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Speaker Bios

Julia Laite

Julia Laite is Professor of Modern History at the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London. She researches and teaches on the history of women, crime, sexuality and migration in the nineteenth and twentieth century British world. Her latest book, The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A true story of sex, crime, and the meaning of justice (Profile, 2021) won the Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction and the Bert Roth Award for Labour History. She is now beginning a project about her own family history and the troubled history of settler colonialism in Newfoundland.


Namja Yusufi

Namja Yusufi is currently a final year PhD student at the University of Brighton, her topic being Identification of subconscious and unconscious hybridity in cultural hybrid writing: contextualization of a third space in cultural hybrid literature particularly in her current novel. Having published Begums of Peshawar, Hachette, 2018 the focus of her artistic activity is writing both fiction and non-fiction. After completed a master’s in creative writing from Cardiff University, thesis: the art of oral storytelling in N.W.F.P, Pakistan. During her time at Cardiff, she performed stories at the Cardiff Bay Lit Festival and completed a script The Radcliffe Line. She has won the David Arnold fund at University of Brighton which manifested in making a short film Boxed that focuses of the debate surrounding hybridity in Gen Z. Click here to view a recent short video made by Namja Yusufi.


Cath Feely 

Dr Cath Feely is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Derby and is a modern British cultural historian. Her published work to date has largely been on working-class reading and writing practices, and the history of the press, in the 19th and 20th centuries. She is now working broadly on the history of public history, especially the civic use of heritage in interwar Britain., while fitfully researching and writing about her own family history in her 'spare' time.


Ana María Otero Cleves 

Ana María Otero-Cleves, D.Phil Oxford in Modern History, is an Associate professor at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). She specialises in the history of nineteenth-century Colombia and Latin America, with a particular interest in the history of consumption and legal culture. Her latest publications include, “Foreign Machetes and Cheap Cotton Cloth: Popular Consumers and Imported Commodities in Nineteenth- Century Colombia.” Hispanic American Historical Review 97, n. ° 3 (2017): 423-256, awarded the prize for Best Article - Nineteenth Century Section by the Latin American Studies association (LASA) and 'This mixed species of population will consume’: Atlantic expectations about Spanish American consumers on the Age of Revolutions, 1780-1831’, Journal of Latin American Studies (2019). She is currently finishing her book, title Popular Consumers: Foreign Goods, Citizenship, and the Politics of Consumption in Nineteenth-Century Colombia (forthcoming).


Ani Lacy

Ani Lacy completed her baccalaureate degree in History and Philosophy and her master’s degrees in Liberal Studies and Fine Art with a focus on various ceramic productions techniques. She has a particular interest in discovering the stories of industrial ceramic makers, especially early American pottery production from 1600-1900. Her research has taken her to various parts of the world, including Jingdezhen, China; Safi, Morocco and Stoke-on-Trent, England, to gain insight into pottery production traditions across cultures. She currently works as an Assistant Curator at the American Museum and Gardens in Bath, England; a museum which focuses on early American decorative art history.


Rose Ruane

Rose Ruane is an artist and writer based in Glasgow. Her debut novel This is Yesterday was published by Corsair Books in 2019. She has made radio work for Radio 3, Radio Scotland and Radiophrenia. She is in the final year of a SGSAH funded PhD at the University of Glasgow, exploring the Adamson Collection through creative writing.
Naming the Orphans, an audio documentary Rose Ruane made about the Adamson collection, is available here.


Bronagh McAtasney

Bronagh is the Access and Outreach Officer for Heritage and Education at Northern Ireland Screen. She develops projects and programmes that promote the Digital Film Archive ( in communities, with artists and with partnership organisations such as PRONI, National Museums of Northern Ireland and Libraries NI.


Julia Harnoncourt

The historian Julia Harnoncourt is mainly interested in researching different forms of inequality. Her books and articles treat topics like colonialism, independence movements, unfree labour from a global viewpoint, racism, living situations of refugees, as well as gender relations and feminism. Her most recent book “Für die Befreiung der Frau” compiles different feminist text from leftist movements worldwide. At the Center of Contemporary History (C2DH/University of Luxembourg) she now researches the colonial entanglements of Luxembourg, while in former project „Remixing industrial pasts in the digital age“ she researched the history of consumption and of women's movements in the southern region of Luxembourg.


