Postdoctoral Researchers


Dr Sarah Comyn

Realigning British Romanticism: White Settler and Indigenous Writing in the British-Controlled Southern Hemisphere, 1783-1870

Mentor: Professor Porscha Fermanis

Dr. Sarah Comyn is a postdoctoral fellow working with Prof. Porscha Fermanis on her ERC-funded project, SouthHem. She completed her PhD in English at the University of Melbourne. Her thesis, titled “The Empathic Imagination: A Literary History of Homo Economicus through the Anglo-American Novel,” explored the complex relationship between political economy and the novel over a 250-year period. Prior to joining UCD she taught English Literature at the University of Melbourne and Trinity College (Melbourne).

In 2016 she held a Chawton House Library Visiting Fellowship where she researched the political economic writings of Jane Marcet, Maria Edgeworth and their literary networks, in a project called, “Blue Ladies and Political Economy: Women Writers, the Popularization of Political Economy and the Discourse of Happiness.” Her research interests are in Romanticism; Victorian literature; and the transhistorical relationships between political economy and literature. She is currently researching the cultural and literary history of the Mechanics’ Institute during the gold rush in colonial Victoria (Australia) as part of her postdoctoral fellowship at UCD.




Dr Shonagh Hill

Embodied Mythmaking: A Genealogy of Women in Irish Theatre

Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowsip

Mentor: Dr. Cathy Leeney

My postdoctoral book project offers a genealogy of women in Irish theatre whose work intersects through their embodied mythmaking. I examine plays from the start of the twentieth century to the present day that employ mythic narratives to investigate myths of femininity. Embodied mythmaking examines the reiteration, reperformance and reinscription of myths on and through the body. These resistant writing-bodies perform alternatives that negotiate female agency and expression. Irish theatre, and the study of it, has largely focused on a literary tradition and my work is engaged in the process of redressing the neglect of bodies, namely the creativity and histories of female bodies.

My postdoctoral project is a development of my doctoral research which I completed at Queen’s University Belfast. I have published in Theatre Research International, Études Irlandaises, and Platform, as well as contributing to the edited collection: Staging Thought: Essays on Irish Theatre Scholarship and Practice. I have also contributed articles to the collections: The Theatre of Marie Jones, as well as Radical Contemporary Theatre Practices by Women Theatre Makers. My most recent publication, ‘Feeling Out of Place: The “affective dissonance” of the feminist spectator in The Boys of Foley Street’, is forthcoming in Performance, Feminism and Affect in Neoliberal Times (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). My research on women in performance is developed both locally and internationally through my memberships of The International Federation for Theatre Research’s Feminist Research Working Group and The Irish Society for Theatre Research’s Gender and Performance Working Group.