History Ireland magazine

I’m really pleased to have a piece in the July/August 2018 edition of History Ireland magazine. My article examines at Irish attitudes towards sex and the body, with particular reference to the ‘guilt complex’ experienced by women once married. I look at how magazines like Woman’s Way and Woman’s Choice published sex positive messages in attempt to alleviatingContinue reading “History Ireland magazine”

My ‘People’s Lives’ module in our NEW Taught MA in History!

We’re really excited to be launching an new Taught MA in History at the University of Hertfordshire in September, and I’m particularly excited about the module that I’ll be teaching, People’s Lives from the Nineteenth Century to the Present Day! This ‘history from the streets’ module captures what the MA is all about — connectingContinue reading “My ‘People’s Lives’ module in our NEW Taught MA in History!”

‘I just yielded to temptation’: Open-Counter Shopping and the Growth of Shoplifting in 1960s Ireland

When I declared to a colleague in work recently that I had become obsessed with shoplifting, I probably should have clarified what I meant! I haven’t suddenly taken a shine to pocketing items from local stores.  Rather, while doing some research to finish off the section on the changing shopping habits of housewives in 1960sContinue reading “‘I just yielded to temptation’: Open-Counter Shopping and the Growth of Shoplifting in 1960s Ireland”

‘Generation What?’ documentary, RTÉ

Generation What? airs on RTÉ tomorrow evening. I was interviewed for this new documentary about millennials (18-34-year-olds) and the factors shaping their lives. The documentary comes out of a European-wide survey in which the same questions were asked of all participating countries, allowing for the results to be compared country-by-country. You can find the results here.

Drivetime: Liam Cosgrave’s Legacy

This afternoon I was back on radio to discuss Liam Cosgrave’s legacy again. By phone, I joined Michael Kennedy and Chris Glennon who were in studio with Mary Wilson, presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime. Listen back here.

Kilkenny marks centenary of WT Cosgrave’s by-election victory

I was recently in Kilkenny to give the keynote at a day-long event to mark the centenary of WT Cosgrave’s by-election victory in 1917. As part of the decade of commemorations, there have been a number of events around the country reflecting on the series of by-elections that occurred in 1917. These were important momentsContinue reading “Kilkenny marks centenary of WT Cosgrave’s by-election victory”

Advice for when you are the ‘token woman’

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at the Women on Ireland Network annual conference. This year’s theme was Women and Irishness, and it was easily the most useful conference I’ve been to in years. In addition to hearing some great papers, I met some really wonderful and inspiring women. The event drew to aContinue reading “Advice for when you are the ‘token woman’”

The Just Society: a symbol of internal division

Writing in The Irish Times, Fiach Kelly suggested that ‘for Simon Coveney, it is the soul of Fine Gael. For the supporters of Leo Vardakar, it is just a slogan’. Kelly was referring to Declan Costello’s Just Society, which has been somewhat frequently mentioned in the current Fine Gael leadership contest. I’ve been intrigued to hearContinue reading “The Just Society: a symbol of internal division”

Public Event: 90th Anniversary of ESB

I was delighted to receive an invitation to speak at an upcoming partnership event between the Irish Society for Archives and ESB to mark the 90th anniversary of the latter. My talk will explore the impact that electricity had on women’s domestic lives, a theme I’m currently working on in two ways. My current project examinesContinue reading “Public Event: 90th Anniversary of ESB”

Monica McEnroy & the Women’s Movement in 1960s Ireland

Who is Monica McEnroy? I’ve taken annual leave from work this week so that I can focus on my book manuscript. To explain briefly, the book is about representations and expectations of Irish women in the 1960s as seen through the lens of women’s magazines. I’m currently tackling the chapter on 1960s motherhood, which has causedContinue reading “Monica McEnroy & the Women’s Movement in 1960s Ireland”

‘Am I Pregnant?’: Women’s Magazines as a Source of Information

I’ve been blogging about 1960s women’s magazines as sources of information about pregnancy in a pre-digital age over on the Perceptions of Pregnancy blog. When I was fifteen, I had intercourse. I’m nineteen now and though I get periods regularly I wonder if I could become pregnant as a result of what happened then.[1] WhenContinue reading “‘Am I Pregnant?’: Women’s Magazines as a Source of Information”

