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Postgraduate Researchers

Postgrad Researchers

Taylor Allgeier-Follett

Thesis title: 'An Arbitrary Misfortune': Negotiating women's relationship to the family in the contemporary Irish novel

Taylor's current research focuses on female characters as they navigate the family in contemporary Irish fiction, including works from authors such as Elske Rahill, Anne Enright, and Niamh Campbell. His additional research interests include gender studies, trans studies, and LGBTQ+ writing in Ireland and beyond. Taylor holds a BA from UC Berkeley, and an MPhil from TCD.

Supervisor: Professor Anne Fogarty

Mathieu Bokestael

Thesis Title: Towards a Caring Communitas: Performing Immunitas and Care in Contemporary Scottish Fictions

Mathieu's dissertation, funded by the Irish Research Council, explores the manner in which theories of immunity and care can help us understand how communities are imagined in contemporary writing about Scotland. Alongside his academic work, Mathieu has also written for the Flemish magazine MO* and coordinated multiple cultural events, such as lectures, readings and film festivals.

Supervisor: Dr Treasa De Loughry

Amanda Byrne

Thesis Title: Reading Testimony: Giorgio Agamben, Samuel Beckett and Primo Levi

2014-2016 Higher Diploma in English Literature at UCD

2016-2017 MA in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at UCD

2019- Structured PhD programme at UCD

Supervisor: Professor John Brannigan

Lauren Cassidy

Thesis Title: Gender, Sovereignty and the Changing Nation: The Irish Feminist Novel, 1963-2023

Lauren was awarded her Bachelor of Arts in English and History in 2018, and Master of Arts in English in 2019 at the University of Limerick. Her current research posits that Irish mythology’s sovereignty goddess is experiencing a renaissance in contemporary women’s writing. Lauren is interested in feminist psychoanalysis, sexuality/ gender studies, and cultural analytics.

Supervisor: Professor Gerardine Meaney

Thinley Chodon

Thesis Title: "Worlding Contemporary Tibetan Writings of the Global Tibetan Diaspora and Exiles: Exploring Resistance and Tibetanness"

Thinley's doctoral project aims to establish Contemporary Tibetan writing in the context of the transnational and world literary systems which bring to light questions that bear immense importance for postcolonial and world literary frameworks. Thinley is an Irish Research Council Scholarship Awardee.

Supervisor: Dr Treasa De Loughry

Poulomi Choudhury

Thesis Title: Fleshy Food Resources of the Future

Poulomi Choudhury's research explores depictions of meat in dystopian literature within the context of the current climate crisis and resultant food systems. Her study has been awarded the ‘UCD College of Arts and Humanities Doctoral Fee Scholarship’ and will evolve within UCD's Environmental Humanities research collective.

Supervisor: Dr Hannah Boast

Simon Costello

Thesis Title: The Vertical Corpse: Addiction and the Poetic Memoir

Simon's doctoral research examines addiction in poetry through creative praxis, and the critical study of American poet, Franz Wright. His poetry has been published in The Poetry Review, The London Magazine, The Moth, Bath Magg, and elsewhere. His debut chapbook of poems 'Saturn Devouring' will be published in 2023.

Supervisor: Prof Paul Perry

Suchismita Dattagupta

Thesis Title: Reading Hair as a Symbol of Resistance among African-American Women from 1920s-1980s

I pursued my BA and MA in English from St. Xavier’s College and Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India, respectively. I completed MPhil in English Studies from Christ University, Bengaluru, India. I taught under-graduate classes while pursuing MPhil. My current research interest is African-American literature, Gender Studies, Modernism and Hair symbolism.

Supervisors: Dr Katherine Fama & Dr Maria Stuart

Kevin Doherty

Thesis Title: The Still Life of Childhood: Early Memory and the Objects of Imagination in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney

Kevin completed a BA in English in 2018 followed by an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature in 2019. His current research is focused on the workings of childhood memory in the poetry of Seamus Heaney. He’d like it to be known that he can’t believe his luck and only hopes that it holds.

Supervisor: Dr Catríona Clutterbuck

Katie Donnelly

Thesis title: Imperilled Bodies: Mining Disasters and Labour Regimes in Nineteenth-Century British Settler Colonial Literature

Supervisor: Dr Sarah Comyn

Beth Doyle

Thesis title: “You Dead Women In Your Graves”: Reading Resistance in Mid-Century Modernist Verse.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Irish from University College Cork. 2017-2020.

