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Professor Sonja Tiernan

Eamon Cleary Chair of Irish Studies

Sonja Tiernan image

Contact details

Tel +64 3 479 8634
Email sonja.tiernan@otago.ac.nz
Office G01 Ground Floor
99 Albany Street
Dunedin

Mail
Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand

Sonja Tiernan is the Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies. Originally from Dublin, she studied at University College Dublin and has held visiting fellowships at the National Library of Ireland; Trinity College Dublin; Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame; School of Irish Studies, Concordia University Canada and most recently she was awarded a Moore Institute visiting fellowship at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Professor Tiernan has received funding from prestigious sources in support of her research including from the Irish Research Council, Royal Irish Academy, National Endowment of the Humanities USA and the National University of Ireland.

Professor Tiernan’s research interests are primarily modern Irish history with a focus on social and gender politics. She has published widely in these areas including her most recent monograph, The History of Marriage Equality in Ireland: a social revolution begins This research examines Ireland as the first country in the world to extend civil marriage to same sex couples through a public vote which marked a clear separation of church and state for possibly the first time in Ireland.

Academic qualifications

MA(Hons);  PhD (University College Dublin)

Expertise

Modern Irish history; gender and women’s history; labour and social reform movements; the history of crime and punishment.

Research supervision

I welcome research proposals in the field of modern Irish history particularly in the areas of social reform movements; public history and commemoration; women’s history; the history of sexuality in Ireland; the rebellious years and Irish independence. I would be particularly keen to hear from students interested in researching historical connections between Ireland and New Zealand, broadly conceived.

Editorial and advisory responsibilities

Current research

Articles currently in press include “No Conscription Now! Or after the harvest”: women and anti-conscription in Ireland and England in Women and the Decade of Commemorations, to be published in March 2021

‘“The mouthpiece of the ordinary woman”: empowering women through The Irish Housewife magazine,’ in Periodicals and Journalism in Twentieth Century Ireland 2: a variety of voices and an account of Eva and Constance Gore-Booth for an edition to be published by the Royal Irish Academy, edited by Mary O’Dowd and Siobhán Fitzpatrick, stemming from an exhibition entitled Sisters held in the RIA.

Please also see the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies Research page for further details on Sonja’s current research project - the Irish in New Zealand funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland.

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Publications

Tiernan, S. (2020). History of marriage equality in Ireland: A social revolution begins. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 192p.

Tiernan, S. (2012). Eva Gore-Booth: An image of such politics. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 296p.

Tiernan, S. (Ed.). (2015). The political writings of Eva Gore-Booth. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 264p.

Tiernan, S. (Ed.). (2018). Eva Gore-Booth: Collected Poems. Galway, Ireland: Arlen House, 440p.

Redmond, J., McAuliffe, M., McAvoy, S., & Tiernan, S. (Eds.). (2015). Sexual politics in modern Ireland. Newbridge, UK: Irish Academic Press, 208p.

Commissioned Report for External Body

Conlon, C., Tiernan, S., & Barry, U. (2005). Work-life balance: The Irish National Report. Commissioned by EU Directorate-General Employment and Social Affairs. Retrieved from http://expert.knowledgetransferireland.com/publications/23397

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Other Research Output

Tiernan, S., & Brookes, B. (2020, March). Leaving Ireland. OAR FM, History Worth Repeating. Retrieved from https://oar.org.nz/event/history-worth-repeating/

Tiernan, S., & Brookes, B. (2020, February). New Zealand and Irish connections. OAR FM, History Worth Repeating. Retrieved from https://oar.org.nz/event/history-worth-repeating/

Tiernan, S. (2020, January). Luck of the Irish. OAR FM, OARsome Morning Show. Retrieved from https://oar.org.nz/event/oarsome-morning-show-2/

Tiernan, S. (2020, February). Ireland and New Zealand: A budding relationship. The Luck of the Irish public series, Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Public Seminar].

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Authored Book - Research

Tiernan, S. (2020). History of marriage equality in Ireland: A social revolution begins. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 192p.

Tiernan, S. (2012). Eva Gore-Booth: An image of such politics. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 296p.

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Edited Book - Research

Redmond, J., McAuliffe, M., McAvoy, S., & Tiernan, S. (Eds.). (2015). Sexual politics in modern Ireland. Newbridge, UK: Irish Academic Press, 208p.

