BA, MA, PhD (QUB)
Lecturer in Irish Social and Economic History
Seconded to Institute of Collaborative Research in Humanities as a Institute Fellow, 2015-16
Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3985
Office: 16UQ G.04
Olwen took up her current post in Queen's University in September 2012 and is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast. On completing her doctorate she was appointed to a research post on the ESRC-funded project, ‘Welfare Regimes under the Irish Poor Law’, based jointly at Oxford Brookes and Queen’s, and subsequently as a Research Fellow in the Institute of Irish Studies also at Queen’s. She was joint recipient of a QUB Team Teaching Award in 2013.
Olwen is a committee-member of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland and the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland. She is co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project, ‘Welfare and public health in Belfast and the north of Ireland, c.1800-1973’.
Her research interests cover a range of issues relating to the social and economic history of nineteenth and early twentieth–century Ireland, in particular land and power, poverty and welfare, and urban change. Her monograph, The Big House in the north of Ireland: land, power and social elites 1870-c.1960 (Dublin, 2009),focuses on the changing roles of landed elites in Ulster politics and society from the land wars through to the final years of the Stormont government. She has recently completed an edited volume on life and society in Belfast during its heyday from the end of the Famine through to the First World War. Her current research focusses on questions of poverty and empowerment: in the ways in which the poor increasingly utilised the welfare system as part of their ‘economy of makeshifts’; in the ways in which the administration of the poor law became increasingly contested by social and economic elites and political movements; and in the experience and relief of poverty in the contested political space of C19th Belfast
Articles and chapters:
HIS2011: Politics and society in nineteenth-century Ireland
HIS2012: Politics and society in twentieth-century Ireland
HIS3033: That great catastrophe: the Irish Famine of the 1840s
IRS1002: Irish Studies II: the modern history, politics and social anthropology of Ireland
MHY7077: Public History Internship