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Speaker Bios

Salome Mbugua, Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Dr. Salome Mbugua is a researcher, gender equality activist and human right advocate. She is the CEO of AkiDwA -The Migrant Women’s Network Ireland and founder of Wezesha, the Africa diaspora development organisation. Her professional experience spans over 20 years of work experience in civil society working with under-represented groups in particular women, children, and the youth, in Europe and Africa. Dr Mbugua serves as a human right commissioner with Irish Human rights and equality commission.

Her strong belief in equality and justice has shaped her career, leading to engagement with policy makers in Ireland, Europe and International level. Dr Mbugua serves at various advisory committee, expert groups and boards in Ireland and at European level. She seats on EU expert group on economic migration. In Sept 2018 she was appointed by Tánaiste to chair the working group developing Ireland 3rd National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security. She serves as the chair of Equality Diversity & Inclusion project board with Public Appointment Services. She is a member and convener of the steering committee of people of African descent, working with the Irish government to implement the international decade for people of African descent in Ireland. She is a 2015 OHCHR-UN Fellow and 2010 Eisenhower Fellow. Dr Mbugua holds a Doctorate from Trinity College Dublin and a master’s degree from UCD.


Maurice Casey, Queen’s University Belfast

Maurice Casey is a Research Fellow at QUB working on the AHRC-funded project ‘Queer Northern Ireland: Sexuality before liberation’. In 2022, he curated the exhibition Revolutionary Routes: Ireland and the Black Atlantic, which opened in EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin. His current book project is an intimate history of international communism told through the story of an Irish translator in 1920s Moscow and her global friendship circle.


Jack Crangle, Maynooth University

Jack Crangle is an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at Maynooth University, working on a project called Black Ireland: race, culture and nationhood in the Irish Republic, 1948-95. Prior to this, he worked at the University of Manchester. Jack completed his PhD in Modern History at Queen’s University Belfast. His first monograph, entitled Migrants, Immigration and Diversity in Twentieth-century Northern Ireland: British, Irish or 'Other’?, was published by Palgrave Studies in Migration History in January 2023. While in Belfast, Jack taught extensively and delivered lectures on the social history of Britain and Ireland. With an interest in migration, oral history and public history, Jack has published his research in the academic journals Immigrants & Minorities, Oral History and Irish Studies Review. He has also written for The Conversation and contributed to various blogs and podcasts.


Fiona Bateman, University of Galway

Fiona Bateman is Director of the MA in Public Advocacy & Activism, and a lecturer in English. She is a graduate of UCD (B.Soc.Sc.) and of University of Galway (MA in Culture & Colonialism), where she also completed her PhD – “The Spiritual Empire: Irish Catholic Missionary Discourse in the Twentieth Century”. Her research focuses on Ireland and Africa, the Irish foreign missions, and the Nigeria-Biafra war 1967-70. In a recent publication she told the stories behind the stained glass windows from Clarke Studios in Dublin, designed for churches in various African countries. She teaches some film studies classes as well as modules in literature, including African fiction, and North American writing.


Kevin O'Sullivan, University of Galway

Kevin O’Sullivan is a lecturer in History at the University of Galway and an associate director at the Moore Institute for the Humanities and Social Studies. He has written extensively on issues of aid, development, human rights, global justice, and Western encounters with the Global South, including the books, The NGO Moment: The Globalisation of Compassion from Biafra to Live Aid (Cambridge University Press, 2021), and Ireland, Africa and the End of Empire (Manchester University Press, 2012). He is also a co-editor on the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents in Irish Foreign Policy project. His current research, provisionally titled ‘Green Futures’, explores how people in the past understood the future of the environment, and what this means for present-day climate change adaptation strategies.


Jonathan Wright, Maynooth University

Jonathan Jeffrey Wright is a lecturer in history at Maynooth University. His current research focuses principally on Ireland and the Atlantic World in the age of revolution, and his recent publications include An Ulster slave-owner in the Revolutionary Atlantic: the life and letters of John Black (Dublin, 2019) and Crime and punishment in nineteenth-century Belfast: the story of John Linn (Dublin, 2020). 