Tiernan, S. (Ed.). (2015). The political writings of Eva Gore-Booth. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 264p.

Tiernan, S., & McAuliffe, M. (Eds.). (2009). Sapphists and sexologists: Histories of sexualities: Volume 2. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 260p.

McAuliffe, M., & Tiernan, S. (Eds.). (2008). Tribades, tommies, and transgressives: Histories of sexualities: Vol. 1. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 350p.

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Edited Book - Other

Tiernan, S. (Ed.). (2018). Eva Gore-Booth: Collected Poems. Galway, Ireland: Arlen House, 440p.

Tiernan, S. (Ed.). (2010). Fiametta: A previously unpublished play by Eva Gore-Booth. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 132p.

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Chapter in Book - Research

Tiernan, S. (2019). Sesame Street, drag queens and religion: The introduction of marriage for same-sex couples in Ireland. In S. Ryan (Ed.), Marriage and the Irish: A miscellany. (pp. 258-260). Dublin, Ireland: Wordwell.

Tiernan, S. (2016). 'The revolt of daughters?' The Gore-Booth sisters. In A. Hayes & M. Meagher (Eds.), A century of progress? Irish women reflect. (pp. 65-85). Dublin, Ireland: Arlen House.

Tiernan, S. (2016). Countess Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth. In E. Biagini & D. Mulhall (Eds.), The shaping of modern Ireland: A centenary assessment. (pp. 185-197). Sallins, UK: Irish Academic Press.

Tiernan, S. (2015). Fennell, Nuala. In J. McGuire & J. Quinn (Eds.), Dictionary of Irish biography. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from https://dib.cambridge.org/viewReadPage.do?articleId=a9736

Tiernan, S. (2014). Levine, June. In J. McGuire & J. Quinn (Eds.), Dictionary of Irish biography. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from https://dib.cambridge.org/viewReadPage.do?articleId=a9670

Tiernan, S. (2012). Undercover of The Irish Housewife: A woman's magazine for a new age. In A. Hayes (Ed.), Hilda Tweedy and the Irish Housewives Association: Links in the chain... (pp. 105-116). Dublin, Ireland: Arlen House.

Tiernan, S. (2011). "The women’s suffrage movement among trade unionists": Eva Gore-Booth. In T. K. Wayne (Ed.), Feminist Writings from ancient times to the modern world: A global sourcebook and history: Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. [Encyclopaedia/Dictionary Entry].

Tiernan, S. (2009). "It should not be so easy to construct a man:" A history of female to male transsexuality in the journal Urania. In S. Tiernan & M. McAuliffe (Eds.), Sapphists and sexologists: Histories of sexualities: Vol. 2. (pp. 56-71). Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Tiernan, S. (2008). "Engagements dissolved": Eva Gore-Booth, Urania and the radical challenge to marriage. In M. McAuliffe & S. Tiernan (Eds.), Tribades, tommies, and transgressives: Histories of sexualities: Vol. 1. (pp. 128-144). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars.

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Journal - Research Article

Tiernan, S. (2011). Challenging presumptions of heterosexuality: Eva Gore-Booth, a biographical case study. Historical Reflections / Réflexions Historiques, 37(2), 58-71. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41403720

Tiernan, S. (2010). Tabloid sensationalism or revolutionary feminism? The first-wave feminist movement in an Irish women’s periodical. Irish Communications Review, 12(1), 6.

Tiernan, S. (2009). "A zealous Catholic and notorious trouble-maker": The Gormanston Papers in the National Library of Ireland. Ríocht na Midhe, XX, 171-181.

Tiernan, S. (2009). Hidden in plain sight: Uncovering the history of Meath women. Ríocht na Midhe, XXI, 93-109.

