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Research Team


Principal Investigator

Isabelle Torrance is Principal Investigator for the ERC-funded project CLIC and Professor of Classical Reception. She earned her PhD in Classics from Trinity College Dublin in 2004 and has previously held teaching and research positions at Trinity College Dublin, the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, the University of Nottingham, the University of Notre Dame, and the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies; she has also visited Stanford University on an invited fellowship. Publications include seven books and numerous articles on classical literature and its reception, most recently Classics and Irish Politics, 1916-2016 (Oxford University Press, 2020).


Postdoctoral Researchers

Medieval Irish Literature

Daniel Watson holds a PhD in Medieval Irish from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (2018), and an MA in Classics from Dalhousie University, Canada (2013). He has previously held a visiting fellowship sponsored by the DAAD at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, in Keltologie (2016), and was an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Early Irish, Maynooth, before his appointment as an O’Donovan Scholar at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS) in 2019. In 2020 he was awarded the Johann-Kaspar-Zeuss-Prize for the best PhD in Celtic Studies by the Societas Celtologica Europaea. Dr. Watson joins the ERC project CLIC on 1 September 2020 from his position at DIAS, with particular expertise in Neoplatonic philosophy and the vernacular philosophy of early medieval Ireland. His research on the project CLIC continues his existing work, which includes several published articles and a forthcoming monograph, tracing Neoplatonic influences in Irish vernacular philosophy of the period c. 900-1200.


Early Modern Irish Literature

Gregory R. Darwin earned his PhD in Celtic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University in 2019 after completing a BA double major in Classics and Celtic Studies at the University of Toronto (2013). He has previously taught modern Irish at l’Université de Bretagne Occidentale in Brest. His research interests include maritime folklore in Ireland and Gaelic Scotland and Early Modern and Modern Irish-language literature, and he has published several chapters and articles on these topics. From 1 September 2020, for the ERC project CLIC Dr. Darwin examines the use of classical allusion and imitation in the works of Irish-language poets in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially the works of Dáibhí Ó Bruadair, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille and Seathrún Céitinn.


18th-20th Century Material Culture

Ciarán Rua O’Neill holds a PhD in the History of Art from the University of York (2018), with a doctoral thesis on the Caryatid in Britain (1790-1914), having previously completed an MA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art (2013), an MPhil in Textual and Visual Studies (2010) and a BA in Classical Civilization and French (2007), both at Trinity College Dublin. Since completing his PhD, he has held teaching positions at University College London (UCL) and the University of Cambridge and has published on the classically-inspired work of Frederic Leighton in the Sculpture Journal. Dr O’Neill joins the ERC project CLIC on 1 September 2021. His research for the project considers the presence of a vernacular classicism in Irish art and architecture from c.1750 to c.1950, with a particular focus on its relationship to the formation of cultural and national identities.


19th-20th Century Celtic Revival Literature and Irish Modernism

Ronan Crowley received his PhD in English from the University at Buffalo in 2014, after completing an M. Litt in English (2008) and a BA in English and Philosophy (2003), both at Trinity College Dublin. From 2014 to 2016, he was Humboldt Research Fellow at Universität Passau and, from 2017 to 2020, was FWO Marie Curie Fellow at Universiteit Antwerpen. He has published extensively on Irish modernism and the revival, textual scholarship, and book history, including two co-edited volumes on James Joyce, digital editions of Ulysses and of Joyce’s letters and close to thirty articles and book chapters. For the ERC project CLIC, from 1 September 2021, Dr. Crowley examines James Joyce’s use of Homeric parallels in Ulysses, and the impact of Joyce’s migrations on this text, drawing on drafts and notebooks to reconstruct Joyce’s wartime access to classical scholarship on the Continent.


PhD Researchers

18th-19th Century History

Jeppe Høffner holds an MA in History (2019) and a BA in History and Social Science (2016) from the University of Southern Denmark. His primary research interests are in the history of European imperialism and of public opinion. He examines the interplay between these two fields in the 18th and 19th centuries by analysing the discursive, rhetorical and framing strategies adopted by political actors concerning Europe’s place in a world of burgeoning globalization. His research for the ERC project CLIC, from 1 September 2020, investigates how diverse Irish voices engaged with imperial Britain, in different ways, through the lens of ancient Rome. The research centres on crisis points in Anglo-Irish relations as well as challenges to British imperialism more globally in order to assess how the analogy of Britain as a new Rome shifted and developed through political upheavals.


19th-20th Century Literature and Culture

Caleb de Jong trained in Canada, completing MA degrees in Literary Studies at Ryerson University (2018) and in Religious Studies at McMaster University (2015) after a BA in Theology from King’s University (2013). His research interests pivot around late 19th-century literature and philosophy, and the ways in which the literary output of this period functions as a touchstone for shifting ideas about politics and religion. For the ERC project CLIC, from 1 September 2020, he examines the influence of Neoplatonic philosophy on the Irish Literary Revival through the lens of the visionary poet/painter/philosopher George William Russell (Æ). He aims to demonstrate how Æ’s enthusiasm for Neoplatonism cannot be dissociated from his revolutionary politics nor from his religious ecumenism, and, moreover, how this enthusiasm connects him with prestigious forbears in the Irish philosophical tradition.