Richard McMahon, Mary Immaculate College, Limmerick

Richard McMahon is a Lecturer in History at MIC, Limerick. He is an expert on the history of violence, law and order in the nineteenth-century and has published widely in the field. He has received major research grants from the H.F. Guggenheim Foundation, The Fulbright Commission and the Irish Research Council. He is also committed to engaging in creative and public histories and has published a number of historically-informed opinion pieces including in the Guardian and Irish Times and contributed to historical documentaries including for the Irish national broadcaster on RTÉ Radio One. He is the co-director of the Bring Your Own Hammer project in which historians and composers collaborate to create original song cycles that offer novel interpretations of historical sources.


Mark Doyle, Middle Tennessee State University

Mark Doyle is a Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University. His publications include Fighting like the Devil for the Sake of God: Protestants, Catholics, and the Origins of Violence in Victorian Belfast (Manchester UP 2009) and Communal Violence in the British Empire: Disturbing the Pax (Bloomsbury 2016). His current research centers on the history of African- and Asian-descended people in nineteenth-century Ireland. He also has a sideline in twentieth-century popular music: he published a book about the Kinks in 2020 and is currently writing a short book about the Welsh musician John Cale.


Olusegun Morakinyo, Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast, & University of South Africa

Olusegun Morakinyo is currently a Research Associate in the department of History, University of South Africa (UNISA), a Visiting Research Fellow in the History department Trinity College Dublin Ireland; and a Visiting Scholar in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at the Queen’s University, Belfast. Northern Ireland. He was a Writer-in Residence at the University of Stellenbosch Museum, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Transdisciplinary Studies, University of Fort Hare, Alice, and also a Research Associate in the department of Philosophy, University of Stellenbosch. He was the Academic Coordinator of the African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies, University of the Western Cape and Robben Island Museum, Cape Town, South Africa. Olusegun holds a B.A. (Hons), Philosophy, (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria, M.Sc. Equality Studies, (UCD), Dublin, Ireland, and a Ph.D. in History, with a special focus on African Museum and Heritage studies from the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. He co-authored Afrocentric Turn In African Heritage Studies: an epistemology of alterity with Luvuyo Dondolo; and the forthcoming Transformation of Archives and Heritage Education in post-Apartheid South Africa with Geraldine Frieslaar.


Aoife O'Brien, National Museum of Ireland

Dr Aoife O’Brien has recently been appointed curator for the World Cultures/ Ethnography collections at the National Museum of Ireland. She was curator for the Oceania collections at the National Museums of World Culture/ Världskulturmuseerna in Sweden from 2017 to 2022, and has held fellowships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Aoife received her Ph.D. in Anthropology/Art History from the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the University of East Anglia in England where her doctoral research focused on material culture from the Solomon Islands during the early colonial period.


Anthony Haughey, National Museum of Ireland

Dr Anthony Haughey is an artist and photography lecturer in TU Dublin where he co-founded The Centre For Socially Engaged Practice-Based Research supervising practice-based doctorates. His artworks and research have been widely exhibited and published and collected nationally and internationally. Current and recent exhibitions include: In Our Own Image: Politics of Place, Photo Museum Ireland; Open House, Whitworth Gallery Manchester; the film trilogy Assemble, a public artwork commissioned by Fingal County Council and made in collaboration with the Global Migration Collective; Picturing People, National Gallery of Ireland; A Dress for Akunma, National Museum of Ireland; Citizen Nowhere / Citizen Somewhere: The Imagined Nation, Crawford Gallery, Cork, and Go Down Moses, curated by Teju Cole, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. He is an editorial board member of the Routledge Journal, Photographies and chairperson of Fire Station Artist Studios, Dublin.

