Busteed Postdoctoral Scholars

Three early career scholars have been awarded the Busteed Postdoctoral Prize to join the Institute of Irish Studies as fellows for 2018-2019.

The three fellows bring expertise in gender and violence in the medieval period; technologies of famine in the nineteenth century; and discourses of Irish nationalism.

Áine Foley

Aine Foley

Áine has a BA and PhD in History from Trinity College, Dublin. Her doctoral thesis examined the lands held by the Crown in county Dublin from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. During the course of her research she became interested in the outlaws and marginalised people living on these lands and their violent behaviour. Since then she has expanded this interest in violence and crime to the whole of Ireland, within a larger, British Isles context.

Research Project:

Women as victims and perpetrators of violence in later medieval Ireland

Áine’s project will investigate women and girls as victims and perpetrators of violence from c.1275 up to c.1500. Women could be victims of physical assault, rape, abduction and murder. Less often, violent acts were committed by women, and though they were rarely accused of murder, women were more likely to commit some types of violence than men, infanticide, for example. Though there is a rich historiography in violence and conflict studies for the rest of medieval Europe, Ireland has thus far been neglected. Medieval Ireland has a rice vein of archival records which Áine will utilise to remedy this neglect. 

Peter Hession

Peter Hession

Peter has a BA in History and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin and an M.Phil in Modern European History from the University of Cambridge. He completed a PhD dissertation entitled 'Social Authority and the Urban Environment in Nineteenth Century Cork' in 2017 with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council which is currently being prepared for publication. Since 2016, he has taught undergraduate courses in modern Irish history at Cambridge, the University of Leicester, and University College Dublin. In 2017 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Irish College, Paris and is currently a Busteed Postdoctoral Prize winner based at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool. Outside of academia, Peter has worked as a speechwriter, press officer, and political analyst for the European Commission in Brussels and London.

Research Project:

Peter's current project explores the role of technology during the Great Famine (1845-52), challenging the perceived ‘backwardness’ of 1840s Ireland while offering a new approach to the issues of culpability and intention which continue to dominate scholarly debate. By examining new and innovative technologies of exchange (i.e. rail, steam, road infrastructure) as well as those of relief (i.e. vats, mills, scales), his research explores how the crisis of dearth experienced in Ireland can be explained as much in terms of technical ‘competence’ as ecological breakdown. The project traces how these technologies both weakened and strengthened access to food, functioning in the ‘grey zone’ between the ‘natural’ and ‘man-made’ contexts in which they operated.


Edward Molloy

Edward was awarded his PhD from Queen's University Belfast for his doctoral thesis entitled 'Race, History, Nationality: An Intellectual History of the Young Ireland movement 1842-52'. Previously, he studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he received a distinction in the MA programme in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy. Before that he studied at the University of Glasgow. He joined the Institute of Irish Studies as a Busteed Postdoctoral Scholar in the summer of 2018. He has taught at Queen's University, Belfast and Newham College in East London. Edward has also worked as a researcher for the Electoral Reform Society.

Research Project

Edward is currently working on a book based on his doctoral thesis entitled Young Ireland: Race, History, Violence. This consists of an explication of the theoretical framework employed by Irish nationalists in the middle of the nineteenth century, specifically looking at the Young Ireland movement. In it he deals with diverse issues such as race, universalism, political violence and the transmission of ideas across imperial and continental networks. It draws on an innovative methodological approach that incorporates critical and postcolonial theory as well as intellectual history.