Moving On (Goodbye, UCD)

Failte UCD
Slán, UCD
(Goodbye, UCD)

On Monday (1 July), I attended my first history staff meeting at the University of Hertfordshire where I’ll officially be taking up my new lecturing position in September.  This marks the end of an era for me.  Since 2000, I have been firstly a student and then a member of the academic staff at University College Dublin.  During my time there I worked as a lecturer and later Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the UCD School of History & Archives.  More recently, I’ve been the Irish history lecturer for the study abroad programme at the UCD Quinn School of Business.

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 21.13.23

A business school might seem like a peculiar place for a historian to work, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time there.  Yes, it has sometimes been challenging: I’ve had to teach history to visiting business students.  It’s a compulsory course, and many are – understandably – unsettled at the prospect of having to take a module outside their discipline.  Happily, many have also admitted to me that, by the end of the semester, they found that they ended up enjoying the module.  And I got a lot out of it, too.  It forced me to think differently about how I teach history and I feel that I’m a more flexible lecturer, as a result.

I’m really looking forward to teaching at the University of Hertfordshire.  The history staff there have created a really dynamic research University of Hertfordshireenvironment and are strongly student-oriented.  They’ve given me such a warm welcome.  I’m particularly excited to teach a course called Themes in Twentieth Century People’s History.  This course will be a great opportunity for me to draw on my more recent research and to look at ‘history from below’, something I’ve been particularly interested in since reading Leif Jerram’s Streetlife: the Untold Story of Europe’s Twentieth Century.  I’ve also been very influenced by the work of my former UCD colleague, Dr Niamh Cullen, who has been doing some fascinating work on growing up in 1950s Italy using diaries and women’s magazines as some of her sources.

Ireland Flag
Flags representing the international community at the University hang in the corridor of my new building. I’m sure I’ll feel right at home each time I pass the tricolor.


While it will be strange to say goodbye to UCD after all this time, I’m also looking forward to moving on and I know I’m going to be really happy in my new position. Roll on September!



All images author’s own, photographed at source,

Published by Dr Ciara Meehan

Reader in History at the University of Hertfordshire.

4 thoughts on “Moving On (Goodbye, UCD)

    1. Thanks, Niall. The blog will keep going. Working on some interesting new projects and intended to use these pages as a space to work out some of my ideas and (hopefully) get some feedback on them.

  1. Glad to hear it, you have been throwing light on a few corners of my historical knowledge; this format is a great canvas to flesh out what Edward Thomas called ‘thought moments’…and referring to Thomas, it always makes me wonder, considering how many Irish fought in WWI, if there were a band of ‘trench poets’ among them lying neglected…?

    1. Certainly an interesting thought. WW1 commemoration is a big area, naturally, in UK at the moment — one of the project strands in my new department touches on life during the Great War. Will be interesting to see what they produce. Planning on doing a blog post at a later stage on the various & fascinating projects / research centres that come under the umbrella of history at Hertfordshire.

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