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Journal - Research Other

Tiernan, S. (2019). [Review of the book Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, suffragette and Sinn Féiner: Her memoirs and political writings]. English Historical Review, 134(568), 747-749. doi: 10.1093/ehr/cez123

Tiernan, S. (2019). [Review of the book Markievicz: Prison letters & rebel writings]. Women's History Review, 28(3), 520-521. doi: 10.1080/09612025.2019.1576287

Tiernan, S. (2018). [Review of the book Winning the vote for women: The Irish Citizen newspaper and the suffrage movement in Ireland]. Irish Historical Studies, 42(162), 381-382. doi: 10.1017/ihs.2018.54

Tiernan, S. (2018). [Review of the book Markievicz: A most outrageous rebel]. Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 41, 323-325. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/26435242

Tiernan, S. (2015). [Review of the book Ada English: Patriot and psychiatrist]. Irish Historical Studies, 39(156), 708-709. doi: 10.1017/ihs.2015.44

Tiernan, S. (2013). A city in conflict. Saothar, 38, 131-133. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24897898

Tiernan, S. (2012). In defence of barmaids: the Gore-Booth sisters take on Winston Churchill. History Ireland, 20(3), 34-36. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41507249

Tiernan, S. (2011). [Review of the book Rosamond Jacob: Third person singular]. Saothar, 36, 113-114. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23200054

Tiernan, S. (2011). Hilda Tweedy: The original desperate housewife? History Ireland, 19(6), 6-7.

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Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Tiernan, S. (2018). Markievicz written out of Constitution by de Valera: De Valera’s redrafting of the Constitution in 1937 wiped out record of successes made by ‘people’s countess’. Irish Times, (15 August). [Commentary].

Tiernan, S. (2017). A stalwart lady of the new Ireland. The Irish Catholic, 16 November. Retrieved from https://www.irishcatholic.com/stalwart-lady-new-ireland

Tiernan, S. (2012). Eva Gore-Booth: Champion of the barmaids. Irish Independent, (30 June).

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Tiernan, S. (2019). Anti-conscription movements in Britain, Ireland and Australia during World War One. Proceedings of the 24th Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (ISAANZ) Conference: Foregrounding Irish Women: The Antipodes and Beyond. (pp. 37). Retrieved from https://www.flinders.edu.au/

Tiernan, S. (2017). 'There can be nothing right in a country where such a thing is possible': Women’s campaigns to abolish capital punishment in interwar Britain” [Plenary]. Proceedings of the Genfering Peace in Europe, 1918-1945 Conference. Retrieved from http://genderingpeace.group.shef.ac.uk

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Tiernan, S. (2018, February). 'Make men of you all': The inconvenience of suffrage in Irish nationalist and labour movements. Panel discussion at the Representation, Gender and Politics Conference: Past and Present, Dublin, Ireland.

Tiernan, S. (2018, February). Constance Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth: The revolt of the daughters. Verbal presentation at the Suffrage and Society, Then and Now Conference: Reflections on the Representation of the People Act, 1918, Belfast, UK.

Tiernan, S. (2018, May). The campaign to undermine the legacy of Countess Markievicz. Verbal presentation at the Interrogating Markievicz: Gender, Class and Activism 1918-2018 Conference, Dublin, Ireland.

Tiernan, S. (2018). A curious sort of affinity: Eva Gore-Booth’s transatlantic campaign on behalf of Roger Casement. Keynote presentation at the 5th Transatlantic Connections Conference, Bundoran, Ireland.

Tiernan, S. (2016, March). Countess Markieviez and the women of 1916. Keynote presentation at the 20th National Irish Studies Conference, Manchester, UK.

Mark-Fitzgerald, E., Speller, I., Casserly, M., Tiernan, S., & Evershed, J. (2016, September). Reflecting on the 2016 Commemorations [Roundtable discussion]. Verbal presentation at the After the Rising, After the Somme Symposium: Reflections on Commemoration in 2016, Maynooth, Ireland.

Tiernan, S. (2016, May). Sisters of the revolution. Verbal presentation at the Ireland's Women: Revolution and Rememberance Conference, County Sligo, Ireland.

Tiernan, S. (2016, October). 'Leave your jewels and gold wands in the bank and buy a revolver': Women and the fight for Irish independence. Verbal presentation at the Canadian Association for Irish Studies (CAIS) Conference: 1916: The Easter Rising and its aftermath, Ottawa, Canada.

Tiernan, S. (2015). Courage, conscience and conscription: The female force of conscientious objection in World War One. Keynote presentation at the Irish Women in the First World War Era, Maynooth, Ireland.

Tiernan, S. (2013, June). Eva Gore-Booth: Politics, parity and poetry. Keynote presentation at the Irish Feminist Activism and the Arts, Cork, Ireland.

More publications...