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Postdoctoral Researchers

Monday, 4 July, 2016

Dr John J. Gallagher

John Gallagher

Project title: Science, Creation, and Cosmology in the Early Medieval Latin West.

Funding body: Irish Research Council.

Mentor: Associate Professor Rebecca Stephenson.

John is a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of English, Drama, and Film. John’s postdoctoral monograph project considers Creation, cosmology, and scientific learning in the computistical, exegetical, and literary traditions of early medieval England, Ireland, and Francia (c. 600–c. 1100). In the early medieval Latin West, the Book of Genesis constituted the principal framework for understanding the origins and development of the natural world. John’s monograph study explores the early medieval worldview by outlining the interface between scientific knowledge and the interpretative and literary traditions of the Bible.

John obtained a PhD in English from the University of St Andrews in 2019 where he taught in the School of English, the School of Divinity, and the School of Modern Languages in the Department of Comparative Literature. His thesis focused on biblical exegesis and textual criticism of the early medieval Bible. He is currently revising a monograph based on this thesis entitled ‘Versions of the Bible in Early Medieval England’. John has published articles on scientific knowledge in biblical commentary, encyclopaedic texts, the six ages of the world, eschatology, and the thought of Augustine of Hippo. John is also currently working on a reader’s edition of the Old English Bible which brings together all major scriptural translations from early medieval England for the first time in a single collection. John has attendant research interests in Patristics, the fourth-century Gothic Bible, and the influence of the Bible on English literature. John is an External Member of the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield.

Email: john.gallagher@ucd.ie

Dr Conor Linnie

Dr Conor Linnie

Project title: The Inter-Arts Networks of British and Irish Postwar Periodical Culture Funding Body: Irish Research Council
Mentor: Associate Professor Lucy Collins 

Project Synopsis:

My research project explores the periodical networks that connected independent literary and artistic activity in Britain and Ireland during the two decades after the Second World War. It maps the migrant milieu of writers and artists who circulated between the two islands and who found crucial focal points of creativity and association in a cluster of interlinked little magazines including Envoy, The Bell, Irish Writing, Horizon, Nimbus and X: A Quarterly Review of Literature and Art. The project is the first interdisciplinary study of its kind to seriously consider the overlapping worlds of literature and the visual arts in Britain and Ireland during the postwar era. It establishes the little magazine as a key site of inter-arts exchange that stimulated literary and artistic traffic across the Irish Sea.

 As part of my project, I am coordinating a digital humanities collaboration between UCD Special Collections and MoLI Museum, creating a digital exhibition of material from the Patrick Kavanagh Archive. The exhibition explores the world of the literary magazine and its role in shaping the career of one of Ireland's most renowned poets through an open-access online platform that will function as both a public cultural resource and a teaching and learning tool. It offers a multimedia and multilingual experience, presented in both English and Irish, and creating a compelling narrative through a sequence of digitised images, film and audio recordings, illustration and mapping technology. The exhibition is supported by the College of Arts and Humanities Digital Cultures research strand.

email: conor.linnie@ucd.ie

Dr Maria Mulvany

Ghostly Fictions: Haunting, Trauma and Time in Contemporary Irish Historical Fiction

Funding Body: Irish Research Council

Mentor: Professor Gerardine Meaney

Project synopsis: 

Maria Mulvany is an early career researcher funded by an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship. Based at University College Dublin, Mulvany’s project “Ghostly Fictions: Haunting, Trauma and Time in Contemporary Irish Historical Fiction” engages with recent literary, queer, and psychoanalytic theories of spectrality to explore how a selection of Irish historical novels engage with questions of history, traumatic haunting, time and pleasure in the Irish context.

A significant concern is the effects of loss and the transmission of traumas at individual and societal levels. She expands on theoretical discussions focusing on trauma as a singular (but psychically repeated) 'event' tied to specific national events in the official history of the Irish state to interrogate underlying traumas that the psychoanalytic tradition theorizes as the shaping conditions of subject formation. Attending to the elided structures of trauma, her research examines how historical fictional narratives registers Irish culture as haunted, not only by a complex, violent history but by an occluded "spectral feminine" within its patriarchal construction. Finally, in recognition of Avery Gordon's assertion that haunting is not the same as being traumatized (1997), this study complicates the relationship between haunting and trauma by analysing ‘pleasure’ as a supplementary historical mode. In addition to her own research, Mulvany’s work is also indebted to interdisciplinary and collaborative research. She has worked on a range of digital humanities projects including the Nation, Gender, Genre ProjectJoyce Portrait 100 and the Rosamond Jacob Diaries Project. Most recently, she has been involved in the development of open access teaching resources and curricula as part of the Digital Methods and Data Literacies teaching and learning initiative, funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. As part of a wider focus on spectrality in the Irish context, her project website provides some teaching resources on three important Irish women writers of nineteenth and early twentieth century supernatural fiction.

Website: https://ghostlyirishfictions.com/

Email: maria.mulvany@ucd.ie

Dr Sean O'Brien 

Dr Sean O'Brien

Project title: World-System Failure: Secular Stagnation and Post-2008 American Culture

Funding body: Irish Research Council

Mentor: Dr Sharae Deckard

Before joining the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublinas an IRC Postdoctoral Fellow, I was Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, University of London 2018-2021, where I was also Programme Director of the MA Contemporary Literature and Culture 2018-2020. My research has been published in Cultural CritiqueDiscourseScience Fiction StudiesCrossings, and The Bloomsbury Companion to Marx. I am co-editor of ‘Demos: We Have Never Been Democratic’, a special issue of the visual culture journal Public based on work developed during the 2015 Banff Research in Culture residency. My criticism has also appeared in a number of electronic journals and literary magazines, including GUTS MagazineThe Capilano ReviewVector, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Current projects include a monograph, Representing Precarity: American Literature and Culture from Boom to Crisis, and a collaborative book, Anti-Social Reproduction.

