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Current PhD Research

Current PhD Research

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Aydin Anil Mucek

"Framing Racism in Ireland: Racism, Anti-Racism, and National Belonging in Ireland, 1955-1995"

Aydin Anil Mucek is a PhD candidate in UCD's School of History. Aydin's research aims to explore the social and political history of race and racism in Ireland from an often overlooked perspective: Black African students. Drawing from governmental documents, NGOs, media coverage, and interviews, his research examines how the increasing number of Black African students in Ireland challenged Irish racial perspectives and led to public discussion on racism in Ireland between 1955 - Ireland's accession to the UN - and 1995 - the beginning of Celtic Tiger. He received his BA in Audio Visual Media at Tallinn University's Baltic Media and Film School and completed his MA in Global History at UCD.

Bulat Rakhimzianov

Bulat Rakhimzianov

“The Golden Horde Revisited? History and Regional Identity Politics in the late USSR and post-Soviet Russia (Republic of Tatarstan), 1985-2018”

Bulat Rakhimzianov is a PhD candidate at UCD's School of History and specialises in the field of history politics, with a particular focus on Eastern Europe, namely, the Republic of Tatarstan, a part of the Russian Federation. This geographical center of Russia had historically had a difficult relationship with Moscow – after the conquest of 1552, the Tatars were treated as a vanquished people in the Russian Empire and USSR. Bulat’s thesis examines changing depictions of the Golden Horde – the medieval polity that existed on the territories of contemporary Russia and Kazakhstan from the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries – in historical narratives produced in the Republic of Tatarstan from 1985, the start of perestroika in the USSR, to 2018, when Russian federal law prohibited the obligatory study of national languages in national republics, which marked the end of even symbolic autonomy for national minorities in Russia.

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Fiona Slevin

“The commercial dynamics of a small, rural town in post-Famine Ireland (1850-1875)”

Fiona Slevin is a PhD candidate in UCD’s School of History. She is investigating the commercial dynamics underpinning the economy of post-Famine, rural Ireland (1850–75), through a microstudy of Mohill, County Leitrim. Her research examines the flow of money and services between enterprise, government, households, and emigrants to identify the key factors that enabled or hindered economic and social development. In 2023, she was a joint-winner of the ESHSI New Researchers Prize.

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Gianfranco Stassi

"Amerigo Dumini and the sociocultural roots of Fascism"

Gianfranco's research delves into the pivotal role played by Amerigo Dumini, a significant paramilitary leader and editor of "Sassaiola Fiorentina" one of the earliest far-right propaganda papers, in the emergence of Italian fascism. Dumini serves as an illuminating case study to unravel the intricate connections between paramilitary violence, media culture, and the ascent of Italian fascism, ultimately leading to the establishment of a dictatorship. This research aims to bridge gaps in the Italian case study through a meticulous analysis of Dumini's life, drawing on archival records, newspaper articles, and unpublished correspondences among key figures in this narrative.

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Giannis Lainas

"Partisan Violence in the Balkans during the Second World War."

Giannis Lainas is a PhD candidate at UCD's School of History and specialises in the field of resistance history during the Second World War, with a particular focus on Eastern and Southern Europe. Working under the supervision of Prof. Robert Gerwarth, Giannis' research extends to the broader realms of political violence and ideologies, notably delving into the history of Communism. He received his BA in Political Science and History and his MA in Modern and Contemporary History at Panteion University in Athens. Before coming to UCD, he also completed a second MA in History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London.

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Hannah Kempel

"Migration, Health, and the Irish in England since c. 1950"

Hannah’s doctoral research focuses on the mental and physical health of Irish migrants who lived in England after 1950. Central themes of this project include alcohol use and addiction, health inequalities, gender, race, and ethnicity. This project is part of DIASPORA (Deciphering Irish Alcohol and Substance Use: Post-war Representations & Accounts), an ERC-funded research project led by Dr Alice Mauger. Hannah’s research interests include the history of medicine, community care, and the interactions between healthcare workers and patients. Before her current project, she completed an MA at UCD in the History of Medicine and Welfare in Society, where she completed a dissertation titled “Responses to Venereal Disease and Scabies in the Military in Early Twentieth-Century Britain and Ireland”.

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Hayley Kilgallon

"The History of Women and Sport in Ireland: The Ladies Gaelic' Football Association"

The overarching aim of Hayley's research is to examine the emergence of ladies' Gaelic football in the late 1960s and early 1970s and the subsequent spread and growth of the game in Ireland and abroad across five decades to understand how and why women's sport developed. These changes will be situated within the broader context of changes occurring on the island of Ireland for women from the late twentieth century onwards, as well as efforts to encourage greater female participation in sport.

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Mairead Barrett

"Power, Politics and Peace of mind: The study of how German financial integration into the global economy before 1914 shaped debates about German national security"

Mairead's project asks how the integration of Germany into global capital markets shaped national security and foreign policy from the late 19th century to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Germany's position in global capital markets raised concerns about the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of its financial system. These concerns raised questions surrounding the country’s readiness for war, which in turn led military and civil institutions across the state to consider how to mitigate the effects of war on financial stability. Germany’s deepening global financial integration also offered opportunities for German diplomacy to utilise capital exports as a tool in achieving foreign policy aims.

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Martin McMahon

"The impact of Ireland's 18th Century Army Barracks Network on the Development of Ireland Provincial Urban Landscapes"

Martin is a PhD candidate in the UCD School of History. Martin is examining how contemporary society can identify clear and direct consequences from decisions of the early modern period, through the research of militarisation of urban landscapes in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This research will consider the legacy of Ireland's 18th century military infrastructure and identify how this has impacted and contributed to the urbanisation and development of provincial townscapes, through the analysis of economic, social and cultural perspectives.


Mirza Yanira Alas Portillo

"How the pipeline ran dry: towards a critical historiography of the antibiotic pipeline (1970- 2020)"

Mirza Alas Portillo is a doctoral researcher at University College Dublin (UCD). Her research critically examines the emergence of the empty antibiotic pipeline as a concept from the 1970s. She is currently using a historical approach to understand how the standard narratives of the dry antibiotic pipeline as a market failure have evolved and how research and development structures for new antibiotics have adapted to rapid financialisation and patenting reforms. Her research is conducted in the context of increasing concerns about antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Her work is part of the recently started Norwegian Research Council-funded international research project "How Did the Antibiotic Pipeline Run Dry?" (DryAP).

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Owen O'Shea

"Electioneering, party organisation and political discourse in post-Civil War County Kerry, 1923-1933"

Owen's research explores the political and electoral consequences of the Irish Civil War in County Kerry in the ten years after the conflict, exploring issues such as party organisation and membership, election results and trends, electioneering and campaign rhetoric, and the role of local newspapers in influencing electoral outcomes.