My husband says I talk about Ireland so much that I should do it for a living–and I’m thrilled to be able to do that.
As an expert on the history and politics of Ireland and the UK, I have conducted research and given presentations to diverse people with varied needs. I frequently help grad students in Literature contextualize the events in the novels of James Joyce. I update Irish-American groups on the latest events in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and I help them to understand these events within the complex context of Irish history. I advise people traveling to Ireland about where to visit and how to get there, and I usually give tourists some tips on local slang: for example, “What’s the craic [pronounced crack]?” means “What’s up?”; and, if you want someone to drive you somewhere in a car, ask for a “lift” not a “ride,” as in Ireland the latter would indicate you’re asking for sex! I provide historical context to psychologists who counsel trauma victims in Belfast and Derry, and I provide background to journalists who report on current events.
Recently, I have worked as a historical consultant on a film about the Famine that includes Irish mythology, and I’ve spoken about the impact of Brexit on Ireland on public radio (I’ll hopefully have a recording of that interview in a few weeks).
Business is pleasure: I constantly read the latest research on Ireland in order to stay up-to-date on historiographical trends and new avenues of research. My husband says I talk about Ireland so much that I should do it for a living–and I’m thrilled to be able to do that.