News and Events

International Summer Schools 20 July – 7 August 2015

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Picture courtesy of NITB

Now in its fifteenth year, the Institute of Irish Studies International Summer School is proving just as popular as ever with participants of all ages coming from all over the world to attend the three-week programme. This is an exciting time for Irish Studies at Queen’s University as we celebrate the founding of the Irish Studies Institute fifty years ago. 

The Irish Studies summer school offers an introduction to Irish Studies and to the city of Belfast.  Lectures from world leading scholars, meetings with musicians, poets and politicians, and fieldtrips across visually stunning Northern Ireland promises an unforgettable and inspiring experience. The Irish Studies International Summer School attracts participants of all ages (18 - 60+) and from a variety of backgrounds. Many students are administrators, teachers, professors, undergraduates and postgraduates, as well as those who simply have a passion for Irish history and culture.

Queen’s University Belfast offers two exciting interdisciplinary Summer Schools, one in Irish Studies and one in Conflict Transformation. These academic courses are delivered by world leading scholars across a range of disciplines and you will be visiting a University recognised for its world class research and teaching, for a unique and challenging opportunity to think, learn and discuss. 

Click here to learn more about the Irish Studies Summer School.

Click here to view our brochure.

Top of Page

International Summer School affiliated to Fulbright



The Institute of Irish Studies is delighted to continue its links with the Fulbright Commission at the International Summer School.

We look forward to welcoming more American students who will have the opportunity to experience life at one of the UK’s top universities. The Queen’s University Belfast Summer Institute will offer a Fulbright exchange programme to include a challenging academic component, a rich and multifaceted cultural experience and an enthusiastic and welcoming host.

Details regarding the Summer Institute can be found on Fulbright's website.

For information about applying directly to the Irish Studies International Summer School, please visit the Institute of Irish Studies Summer School Web pages.

Closing date for applications for the Fulbright Scholarships is Friday 5 March 2015, 5.00pm (UK time).

Valerie Schreiner
Programme Coordinator (Summer Institutes)

+44 (0) 20 7498 4029


Top of Page

Irish Studies International Lecture
Professor Rob Savage (Boston College), '"The Troubles" in London in the 1970s'
15/05/2014 at 17:00, Elmwood Lecture Theatre, ELTC

Margret Thatcher and the BBC’s Irish Troubles

Margaret Thatcher was one of the most dominant yet divisive political figures in post-war Britain. As Prime Minister she introduced massive cuts in public spending, challenged then crushed the powerful coal miners union, led a successful military campaign to win back the Falkland Islands and confronted the IRA during the 1981 Hunger Strikes. Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister her relationship with the BBC was fractious and marred by seemingly endless controversy. Margaret Thatcher was determined to win the ‘propaganda war’ unfolding in Northern Ireland and was convinced the BBC was undermining her efforts to defeat terrorism by providing its supporters the ‘oxygen of publicity’. As violence continued to bedevil the province she grew increasingly upset with her government’s inability to control the contested narrative of ‘the Troubles’. This lecture will consider how a number of broadcasting controversies led a frustrated Thatcher Government to introduce formal political censorship in 1988.


Robert Savage is Associate Professor of the Practice of History at Boston College. He is the author of A Loss of Innocence? Television and Irish Society 1960-1972, (winner of the 2010 James S. Donnelly, Sr. Prizefor Best Book in History and Social Sciences from the American Conference for Irish Studies). His other books include Sean Lemass: a biography (1999), Irish Television: the Political and Social Origins (1996) and Ireland in the New Century, Politics, Identity and Culture (editor and contributing author, 2003).


Manchester University Press will publish his new monograph The BBC’s Irish Troubles later this year.

Fulbright Scholar studies at Queen's

Caleb Hamman
Caleb Hamman graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Butler University in 2011 with a degree in Political Science and Philosophy. There, he wrote an honours thesis about the peace building activities of Israeli and Palestinian youth. For this project he conducted fieldwork in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the summer of 2010. As a student, Caleb worked with Indianapolis youth in afterschool centres, volunteered with labour campaigns, participated in a dialogue group with Iraqi refugees, edited the campus newspaper and presided over student organisations in peace studies and philosophy. In 2009, he completed an internship at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Caleb will carry out research at Queen’s University Belfast concerning the political practices and the peace building activities of youth in Northern Ireland. Following his Fulbright year, he will pursue a PhD in Political Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame where he has received admission and a University Presidential Fellowship.

