We regret to say that our remaining seminars:

Dr Annaleigh Margey (31st March)

Prof Alison Forrestal (14th April)

have been postponed.

We hope to reschedule these in due course. 


CEMS Research Seminars 2019-20

Winner of the Inaugural Centre for Early Modern Studies Dissertation Prize

We are delighted to announce that Shaunagh Marie O’Reilly, BA English & History, is the winner of the Centre for Early Modern Studies Dissertation Prize 2018/19 for her Final Year Project. Shaunagh’s dissertation, entitled ‘Shakespeare: An Inspiring Playwright,’ examining both the sources for and adaptations of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, and Othello, was completed under the supervision of Dr Carrie Griffin (School of English, Irish, and Communication, UL). The prize is awarded to the best dissertation in early modern studies and the competition is open to students from the University of Limerick and Mary Immaculate College. The prize will be presented to Shaunagh at her conferring ceremony.

Read about Shaunagh’s FYP journey on the AHSS blog.

Centre for Early Modern Studies, Limerick; Research Report, 2017-18

To celebrate UL Research Week, December 2nd-7th 2018, we at CEMS are proud to present some of the publications and research successes of our members over the academic year 2017-18.


Liam Chambers (co-edited with Thomas O’Connor), College Communities Abroad: Education, Migration and Catholicism in Early Modern Europe (Manchester University Press, 2017).

Liam Chambers, “Introduction,” in College Communities Abroad: Education, Migration and Catholicism in Early Modern Europe (Manchester University Press, 2017), pp. 1-33.

Liam Chambers (co-edited with Thomas O’Connor, Forming Catholic Communities: Irish, Scots and English College Networks in Europe, 1564-1918 (Brill, 2017).

Liam Chambers and Thomas O’Connor, “Introduction,” in Forming Catholic Communities: Irish, Scots and English College Networks in Europe, 1564-1918 (Brill, 2017), pp. 1-11.

Liam Chambers, “The ‘British Establishments’, the Irish College in Paris and Restoration France, 1814-1830”, in Forming Catholic Communities: Irish, Scots and English College Networks in Europe, 1564-1918 (Brill, 2017), pp 261-83.

Liam Chambers, “Rome and the Irish Catholic community in the eighteenth century, 1691-1789,” in Matteo Binasco (ed.), Rome and Irish Catholicism in the Atlantic world (Palgrave, 2018), pp. 237-62.

Liam Chambers, “The Irish in Europe in the Eighteenth Century, 1691-1815,” in James Kelly (ed.), The Cambridge History of Ireland, III: 1730-1880 (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 569-92.

Liam Chambers, “Irish boursiers at the Collège de Reims, Paris, 1650–1706,” in Archivium Hibernicum, lxx (2017): 41-46.

David Fleming (co-edited with Ruth Kenny and William Laffan, Exhibiting Art in Georgian Ireland (Irish Georgian Society, 2018).

Eleanor Giraud, “Totum officium bene correctum habeatur in domo: Uniformity in the Dominican Liturgy,” Making and Breaking the Rules: Discussions, Implementation and Consequences of Dominican Legislation, ed. Cornelia Linde (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 153-172.

Pierce Grace, “From blefed to scamach: pestilence in early medieval Ireland,” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy: Archaeology, Culture, History, Literature 118C (2018): 67-93.

Carrie Griffin (co-edited with Emer Purcell), Text, Transmission, and Transformation in the European Middle Ages, 1000-1500, Cursor Mundi 34 (Brepols, 2018).

Carrie Griffin (with Emer Purcell), “Introduction,” Text, Transmission, and Transformation in the European Middle Ages, 1000-1500, Cursor Mundi 34 (Brepols, 2018), pp. xi-xxii. 

Carrie Griffin, “Instruction and Inspiration: Fifteenth-Century Codicological Recipes,” Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 30.1 (2018): 20-34.

Carrie Griffin, “Anthologies and Miscellanies,” The Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature, ed. R. Rouse and S. Echard (Wiley Blackwell, 2017).

Carrie Griffin, “Manuscript and Textual Studies,” in  The Year’s Work in English Studies, 96.1 (2017) :213-223.

Michael J. Griffin (co-edited, co-introduced, and annotated with David O’Shaughnessy), The Letters of Oliver Goldsmith (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Michael J. Griffin, “Oliver Goldsmith,” The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets, ed. Gerald Dawe (Cambridge University Press, 2017), 47–60.