Benjamin Steiner

The artist and biologist Benjamin Steiner studied Print Graphics and Zoology in Vienna. As a founding member of the association "Graphikkinder", which established a little workshop in Vienna, he focuses on relief printing, silkscreen, collage and the production of zines. For the project  "Remixing industrial pasts in the digital age“ he worked closely together with the historian Julia Harnoncourt and next to lino cuts for the C2DH project "Crimes or subsistence?" he created a collage to visualize the life of a young girl living in Luxembourg in the 1920s.


Celeste McNamara

Celeste McNamara is a historian of early modern Europe. She specialises in early modern Italy, the history of the Catholic Church, gender, and the history of crime. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL USA (2013). Before coming to DCU, she taught at the State University of New York at Cortland, University of Warwick/Warwick in Venice, and the College of William and Mary. Dr McNamara is the author of The Bishop's Burden: Reforming the Catholic Church in Early Modern Italy (CUA Press, 2020), and a number of articles and book chapters. She is currently working on the history of the control of illicit sexuality in 16th-18th century Venice by both ecclesiastical and secular powers, with funding from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.


Juliana Adelman

Juliana Adelman is a historian of modern science, medicine and the environment. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century Ireland and Britain. She holds a PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Before turning to history, she studied Biological Sciences at Stanford University and Science Communication at DCU. Her most recent book is Civilised by beasts: animals and urban change in nineteenth-century Dublin (MUP, 2020). She is currently working on a historical novel set in nineteenth-century Dublin.


John Foot

John Foot is Professor of Modern Italian History at the University of Bristol, Department of Italian, He is the author of a number of books and articles relating to contemporary Italian history, culture and politics. His Blood and Power. The Rise and Fall of Italian Fascism is out with Bloomsbury in June 2022.


Joanna Brown

Joanna Brown’s writing and research reimagine the Black British past. Combining archival fragments and life writing forms such as letters and diaries, her work plays in the spaces between biography, autobiography and fiction. Her novel-in-progress The Listening explores the challenges and possibilities of ‘hearing’ and writing life stories of Black women in London in the early nineteenth century. Joanna also writes for children under the pen name JT Williams. Her debut novel, The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger, is the first book in a middle grade mystery series set in eighteenth century London, and places two Black British heroines centre stage. Written for inclusive fiction studio Storymix, Lizzie and Belle was published by Farshore Books in June 2022. In 2020, Joanna’s short memoir, Birds can be heard singing through open windows, was Highly Commended for the Spread the Word Life Writing Prize. She currently holds a British Library Eccles Centre Research Fellowship and a Techne PhD studentship in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.


Rachel Moss

Rachel Moss is the editor of the Writing Radically History Workshop Online article series – a series that reflects my broader interest in the creative potential of history, and of what it means to tell stories. She has a well-established profile in public writing on her blog and for publications like Times Higher Education. She is a senior lecturer in history at the University of Northampton and a specialist in late medieval gender, family and literary culture.


Lucy Caldwell

Born in Belfast in 1981, Lucy Caldwell is the award-winning author of three novels, several stage plays and radio dramas,  two collections of short stories: Multitudes (Faber, 2016) and Intimacies (Faber, 2021). Her most recent novel, These Days is published by Faber in March 2022. She is also the editor of Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2019). Awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the George Devine Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Imison Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, the Irish Writers’ and Screenwriters’ Guild Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Award (Canada & Europe), the Edge Hill Short Story Prize Readers’ Choice Award, a Fiction Uncovered Award, a K. Blundell Trust Award and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Lucy is a former RLF Fellow, a Visiting Fellow at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University, Belfast, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.


Nuala O’Connor

Nuala O’Connor was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1970, and lives between Counties Galway and Leitrim. Her fifth novel NORA (Harper Perennial/New Island, 2021), about Nora Barnacle, wife and muse to James Joyce, was recently published to critical acclaim in the USA, Ireland, the UK, and Germany, and is forthcoming in other languages.
NORA was named as a Top 10 2021 historical novel by the New York Times and was the One Dublin One Book choice for 2022. Nuala curated the Love, Says Bloom exhibition at MoLI, on the Joyce family, for #Ulysses100. She is editor at flash fiction e-zine Splonk.