Masters in English- Modernities: Literature, Theory and Culture from the Romantics to the Present. 2020-2021.

Supervisor: Assoc. Professor Lucy Collins

Rachel Fehily

Thesis Title: Adoption, An Interdisciplinary Reframing: Memoir, Legality and Multi-racialism

Rachel completed a BA in Economic and Social Studies at TCD before going to The Kings Inns. She was called to the Bar of Ireland. She went to do an MA in Drama and Performance Studies at UCD focusing on playwriting. Her creative based research will take the form of a personal memoir and exegesis from her perspective as a barrister and multi-racial adoptee. Her research is funded by the Irish Research Council.

Supervisor: Professor Eamonn Jordan
Co-supervisor: Professor Sarah Moss

Bernadette Fox‌

Thesis Title : Adrift on the Sea in Beckett’s Prose: An Ecocritical Reading for the Anthropocene

BA International in English, University College Dublin, 2011 - 2015.

MPhil: Irish Writing in English, Trinity College Dublin 2015 - 2016.

PhD English, University College Dublin, 2018 - present.

Supervisor: Professor John Brannigan

Rosanne Gallenne

Thesis Title: The Trope of the Garden in Poetry by Women in Ireland: A Space of (Re)Definition.

Rosanne holds a BA in Foreign and Regional Literatures, Languages and Civilizations from the Catholic University of the West (France) where she studied English, Spanish and Russian. She completed her MA in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at UCD in 2018. Located at the intersection of ecofeminist and affect theories, her thesis explores Irish women poets' re-appropriation of the trope of the garden, from the mid-twentieth century to the present days.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Lucy Collins

Marty Gilroy

Thesis Title : Reading the World City: New York, London and the Capitalist World-System in the Contmeporary Post-Crash Novel

Marty’s research investigates how the 2008 financial crash helped stimulate engagement with the project of “cognitive mapping” in the novel, situating core world cities within a global system of economic relations.

Funded by the Irish Research Council

Supervisor: Dr Sharae Deckard

Catherine Godlewsky

Thesis Title : Adam Yet Living: A Critical and Creative Response to Marilynne Robinson’s Philosophical Essays

Catherine holds a B.A. in English from Centenary University and an M.Phil. in Linguistics from Trinity College Dublin. Her current research project pushes the boundaries of formal criticism by blending critical and creative elements in a response to Marilynne Robinson’s philosophical essays.

Supervisors: Ian Davidson and Clare Hayes-Brady

Jennifer Gouck

Thesis Title: “If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” An Exploration of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in Contemporary American Young Adult Literature, Media, and Culture

Jennifer is an IRC scholar who completed her BA and MA at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2016 she won the IAAS WTM Riches Essay Prize and was shortlisted for the ISSCL’s 2018 award for an Outstanding Thesis on Children’s Literature. Her research interests include contemporary YA fiction, popular fiction, and C21st American literature.


Dr Maria Stuart (Semester 1 2018/19); Dr Clare Hayes-Brady (Semester 2 2018/19 onwards)

Harriet Idle

Thesis Title: Global Spaces of the Contemporary Romantic Comedy

Hattie is an Ad Astra PhD scholar who completed her BA in English Literature with American Study at the University of Exeter in 2017, and subsequently graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MLitt in Film and Television Studies in 2019. Her research interests include the romantic comedy genre and cities in cinema.

Supervisor: Dr Martha Shearer

Neha Kamrani

Thesis Title: Portraying Sexual Violence on Stage

Neha Kamrani is presently working as a Research Fellow for a research project by UNESCO in New Delhi. She completed her Masters and MPhil in English Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her MPhil dissertation, New Rape Narratives in the Indian Public Sphere focused on rape narratives uttered via new media forms. In India, she worked as a Teaching Assistant at IIT Delhi and as an Assistant Professor at Delhi University.

Supervisor: Assoc. Professor Emile Pine

Valerie Kennedy

Thesis Title: "They Were All Frightened of Her, Because She Was Such a Strange Girl": Irish Literature, Biopolitics and the 'Unmarried Mother'

Valerie's research is the first extensive examination of Irish literary discourses surrounding the historically stigmatised ‘unmarried mother’ figure. Her research examines broader representations of female sexuality in 20th century popular culture and the influence of church and state narratives in the development of a distinct national cultural identity whilst nation-building post-1922. She is funded by the IRC.

