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Current and developing research strands within the Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies include:

Ecology, Architecture and Utopia:

  • Cloughjordan Ecovillage Community
  • SAUL Adaptive Governance Project
  • Ecocriticism

Ireland, Europe and Utopia:

  • Europe as Utopia
  • Cognitive Mapping in Contemporary European Culture
  • Ethics and Ethical Practice in Contemporary Irish and European Society

The Utopian Imagination:

  • Eighteenth Century Utopian Imagination
  • Utopia and Irish Modernity
  • Irish Science Fiction

Performing Utopia:

  • Music and the Utopian Impulse
  • Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship
  • Utopia and Poetry

Utopian Theory and Method:

  • Comparative Utopian Studies
  • Utopia and Political Agency
  • Utopia and Spirituality


Utopianism in Eighteenth Century Ireland Strands of Utopia

Deirdre Ní Chuanacháin.

Utopianism in Eighteenth-Century Ireland.

Cork University Press, 2016.

Michael G. Kelly.

Strands of Utopia. Spaces of Poetic Work in Twentieth-Century France.

Legenda, 2008 (hb) / Routledge, 2020 (pb)

Enlightenment in Ruins Irish Science Fiction

Michael J. Griffin. Enlightenment in Ruins.

The Geographies of Oliver Goldsmith

Bucknell University Press, 2013.

Jack Fennell.

Irish Science Fiction.

Liverpool University Press, 2014.

Ireland and Postcolonial Studies

Carmen Kuhling.

The New-Age Ethic and the Spirit of Postmodernity.

Hampton Press, 2004.

Eóin Flannery.

Ireland and Postcolonial Studies. Theory, Discourse, Utopia

(Palgrave/MacMillan, 2009)
Raffaella Baccolini and Tom Moylan (eds.)
Dark Horizons. Science Fiction
and the Dystopian Imagination. Routledge, 2004.
Jamie Owen Daniel and Tom Moylan (eds.)
Not Yet. Reconsidering Ernst Bloch. Verso, 1997.

Hugues Azérad and Michael G. Kelly (eds.) 'La poésie à l’oeuvre: Poetry, Philosophy, Politics' L’Esprit Créateur 55(1), 2015 (available here)

Michael J. Griffin and Tom Moylan (eds.) Exploring the Utopian Impulse. Peter Lang, 2007.


Tom Moylan and Raffaella Baccolini (eds.) Utopia, Method, Vision. The Use Value of Social Dreaming. Peter Lang, 2007.

Tom Moylan (ed.) 'Irish Utopias' [thematic issue]. Utopian Studies Vol.18 No.3, 2007.

(available here)

Tom Moylan.
Scraps of the Untainted Sky. Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia. Westview Press, 2000.
 Tom Moylan. Demand the Impossible. Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination. Methuen, 1986. (original edition)

Faculty associated with the Ralahine Centre supervise doctoral research on utopia-related topics. Interested students should send their proposals and queries in the first instance to Dr Michael G. Kelly (

Current PhD projects

Claire Downey (MLAL/SAUL), 'Walking the Utopian Night'. (Supervisors: Dr Michael G. Kelly, Dr Anna Ryan, Prof Merrit Bucholz)

Anaïs Guittonny (AHSS PhD Teaching Fellow in French), ‘Picturing Women in Gyno-Centered Utopias: Anthropology and Utopia in France in the 17th and 18th Centuries’. (Supervisor: Dr Michael G. Kelly)

Completed PhD projects

Dr Sara Buggy, ‘Disciplining Dystopia: Power and the Body in Contemporary Young Adult Dystopian Fiction’. Completion Spring 2015. (Supervisor: Dr Michael J. Griffin)

Dr Jack Fennell (IRCHSS Fellow), 'The Irelands That We Dreamed Of: Irish Science Fiction, 1850 to the Present Day.’ Completion February 2013. (Joint supervisors: Dr Michael J. Griffin and Prof Tom Moylan)

Dr Deirdre Ní Chuanacháin, ‘Utopianism and the Irish Cultural Imagination 1720-1820’. Completion June 2013. (Co-supervisors: Dr Joachim Fischer, Dr Michael J. Griffin, Prof Tom Moylan)

Dr Mary Lou O’Donnell, ‘Utopian Dimensions of the Irish Harp’. Completion January 2009. (Joint supervisors: Prof Tom Moylan and Prof Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin)

Faculty in the Ralahine Centre teach the MA Seminar on “Utopian Theory and Texts” (CU6012) offered each spring semester in the Master of Arts in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, and the Master of Arts in English.

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