Top of Page

St Patrick's Day and National Identity

St Patrick's Day and National Identity Survey
St Patrick's Day and National Identity Survey
As St Patrick’s Day approaches, the Institute of Irish Studies is asking people to take part in research to help understand how participation in collective national events, such as St Patrick’s Day parade, impacts on their sense of national identity. As part of the research we are conducting a survey before, after, and three months after the St Patrick's Day in Dublin and Belfast with individuals who do and do not plan on attending the parade.

This will be our second year collecting survey data, and from past experience we have come to realise how difficult it is to recruit participants. With this in mind, we would be grateful if you could pass on information about our project, or links to our surveys, to anyone you know who may be interested in participating (students, colleagues, etc.). We have attached recruitment flyers for potential participants in the Belfast and the Dublin area which contain links to the appropriate survey.

Our research is part of the Embodying Imagined Communities: The Role of Collective Participation in the Transformation of Irish Identities project. The project looks at St Patrick's Day and 1916 Easter Rising commemoration events in Belfast and Dublin - why people participate in these events and their potential to unite and divide. The research is a joint initiative between Queen's, the University of Limerick and St Andrew's University and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Irish Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University, in conjunction with the University of Limerick and the University of St. Andrews, is inviting  people to participate in a study examining the experience of collective events. We are looking for those who will be attending and those who will not be attending this year’s Belfast St Patrick’s Day parade. 
To do so, we would like you to complete a short survey a week before and after the parade, and three months after the parade. The survey takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and has received ethical approval from the relevant ethics committees. In exchange we will enter your name in a raffle to win a number of prizes.

Taking part in the survey is entirely voluntary. If you do choose to take part, you will not be asked for any identifying information and so your participation will be anonymous – your responses cannot be traced back to you.

If you have any questions feel free to email:

Dr. Danielle Blaylock

+44 (0) 28 9097 3861

Top of Page

Irish Studies Seminar Programme

Seminars are normally held 1.00 - 2.00pm.   Everyone welcome.   Booking not required.

More information on the current/past programmes available in our 'Research' section.

Top of Page

Institute of Irish Studies Graduates December 2009
Congratulations to all our students who graduated with a Masters in Irish Studies on Friday 11th December 2009. We wish them all continued success in their chosen studies and careers.

We are delighted that Elaine Ni Bhraonáin, Nicoletta Patri and Mary-Kathryn Rallings are continuing their studies as PhD students in the Institute of Irish Studies. Claudia Bossay, Martin McCleery and Timothy Watt are also continuing as PhD students at Queen's in Film Studies, Politics and History respectively.
Caoimhe Nic Dhábhéid graduated with a PhD and is now a Research Fellow in the Institute for 2009-2010.

Top of Page

Elaine Ni Bhraonáin
Elaine Ni Bhraonáin
Mary-Kathryn Rallings
Mary-Kathryn Rallings
Mary-Kathryn Rallings & Timothy Watt
Mary-Kathryn Rallings & Timothy Watt
Mary-Kathryn Rallings & Nicoletta Patri
Mary-Kathryn Rallings & Nicoletta Patri

Irish Studies Raises Money for Children in Need

The Institute of Irish Studies and colleagues raised a staggering £901.50 for this worthy cause. If you would like to see Dominic Bryan and Eamonn Hughes, Director and Assistant Director of the Institute, before and after the Big Shave on Friday, 20th November …….. [download poster]

Top of Page

Book Launch - John Wilson Foster

26 November 2009


Between Shadows, modern Irish writing and culture, by John Wilson Foster

Guest speaker: Professor Terence Brown

Venue: Queen's Welcome Centre, Queen's University Belfast, 6.30pm.

