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Dr Elaine Farrell


Lecturer in Irish Economic and Social History
On Sabbatical Semester 1 2015-16

GEM co-ordinator (Sem 2)

Joint Pathway Co-ordinator, BA History and Social Anthropology (Sem 2)

Telephone: +44 (0) 28 9097 3252

Office: 15UQ.301

Elaine Farrell is a graduate of University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast.  In 2010-11, she held the position of Lecturer in Modern Irish History at Queen’s University Belfast and won the ‘Student-Nominated Teaching Award in the Arts category’ (please click on link).  She was an Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) Post-doctoral Research Fellow at University College Dublin, 2011-2012.  She took up her current position in September 2012.  Elaine is a committee member of the Women’s History Association of Ireland.

Research Interests:

Elaine’s PhD research, funded by the AHRC and a Queen’s University Belfast studentship, examined the crime of infanticide in Ireland from 1850-1900.  Her current research project focuses on criminal women in nineteenth-century Ireland.  This project, funded by the IRCHSS in 2011-12, interrogates gendered notions of femininity evident in the nineteenth-century Irish courts and penal system, and assesses experiences for convict women using manuscript sources. It considers various crimes allegedly committed by women and illustrates the attitudes of the courts, prisons, the administration, newspapers and members of local communities (in both rural and urban Ireland) to such cases.  This project reveals much about nineteenth-century Irish society generally and highlights that many Irish inhabitants lived in a world of constant surveillance. The examination of relationships and networks also extends to the prison environment, where women convicts interacted with fellow inmates, and prison authorities and visitors. The project examines how women fulfilled roles as wives, mothers, daughters and sisters, despite obstacles imposed by transportation and imprisonment.

Elaine is CI on the AHRC-funded project Bad Bridget: Criminal and Deviant Irishwomen in North America, 1838-1918.

Select publications:


  • ‘“The fellow said it was not harm and only tricks”: the father in suspected cases of infanticide in Ireland, 1850-1900’ in Journal of Social History, xlv, no. 3 (2012), pp 990-1004.
  •  ‘“Infanticide of the ordinary character”: an overview of the crime in Ireland, 1850-1900’ in Irish Economic & Social History (November 2012)
  •  ‘“A very immoral establishment”: the crime of infanticide and class status’ in Elaine Farrell (ed.), ‘She said she was in the family way’: pregnancy and infancy in modern Ireland (Institute of Historical Research, 2012).

Entry on PURE research portal

Elaine teaches on the following programmes:

Deviant moments in Britain and Ireland, 1700-1914 (Exploring History 1, HIS1003)

Politics and society in nineteenth-century Ireland (HIS2011)

Politics and society in twentieth-century Ireland HIS2012

Research Methods in History (MHY7020)

Historical Documents (MHY7025)


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