Supervisor: Professor Margaret Kelleher

Annie Khabaza

Thesis Title: “Barely English”: Richard Stanihurst, Edmund Spenser, and the Remaking of the Aeneid in Early Modern Ireland

Annie is a UCD-funded PhD scholar whose research focuses on sixteenth century interpretations of the Virgilian epic narrative. She holds a BA in English and Comparative Literary Studies from the University of Warwick, and a MA in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from Durham University.

Supervisor: Professor Jane Grogan

Alexander Kroll

Thesis Title: Social Trust and the Small Town in Post-1990 American and Irish Literature.

Alexander Kroll has been awarded a BA in English with Distinction from the University of South Carolina and an M. Phil. in Irish Writing from Trinity College Dublin. He is currently a PhD student researcher taking part of the “Imaginative Literature and Social Trust, 1990-2025” project. His research explores contemporary representations of small-town social trust within Irish and American literature, namely in regard to socio-economic influences.

Supervisor: Dr. Adam Kelly

Pearse McCaughey

Thesis Title: The Price of Plumcake: Economic Reality in James Joyce’s Dublin

After a thirty-five year career in advertising, I returned to UCD completing a BA in English in 2017, and an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama. I am currently a PhD student in The School of English Drama and Film and a proud member of the UCD Creative Fellows.

Supervisor: Dr Luca Crispi

Jacob Miller

Thesis Title: The Origins of Post-Truth: Neoliberalism and Epistemic Crisis in Anglo-American Fiction, 1980 to the Present

BA in English, University of York, 2016. MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture, University of York, 2017. Jacob’s research investigates how literary aesthetics animated by resistance to neoliberalism have been incorporated into post-truth as a political strategy to deny capitalism’s material and ecological limits.

Funded by the Irish Research Council

Supervisors: Associate Professor Adam Kelly & Dr Sharae Deckard

Midia Mohammadi

Thesis Title: Narcissistic Women In Search of Lost Selfhood: A Study in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century American Fiction

Supervisor: Dr Katherine Fama

Clare Ní Cheallaigh

Thesis Title: Material Tales: African storyteller-authors in the literary marketplace

Clare is an Ad Astra PhD candidate whose research examines the processes and implications of the transformation of oral tradition into a literary product. She is specifically interested in the work of D. O. Fágúnwà, Thomas Mofolo, Amos Tútùọlá, Ben Okri and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. Clare holds a BA in English Literature and Greek from Trinity College Dublin and an MA in World Literature from the University of Oxford.

Supervisor: Dr Sarah Comyn

Gráinne Ní Nualláin

Thesis Title: Mind Your Language: Taboo Femininity and the Realities of Being in Magical Realism

Gráinne studied her BA in English, followed by an MA in Renaissance Literature, both at UCD (2013-2018). Her studies, while always fiercely feminist in nature, are currently focused on representations of "taboo" femininities, including menstruation and sexuality, and the historical (mis)treatment of female illness, with an interest in the medical humanities.

Supervisor: Dr Sharae Deckard

Caleb O'Connor

Thesis Title: Queering Urban Ecologies: Rewilding, Rehabilitation, and Resistance in Contemporary Indigenous Queer Eco-Poetics.

Caleb’s research reads poetic responses to the effect of water, energy, and food systems on the dis/placement of queer communities. His doctorate, prospectively titled Queering Urban Ecologies investigates contemporary indigenous-queer American poetry to frame the impact of financialised “sustainable” urban development on indigenous-queer communities.

Caleb is an Ad Astra Scholar (2020-2024) and a resident scholar at the Humanities Institute.

Supervisor: Dr Treasa De Loughry

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Phoebe O'Leary

Thesis Title: Unremembered Trauma: Cultural Memories of the AIDS Crisis in Ireland.

Phoebe is an artist and interdisciplinary researcher investigating the relationship between performance practice and AIDS histories. Her research and teaching interests encompass contemporary performance and theatre practice, health policy, social epidemiology, queer theory, and bisexual epistemologies. She holds an MSc in Sexuality and Gender from the University of Amsterdam and an MPhil in Performance Studies from Trinity College Dublin.

