Institute Welcomes Four Visiting Fellows

Author: Margaret Lloyd

Institute Welcomes Four Visiting Fellows

Four new scholars of Irish Studies have joined the Keough-Naughton Institute as visiting fellows during the 2014-15 academic year. John Kelly, Donald R. Keough Distinguished Professor; Sophie Sweetman McConnell, Keough-Naughton Fellow; Sarah L. Townsend, Keough-Naughton Fellow and Ian McBride, Patrick B. O'Donnell Visiting Professor of Irish Studies.

Visiting faculty fellows are invited to come to the Keough-Naughton Institute to actively participate in the life of the Institute through teaching, research and public talks.


John Kelly was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (where he was a Foundation Scholar and of which he is now an Honorary Fellow), and at Cambridge University, where as a Gardiner Memorial Scholar he wrote a Ph.D. on the Irish Literary Revival under the supervision of T. R. Henn. He taught English and American Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury from 1968-76, when he became a Fellow of St. John’s College, Oxford.

He has written extensively on 19th and 20th century literature and is General Editor of The Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats, which is being published in 12 volumes. He has also edited and introduced a 12-volume series of Irish fiction, poetry and essays of the nineteenth century, under the title ‘Hibernia: State and Nation’, and his W. B. Yeats Chronology appeared in 2003.

He was Assistant Director of the Yeats Summer School from 1968-71 and Director from 1971-76. He was also a founding member and first Treasurer of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literature, and has held a Leverhulme Fellowship and a British Academy Readership. He acted as General Supervisor of the Oxford M.Phil and M.St programs in Modern British Studies for nearly thirty years. He was Senior English Fellow at St. John’s College from 1979 to 2009 and is now an Emeritus Research Fellow there.

This fall he will teach an upper level undergraduate class "Heaney and Yeats:Public and Private Poets" and participate in the Institute's Speakers and Public Talks series. 

Keough-Naughton Fellow Sophie Sweetman McConnell

Sophie Sweetman McConnell received her M.A. in History from New York University where she mined her family’s history for her thesis on 18th and 19th century Catholic mercantile class.  While at NYU, she was a founding member of GRIAN, which supported an annual academic conference and published an annual journal in Irish Studies.  She is a member of Glucksman Ireland House Advisory Board, home to NYU's Irish Studies program.   Sophie is the author of Metropolitan Jewelry, published by the Metropolitain Museum of Art, which chronicles the museum’s jewelry collection. Presenter of numerous papers at conferences and lectures, while at Notre Dame this fall, she will continue her work on the Sweetman family papers. 

Sarah Townsend 2014 Keough-Naughton fellow

Sarah L. Townsend received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011 and since then has served as Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Dakota, where she teaches courses in modern and contemporary British, Irish, and Anglophone fiction and drama. She has published essays on J.M. Synge, Patrick McCabe, Enda Walsh, and others. During the tenure of her fellowship she will be completing her first monograph, which examines Irish literature’s radical transformation of discourses of Bildung in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She also looks forward to contributing to the Irish Studies community at Notre Dame and to commencing new work on the development of British and Irish security in the postwar period.


Ian McBride is Professor of History at King’s College London.  He received his B.A. Honors, First Class from Jesus College, Oxford where he received the Oxford University Arnold History prize for best dissertation in History and his Ph.D. from University College London. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and the British Association for Irish Studies, he has written numerous articles and papers on Modern Irish and British History, including the role of the historian in national memory. Selected publications include the book Eighteenth-Century Ireland: The Isle of Slave (2009) and the article The Shadow of the Gunman: Irish Historians and the IRA in the Journal of Contemporary History (July 2011).