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Current Projects

Project Description

Following on from the four-volume edition of the automatic script and other occult materials that were generated by W. B. Yeats and his wife George, née Hyde Lees, and the scholarly editions of both versions of Yeats’s philosophical book A Vision, a loose research network investigates aspects of the Yeatses’ collaborative esoteric work.

A Vision, the book Yeats sometimes felt was his most important work, was first published in 1925, then rewritten in the last decade of the poet’s life and published again in 1937. Both strange and difficult texts illuminate many of Yeats’s most famous and most powerful poems and plays. The ‘system’ outlined in both versions of the book is also unusually collaborative: it had its genesis in mediumistic experiments in automatic writing, which Yeats undertook with his wife George Hyde Lees beginning in late 1917.

The automatic script and other genetic materials (Yeats’s “Vision” Papers, Macmillan, 1991 and 2001) have now been joined by editions of both versions of A Vision in two volumes of the Collected Works of W. B. Yeats (Scribner, 2008 and 2015). I am co-editor of both editions of A Vision with Professor Catherine Paul of Clemson University, having also served as co-editor of two of the four volumes of Yeats’s “Vision” Papers.

The published books have been useful in making an important text more accessible to a range of scholars. In addition to feminist readings of their occult methods themselves, areas of study impacted by these published materials include the Yeatses’ relationships with Neoplatonism, Indian philosophy, Theosophy, spiritualism, Asian art, Idealist philosophy, anthropology, Italian philosophical and political thought, and modern theatre, in addition to world literature. Since 2015, panels and plenary addresses at conferences and symposia hosted by the International Yeats Society in Limerick, Barcelona, New York, Kyoto, and Paris (forthcoming) have focused on such topics. In 2019, the conference on Yeats and India co-hosted by UL and Nawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, featured a plenary address and several panels devoted to the Yeatses’ occultism. A volume of essays documenting the research presented at this conference is planned.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Margaret Mills Harper (UL)


Prof Catherine Paul (Clemson University)

Prof Dhananjay Singh (JNU)

External Partners

Clemson University (South Carolina, USA)

Nawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi, India)



Project Outputs

Publications related to the project: A Vision (1937)

Other related outputs/outcomes: Articles and conference papers derived from the primary research; a planned collection of essays on Yeats and India; an MA thesis and two PhD dissertations by students who are helping on the project.


This project builds on the IRC-funded project: The Irish Catholic Church and the Transnational Politics of Migration (Phase 1)

Project Description

  • Phase 2: A study of the relative roles of church and state in the social protection of migrants. This research locates the Irish case study in the wider field of research on Transnational Social Protection globally. As origin-state diaspora engagement policies proliferate, the project is investigating the intersections between church and state in protecting non-resident citizens and positioning the Irish case study in relation to those of Italy, Mexico and The Philippines. This project will investigate the gendered aspects of these initiatives.
  • Phase 1: This project investigated the role of the Catholic Church in the social protection of migrants (emigrants from Ireland and immigrants to Ireland) from the mid-20th century to the present.

Principal Investigator

  • Breda Gray

Research Team

  • Breda Gray
  • Ria O’Sullivan Lago
  • Natalia Mazurkiewicz
  • Dr Eoin O’Mahony (DCU) acted in an advisory role

Funding Source

  • Irish Research Council


  • Phase 1: 2009-2011
  • Phase 2: 2012-

Outputs to Date

  • 2019-2021: Writing up research monograph.
  • IdEx University of Bordeaux Initiative of Excellence, Visiting Scholar Award at Centre Émile Durkheim. Sciences Po Bordeaux, Sept-Dec 2019.
  • Visiting Scholar, Department of Sociology, Wellesley College and at the Transnational Studies Initiative (TSI) at Harvard University, Fall 2018.
  • 6 peer reviewed journal articles
  • 6 book chapters
  • 4 Workshops International on Religion in the Public Sphere (UL)
  • Database of 70 interviews with migrant chaplains, directors of pro-migrant NGOs, and Philanthropic funders
  • Database 84 documents (church and state on migration, integration and state diaspora engagement policy)
  • Archive of 28 interviews (with consent) migrant chaplains and supporting materials UL Glucksman Library, Institutional Repository
  • Special edited edition of Irish Journal of Sociology – developing transnational methodological and substantive insights from project.
  • 16 conference papers
  • Collaborations: Wellesley College and Transnational Studies Initiative Harvard; Centre Émile Durkheim, Sciences Po Bordeaux
The aims of the network, established in 2016, are to attract interested readers and scholars (established, early-career and postgraduates) working across disciplines on turn-of-the twentieth century Irish women’s writing (in its broadest terms), and between nations and continents. As a digital forum, (the network’s website with its regularly updated blog page, its Facebook page and Twitter account), the aim is to facilitate knowledge exchange and sharing of newly recovered material and new approaches. Bibliography and archive pages are under development where useful archival sources and digital links will be listed and regularly updated.
The network encourages collaborations that are international and multidisciplinary, and invites contributions to its blog page where new research or recently launched projects, conferences, etc. can be highlighted. Interested parties can join through its membership link and can include details on their current research, publications as well as contact details for networking.
Principal Investigators:

Dr Kathryn Laing (MIC, University of Limerick)