Project synopsis: 
At the 2020 meeting of the American Economic Association, a ‘depressing consensus prevailed’ amongst delegates: ‘the developed world is stuck with low growth…for years to come’ (Greene 2020). Despite unprecedented stimulus packages, GDP growth across the US-led capitalist world-system has failed to recover from the 2008 financial crisis. World-System Failure asks how anxieties about a low-growth economy, or what macroeconomists call ‘secular stagnation’, appear in post-2008 American literary texts and popular media. The theory of secular (or long-term) stagnation was originally proposed by the Keynesian economist Alvin E. Hansen during the Great Depression to account for persistent low growth and ‘weak and anaemic’ recoveries. Largely forgotten during the post-war boom, economists have recently revived this ‘macroeconomic heresy’ to explain the unusually sluggish performance of the US-led global economy since the Great Recession of 2008. The concept of secular stagnation has also inspired a growing body of research in the economic humanities, including an article I published on ‘the aesthetics of stagnation’ in contemporary independent cinema, which bridges my first monograph and my postdoctoral research. World-System Failure, however, is the first book-length study to examine secular stagnation’s impact on cultural production in the US, bringing together methods from world-systems analysis, the economic humanities and the energy humanities to propose a new reading practice for American Studies scholarship. Considering work by novelist Thomas Pynchon, filmmaker J.C. Chandor, poets John Ashbery and Claudia Rankine, and screenwriters Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, this multimedia research project examines a range of responses to economic stagnation and its wider social and environmental consequences: the historicist and the investigative, the depressive and the journalistic, the futuristic and the apocalyptic. These aesthetic modes and genres offer writers different sets of formal devices for assessing the origins, fallouts and speculative trajectories of American economic decline.

Email: sean.obrien1@ucd.ie

Dr Dolores Resano 

Dolores Resano

Project Title: Transatlantic Approaches to Contemporary Literature in the Era of Trump

Funding Body: European Commisson, Horizon 2020 

Mentor: Professor Liam Kennedy

Project Synopsis:

Dolores Resano is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Clinton Institute for American Studies. She holds a PhD in Construction and Representation of Cultural Identities from the Universitat de Barcelona, with a dissertation titled Of Heroes and Victims: Jess Walter’s The Zero and the Satirical Post-9/11 Novel that dealt with the interrelations between post-9/11 fiction, national identity, and public discourse. Her current research is focused on contemporary American and European literary fiction from a transatlantic perspective, with a special emphasis on the intersections of literature, politics, affect, and public discourse. By applying a transatlantic approach, the project aims to renew and actualize the modes of interpretation in the field of transatlantic literary studies, to produce critically-informed readings of contemporary fiction that is responding to the crisis of transatlanticism (understood as a shared belief in liberal values), and thus to offer insight into systems of representation, the articulation of structures of power and knowledge, and how these can be re-imagined through literary fiction.

 Email: dolores.resano@ucd.ie

Dr Briony Wickes 

Briony Wickes

Project Title: European Migrants in the British Imagination: Victorian and Neo-VictorianCulture (VICTEUR)                                                                                   

Funding Body: European Research Council                             

Mentor: Professor Gerardine Meaney and Dr Derek GreeneProject Synopsis:

I am a Research Fellow on the European Research Council project, “European Migrants in the British Imagination: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Culture (VICTEUR)”. The project team is led by Professor Gerardine Meaney (English, Drama, and Film) and Dr Derek Greene (Computer Science). Working with the British Library Nineteenth Century Corpus, consisting of nearly 36,000 digitised books, the VICTEUR project combines data analytics and literary criticism to investigate representations of migrants and by migrants in Victorian fiction, focusing on three primary case studies of Irish, Italian, and Eastern European Jewish migrants. The longer-term aim of the study is to develop a new transhistorical and intra-national model for understanding migration as a key driver of cultural development at the interface of gender, ethnicity and demography.

Before joining UCD in 2021, I worked as a Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Glasgow, and taught at King’s College London, where I also received my PhD in 2019. I am completing a monograph, Animal Materials: Ecology, Settlement, and the Nineteenth-Century Novel, 1815-1910, which make the case for the representation of the human-animal divide, reflected in selected nineteenth-century texts, as an ideological lynchpin for settler colonialism. Nineteenth-century colonial culture was always on the go, driven by discourses of expansion, invasion, and growth. But it also generated, and depended upon, material and cultural practices that sought to naturalise and legitimise British hegemony in settler new lands. Drawing on post-Foucauldian theories of biopower and perspectives from critical race studies and animal studies, I argue that nineteenth-century writing locates the tactics and strategies of Victorian settlement in the signs and substances of ‘nonhuman capital’. In five chapters, the book explores the histories and narratives of the settler colonial fur trade, feather industry, whaling industry, meat markets, and wool trade in work by Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Olive Schreiner, and H.G. Wells, and identifies the novel as a key literary form that frames Victorian settler colonisation in affective terms, narrating the fantasies and feelings of a culture that found itself increasingly dependent on animals.


All Contact details:

Name Email
Dr John Gallagher john.gallagher@ucd.ie
Dr Conor Linnie conor.linnie@ucd.ie
Dr Maria Mulvany  maria.mulvany@ucd.ie
Dr Sean O'Brien  sean.obrien1@ucd.ie 
Dr Dolores Resano dolores.resano@ucd.ie
Dr Briony Wickes  briony.wickes@ucd.ie