'Subversive Scepticism: Diderot and Narrative Doubt', tracing scepticism through three of Diderot's works: 'Pensées philosophiques', 'La Promenade du sceptique' and 'Jacques le fataliste'.
As well as doing my usual book reviews for discipline journals, giving conference papers and writing articles for publication, I am working on my book project, with the working title: 'Literary Doubt in Enlightenment France'. This work explores manifestations of doubt (various forms of scepticism) in French literary narratives of the Enlightenment: Diderot/Voltaire/Rousseau/Charriere.


UCD Humanities Institute, September 7-8 2018
Keynote speaker: Prof. Kate E. Tunstall (Worcester College, Oxford)
Call for Papers:
This conference is co-orgnised by Síofra Pierse, Edward O'Sullivan and Emma Dunne

DIDEROT TERCENTENARY CONFERENCE: 'The Dark Side of Diderot', UCD, June 7, 2013.
-Co-organised with Dr James Hanrahan (TCD).

-FUNDING: generously received from French Embassy Cultural Fund; UCD Dublin College of Arts and Celtic Studies; School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies, TCD; 'The FRENCH PARADOX' Ballsbridge, Dublin 4; 'TERROIRS' Donnybrook, Dublin 4. Our main sponsors were VEOLIA Water (Ireland) to whom we are extremely grateful.
TITLE: 'The Dark Side of Diderot'
VENUE: Whaley Room, Newman House UCD, 86 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. 
OPENING: Minister Ruairí Quinn, Irish Minister for Education.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Professor Catriona SETH (Université de Lorraine) 'Le Gout des ruines' 
Marie-Anne BOHN (Université de Paris IV;
Helene DAVID (Université de Lille 2)
Síofra PIERSE (UCD, Dublin)
Daniel S. LARANGE (Abo Akademi, Finland)
Masano YAMASHITA (University of Colorado)
Graham GARGETT (University of Ulster)
Russell GOULBOURNE (University of Leeds)
James HANRAHAN (Trinity College Dublin)
Ann LEWIS (Birkbeck College, London) 

GOLDONI CONFERENCE: 'Carlo Goldoni: Venice 1709 - Paris 1793',  July 2007.

-International key conference co-organised by Professor O'Grady (Italian, UCD), Dr Monica Francioso (Italian, UCD) and Dr Síofra Pierse (French UCD) to mark the tercentenary of Goldoni¿s birth in 1709. Keynote speakers included Prof. Paolo Bosisio, world expert on Goldoni and also renowned academic and Italian Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Dr Lucio Alberto Savoia. The conference included seventeen international speakers from six different countries, over three days.

-Sponsors included: The Italian Embassy, Italian Cultural Institute, the Unicorn Restaurant, School of Languages, Literatures and Film, and UCD Seed-Funding.

VOLTAIRE  SYMPOSIUM:  'Perspectives voltairiennes', UCD, April 2007.

-International symposium held at UCD. Keynote speaker was world-renowned Voltaire expert, Dr Laurence Macé (Université de Paris IV- Sorbonne).

-Other key speakers included Prof. Gargett (U. Coleraine); Prof. Riviere (U. Limerick). Six papers given in a one-day symposium.

-Funding received from UCD Arts & Celtic Studies College Early Modern Research Funding Strand).

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : OBRSS Research Support Scheme
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-16 / 31-OCT-19
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : The Dark Side of Diderot
Start Date / End Date : 30-NOV-12 / 31-DEC-13
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Diderot Studies Centenary Conference
Start Date / End Date : 03-AUG-09 / 31-JAN-11
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Candide 250
Start Date / End Date : 03-AUG-09 / 31-JAN-11

Recent Postgraduates

PhD & MA: postgraduate thesis supervision & teaching

I have supervised the following PhD thesis*:
- (2006) PhD Thesis: 'Representations of Otherness in the 17th-century Récit de Voyage to the Orient' by Michael Harrigan, UCD. Sole supervisor 2002-2006.

Current PhD students*:
- PhD candidate: Edward O'Sullivan (Year IV). Working on Deadness in the Marquis de Sade.
- PhD candidate: Emma Dunne (Year II). Working on Happiness in Isabelle de Charrière 

* I would be very pleased to work with MA or potential PhD thesis students who wish to study an aspect of 18th-century literature, ideas or culture. Prospective graduate students are warmly invited to make an appointment or email to discuss their interests / authors / ideas for their thesis topic. 

*I have supervised the following taught MA theses: 

- MA Thesis: Isabelle de Charriere by Emma Dunne (2014)
- MA Thesis: 'Voltaire and the Lally Case' by Kevin Dowling (2013)
- MA Thesis: 'L'Argent et la femme dans le roman français du dix-huitième siècle' by Fiona Johnson (2005)
- MA Thesis: 'Le Destin dans les oeuvres romanesques de Marie-Jeanne Riccoboni' by Pauline Cunningham (2005)
- MA Thesis: 'La Femme dans le roman de Diderot' by Anne-Marie Fricker (2000)

* I have taught the following MA modules:
- FR40080 MA: 'Voltaire' (2011-15; 17-18) 
- FR40010 MA: 'Voltaire: redefining the Hero.' Seminar (2007-09)
- SLL40180 Literature of the Cloister (Diderot) Seminar, co-taught with Prof. Deirdre O'Grady (2008-09) 
- MA: La Femme de lettres (1700-1805). Seminar (2004)
- MA: La Femme de lettres (1650-1800). Seminar (2003)
- MA: Translation Course. Seminar (1999)



Internal Collaborators

-Jenny Collery (UCD Library).
Collaborative project to develop e-learning in UCD Library (online French resources) 2015. eLearning in UCD Library: Collaborative Creation Across the University.
MA modules co-taught:
-SLL40130 Modern Literary Theory (MA in Modern Languages 2014-15) With School colleagues.
-SLL40180 Italian MA: Cloisters (2008-2009) with Professor Deirdre O'Grady (now retired).  
-French MA: 'La femme de lettres 1650-1800' (2002-2004). MA module: Dr Séverine Genieys-Kirk (now in Edinburgh).
-MA module: Dr Laurent Marie (now retired). French MA: Translation (1999-2000). 

BA level co-taught modules with:
-FR30010 & FR30130. Prof. M. Gallagher. Dr P. Gaffney. R. Wall.
-FR20020. Dr E. O'Beirne.
-FR10010 & FR10020 FR10060 & FR10070. Dr D. Smith & 4 French lecteurs.
-FR20120. Dr E. O'Beirne. 2 French Lecteurs.
-FR10030 & FR10040. Dr P. Gaffney. Prof. M. Gallagher. R. Wall. 
-SLL10020 School colleagues.

External Collaborators

- Dr James Hanrahan (Ussher Lecturer in eighteenth-century French studies, Trinity College Dublin). Fellow Voltaire scholar and colleague, with whom I co-organised a Diderot conference (jointly organised between Trinity and UCD) at Newman House, UCD on 7 June 2013. Published a selection of articles from that conference (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016).

- Voltaire Foundation, Oxford. Member of international team of scholars editing Voltaire's seminal universal history 'Essai sur les moeurs'. Project funded by AHRC (Arts and Humanities Resarch Council), UK under stewardship of Professor Nicholas Cronk (Head of Voltaire Foundation, Oxford). Member of team since 2007. Project ongoing. Work on volume 5 (of 6) completed and published (three chapters - LXV, CXXIV, CXXV) in 2010 & 2012.