Stephen Griffin (with Jeremy Filet), “Duke Leopold’s Irish subjects and Jacobitism in Lorraine, 1698-1727′ in History Ireland xxvi (2018).

Richard Kirwan, “The Conversion of Jacob Reihing: Academic Controversy and the Professorial Ideal in Confessional Germany,” German History 36.1 (2018): 1–20, <>

 R. Kirwan, “Function in Form: Single-Sheet Items and the Utility of Cheap Print in the Early Modern German University,” in A. Pettegree (ed.), Broadsheets: Single-Sheet Publishing in the First Age of Print (Brill, 2017), pp. 337-357 <>

Christina Morin, The Gothic Novel in Ireland, c.1760-1829 (Manchester University Press, 2018).

Breandán Ó Cróinín (le Stephen Newman and Liam Ó Páircín), Saoi na Féile: Aistí ar Litríocht Ghaeilge an Ochtú hAois Déag in Onóir do Úna Nic Éinrí (Coiséim, 2018).

Breandán Ó Cróinín, “Caointe Aogáin Uí Rathaille,”, i aoi na Féile: Aistí ar Litríocht Ghaeilge an Ochtú hAois Déag in Onóir do Úna Nic Éinrí (Coiséim, 2018), 147–77.

Clodagh Tait, “Writing the Social and Cultural History of Ireland, 1550-1660: Wills as Example and Inspiration,” Early Modern Ireland: New Sources, Methods, and Perspectives, eds by Sarah Covington, Valerie McGowan-Doyle, Vincent Carey (Routledge, 2018). 

Gordon O’Riain, ed., Dá dTrian Feasa Fiafraighidh: Essays on the Irish Grammatical and Metrical Tradition. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Gordon O’Riain, “A fragment of an early modern tract on grammar and metrics,” Dá dTrian Feasa Fiafraighidh: Essays on the Irish Grammatical and Metrical Tradition. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Gordon O’Riain, Yellow Book of Lecan: Catalogue Entry of Trinity College Dublin Manuscript 1318 col. 128a-216a (

Awards and Honours

Carrie Griffin, Eleanor Giraud, and Richard Kirwan were awarded funding for the CEMS Winter School from the Faculty AHSS Teaching Board (2018).

Michael J. Griffin, was awarded the Augustin H. Parker Fellowship, Houghton Library, Harvard University, to research a new multi-volume Cambridge University Press edition of The Collected Works of Oliver Goldsmith. November-December 2018.

Michael J. Griffin and David O’Shaugnessy, along with UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald, were recieved by President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin, where theypresented him with a copy of The Letters of Oliver Goldsmith (September 2018). 

Stephen Griffin was the recipient of a Richard Plaschka Predoctoral Fellowship, from the Osterreichische Austauschdienst-Gessekkschaft, Vienna, September 2017-August 2018. 

Mike and Prez

Richard Kirwan received the Gerda Henkel Stiftung Research Project Award commencing 2017. This is for a study of religious conversion, exile and migration among scholars in the Holy Roman Empire, c. 1555- c. 1648.

Richard Kirwan was Visiting Scholar at the Seminar für Neuere Geschichte at the University of Tübingen in 2017. 

Christina Morin and Carrie Griffin received funding for Frankenweek UL from the Faculty AHSS Teaching Board (2018).


Michael J. Griffin (with David O’Shaughnessy), “Talking History,” Newstalk Sunday 2nd December 2018.

Eleanor Giraud, UL Talks podcast “Reading between the lines of medieval manuscripts” 


Carrie Griffin, “Why have we Outlawed Outlaws from the Canon? A Defence of the Robin Hood Ballads and Plays,” International Congress of Medievalists, University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, 10–13 May 2018 [speaker + organiser of two special sessions]

Carrie Griffin, “Women, Compilation, & Writing in Early Modern Domestic Cultures, 1500–1700”, English Research Seminar, University of Limerick, 18 April 2018.

Michael J. Griffin, “Live from the Conniving House: Poetry and Music in Eighteenth-Century Dublin,” The 21st Annual John T. Gilbert Commemorative Lecture, Pearse Street Library, 24 January 2018. To be published by Dublin City Libraries in January 2019 as a commemorative booklet.

Richard Kirwan (Keynote Lecture) “Choices and Chances: Scholarly Career-Making in the Early Modern University,” at the ‘Gelehrtenkarrieren vom Mittelalter bis ins 20. Jahr-hundert: Datenanalyse und Forschungsperspektiven’ conference in the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 21 November 2017.

