Current Postgraduate Research
Title: Loving the Dark: Gendered Subjectivity in 21st Century American Popular Vampire Romance Narratives.
Supervisors: Dr. Maryann Valiulis (CGWS), Dr. Darryl Jones (School of English)
Mary Bridgeman is in the first year of her PhD research. Her project aims to provide a critical analysis of the most popular vampire romance narratives in 21st century American popular culture. Her analysis of original texts, both written and visual, involves an in-depth feminist reading concerned with the textual construction of gendered subjectivity in the context of popular culture. It is planned to consider three key texts: The Twilight Saga series by Stephenie Meyer and the film adaptations of the novels, The Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris and the television series True Blood based on Harris' fiction, and the television series The Vampire Diaries based on the 1990s novel series by L.J. Smith.
Title: Language and gender in the Italian women's suffrage movement, 1900-1923.
Supervisors: Prof. Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin (Dept. of Italian), Dr.Maryann Valiulis (CGWS)
Emer Delaney is in the third year of her PhD research. Her work focuses on a selection of documents emerging from and relating to the women's suffrage movement in Italy during the period from the turn of the century to the onset of Fascism. By applying discursive thematic analysis to these texts, which include surveys on the question of votes for women, suffragist pamphlets and propaganda, and works of autobiographical fiction with feminist if not explicitly suffragist trends, she hopes to elucidate some linguistic, rhetorical and literary means whereby suffragism was constructed in an Italian context. In particular, she seeks to explore the problematic integration of the ideologies of suffragism, with their internationally formed baggage, and the identities, individual and group, that were produced and maintained by Italian feminists. A comparison of the discourses of Italian suffragism with those of Anglophone suffragism, and a close study of the appropriation and adaptation of the latter within the former, form integral parts of this research.
Title: The Emancipation of Women and the Cultural Elite at the Turn of the 20th Century: The Cases of Amy Lowell (1874-1925) and Eleonora Duse (1858–1924).
Supervisors: Dr. Maryann Valiulis (CGWS), Dr. Giuliana Adamo (School of Italian)
This study takes into consideration the social and historical context and the changes occurred at the turn of the 20th century coinciding with the lifetime of the American poet Amy Lowell (1874-1925) and the Italian actress Eleonora Duse (1858-1924). This project uses a comparison between the two intellectual women as a lens through which to address some broader issues in the history of feminism such as: 1) the role and effects of the cultural elite at the turn of the 20th century; 2) the specific ways in which models and stereotypes concerning women could be broken by women belonging to the upper classes, and/or to artistic fields, as opposed to others; 3) the meaning and importance of “disguise” as a means of access to gender identity, how this device was used by both Amy Lowell and Eleonora Duse, and, in the final analysis, a consideration of to what extent either woman was conscious of this dynamic. The relevance for women to work on own historical memory as a way to examine the marginalization of woman’s achievement in every field, especially in the realm of art, which appeared to offer easier access to women, is another broader issue addressed by the project.
Title: Narrating emergent identities from the intersections of gender, age and socio-historical context.
Supervisor: Dr. Maryann Valiulis (CGWS), Dr. Kathleen McTiernan
Deirdre O'Donnell is in her final year of her PhD research investigating narrative identities in later life. Her research will explore the construction ageing identity as an emergent process performed within particular socio-historical contexts. Through interpretation of biographical oral narrative, her research will present a hermeneutic approach to the lived experience of ageing. She will employ a qualitative methodology whereby biographical oral narratives will be collected from older men and women residing within a particular community of Dublin. Deirdre is interested in interpreting identity as emerging from the intersections between gender, social class and socio-historical context. In collecting and interpreting both life stories as well as life histories, she hopes to investigate how lives are understood and identities are constructed through narrative. By adopting a hermeneutic and feminist approach to the investigation of lived lives, her research hopes to engage with a deeper understanding of the human experience of articulating an ageing self.
Claire Marie Quentin
Preliminary Title: “Neither ruthless wrestle-organization nor tentative coffee party”? – A comparative analysis of the activities, agendas and accomplishments of the Irish Women Graduates’ Association and the German Federation of University Women, 1948/1949-1970.
Supervisor: Dr. Maryann Valiulis
Claire Marie Quentin is in her third year of her PhD research. Her research is based on the historical analysis of German and Irish women’s activism in the period between the late 1940s and the 1970s. Claire Marie focuses on two women graduates’ organizations, which remained active in between the first and the second wave movement. By examining their activities and goals throughout these years and incorporating social movement theory, her overall research aim is to establish whether these organizations contributed to holding the women’s movement in both countries in abeyance and thereby functioned as a link between the two major upsurges of feminist activity. Her project is designed as an empirical and comparative study based on qualitative content.
Title: Spiritual Medicine: Irish Missionaries in Africa: 1920-1960
Supervisors: Dr. Maryann Valiulis (CGWS), Prof. David Dickson (Dept. of History)
Ailish Veale is in her 2nd year of her PhD research. Ailish is researching the way in which Irish nuns construct and narrate their experience of working as missionaries in East Africa between 1920-1960. In particular, she will focus on the midwifery controversy of the 1920s which brought to the fore issues of identity and the gendered role of Irish nuns within the Roman Catholic Church.