History PhD and Irish Studies Graduate Minor Lauren Jean Wins the ACIS Larkin Dissertation Research Fellowship

Author: Mary Hendriksen


Lauren Jean, a PhD student in History with an Irish Studies graduate minor, has been awarded the American Conference of Irish Studies’ (ACIS) 2020 Larkin Dissertation Research Fellowship.

Lauren is advised by Rory Rapple, Associate Professor of History.

The citation for Lauren’s award states:

Jean’s work on late-Medieval and early modern Ireland utilizes an array of sources in Irish and English to demonstrate that honor was a concept that applied to all in Gaelic society, women and men, regardless of social station. Her close attention to genealogies, legal commentaries, bardic poetry, and medical texts—as well as to the colophons found on many of these manuscripts—enables her to discuss regional variations in the understanding of honor that suggest scholars ought to stop treating ‘Gaelic Ireland’ as an undifferentiated whole. Moreover, she seeks to place her study of honor as understood in Ireland into conversation with emerging scholarship on the contemporaneous communities in Spanish-America and South Asia, thus creating a transnational study that promises to reshape our view of early modern Ireland.”

Read the full citation here

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Lauren had a full summer planned.  She intended to use the Larkin Fellowship to visit archives in the United Kingdom holding manuscripts essential for her dissertation, study Irish at the Oideas Gael in southwest Donegal, attend the IRISH Seminar in Dublin and at Kylemore, and teach a summer course in early American history at her undergraduate institution, The College of William & Mary. Now, with travel restrictions in place, she will work on drafting the first chapter of her dissertation. 

Lauren was also a semifinalist for the Study/Research Fulbright in Ireland for 2020-2021. As an undergraduate at William & Mary, she was an alternate for the same award.

Lauren expressed her gratitude to Professor Rapple, her advisor, and other Notre Dame faculty in these words:

While I've been contemplating this topic since my undergraduate years at William & Mary, my experiences with both the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Department of Irish Language and Literature here at Notre Dame have been instrumental in sharpening my focus, particularly regarding my decision to focus upon Irish language sources in my research. My faculty advisor, Prof. Rory Rapple, as well as many other Irish Studies faculty members including Profs. Patrick Griffin, Amy Mulligan, Tara MacLeod, Peter McQuillan, Declan Kiberd and former visiting Naughton Fellow Mícheál Mac Craith, have been nothing but endlessly supportive and eminently helpful through all the twists and turns taken by the various strands of my research thus far. The opportunities provided by the Keough-Naughton Institute have not only given me unparalleled access to have my work critiqued by the larger international community of Irish historians, such as at the Kylemore Workshop in May 2019 [a workshop sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute that brought together graduate students and their advisors from such institutions as Notre Dame, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Oxford], but have also allowed me to immerse myself in the language and culture in a way that has only strengthened my commitments to re-centering medieval Irish-language sources historiographically, both of which have proved tremendously influential in shaping the form of my dissertation research.