Richard Kirwan, “Fitting In and Standing Out: The Social Experiences of Scholarly Converts in Early Modern Germany,” Seminar für Mittlere und Neuere Geschichte, Universität Göttingen, 12 December 2017.

Richard Kirwan, “The University as a Place of Sanctuary: Refugee Converts and Religious Exiles at the University of Tübingen (c. 1555- c. 1648),” War and the University in the Sixteenth Century conference in Queen’s University Belfast, 28-30 June 2018.

Richard Kirwan, “Exules et Proselyti: Religious Conversion and the University in Early Modern Germany,” Reformation Studies Colloquium at the University of Essex, 30 August – 1 September 2018.

Richard Kirwan, “Trouble Every Day: Experiences of Religious Exile in the Writings of Jacob Reihing,” Writing Lives 1500-1700 conference in University College Dublin, 6-8 September 2018.

Christina Morin “‘In the hands of every novel reader in Europe and America’: Mapping the Global Spread of Irish Minerva Press Novels,” American Conference for Irish Studies 2018 Annual Conference, University College Cork, 18-22 June 2018.

Christina Morin “Regina Maria Roche’s The Children of the Abbey (1796): Its Literary Life and Afterlife,” International Association for the Study of Irish Literature (IASIL) 2018 Annual Conference, Radboud University, Nijmegen, 23-27 July 2018.

Gordon O’Riain, “Sources, themes and structure in the Poems of Giolla Brighde Mac Con Midhe,” 20th Annual Irish Texts Society Seminar: The Poems of Giolla Brighde Mac Con Midhe, University College Cork, 17 November 2018. 

Gordon O’Riain, “Morris 27 agus Duanaire na bhFilí Clasaiceacha,” Seoda Scripte, UCD Special Collections Symposium, UCD , 30 November 2018.

Gordon O’ Riain, “Moladh ar bhanphátrún i dTiobraid Árann” (Invited Lecture), Seimineáir Léann na Gaeilge, University of Limerick , 20 February 2018.

Gordon O’ Riain, “Dán ag moladh banphátrúin,” Éigse Cholm Cille 2018, Ulster University, Derry, 10 March 2018.


Frankenreads, 22nd -31st October 2018: Christina Morin and Carrie Griffin organised a ten-day festival marking the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, in partnership with the global Frankenreads project ( Frankenweek@UL comprised a number of interdisciplinary and collaborative endeavours, including, among other things, an undergraduate poster competition; a half-day symposium; a screening of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (1974);  a demonstration of the science behind Shelley’s novel with Peter Davern (Chemical Sciences, UL); a reading and Q&A with Cork author Danny Denton in conjunction with One Campus, One Book; a writing workshop for teens with UL writer-in-residence Martin Dyar and Narrative4; an Ogham Stone writing competition; a public reading of selections from Frankenstein; and lectures by Prof. Graham Allen (UCC), Dr. Susan Manly (St. Andrews),  Prof. Tom Moylan (UL), Prof. Billy O’Connor (GEMS), Cethan Leahy (novelist and editor of The Penny Dreadful), and Dr Emily Mark-Fitzgerald (UCD).

The CEMS Winter School in Book History and Archival Skills, 2nd-4th December 2018, funded by the AHSS Faculty Teaching Board; includes a printing workshop in the Glucksman Library, facilitated by Parallel Editions; workshops by Ken Bergin, David Fleming, Eleanor Giraud, Carrie Griffin, Richard Kirwan, Christina Morin and Clodagh Tait, and a plenary lecture by Dr Jason McElligott, Marsh’s Library. Approx. 23 UG/PG/staff participants.



Gordon O’Riain and Aengus Finnegan, Léann na Sionainne: a conference on various aspects of Irish language and literature from early modern period to the present day at the University of Limerick; 28 May 2018.

“Unlocking The Bolton” Seminars

1. Ken Bergin (Head, Special Collections, Glucksman Library): “The History of the Bolton Library,” 25th April 2018;

2. Olivia Lardner (Cataloguer, Bolton Library): “Hidden Treasures, Fresh Perspectives,” 22nd May 2018;

3. Dr Eleanor Giraud (IWAMD): Music and Liturgy in the Bolton Collection, 16th October 2018;

Bolton-King Lectures 

Inaugural Annual Bolton-King Lecture, Dr Elizabethanne Boran (Edward Worth Library): “Buying and selling medical books in eighteenth-century Dublin,” 25th October 2017

2nd Annual Bolton-King Lecture, 28th November 2018: Professor Phillip O’Regan (KBS): Archbishop William King and the ‘folly’ of books: assembling a great library and early eighteenth century Ireland”.

