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Lauren Cassidy

Lauren Cassidy

  • School: School of English, Drama and Film
  • Supervisor: Professor Gerardine Meaney

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

Lauren’s project posits that Irish mythology’s sovereignty goddess is a recalcitrant historical artefact, which is persistently resurrected from the crypt of canonical tradition for cultural rupture and transgression. It argues that contemporary women’s writing has become fertile ground for the reclamation of the sovereignty tradition for queer and feminist agendas, with authors consciously deconstructing the mythos of Mother Ireland. “Gender, Sovereignty and the Changing Nation” contends that Iris Murdoch’s The Unicorn (1963), Emma Donoghue’s Hood (1995) and Anne Enright’s The Green Road (2015) produce blueprints for modern, queer sovereignty traditions, and new feminist foundation myths for the modern state,

Lauren draws on feminist psychoanalysis, queer theory, postcolonial studies, chronopolitics, and the digital humanities. The cultural analytic component of her project establishes a bridge between qualitative psychoanalytic readings and quantitative data collation; she interrogates lexical signatures in key texts, analysing the curation of national identity through language at flashpoints in recent literary history.

Ultimately, this project contends that Murdoch’s The Unicorn, Donoghue’s Hood and Enright’s The Green Road invoke mythology’s sovereignty goddess for the renovation of hetero-patriarchal myth, the interrogation of canonical modernism, the gestation of queer national subjectivities, and ultimately, the deconstruction of a monolithic conception of Irishness.

PhD candidate, University College Dublin (2020 – Present)
M.A. in English, University of Limerick (2018 – 2019)
B.A. in English and History, University of Limerick (2014 – 2018)

Contact: lauren.cassidy@ucdconnect.ie

UCD Humanities Institute

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
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