Dr Sinéad Mooney (De Monfort University, UK)
Dr Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin (University of Limerick)
Dr Anna Pilz (Rachel Carson Centre)
Dr Whitney Standlee (Gloucestershire College)
Dr Julie Anne Stevens (Dublin City University) 
Dr Deirdre Flynn (University College Dublin)
Kathleen Williams (Boston College)
Dates: 2016 -
Publications related to the Network:
Kathryn Laing:     ‘“Only Connect”: Irish Women’s Voices, Latin America and the Irish Women’s Writing Network’, Irish Migration Studies in Latin America9.1 (2018)
  • Edited Collection with Sinéad Mooney, published in association with the Irish Women’s Writing Network: Irish Women Writers at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: Alternative Histories, New Narratives (EER, 2019)
  • ‘Hannah Lynch’s Irish Girl Rebels: ‘A Girl Revolutionist’ and ‘Marjory Maurice’ (Irish Women Writers: Texts and Contexts Series, EER, 2020).
Two new series published by EER in association with the Irish Women’s Writing Network have been launched:
Key Irish Women Writers
This series offers short critical introductions to key Irish women writers written by expert scholars.  Combining major figures such as Maria Edgeworth, Augusta Gregory and Elizabeth Bowen with lesser-known figures, the series focuses on the long 19th century and the first half of the 20th, and sets out to offer comprehensive accounts of significant individual careers by the foremost critics in the field. Scholarly yet accessible, these studies marry original scholarship and an overview of the often scattered extant critical approaches to an author with considerations of key texts and contexts, biographical outlines and up-to-date bibliographies.
While the editors and publisher welcome diversity and do not wish to be overly prescriptive as to how to approach the selected author, please take into account the aims for this series outlined below:
  • Brief, accessible - a quick read packed with information and ideas
  • To offer a crisp but penetrating introduction to and analysis of major careers and publications within Irish women’s writing in English (not a survey but a critical and bibliographical guide)
  • Readership -- undergraduates studying Irish literature and women’s writing, postgraduates, teachers of Irish writing at school and university level. 
  • To offer undergraduate and postgraduate students exemplary models of original critical assessment and more broadly scholars in the field an up-to-date assessment of existing cholarship and new perspectives
Irish Women Writers: Texts and Contexts
This series specifically brings to the fore forgotten or neglected Irish women novelists, poets, dramatists, historians etc who published at during the long nineteenth century and early to mid-twentieth century, and whose writing:  is now out of print; unavailable via various digital platforms (Project Gutenburg, Internet Archive, etc); scattered in magazines, newspapers or in essay collections that are now out of print; was never published -  the case of many women playwrights whose plays were performed but not published.
Primary Aims
  • The primary aim is to make selected forgotten/lost texts available to interested readers, undergraduate and postgraduate students and researchers.
  • Selections will be made by leading scholars in the field who are working to recover Irish women writers and their oeuvre of this period. Our focus is on making expertly-edited, well-produced, accessible and affordable texts available for teaching and research purposes.

Project Description

Dr Sorcha de Brún’s research in gender builds on her seminal work on masculinities in Irish language prose writing. With a background in political theory, Sorcha’s current research is studying the intersectionality of masculinities and class in Irish language prose, using political philosophy as a primary tool of analysis.

Principal Investigator 

Dr Sorcha de Brún


2018 –


Project Description

After a review by each committee member of the governance of cultural heritage in a chosen jurisdiction (region, country or international convention of choice), a first draft of comparative approaches, and eventually the translation of (domestic) experiences into international standard setting reform proposals will be attempted. Patricia Conlan will examine the European Union's approach, which is one where the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provides for a supportive role for the EU - at its most simple. The reality is more complicated.

Principal Investigators; Co-Investigators

Collaborative approach - with each participant providing a review either of a region, national or specific international law convention - discussing 'governance of cultural heritage'. International membership of Committee (see -  Committee on Cultural  Heritage) - Chair Dr A. Jakubowski (Poland); Rapporteur Dr L. Lixinski (Brazil/Australia). Dr Patricia Conlan (EU) and Dr Amy Strecker (Council of Europe) are the two Irish members of the Committee. Ca 34 members/alternates of the Committee. The international nature of the membership is particularly helpful.


First meeting August 2018 (Sydney) to discuss plan and agree division of work. Working meeting (Oxford) July 2019. Interim report August 2020; Working meeting August 2021; Final report August 2022 - with potential to extend.


Project Description

This project aims to critically examine the experiences of transgender, or trans, youth in post-primary school settings in Ireland. It is being conducted in collaboration with Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) with the aim of furthering trans youth inclusion and equality in schooling. Data collection methods include arts-based workshops, interviews and participant-observation. The data gathered will be analysed using critical, queer and trans theory. A planned output of the project is a toolkit that will provide practice support for educators and schools to foster trans-affirmative school environments.

Principal Investigator: 

Aoife Neary


Breda Gray, Vanessa Lacey, Ruari-Santiago McBride

External Partner

Transgender Equality Network Ireland 

Grant Source

Irish Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie CAROLINE: Collaborative Research Fellowships for a Responsive and Innovative Europe


01/06/2018 – 31/05/2020


Project Description

A network of scholars and researchers engaging with the symbolic aspects of women and ageing in culture and society, and the power these constructions exert over old age.

The aim of this network is to foster critical discussions and research about intersections of the cultural, social and medical dimensions of women and ageing.

Our researchers engage with discourses on ageing in their various cultural manifestations through the ages but also across different cultures, genres and media.

Principal Investigators

Dr Margaret O’Neill, UL

Dr Michaela Schrage-Frueh, NUI Galway



Grant Source

Irish Research Council New Foundations (2015)

Irish Research Council New Foundations (2014)


Women and Ageing: Private Meanings, Social Lives (Life Writing, 2019)

Women and Ageing in Irish Writing and Film (Nordic Irish Studies Journal, 2018)

Ageing Women in Literature and Visual Culture: Reflections, Refractions, Reimaginings (Palgrave, 2017)

Conferences and Symposia

‘Women, Ageing and Life Narrative’, NUIG, 2018

‘Women and Ageing Writing Workshop’, UL, 2016

‘Women and Ageing: New Cultural and Critical Perspectives’, UL, 2015