Professor Eve Patten announced as new director of Trinity Long Room Hub

The Trinity Long Room Hub has announced its new Director as Professor Eve Patten, School of English, Trinity College Dublin. Professor Patten will succeed Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, whose term will end in June.

Professor Patten has been the Deputy Director of the Hub during the academic year 2019-20 and the Global Director for the School of English.

A Professor in modern literature and culture, Professor Patten is also a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. She has served as Head of School, Director of the Oscar Wilde Centre and Co-ordinator of the MPhil in Irish Writing.

She will now join Executive Director, Caitriona Curtis, and team, to lead the research institute into its next stage of development.

Responding to the appointment, Professor Patten said:

“I am absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to take the Hub forward over the next few years. It goes without saying that the previous Director is a hard act to follow – Jane has taken us into an international ‘premier league’ of arts and humanities institutes and I want to make sure we stay there.”

“I’m looking forward to working with the excellent Hub team to safeguard that profile and to expand our reach still further across national and global boundaries.”

This year, the Trinity Long Room Hub marks 10 years since the opening of its iconic home in Fellows’ Square. A beacon for Trinity’s Arts and Humanities, the Hub has become a focal point for driving innovative research and informing political and cultural discussion in Ireland. A 2017 review of the institute concluded that it is “a significant player internationally”, with the imminent potential to become a world leader.

Professor Ohlmeyer alluded to some of her highlights from her five-year directorship of the Hub:

“It has been my privilege to lead the Trinity Long Room Hub over the course of the last five years and to work with such inspiring colleagues and the incredible Hub team. Together we have taken the Hub global and, through the public humanities programme, engaged with audiences across Dublin, Ireland, and around the world.  There have been so many highlights, ranging from our Behind the Headlines panel discussions to our weekly coffee mornings, and I am deeply grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to make all of this possible.”

Finally, she added:

“Congratulations, Eve, on your appointment.  Being director of the Hub is one of the best jobs in Trinity and I know that you will do an outstanding job.”

Professor Ohlmeyer will now focus on her research as a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. In spring 2021, she has been invited to give the prestigious Ford Lectures on ‘Ireland, Empire and the early modern world’ at the History Faculty in Oxford. The Ford Lectures date from 1896 and over the years, less than 10 women have delivered them. The last person from a university in Ireland invited to give the Fords was F.S.L Lyons in 1977, when he was the Provost of Trinity College Dublin.

Bill Emmott, chair of the Trinity Long Room Hub governance board, commented:

“I’m very pleased that Eve has been appointed as the new Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub. Taking over from Jane, in what has been a time of rapid development for the Institute and amid a very challenging period for humanity, I have no doubt that under Eve’s strong and creative stewardship the Hub can continue to make an important contribution to the university and to society more generally.”

Professor Patten’s appointment comes at an uncertain time for many universities across the world. Commenting on the current climate for research and the Covid-19 crisis, Professor Patten said:

“The landscape is very challenging – and at present that really is an understatement — but the philosopher Emil Cioran said that ‘to think is to run after insecurity’, and I’m encouraged by that idea. It’s the Hub’s job to make sure we address an uncertain world in the work we do.”