RSVP: Karen O'Donaghue

Top of Page

Ethnic Conflict and European Integration

Institute of Irish Studies : Seminar Programme Autumn 2009

Monday 30 November 2009 

‘Ethnic Conflict and European Integration’


Edward Moxon-Browne, University of Limerick 


Seminar Room 1, Institute of Irish Studies, 53-67 University Road 

Full Seminar Programme can be found at:


Top of Page

Dr. Eamonn Hughes
Dr. Eamonn Hughes
Dr. Dominic Bryan
Dr. Dominic Bryan
Dr. Dominic Bryan & Dr. Eamonn Hughes

BBC Children In Need

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the Institute of Irish Studies sponsored beard shaving event on Friday 20th November.  Thanks to the generosity of students and staff from the Institute, School of History and Anthropology and School of English, the Institute was able to raise £901 for a very worthy cause.  A very special thank you goes to Dr. Dominic Bryan and Dr. Eamonn Hughes for donating their facial hair (and dignity) to make the event a great success.

10 December 2009

Contemporary Irish Political History Research Cluster & Governance and Public Policy Cluster will be holding a Postgraduate Workshop.

Speakers: Robert Smyth, 'Why do journalists always get it wrong? The Misinterpretation of opinion polls in the Irish media', Jason Foy, 'Brian Faulkner: the challenges of researching and writing a political biography'.

5pm, Seminar Room 1, 53-67 University Road.

This joint workshop will be followed by a drinks reception to be held in Seminar Room 1, 53-67 University Road from 6.30pm.

All Welcome.

Belfast Festival at Queen's

Glenn Patterson

27 October 2009

'Big fat lies and fiction' a reading and discussion based on politics and the literature of Glenn Patterson.

Glenn Patterson is the author of many novels: Burning Your Own (1988), for which he was awarded the Rooney Prize and a Betty Trask first novel prize, Fat Lad (1992), Black Night at Big Thunder Mountain (1995), The International (1999), Number 5 (2003), That Which Was (2004), Lapsed Protestant (2006), The Third Party (2007), and Once Upon a Hill: Love in Troubled Times (2008). His short stories have been broadcast on Radio 3 and Radio 4 and articles and essays have appeared in the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Independent, Irish Times, Dublin Review. He has been Creative Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia, writer-in-residence at University College Cork and Queen's University. He has also presented numerous television documentaries and an arts review series for RTE.

Venue: Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB

Time: 5.30pm

All Welcome

Dr Diarmuid Whelan

22 October 2009

Dr. Diarmuid Whelan (University College Cork) will give a lecture entitled 'Conor Cruise O'Brien: making politics out of the personal'.  The lecture will be based on his new book published by Irish Academic Press (Conor Cruise O'Brien: Violent Notions) and copies will be on sale at the lecture.  The discussant will be Dr. Richard Bourke (Queen Mary College, University of London).

Venue: Bell Lecure Theatre, Physics Building, QUB at 5pm.

This lecture is a joint venture between Irish Studies International Research Initiative and Irish Politics Research Cluster, QUB.

Professor Desmond Bell

August 2009

Congratulations to Professor Desmond Bell, School of Languages, Literature and Performing Arts, QUB, who will be taking part in the next QUB / Boston College Faculty Exchange in March 2010.  Professor Bell is Professor of Film Studies at QUB and his research interests include the political economy of the media, documentary film theory and practice, the history of visual culture, social history of photography in Ireland, practice-based research methodologies in film and the visual arts.  He is also an active documentary film maker, whose work has been regularly broadcast and screened at international film festivals.

The Irish Legal History Society has recently launched its new website: .The website features details of upcoming events and publications, information on scholarships and bursaries and information for those wishing to become members.

The Society's objective is to encourage the study and advance the knowledge of the history of Irish law, especially by the publication of original documents and scholarly works.

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in legal history. The annual subscription is £40, and this entitles members to receive on publication a copy of each book brought out by the Society. Members can also purchase books from our back catalogue.

If you would like any further information, please see our website or contact Dr Niamh Howlin ( ) , School of Law, QUB.

