Professor Gerardine Meaney

European Fellow
Prof. Gerardine Meaney

Euopean Fellowship, June 2021 - May 2022


Gerardine Meaney is Professor of Cultural Theory and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analytics in the School of English, Drama and Film at UCD. Her research focuses on the dynamics of cultural change and exchange, with a particular focus on gender, migration, and the integration of literary scholarship and data analytics. She is the author of Gender, Ireland and Cultural Change (Routledge, 2010), Nora (Cork University Press, 2004), (Un)like Subjects: Women, Theory, Fiction (Routledge, 1993, 2012), and, with Mary O’Dowd and Bernadette Whelan, Reading the Irish Woman: Studies in Cultural Encounters and Exchange, 1714-1960 (Liverpool University Press, 2013) She was one of the major co-editors of the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Women’s Writing and Traditions, volumes 4 and 5 (2002). She is currently an ERC Advanced Investigator leading the VICTEUR project, European Migrants and the British Imagination, Victorian and Neo-Victorian Culture. Previous digital humanities projects include: Nation, Gender, and Genre; Contagion, Biopolitics, and Cultural Memory; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Digital Multimedia Edition.

Project Title: European Migrants in the British Imagination: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Culture

How did Victorian writing imagine the characters and stories of immigrants from other parts of Europe? What was the role of gender, class, religious differences, and new political ideas in these representations? How did migrant writers represent themselves in relation to their countries of origin and new home? This project works at the intersection of data analytics and literary analysis to understand the impact of European population mobility on the formation of British cultural nationalism in the nineteenth century and the transmission of that formation through narrative and adaptation into the twenty first century. The broader VICTEUR project does this by text mining 35,918 unique English language books (including 16,000 works of fiction) from the British Library Nineteenth Century Corpus, provided by the British Library Digital Lab. While this Corpus is extraordinarily rich and extensive, its representativeness in terms of widely read and circulated fiction needs to be tested. Mudie’s Select Library was one of the most successful and influential circulating library of the Victorian era. Creating a ‘Virtual Mudies’ as a test bed will guarantee that the analysis is based on texts in wide and long term circulation. While at IASH I will work on correspondence held in the National Library of Scotland between Mudies’ and major figures in the publishing industry (particularly Blackwood and Murray) crucial to understanding the evolution of public taste and publication contexts, particularly in relation to self-representation by the three case study groups. Long term, this project will establish to an ongoing dialogue between researchers in migration, literature, and digital humanities at UCD and University of Edinburgh.