Supervisor: Dr Cormac O'Brien

Odin O'Sullivan

Thesis Title: “Blood, Sweat, Respect:” A Genealogy of Reactionary Hardbody Cinema

Odin is continuing the work he began in his MLitt having been granted a direct transfer into stage two of the PhD programme. His research tracks Hollywood’s somatic histories and theories of the male body in order to analyze both political and cultural shifts in American society and masculinity with a particular focus on American action cinema and its stars.

Supervisor: Professor Diane Negra & Dr. Anthony McIntyre

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Jason O'Toole

Thesis Title: The Role of Early Modern Touch in the Formation of King James VI and I’s Sexuality, 1575-1625

Jason decided to pursue another degree majoring in English/minoring in French at Maynooth University after twenty years of working in category management, new business development, and marketing roles for major film studios in the UK. His doctoral research, sponsored by an IRC scholarship, carries on from his MLitt and centres on the role of early modern touch in forming sexuality between King James VI and I, his favourites, and his wife, Queen Anna of Denmark.

Supervisor: Professor Danielle

Chloe Power

Thesis Title: The Progressive Fantastic: Race, Gender, Sexuality and the Evolution of Transmedia Fantasy 2010-2021

Chloe's research focuses on the interdisciplinary fields of fantasy in television and literature, offering an inter-sectional analysis of the representation of gender, race and sexuality in the contemporary genre. Its interdisciplinary methodology combines analysis of fantasy novels with television adaptations,exploring the emergence of fantasy TV and the inter-medial impact of the genre’s new prominence in the market.

Supervisor: Assoc Professor Jorie Lagerwey & Assoc Professor Sharae Deckard

Bellatrix Scindens

Thesis Title: Writing Poetry In The Stars

Bella studied for a Bachelor's degree in Archaeology & Anthropology, and a Masters' degree in Medieval Studies at Magdalen College Oxford and King's College London respectively. Her research focuses on the development of Computus as a genre of literature in early medieval England.

Supervisor: Assoc. Professor Rebecca Stephenson

Deborah Schrijvers

Thesis title: Decolonizing Extinction: Intersections of Race, Gender, and Species in Contemporary Art and Literature

Deborah's research focuses on decolonizing extinction, paying special attention to gender and race through analyses of contemporary, transnational literature, film and art. Her research interests include: critical animal studies, vegan studies, gender and sexuality studies, critical race theory and black studies.

Supervisor: Dr. Hannah Boast

Robin Steve

Thesis title: Stitched Creatures: at the intersection(s) between Trans* Poetics, Trans* Ecologies, and Trans* Temporalities

Robin has a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Lancaster University and an MA in Literature and Culture from UCD. Their current research, through both creative and critical praxis, focuses on looking at the intersections between Trans* Poetics, Trans* Ecologies, and Trans* Temporalities. Their poems have been published on Honest Ulsterman and Abridged.

Supervisors: Professor Ian Davidson and Dr Sharae Deckard

Lorna Watters

Thesis Title: RIP.ie, Irishness, and Death on Social Media

Lorna completed her BA in English and Film at University College Dublin in 2019 and her MA in Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast in 2020. Her current research focuses on Irishness and Death in Social Media with a particular focus on the popular obituary site RIP.ie.

Supervisor: Assoc Professor Jorie Lagerwey

Loic Wright

Thesis Title: "How Men Should Live: Concepts and Constructions of Masculinities in Mid-Twentieth Century Irish Fiction and Memoir Literature."

Loic completed his joint BA honours in English and Spanish at UCD in 2016 before undertaking an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama where he submitted his thesis on James Joyce and Patrick Kavanagh. His current research focuses on ideas of manhood in fiction and memoirs in mid-century Ireland.

Supervisor: Dr Cormac O'Brien

Justine Zapin

Thesis Title: Settling the Irish Question? Bernard Shaw, Irish Dissident Dramatist

Justine's research focuses on the role of space and the material staging of Bernard Shaw's Irish plays in Dublin. Other interests include the Anglo-Irish dramatists of the Restoration and the impact of Michael Chekhov's psycho-physical approach on contemporary continental theatre.

Supervisor: Professor Eamonn Jordan