UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies 
UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish StudiesUCD Crest


John O’Neill is a postdoctoral research fellow in the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies and the School of English, Drama and Film, UCD. His PhD research on ‘The Neo-Victorian Novel’ was undertaken at Cambridge University, where he was a Robert Gardiner Memorial Scholar. He has taught at UCD and at NUI Maynooth. His research interests include neo-Victorian fiction, the historical novel, and narratology, as well as the novels of J. G. Ballard.

Dr O’Neill was the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive postdoctoral researcher for UCD’s ‘Joyce’s Dublin’ podcasts. The PRTLI-funded project, led by Professors Gerardine Meaney and Anne Fogarty, was co-produced by UCD in collaboration with Athena Media. The podcasts are available at http://www.joycesdublin.ie/.


The Irish Neo-Victorian Novel

This project examines the Irish neo-Victorian novel and the existing scholarly work that addresses it, and positions it in a global context. Existing scholarship on the neo-Victorian novel has focused neither on Irish novels nor on the Irishness of novels from other countries. This research project addresses the Irish context for neo-Victorianism and considers the distinct development of the genre in Ireland, its literary and political priorities, its treatment of religion, emigration, nationalism, and the Famine, and looks at the representation of Irish subject matter in neo-Victorian novels from other countries. By so doing it contributes to our understanding of contemporary Irish fiction; asserts the prominence of Irish writing in a neo-Victorian context; establishes connections with British, Canadian, Australian and other versions of the neo-Victorian novel; and broadens the theorization of the neo-Victorian category.



  • “The Irish Neo-Victorian Novel and its Contexts”, conference paper presented at IASIL 2010: Irish Literature & Culture; New & Old Knowledges, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, 26-30 July 2010.

  • Script for “Podcast 6: The Dead; A Walking Tour with Barry McGovern”, Ed. Helen Shaw. Joyce’s Dublin. UCD-IVRLA with Athena Media. 2009. http://www.joycesdublin.ie.

  • “Changing Anxieties in the Novels of J.G. Ballard”, conference paper presented at Phobia: The Phenomenology of Cultural Fear, 1789-Present, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff, 8-9 May 2009.

  • “Adam's Novel?: The Omphalos and the Ending of Possession”, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. 47.4 (Summer 2006). 331-344.

  • “Dying in a State of Grace: Memory, Duality and Uncertainty in Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace”, in Spectral Identities: Ghosting in Literature and Film, ed. Melanie Anderson and Lisa Sloan, University of Mississippi, in preparation.


Contact Details
Email: ciaran.oscea@ucd.ie
UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies
University College Dublin
Dublin 4