26-27 June 2009

Poverty and Welfare in Ireland, c.1833 - 1948

Institute of Irish Studies, 53-67 University Road, Queen's University Belfast

A conference sponsored by the ESRC and the Royal Historical Society and hosted by QUB and Oxford Brookes University

Closing date for registration 16 May 2009

Contact Dr Olwen Purdue & Professor Peter Gray, School of History, email:

For further details follow link to conference website:

1 June 2009

The Irish Studies International Research Initiaitive hosted a public lecture by Professor Adrian Little (University of Melbourne):

Disjunctured narratives: reconciliation and conflict transformation in Northern Ireland

Professor Adrian Little was educated at Nottingham Trent University and Queen's University Belfast where he was awarded his PhD in 1993. He taught at University College Northampton and Goldsmiths College, University of London where he specialized in political and social theory before joining the School as Lecturer in Political Theory in February 2004. In 2008 he became Associate Professor and Reader in Political Theory and the new Head of School.

Professor Little's research interests include: contemporary political and social theory, democratic theory and practice, Northern Irish politics and British politics.

His recent monographs include:

Democratic Piety: Complexity, Conflict and Violence (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008)

Democracy and Northern Ireland: Beyond the Liberal Paradigm? (London: Palgrave, 2004)

The Politics of Community: Theory and Practice (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2002)

Professor John Morison, Professor Richard English, Professor Keith Jeffery

15 May 2009

Congratulations to Professor Richard English, (School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy), Professor John Morison (School of Law) and Professor Keith Jeffery (School of History and Anthropology) who were recently elected as Members of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) at a ceremony in Dublin.  Membership of the Royal Irish Academy is awarded to scholars who who have attained international distinction in science or the humanities and social sciences.  Professors English, Morison and Jeffery have all made valuable contributions through their research in various aspects of Irish Studies at QUB.

Dr Tim Wilson (QUB), Professor Adrian Guelke (QUB), Dr Duncan Morrow (Community Relations Council), with a portrait of Professor Frank Wright (QUB)

15 May 2009  

The International Politics and Ethnic Conflict Cluster (IPEC), QUB,  hosted a one-day symposium:

‘No place apart?  Celebrating Frank Wright and Comparative Approaches to the Study of Ethnic Conflict’.  

This one day symposium was held in the Institute of Irish Studies, QUB. As the title indicates, the aim of the conference was both  to take general stock of the ways in which Northern Ireland does (or does not) resemble other deeply divided societies around the world, but also to remember the provocative comparative legacy left by Frank Wright who taught at QUB between 1973 and 1992. The day was therefore very much a celebration of both Frank Wright and his work: and to this end a photographic portrait has been made that will be hung in the main conference room in the School of Politics.

The event was organised by Dr Timothy Wilson, Research Fellow, Irish Studies International Research Initiative, QUB.  The keynote address was delivered by Professor Adrian Guelke (Queen's University Belfast).

No Place Apart? Schedule
No Place Apart? Poster

Dr Claire Connolly and Dr Eamonn Hughes

7 May 2009

Dr Eamonn Hughes (School of English, QUB) welcomed Dr Claire Connolly (Cardiff University) to the Institute of Irish Studies, QUB, to deliver a public lecture on 'Biopower and Bare Life in Irish Literature: Castle Rackrent; In the Shadow of the Glen; The Gathering'. 

Speakers arriving at the symposium
Speakers arriving at the symposium

4-5 April 2009

Moore Symposium: International Perspectives on Thomas Moore

The School of English, Queen's University Belfast, hosted a symposium on 4-5 April 2009

The two aims of this conference were to provide new multiple perspectives on the Irish writer and musician Thomas Moore (1779-1852) and to stimulate dialogue between fields of Moore criticism that currently operate exclusively. To these ends, keynote papers were presented by literary critics, musicologists and historians; and by eminent scholars of British Romanticism and from differing methodological schools within Irish Studies.

This event was part of the research network on 'United Islands? Multi-lingual radical poetry and folk song in Britain and Ireland, 1770-1820', led by John Kirk, Andrew Noble and Michael Brown, and was funded by an AHRC Research Networks / Workshop Grant.

The symposium organisers gratefully acknowledge the support of the Irish Studies International Research Initiative and the School of English, QUB.

Moore Symposium Information
Thomas Moore Symposium - Speaker Biographiess

Professor Ruth-Ann Harris

Professor Ruth-Ann Harris from Boston College spent a week at QUB as part of our first Queen's University Belfast & Boston College Faculty Exchange Programme, 2008-2009.