Three Decades of Fine Gael Leadership Challenges

Few political leaders leave on their own terms. At tonight’s meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, Enda Kenny pledged to deal conclusively with the leadership issue when he returns from the United States after his St Patrick’s Day visit next month. Although it seems he will name the date of his departure, his handContinue reading “Three Decades of Fine Gael Leadership Challenges”

New Exhibition: Electric Generations

I’m very excited to be working on a new exhibition with my wonderful colleagues, Owen Davies and Ceri Houlbrook, from the University of Hertfordshire, and Deirdre McParland from ESB. Electric Generations: The Story of Electricity in Irish Homes grew, in part, out of the ‘New Technologies’ section of my Modern Wife, Modern Life exhibition.

New Book: Perceptions of Pregnancy

Perceptions of Pregnancy from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan. This collection of chapters, which I co-edited with my University of Hertfordshire colleague Jennifer Evans, is written by members of the Perceptions of Pregnancy Researchers’ Network. Jen and I co-founded this network in summer 2014 following our hugely successfulContinue reading “New Book: Perceptions of Pregnancy”

Sex Education Without the Sex

I like to dip into previously watched programmes on Netflix whenever I’m too tired to fully concentrate but want to unwind by watching some TV. Recently, I’ve taken to watching Orange is the New Black again. Early on in episode four of season two, viewers find Poussey, Taystee, Suzanne ‘crazy eyes’, Black Cindy and Janae inContinue reading “Sex Education Without the Sex”

Leinster House: Seat of Power documentary

A new documentary exploring the history of Leinster House as the site of the Irish parliament aired tonight on Oireachtas TV. Presented by John Bowman, it looks at how the building was adapted and used to house the government of independent Ireland. I contributed to the documentary and offered commentary on the Cumann na nGaedheal governmentsContinue reading “Leinster House: Seat of Power documentary”

Voices of the Home Front at The National Archives

For the past three days I’ve been at The National Archives at Kew with my colleagues from the Everyday Lives in War centre. In conjunction with the Archives, we organised Voices of the Home Fronts, a three day conference exploring aspects of the home fronts during and after the First World War.

1960s Housewives: Content or Unconsciously Oppressed?

This post is really just me thinking out loud, as I try to work through one of the research questions with which I’m grappling at the moment: were Irish housewives in the 1960s content, or were the unconsciously oppressed? Thinking about it is leading me into the realms of philosophical debate.

Single Women in the 1960s

Cinemas are currently showing the trailer for Bridget Jones’s Baby, the third instalment in the franchise which will be released later this year. Renée Zellweger has reprised the role of Bridget Jones, the woman who popularised the term ‘singleton’. Before I read Helen Fielding’s novels, I can’t honestly say that I’d previously heard the term ‘singleton’.Continue reading “Single Women in the 1960s”

Special issue of Women’s History

Back in July 2014, Jennifer Evans and I organised Perceptions of Pregnancy: From the Medieval to the Modern, a three-day international conference. Arising out of that conference, we guest edited a special issue of Woman’s History, the journal of the Women’s History Network (WHN), which was published today.

Modern Wife, Modern Life Exhibition One Year On

Just over one year ago, Modern Wife, Modern Life: an Exhibition of Women’s Magazines from 1960s Ireland opened at the National Print Museum in Dublin (1 July – 30 August 2015). Since then, it has gone on to visit dlr LexIcon in Dún Laoghaire, Wexford Town Library, and Westport Library in Mayo. Leaving Ireland this summer, theContinue reading “Modern Wife, Modern Life Exhibition One Year On”

The Dangers of Washing Machines

There’s a lot of waiting around during the blessings of the graves, especially in cemeteries like St Colmcille’s in Swords, North County Dublin. My mum’s family are buried in the older part of the cemetery, towards the back, and as the blessings start in the newer section, it always takes a while for the priestsContinue reading “The Dangers of Washing Machines”