Laura McKenna

Laura McKenna is a writer of fiction and poetry and worked for many years as a child psychiatrist. Words to Shape My Name was longlisted for the 2019 Bath Novel Award, a winner at the 2020 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair, and formed the creative element of her PhD in creative writing. She is the recipient of Tyrone Guthrie, Cork County Council, John Montague Mentorship (Munster Literature Centre) and Arts Council bursaries. Twice nominated for a Hennessy Literary Award and a Forward Prize for poetry, Laura’s work has been published in The RTÉ Guide, Southword, Banshee and New Irish Writing. @lauramckwriter


Glenn Patterson

Professor Glenn Patterson has been the Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's since 2017. Glenn has written four works of non-fiction including Backstop Land (2019) and The Last Irish Question (2021), and ten novels, most recently Where Are We Now? (2020). With Colin Carberrry, he co-wrote the film Good Vibrations, for which the pair were nominated for Outstanding Debut at the 2014 BAFTA Film awards. He has written plays for Radio 3 and Radio 4, and with composer Neil Martin, he wrote Long Story Short: The Belfast Opera in 2016.


Sonja Boon

Sonja Boon is a researcher, writer, teacher, and flutist. Professor of Gender Studies at Memorial University, she is the author of four books, most recently Autoethnography and Feminist Theory at the Water’s Edge: Unsettled Islands (co-authored with Lesley Butler and Daze Jefferies, Palgrave, 2018), and What the Oceans Remember: Searching for Belonging and Home (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2019). Sonja was principal flutist with the Portland Baroque Orchestra (Oregon, USA) for six years, and has also appeared as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician with the Toronto Symphony, Hallé Orchestra, and Holland Festival of Early Music, among others. In 2020, she was awarded the Ursula Franklin Award in Gender Studies by the Royal Society of Canada.


Katy Turton

Katy Turton is a university teacher at the Centre for History, the University of the Highlands and Islands. Her specialism is the role of women in the Russian Revolution and I have worked at the University of York (2004) and Queen’s University, Belfast (2005-2017). Publications include Forgotten Lives: The Role of Lenin’s Sisters in the Russian Revolution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and Family Networks in the Russian Revolutionary Movement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), as well as numerous journal articles in such publications as Women’s History Review and The Russian Review. More recently, she has turned her hand to fiction writing and published her first novel, Blackbird's Song, with Stairwell Books in 2021. 


Niamh Cullen

Niamh Cullen is senior lecturer in modern European History at Queen’s University of Belfast and a member of the Centre for Public History. She is a historian of modern Italy and of gender, sexuality and emotions in modern Europe. She is also interested in the intersection between creative writing and history. Her most recent book is Love, Honour and Jealousy: An Intimate History of the Economic Miracle (Oxford, 2019). Current projects include the history of motherhood and a biographical study of Darina Laracy Silone. She is also working on a novel about motherhood and fascism in 1920s Italy.


Priyanka Jha

Dr Priyanka Jha is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Banaras Hindu University, India. Her interest lies in the area of Political theory, Political Thought and Gender Politics and Philosophy. Her most recent research interest is Gendered Intellectual History, whereby she is engaging with women thinkers from India and South Asia. She is also very keen to work on the theme of Postcolonialism, Decolonialisation of Ideas and Indian Political theory.


Fiona Whyte

Fiona Whyte holds a PhD in Creative Writing which was awarded by UCC in 2020 and funded by an Irish Research Council scholarship. Her PhD consisted of a novel reimagining the life of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (634 – 687) and a dissertation examining the parallel concerns of hagiography and historical fiction. The novel is currently on submission to literary agents. Her short fiction also focuses on the past. It has featured in several awards and appeared in Cork Words 2, Dorothy Dunnett/Historical Writers’ Association Anthology, Crannóg Magazine, Quarryman, The Holly Bough, The Echo, Long Story, Short and Brevity is the Soul: Wit From Lockdown Ireland. She co-edited the inaugural edition of Quarryman, UCC’s literary journal. She is currently working on a novel based on an heretical sect in 13th century Italy.