He recently completed an artist residency at Artlink, Fort Dunree where he produced Anthem, a collaborative art intervention to commemorate the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty signing. He is currently Decade of Centenaries artist-in-residence in the National Museum of Ireland. Recent and forthcoming chapter contributions and journal articles include, ‘Imaging the Unimaginable: Returning to the Scene of a Crime’, Život Umjetnosti art journal, Zagreb, ‘A Landscape of Crisis: Photographing Post Celtic Tiger Ghost Estates’, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies and ‘Imagining Irish Suburbia’ (Palgrave). ‘Photography and The Troubles in Northern Ireland; A Short History’, Handbook on the Northern Irish Conflict and Peace Process (forthcoming, 2023), and he is a co-editor of Socially Engaged Art Across Ireland: Contested Narratives, Places and Futures (Cork University Press, forthcoming 2024).


Briony Widdis, Queen's University Belfast

Dr Briony Widdis is an anthropologist who has worked in curatorial, management, policy and grant-funding roles in the museum, heritage and arts sectors since 1994. She is Co-I for ‘MENII Memories, MENII Voices’ in the Centre for Public History at Queen’s University Belfast where she recently completed an ESRC-funded Research Fellowship on ‘Museums, Empire and Northern Irish Identity’. Briony is Editor of Museum Ireland, the journal of the Irish Museums Association. She is currently working at the National Archives (UK) to research and catalogue the Detached Papers of the Royal African Company of England.


Bill Hart, University of Ulster

Bill Hart taught philosophy in universities for forty years. His first teaching post was as Lecturer in Philosophy at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone 1969-72; then he taught at the University of Glasgow; and from 1977 until his retirement in 2009 at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. It was while at Fourah Bay College that he developed his life’s interest in the traditional art of Sierra Leone. Between 1982 and 1994 he spent a month of each year in research field trips in Sierra Leone, trekking across most parts of the country and documenting their traditional arts and masquerades. He has published widely on the traditional arts of Sierra Leone, is the author of Continuity and Discontinuity in the Art History of Sierra Leone (Quaderni Poro, 1995), and is a Consulting Editor of the journal African Arts. His interest in the links between Africa and Ireland arose out an article he was commissioned to write in 1995 on the African collections in the National Museum of Ireland. His article ‘Africans in eighteenth-century Ireland’, published in Irish Historical Studies in 2002, was the first to document the presence of black people in Ireland at an earlier period of Irish history. He has since expanded his research to take in their presence in Ireland in the nineteenth century. Recent publications have been on George Bridgtower, the violinist for whom Beethoven wrote the Kreuzer Sonata, and the black Irish singer Rachael Baptist.


Simon Newman, University of Glasgow

Simon Newman is currently an Honorary Fellow (2020-2023) at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is Sir Denis Brogan Professor of History (Emeritus), University of Glasgow began his career writing about popular political culture and social history in the era of the American Revolution. For the past fifteen years, he has focused on the history of slavery in the British Atlantic World, publishing a book on the origins of the plantation labor system. He led a Leverhulme Trust funded project creating a database of runaway slave advertisements published in eighteenth-century Britain, and this research has resulted in collaborations with playwrights, musical composers, film-makers and a graphic novelist who are all interested in the presence of enslaved people in Georgian Britain. Professor Newman is interested in digital humanities and the potential it has for new kinds of resources and publications in slavery history. In 2018 he published the William and Mary Quarterly’s first born-digital article, and he is aiming to publish the research he completed at the Institute as an Open Access digital book. Professor Newman has also helped initiate a report into the degree to which the University of Glasgow benefitted financially from Atlantic World racial slavery. Glasgow was the first British university to undertake such a study and to develop a program of reparative justice as a result.

His research is focused on freedom seekers, those enslaved people who resisted by escaping. He just published a book on freedom seekers in 17th century London and the origins of ‘runaway slave’ newspaper advertisements. He is now engaged in a project with colleagues at UW Madison, Montana State University, and the University of Pennsylvania, creating a website and resources telling the stories of individual freedom seekers from across the British Atlantic World, with particular focus on the period of the American Revolution (this project will build towards the 250th anniversary of American independence). Professor Newman is also working on reparative justice and how universities engage with their historical connections to slavery. Last year he held a fellowship at the Warren Center for American History at Harvard to work on this and is working on several papers and articles stemming from this, and from his role in the University of Glasgow's slavery report and reparative justice program.