CEMS Research Seminars

CEMS series 2018 (low)





Call for Papers: Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society, Annual Conference, University of Limerick

Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society

An Cumann Éire San Ochtú Céad Déag

Annual Conference

University of Limerick

12-14 June 2020


Proposals are invited for twenty-minute papers (in English or Irish) on any aspect of eighteenth-century Ireland, including its history, literature, language, and culture. There is no specific conference theme, but proposals for papers and panels focusing on the following long eighteenth-century anniversaries will be particularly welcome:

  • The enactment of the Declaratory Act (1720)
  • The publication of Goldsmith’s The Deserted Village (1770)
  • The publication of Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)

Proposals should be submitted by e-mail to Christina Morin ( by Monday, 6 April 2020. Proposals should include: name, institutional affiliation, paper title, and a 250-word abstract. Prospective speakers will be notified of a decision by Friday, 1 May 2020.

Cuirfear fáilte ar leith roimh pháipéir agus/nó roimh phainéil iomlána i nGaeilge ar ghné ar bith de shaol agus de shaíocht na Gaeilge san Ochtú Céad Déag. Iarrtar ar dhaoine ar mhaith leo páipéar 20 nóiméad a léamh, teideal an pháipéir mar aon le hachoimre ghairid (250 focal) a sheoladh chuig Christina Morin ( roimh 6 Aibreán 2020. Cuirfear scéala chuig cainteoirí roimh an 1 Bealtaine 2020.

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Ian McBride, Hertford College, Oxford

Ciarán MacMurchaidh, Dublin City University

Clíona Ó Gallchoir, University College Cork

The conference is co-organised by David Fleming, Michael Griffin, and Christina Morin. Queries should be addressed to in the first instance.

Postgraduate Bursaries

The Society is pleased to announce details of 4 postgraduate bursaries as follows:

Marsh’s Library Bursary

One (1) bursary awarded by Marsh’s Library in Dublin to the value of €300 to be used towards conference costs (conference registration, conference dinner, accommodation, and/or travel costs). The bursary will be awarded to a student currently registered for PhD study who has a paper accepted for the conference. Please signal when submitting an abstract that you would like to be considered for the Marsh’s Library bursary.

Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society Bursaries

Three (3) ECIS bursaries for students currently registered for PhD study who have papers accepted for the conference. These bursaries cover the following costs: conference registration, conference dinner, and one year’s membership of the Society (including copies of the Society’s Journal, Eighteenth-Century Ireland, volumes 32 and 33). Please signal when submitting an abstract that you would like to be considered for an ECIS PG bursary.

PhD students should apply to present at the conference in the usual way and include with their abstract a short statement (maximum 500 words) on why presenting at the conference is important for their research. A panel comprising 3 members of the executive committee of the Society will review all applications after the deadline for papers (Monday, 6 April 2020) and will notify successful applicants by email on Friday, 1 May.


CEMS Seminar Series, 26th November: Dr Bronagh Ann McShane (NUIG)



The third CEMS seminar this autumn semester will be delivered by Dr Bronagh Ann McShane (NUIG). Dr McShane will speak on “Irish Women in Religious Orders during the Early Modern Period,” and the seminar takes place in G08, Foundation Building, Mary Immaculate College, at 5.30pm on November 26th. All welcome.

Dr McShane is a social historian specialising in the history of women, religion and confessionalisation in early modern Ireland and Europe. She completed her PhD (Irish Research Council-funded) at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth in 2015. She has published articles on aspects of her research in leading peer-reviewed journals in the fields of religious and digital history, including British Catholic History, Archivium Hibernicum and the Journal of Historical Network Research. Between 2016 and 2018 Bronagh was employed as a postdoctoral researcher on the European Research Council-funded project ‘RECIRC: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550-1700’, directed by Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan at the National University of Ireland, Galway. From 2018-2019, Bronagh is conducting a study of early modern Irish women religious, funded by the National University of Ireland.