Suhasini Roy

Suhasini Roy is a researcher in social history from Kolkata, India. She is interested in histories and theories of everyday life. She is currently pursuing Ph.D. in the Department of History, University of Calcutta, West Bengal. Her thesis focuses on the changing urban food-scapes in late-colonial and postcolonial Bengal. She is an avid reader of modern Bengali literature with a focus to theorise connection between literary forms and everyday life. Suhasini has earned Bachelors of Arts in History from Presidency College, Kolkata and Masters degree in History from University of Calcutta, Kolkata. She is affiliated with Shibpur Dinobundhoo Institution (College), West Bengal as an Assistant Professor in the Department of History. She is engaged in teaching undergraduate students course modules on regional identity formation in early-medieval India, colonial modernity, and multiple forms of nationalism in modern India.


Siobhra Aiken

Síobhra Aiken is a lecturer in Roinn na Gaeilge agus an Léinn Cheiltigh, Queen's University, Belfast. A former Fulbright scholar, she has published widely on aspects of Irish-language literature, the Gaelic Revival and Irish revolution. Her most recent publication is the monograph Spiritual Wounds: Trauma, Testimony and the Irish Civil War (Irish Academic Press, 2022). This monograph is based on her doctoral research at NUI Galway, which was awarded the American Conference for Irish Studies Adele Dalsimer Prize for Distinguished Dissertation 2021.


Sarah O’Brien

Dr. Sarah O’Brien is a lecturer in Mary Immaculate College (MIC), University of Limerick and Co Director of MIC’s Oral History Centre. Her research focuses on memory, orality and migration. Previous books include an oral history of Irish-Argentine experiences during the 1976-83 Argentine military dictatorship. Her forthcoming book, published by Indiana University Press, examines memory and the personal life writing of Irish immigrant women in the United States between 1900 and 1970.


Wendy Chapkis

Wendy Chapkis is a professor of sociology and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine and the Faculty Scholar for the Sampson Center LGBTQ+ Collection. In that capacity, she has created the “Querying the Past” oral history project which now contains life history interviews with dozens of queer Mainers. She is the author of numerous articles on gender, sexuality, and drug policy as well as three books - Beauty Secrets: Women and the Politics of Appearance (Women's Press 1988); Live Sex Acts: Women Performing Erotic Labor (Cassell 1997); and Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine (New York University Press 2008).


Emma Yeo

Emma is an ESRC funded PhD student at the University of Durham. Her research focuses upon community experiences of crisis in early modern North East England, using a combination of demographic and qualitative analysis. The audiostories discussed in Emma Yeo’s paper, and background to them, are available here:


Matt Houlbrook

Matt Houlbrook is a historian of modern British culture, with particular interests in histories of gender and sexuality, cities, the 1920s and 1930s, and the politics and practice of cultural history. He is the author of Prince of Tricksters: The Incredible True Story of Netley Lucas, Gentleman Crook (2016) and Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-57 (2005).


Kerric Harvey

An associate professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) and former director of the George Washington University (GW) Film Studies and Radio/Television programs, Dr. Kerric Harvey is also a working playwright and multimedia producer who explores technology and culture in a wide variety of periods and places, including real world, online and social media landscapes. Her favorite writing genre is magical realism in a historical setting that addresses contemporary social issues. In her academic work, she writes about the media arts and cultural archetypes in the public imagination, the anthropological effects of new media technologies, digital storytelling, and the relationship between new media narratives and political identity, an interest that began with her appointment to a National Science Foundation team tasked by the 1995 Clinton White House with developing a national research agenda for anthropology and the internet in the 21st century. She was also an early researcher on writing and producing for mobile phone cinema, spearheading GW's collaboration in a cell phone filmmaking experiment by noted actor and film director Spike Lee. She is a Visiting Researcher at the University of Oxford (England), a Fellow of London’s Royal Anthropological Institute, a Fulbright Senior Specialist, and the Inaugural Visiting Fellow for New Research Methods at Canada’s Centre for Imaginative Ethnography (CIE). In addition to scholarly publications and professionally produced theatrical work, she is the editor of Sage Publication’s award winning Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics.