Nik Ribianszky, Queen's University Belfast

Nik Ribianszky is Lecturer in History at Queen’s University Belfast. Her areas of specialization are in 18th and 19th century U.S. and African American history, women and gender history, and race relations with particular focus on the experiences of enslaved and free people of color in the South. Her book Generations of Freedom: Gender, Movement, and Violence in Natchez, 1779-1865 (University of Georgia Press, 2021) tells the stories of free Black people who collectively inhabited an uncertain world of qualified freedom in a slave society. She published a companion website to the book (link) showcasing various components of the project including an overview of the free Black community in Natchez, the 500+ page transcription of all primary source documents (the Index of Free Individuals and Families of Color) and its correlated database, case studies, an interactive map, and other features. Dr. Ribianszky was a partner with the Enslaved Project through Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at Michigan State University on a major National Endowment for the Humanities grant. Her data article and accompanying database, "Generations of Freedom: The Natchez Database of Free People of Color, 1779-1865," was published in The Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation (link).

Over the last few years, she has undertaken a major collaborative project with colleagues in Ireland and the United States on the history of African-descended people in Ireland from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. She is working with said colleagues to transition Bill Hart’s data on African-descended people in Ireland to a digitized database and website. Although this work is a departure from her previous scholarship which has largely been focused on the American South, it bridges the gap of the Atlantic Ocean and considers the larger diaspora of both African- and Irish-descended people and their intertwined histories.


Phil Mullen, Trinity College Dublin

Phil Mullen is the Assistant Professor of Black Studies and is located in the Department of Sociology at Trinity College Dublin. She teaches on the Trinity elective which introduces students to the epistemology of Black Studies as an intellectual pursuit. This is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field of knowledge that interrogates historical events that have impacted on those who are racialised as Black, while centring the perspectives of Black people in constructing and deconstructing these events. She also looks at the knowledge production that comes from Black activists, academics, artists and storytellers. As she does this within an Irish university, she applies an Irish perspective to the critical race analysis, in addition to more common perspectives such as those coming from the US, UK, Africa, and other Black diasporan regions. This novel perspective is what makes our course so exciting and challenging. She also teaches Gender and Race on the Sociology Department's M.Phil course, Race Ethnicity and Conflict. Dr. Mullen also co-Chairs the Race, Ethnicity and Equality Working Group in College with the AVPEDI.


Mindi McMann, College of New Jersey

Mindi McMann is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Anglophone literature at The College of New Jersey, where she teaches classes on Postcolonial Literature, Northern Irish Literature, and African Literature. She also co-teaches a class in South Africa every two years on the History and Literature of Apartheid. Her research focuses on the intersections of literature, politics, ethics, and nationalism, using contemporary British and Anglophone literature as the center point of her work. More specifically, her work addresses the ways in which literature both shapes and represents shifting national identities in a globalized context based on a range of factors such as race, ethnicity, class, and religion. Her work has appeared in Modern Fiction Studies, College Literature, Paradoxa, and Irish University Review. She is currently working on a monograph about ethics and narratives of political reconciliation. 


Miriam Nyhan Grey, New York University

Dr. Miriam Nyhan Grey is currently a Visiting Research Scholar at New York University, where she has been on faculty, Associate Director (Irish Studies), Director of Graduate Studies and NYU’s Global Coordinator for Irish Studies. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy and has a transatlantic profile in the spheres of diaspora, migration and the history of race. The inaugural Associate Editor of the Glucksman Irish Diaspora Series at NYU Press, he has a co-edited collection of essays forthcoming in the Goldstein-Goren Series for Jewish American History at NYU Press. In 2019 she originated NYU’s Black, Brown and Green Voices project which amplifies the experiences of Black and Brown Irish Americans. Miriam was a founding board member of the African American Irish Diaspora Network in 2020.


