skip to content

University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies


Ms Naoise MurphyAHRC Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership, Isaac Newton Trust Studentship 

Queering Irish Women’s Writing in the Twentieth Century 

Supervisor: Dr Caroline Gonda (Faculty of English) 


Despite a resurgence of interest in the occluded voices of twentieth-century Ireland, the queer potential of Irish women’s writing has yet to receive the attention it deserves. My research uncovers queer counternarratives in the work of writers like Kate O’Brien, Elizabeth Bowen, Molly Keane and Dorothy Macardle that challenge the heterosexist logics of Irish nationalism. As part of this project, I engage with decolonial and intersectional frameworks in order to complicate readings of Irish women’s writing as straightforwardly ‘progressive’ or ‘subversive’. Problematising dominant understandings of Irish ‘modernity’, and addressing broader questions of normativity and marginalisation, the aim of my research is to articulate new possibilities for queer Irishness.

Academic Background:

BA (First Class) Combined Honours in Arts with Year Abroad - English Literature and French, University College, Durham University

MPhil (Distinction) in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies, Newnham College, University of Cambridge


Murphy, N., 2019. ‘The Right to Dream: Gender, Modernity, and the Problem of Class in Kate O'Brien's Bourgeois Bildungsromane’Irish University Review 49(2), pp. 276–289. 

Research interests:

queer theory, decolonial methodologies, Irish writing, modernism, twentieth-century literature