Richard Ivan Jobs

Richard Ivan Jobs (PhD, Rutgers University) is Professor of Modern European History at Pacific University in Oregon. His publications include Backpack Ambassadors: How Youth Travel Integrated Europe (Chicago, 2017), Transnational Histories of Youth in the Twentieth Century with David Pomfret (Palgrave, 2015), and Riding the New Wave: Youth and Rejuvenation of France after the Second World War (Stanford, 2007) and numerous articles and book chapters. He is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and fellowships in support of his research including the Grace Abbott Book Prize, Outstanding Academic Title from Choice, the Koren Prize for the best article in French history, the Arnold and Lois Graves Award, a Bourse Chateaubriand, an NEH grant, and the Fulbright-Schuman Fellowship in European Affairs.


Steven Van Wolputte

Steven Van Wolputte (PhD, KU Leuven) is professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at KU Leuven, Belgium. He shares a longstanding interest in the history of colonialism, and has published, among others, in the fields of political anthropology and of material and popular culture. His current research homes in on emerging forms of (social) life, and it is under this banner that he recently (with Clemens Greiner and Michael Bollig) published an edited volume on African Futures (Brill, 2022). One of his pet projects though is graphic anthropology (see Van Wolputte, Steven. 2017. A Tale of Six Circles: A Travelogue. Visual Anthropology Review 33 (2):177-190; Van Wolputte, Steven. 2018. Desire paths. Etnofoor 29 (2):97-107) in which he explores the possibilities of the graphic form in science outreach.


Derek Johnston

Derek Johnston is Lecturer in Broadcast at Queen's University Belfast. His research focuses on non-realist genres, including science fiction and horror, particularly in relation to ideas of history and identity. He is the author of Haunted Seasons: Television Ghost Stories for Christmas and Horror for Halloween (2015), and most recently of the chapter on "Gothic Television" for The Cambridge History of the Gothic, Volume III


Abigail Mitchell

Abigail Mitchell is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Southampton. Her research interests include creative methodologies in historical research, the creation of accessible queer histories, and the role of the historian as storyteller. Her current research focuses on speculative queer histories of the Essex witch trial of 1645.


Kristof Smeyers

Kristof Smeyers is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp. His main interests are the histories of magic, religion and the supernatural. In his PhD thesis he examined the many meanings of stigmata, the Wounds of Christ, in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain and Ireland. Currently he develops novel ways to tell the histories of extraordinary bodies.


Cherish Watton 

Cherish Watton is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, specialising in the history of material culture, archiving, life writing, and collecting in Britain during the twentieth century. She has also founded a national, online archive on the work of the Women’s Land Army and Women’s Timber Corps:


Ángel Pernas

Ángel Pernas is currently a PhD student at Queen’s University Belfast. His interdisciplinary research combines ageing studies with the use of material culture to collect and analyse data. In particular, he is interested in the agency of objects and their interaction with older people’s selves.


Guido Bartolini

Dr Guido Bartolini is a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Cork (UCC) where he works on the cultural memory of Italian Fascism in literature and cinema and the idea of responsibility for the past. He is an expert of cultural memory and the Italian literature about Fascism and World War II.  He is the author of The Italian Literature of the Axis War: Memories of Self-Absolution and the Quest for Responsibility (Palgrave Macmillan: 2021). In the academic year 2020-2021, he curated the interdisciplinary seminar series ‘Mediated Memories of Responsibility’ hosted online by the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory of the IMLR, London. For UCC, he curated the Conference ‘Cultural Memory of Past Dictatorships: Narratives of Implication in a Global Perspective’. Before moving to Ireland, Dr Bartolini studied at University of Florence, University of Oxford, and Royal Holloway University of London.


Lauren Young

Lauren Young is a final year PhD student at QUB. Her thesis focuses on the history and lived experience of type one diabetes from the perspective of the patient, using Northern Ireland as a case study for oral history interviews.


Fabio Simonetti

Dr Fabio Simonetti is Lecturer in European History and Warfare at Brunel University London. Prior to that, he has taught Italian History and Culture at the University of Reading, where he has earned his PhD in Italian Studies as part of an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership in collaboration with the Imperial War Museums. Fabio is a social and oral historian specialising in history of modern Europe and history of modern Italy, intercultural and gendered encounters in conflict zones, and occupation studies. He has recently completed his research on the dynamics of the multifaceted Second World War encounter between British soldiers and Italian civilians. Fabio has presented papers at a number of international conferences and has published on both the Allied and German Second World War occupations of Italy as well as on intercultural encounters in war zones.