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Careers in Arts and Humanities (Career Exploration Month)

This panel discussion will highlight some career options beyond academia for postdocs and PhDs with a background in the Arts and Humanities.

Past Event

June 28, 2022
11:30 - 12:30


It is well known that the majority of postdocs and PhDs eventually build a successful career beyond academia and university research. Which sectors and roles they go into can however be difficult to grasp. The panel discussions of Career Exploration Month (see list of events below) aim at showcasing some of the possible career options for individuals with a research background, by hearing directly from former postdocs and PhD about their own careers.

This panel will feature Dr Eliza McKee (Principal Researcher Northern Ireland Records at The National Archives, UK) and Dr Manuela Moser (Festival Director for the Cúirt International Festival of Literature).

The panellists will notably talk about their current role, how they managed the transition from academia, which skills and expertise they use from their research background, the advantages and challenges of their position, as well as advice for current postdocs and PhDs interested in similar roles.

The panel will be chaired by Dr Alison Garden, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow in the School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen's.


ALL WELCOME! This event isn't limited to postdocs and is open to anyone who is interested in attending, including those external to Queen's University Belfast.

This event will be a panel discussion. The Chair will ask prepared questions but also relate questions shared by the audience in the event’s chat.

This event won’t use slides and thus will be suitable for people using audio only (e.g. listening while having a walk etc.). Auto generated captions will be enabled for accessibility.

Our Guests

Dr Eliza McKee

Principal Researcher Northern Ireland Records at The Nationalist Archives, UK (View Eliza’s Profiles on The National Archives and LinkedIn)

Eliza McKee is a social historian of dress, consumption and material culture in 19th- and 20th-century Ireland. She is particularly interested in the clothing of the lower classes, the material culture of poverty, histories of ‘everyday’ life, folklore and vernacular culture. 

Eliza started working at The National Archives (TNA) in March 2022, joining a team of historians who specialise in different areas of history that connect with TNA's collections. Her job title is 'Principal Researcher Northern Ireland Records', and at TNA Eliza is focusing on historical research into records relating to Northern Ireland and modern Ireland. 

Before joining The National Archives in 2022, Eliza completed her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). During her PhD, she taught modules on the social, cultural and political history of 19th- and 20th-century Ireland. Eliza also holds an MA in Archives and Records Management from the University of Liverpool, an MA in Irish History and a BA in Modern History, both undertaken at QUB. She has extensive experience translating her historical research skills for curatorial and archival roles, having worked at National Museums Northern Ireland, The National Gallery, the Parliamentary Archives at the Houses of Parliament, and PRONI. 

Eliza has published widely for her early career stage, with articles in the peer-reviewed journals Dress: The Journal of the Costume Society of America; The Journal of Dress History; History of Retailing and Consumption; Archives and Records and in books published by Bloomsbury Fashion, Liverpool University Press and Bloomsbury Academic. She is currently preparing her first monograph. 

Eliza has been awarded prizes and funding for her research by the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Women’s History Network, The Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and the William James McHenry Award in Historical and Decorative Arts. Whilst working in her current role, she remains actively engaged in her own research and publishing. 

Dr Manuela Moser

Festival Director for the Cúirt International Festival of Literature (

Manuela is currently the Festival Director of Cúirt International Festival of Literature which includes programming the festival week, which happens in April, and also their year round events, including Cúirt Labs, their schools project. Her role also includes financial aspects such as funding bids, directing the strategic aims of the festival, and managing the team. Previous to her role at Cúirt she was a Director at Catalyst Arts, an artist-led gallery in Belfast, and worked at the Belfast Book Festival during her PhD. Manuela also runs The Lifeboat Press, an independent poetry press based in Belfast, publishing work by new and established writers, such as Padraig Regan, Dane Holt and Leontia Flynn.

Other events

This event is part of ‘Career Exploration Month’ in June 2023, during which the PDC will provide weekly online interviews or panel discussion exploring the careers of PhD researchers and postdocs beyond academia. These events are open to all interested individuals, including from outside Queen’s University Belfast.

Full list of events:


Event type
Postdoctoral Development Centre
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Careers Research
Event Organiser Details
Name Postdoctoral Development Centre