As well as researching archives at QUB Professor Harris delivered a seminar paper on 'The women of Carrickmacross: from petitions undermining patriarchy to immigrants in North America' to several members of QUB staff, graduate students and members of the public.  Professor Harris also conducted a graduate workshop on 'Researching and finding the voices of women: what are the specific aspects of female emigration?' to postgraduate students from a variety of Schools.

Professor Graham Walker
Professor Graham Walker

Professor Graham Walker, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, QUB, visited Boston College in April 2009 as part of the first Queen's University Belfast and Boston College faculty exchange programme. 

"I am delighted and honoured to have been chosen to spend time in Boston to further my research project and to establish links with scholars based in the College. I look forward, while I am there,  to promoting Queen’s in every possible way." Professor Graham Walker

The making of the Irish Poor Law, P Gray

2 April 2009

The Irish Studies Initiative, with Manchester University Press,  hosted a reception to celebrate the launch of two books by QUB academics.

Professor Peter Gray, School of History and Anthropology,  The Making of the Irish Poor Law, 1815 -43

Guest Speaker: Lord Bew of Donegore

Dr Katy Hayward, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work,  Irish Nationalism and European Integration: the official redefinition of the island of Ireland

Guest Speaker: Professor Liam O'Dowd, QUB

Many thanks to all who attended.

Professor Richard English, QUB, Professor Joep Leerssen, University of Amsterdam, Professor Ed Larrissy, QUB
Professor Richard English, QUB, Professor Joep Leerssen, University of Amsterdam, Professor Ed Larrissy, QUB

The QUB Annual Irish Studies Lecture 2009

4 March 2009

The Irish Studies International Research Initiative recently held the QUB Annual Irish Studies Lecture which was delivered by Professor Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam).

Joep Leerssen is Professor of Modern European Literature at the University of Amsterdam.  Professor Leerssen studied Comparative Literature and English at the University of Aachen and Anglo-Irish Studies at University College Dublin; he took his PhD in 1986 at the University of Utrecht. In that year he was appointed at the University of Amsterdam, where he obtained the chair in Modern European Literature in 1991.

He served as director of the Huizinga Institute (Dutch National Research Institute for Cultural Studies) from 1995 until 2006. He held the Erasmus Lecturership at Harvard University in 2003, and was awarded the Spinoza Prize in 2008.

Many thanks to Professor Leerssen for a superb lecture, and to QUB staff and students from many different Schools who attended.

Professor Conor Gearty (London School of Economics)
Professor Conor Gearty (London School of Economics)
 Professor Eli Berman (University of California)
Professor Eli Berman (University of California)
Professor Richard English (QUB)
Delegates attending workshop
Seminar Room 1, Governance Building

On 16th and 17th January 2009 Queen's University Belfast held the Belfast International Terrorism Workshop

This workshop brought together some of the world’s most distinguished scholars in the field of terrorism and political violence, drawn from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and reflecting a wide range of intellectual approaches to the subject.  The aim was to hold two days of Workshop Sessions to engage systematically with a series of focused questions concerning the causes, explanations, sustenance, nature and ending of terrorism, as well as the best analytical and political responses to the phenomenon. 

Our thanks to all those who took part in, or attended, the workshop.


If you would like to submit a news item or event, please e-mail your suggestions to
Dr Dominic Bryan, Keavy Gilbert, Erin Hinson, Brittany Breslin
Dr Dominic Bryan with Keavy Gilbert, Erin Hinson, Brittany Breslin
Dr Eamonn Hughes with Irish Studies graduands
Dr Eamonn Hughes with Irish Studies graduands
Keavy, Brittany and Erin
Keavy, Brittany and Erin
Institute of Irish Studies Winter Graduation 2012
Dr Dominic Bryan, Keavy Gilbert, Erin Hinson, Brittany Breslin
Dr Dominic Bryan, Keavy Gilbert, Erin Hinson, Brittany Breslin
Institute of Irish Studies students with Dr Eamonn Hughes
Institute of Irish Studies students with Dr Eamonn Hughes
Congratulations to all our students who graduated with a Masters in Irish Studies on Thursday 13th December 2012. We wish them all continued success in their chosen studies and careers.

Top of Page