On the eve of the Henrician dissolution campaigns in 1539, no less than thirty houses of women religious were in operation in Ireland, the vast majority of them following the Augustinian rule. By 1542, following a systematic visitation of religious houses and the resignation of heads and communities (who were pensioned off), the majority of these houses had been formally dissolved. Yet, despite official proscription, religious lifestyles for women in Ireland were not wholly eradicated but continued throughout the later Elizabethan and Stuart era, albeit in less formal manners. At the same time, the presence of Irish born women in indigenous European and English convents on the Continent from the early seventeenth century onwards demonstrated the ongoing commitment of élite Catholic families to supporting conventual lifestyles for their female members. This paper explores the lives and experiences of Irish-born women who joined or were associated with religious orders both in Ireland and abroad during the later sixteenth and seventeenth century. It reveals the importance of familial and clerical patronage networks in facilitating access to conventual lifestyles for women and highlights the role of Irish women religious in sustaining Catholic devotional practices which were to prove vital to the success of the Counter-Reformation mission in early modern Ireland.



CEMS Seminar Series, 29th October, 2019: Mr Stephen Griffin (UL)

Stephen Griffin

Our second seminar this autumn will be delivered by our own Stephen Griffin. Stephen is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Limerick. He was awarded the Richard Plaschka pre-doctoral fellowship for the academic year 2017-18 and was the 2019 recipient of the Reverend Liam Swords Foundation Bursary. He is supervised by Dr Richard Kirwan. Stephen’s talk, “Agents and Friends: Maintaining the Stuart Presence in Vienna, 1727-43,” will take place in the Boardroom of the Glucksman Library, UL, at 5.15pm on the 29th October and is open to all. 


Count Owen O’Rouerke, designated plenipotentiary by James Stuart, the Old Pretender arrived in Vienna in April 1727 to represent the Jacobite interest. Initially denied access to the Habsburg court, he was eventually allowed entry though refused any ceremonial privileges. He remained active in the city until January 1743 and maintained a presence at the courts of both the Emperor and his heirs while looking to James’s affairs without attracting the ire of the British representatives. The key to comprehending how O’Rouerke did this lies in understanding his social standing and capabilities. A cosmopolitan man from an equally cosmopolitan court in the duchy of Lorraine, he appears to have been well read, spoke several languages and the sources suggest he was well regarded by those who met him. This paper draws together the different factors which enabled him to have an active presence in Vienna; his ability to socialise and utilise contacts to pursue his aims. It should highlight how it was that through social status, networking and a little deceit he was an active agent of the Stuart cause with little to fear by way of British interference. 



CEMS Seminar Series, 4th October 2019: Dr Ian Campbell (QUB)


We are pleased to welcome Dr Ian S. Campbell (QUB) to the Centre for Early Modern Studies on 4th October. Ian’s talk, “Warfare and the Intellectual Culture of the Universities in Early Modern Europe,” is open to all and will take place at 3pm in the Kate O’Brien room (C1079), Main Building, UL. Ian is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Irish History and Principal Investigator of War and the Supernatural in Early Modern Europe.


Warfare is that area of human politics where most is at stake, and the great intellectuals of medieval and early modern Europe carefully analysed the rights and wrongs of it. But the histories of this political thinking about war that are currently available in English are flawed. They peddle crazy ideas about the Calvinist love of warfare, and ignore important areas of Catholic intellectual life, in order to tell a reassuring story about the origins of the modern, liberal, secular order. If we revise that view of Catholic and Protestant thinking on warfare, and we will be able to perceive some often neglected aspects of the modern world.

Historians of political thought pay considerable attention to the Dominican and Jesuit theologians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, because these theologians distinguished between nature and supernature. Quentin Skinner, for example, understands the “natural” category to be very close to our modern, secular one – an area of human life drained of the divine. These theologians can thus be seen to be preparing the way for liberal philosophers like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. The Dominican and Jesuit rejection of holy war, moreover, is often used as a token of the strength of this natural category. But both Skinner and Richard Tuck ignore the early modern Franciscan tradition which did not distinguish between nature and supernature in the same way, and did not reject wars fought for evangelisation. More strangely, both Skinner and Richard Tuck largely ignore the Protestant scholastics, Lutheran and Reformed, who treated warfare with distinctively Protestant accents (to use Michael Becker’s term). When this range of Catholic and Protestant perspectives, excluded by Skinner and Tuck, are included in our history, it becomes easier to see why the Italian scholar Paolo Prodi saw the development of the European state in the early-modern period not as a process of secularisation, but as a process of sacralisation. For Prodi, what mattered most was not the creation of areas of life free from God, but the absorption by the State of that sacred power previously confined within the Church. Prodi’s vision offers a more life-like portrait of the world in which we live.