Current Research


Much of my current research, based in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, is concerned with conceptualizations and applications of citizenship rights, including social, political and civil citizenship, human rights, and issues related to reproductive justice.

Methodogically, I work primarily with photographic images (historical and contemporary) and visual analyzes. Grounded in visual images, text, and archival sources, I'm specifically interested in visual narratives and their political intentions and intentionality. I am interested in how and why historical images are reproduced and recirculated, with the intention of developing new narratives.

In addition to publishing my research in scholarly journals, I also exhibit my research findings in public exhibitions. In Northern Ireland my focus is primarily on the post-accord (Good Friday/Belfast Agreement) period. My research examines contemporary transitions out of civil conflict, and encompasses women's representation in electoral politics, civil society organizing, commemoration and memorialization, and multi-scalar political engagement.

My recent scholarly publications examine: photographic iconicity; textual and visual narratives of conflict and conflict-instigated displacement in Northern Ireland, and official government responses to displacement; 'legacy' issues and oral history archives; and, memorialization in Northern Ireland. Currently, I'm writing a book-length project, Visual Republicanisms: Reimagining Iconic Photographs in the Post-Ceasefire Period, Northern Ireland.

I'm also involved in the coordination of a biennial, interdisciplinary research symposium (www.mun/ca/irishstudies/) for scholars and community members on topics related to Irish Studies (Ireland-Newfoundland connections, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Irish language). We welcome new participants; the next scheduled conference is in fall, 2019.

My publication in the area of reproductive justice in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland examines how access to legal reproductive services are shaped through and by legal and human rights instruments, domestic legislation, and judical interpretations at domestic and supra-national levels, (i.e. European Court of Human Rights and European Court of Justice). Recent scholarly publications examine citizen engagement in public referenda, constitutional abortion reform, spatiality and travel, and privacy and abortion access in the Republic of Ireland.

Largely based on location in Newfoundland and Labrador, my interest and research in photographs and visual analyzes extend to historical photographic collections of women volunteer workers at the International Grenfell Association in Northern Newfoundland and coastal Labrador.

I have developed two, related public exhibitions. They include an exhibition of the E. Mary Schwall photographic collection, and a bilingual travelling, Tangled Threads/Fils Entremêlés, for which I am Principal Researcher and Co-Curator (with Emma Lang). The exhibition examines the International Grenfell Association's unique system of clothing exchange in Newfoundland and Labrador. Student collaborators on this project include former and current graduate students, Ema Kibirkstis, Emma Lang, Estban Ricalde, Jenn Snow, and Joan Woodward. To date, the exhibition has travelled to two cities and six rural communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

As a long standing interest, I continue to publish scholarship related to the discipline and disciplining of Gender Studies. I'm interested in constructions of research methods and methodologies as integral aspects of the project of 'disciplining.'

I have served as an External Reviewer for Academic Programme Reviews in Women's and/Gender Studies at five Canadian universities.

I'm available to work with graduate students in Gender Studies and related areas whose scholarly interests and research is broadly related to these areas and to these theoretical and methodological approaches, including visual and photographic analyses.



E. Mary Schwall: Traveller, Grenfell Mission Volunteer and Amateur Photographer: A Photographic Exhibition

3rd Level, Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University
10 December, 2014 - 30 January, 2015