Aydin Anil Mucek, UCD

Aydin Anil Mucek is currently a Ph.D. student at the School of History of University College Dublin. He has a BA in Audio Visual Media from the Baltic Film and Media School of Tallinn University, and an MA in Global History from University College Dublin. His research aims to explore the social and political history of race and racism in Ireland. The primary focus of his research is race, racism, and anti-racial thought in Ireland from Ireland's accession to the UN until the beginning of the Celtic Tiger era in the mid-1990s. 


Gabriel Opare, Trinity College Dublin

Gabriel Opare is an archival researcher who studies colonial students and their intellectual legacies. He is currently a PhD candidate at Trinity College Dublin where he is investigating the 20th century presence of Blacks at the historic Irish university.

Eric Morier-Genoud, Queen’s University Belfast

Eric Morier-Genoud is a reader in African History at Queen's University Belfast. He has published extensively on politics and religion in South Africa and Mozambique. His most recent volume is Catholicism and the Making of Politics in Central Mozambique, 1940–1986.


Irenitemi Abolade

Irenitemi Abolade is a Doctoral student at the School of Management, People, and Organisation Faculty of Business, Technological University Dublin, Ireland. Her Current research focuses on “Decolonising Organisation and Management Studies: Embracing the Gendered Colonial Difference”. She is a member of the Africa Scholars Association, Ireland (AFSAI). She enjoys intellectual discussions around Critical Management, Sociology of development, Gender studies, Social Theory, international migration and Diaspora studies, and urban sociology.

Felicity Kalu, Queen’s University Belfast

Dr Felicity’ Agwu Kalu is a Lecturer in the School of Nursing & Midwifery at Queens University Belfast. She was a lecturer in Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin prior to my commencement in QUB in 2020 during the Covid-19 Pandemic. She is a committee member of the African Scholars Association Ireland (AfSAI) and also a committee member of the QUB African Research Network.


Jamie-Lukas Campbell

Jamie-Lukas is the current Vice President of Postgraduate in the Queen's Students' Union and is a 2022 Master of Science International Public Policy graduate of the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy, and Politics. Their research interests span the semiotics of intersectionality related to Blackness and queerness in public service and the military. Prior to commencing studies at Queen's, Jamie-Lukas served in myriad government roles, including as a public affairs aide to former US first lady Michelle Obama, President Joe Biden, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. Jamie-Lukas is chair of the Student Voice Strand of the Education Strategy 2030, a member of the African Scholars Research Network, Co-Founder of Plus+ (the postgraduate LGBTQ group at Queen’s), a member of Foreign Policy for America’s NextGen Initiative, and a former trustee of the Queen’s University Senate.


Asha Marie Larson-Baldwin

Asha Marie Larson-Baldwin is a 2023 George J. Mitchell Scholar studying Public History for her MA at QUB. She is a young community advocate who began her activism working on a campaign as a high school student to rename, remove, and/or further contextualize Confederate monuments in her hometown. Her research interests include collective memory, Black geographies and public histories, and community-building from spatial perspectives. After her year in Northern Ireland, she will attend Washington University in St. Louis for a PhD in Sociology.


Hakim Adi, University of Chichester:

Professor Hakim Adi is Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester. He was trained as a historian of Africa; however, his research interests have broadened to also include the history of the African diaspora. His earlier research and publications focused on the history of the African diaspora in Britain, a relatively new subject for academic study and in particular on the political history of West Africans in Britain. This work sought to demonstrate not only the important links that were established between those in the African continent and its diaspora but also that Africans and those of African descent have played a significant but often neglected role in the history of Britain.

Although focused on Britain my research on such organisations as the West African Students’ Union was necessarily also international in scope and led to further research and publications on the history of Africans in Britain, as well as to research on the history of Pan-Africanism and the influence of Communism on the struggles of those in Africa and the African diaspora. His most recent research and publications have focused on the history of African and Caribbean people in Britain, but his next research project will again focus on the history of the anti-colonial struggle in Africa. As one of the few historians specialising in the history of Africa and the African diaspora, his work has led to many media appearances, work with museums and archives and the publication of three history books for children. It also led him to develop the History Matters initiative and journal and the Young Historians Project.