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Roisin Higgins

Senior Lecturer in History

Roisin Higgins

About Roisin Higgins

Dr Roisín Higgins did her PhD at the University of St Andrews and has lectured at universities in Ireland, England and Scotland. She has been at Teesside since 2013.

Roisín’s work focuses on social and cultural history with particular interest in the politics of historical memory. Her book, Transforming 1916: meaning, memory and the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising, won the prestigious ACIS James S. Donnelly Sr Prize for the best book in History and Social Science. Roisín was involved in many aspects of the Centenary of the Easter Rising, including acting as historical consultant on the ‘Commemoration’ zone of the permanent exhibition GPO: Witness History. During 2016 she was invited to deliver keynote lectures in Australia, America and Europe, as well as to give numerous public lectures in Ireland and Britain.

Roisín is leader of the public history project ‘Dear Mrs Pennyman’, funded by the Heritage Lottery. Inspired by letters found in Ormesby Hall in Middlesbrough, the project is carrying out research into the lives of women who wrote to Mary Pennyman in her capacity as Secretary of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers Widows and Orphans Fund. Volunteer researchers have found stories of women’s hardship and resilience in the years after the First World War. You can find out more about the project at www.dearmrspennyman.com.

Roisín is one of the curators for National Treasures, a public history project being run in association with RTÉ, the National Museum of Ireland and the Irish Broadcasting Authority. A television series will be broadcast in Spring 2018 to coincide with the National Treasures exhibition at the Museum of Folklife, Castlebar. 

Roisín is a Director of the Irish Association of Professional Historians: 
www.iaph.ie


Research interests and activities

Roisín is interested in the relationship between past and present, particularly during significant historical anniversaries.


PhD and research opportunities

Roisín welcomes potential PhD enquiries from students interested in the social and cultural history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Ireland and Britain. Projects on memory and commemoration are particularly welcome. 

Current PhD supervisions:

Seán Donnelly, ‘Imperial Discourses and Cumann na nGaedheal in the 1920s’.

Timothy Ellis, ‘Visual Culture and State Formation in Ireland, 1922-39’.

Peter McInhinney, ‘Recovery of Ulster’s Gaelic Material Heritage as a Resource for Contemporary Cultural Expression’, AHRC Heritage Consortium. (second supervisor).

Publications

Books:

Transforming 1916: meaning, memory and the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising (Cork: Cork University Press, 2012)

Winner of the ACIS James S. Donnelly Sr. Prize for Books on History and Social Sciences

Places We Play:Ireland’s Sporting Heritage, with Mike Cronin(Cork: The Collins Press, 2011)

The Life and After-Life of P.H.Pearse/ Pádraic Mac Piarais: Saol agus Oidhreacht (eds.) with Regina Uí Chollatáin,  (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2009) 

Book Chapters:

'Commemoration and the Irish Revolution' in J. Crowley et al., Atlas of the Irish Revolution (Cork: Cork University Press, 2017).

”The Irish Republic was proclaimed by poster”: The politics of commemorating the Easter Rising’, in R. Grayson and F. McGarry (eds.), Remembering 1916 (Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp.43-61.

‘The Nation Reading Rooms’ in J. H. Murphy (ed.), The Oxford History of the Irish Book,Vol. IV: The Irish Book in English 1800-1891 (Oxford University Press, 2012), pp 262-273.

‘The changing fortunes of national myths: commemorating Anzac Day and the Easter Rising,’ in K. Holmes and S. Ward (eds.), Exhuming Passions: the pressure of the past in Ireland and Australia (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2011),pp 145-162. (Also published by University of Western Australia Publishing).

‘Introduction’in R. Higgins and R. Uí Chollatáin (eds.), The Life and After-Life of P.H. Pearse: Pádraic Mac Piarais: Saol agus Oidhreacht (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2009), ppxvii-xxx.

‘Remembering and Forgetting P.H.Pearse’ in: R.Higgins and R. Uí Chollatáin (eds.) The Life and After-Life of P.H. Pearse: Pádraic Mac Piarais: Saol agus Oidhreacht (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2009), pp 123-38.

'Sites of Memory and Memorial' in M.E. Daly and M O'Callaghan (eds.), 1916 in 1966: commemorating the Easter Rising (Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 2007), pp. 272-302. 

'I am the narrator over and above...the caller up of the dead: pageant and drama in 1966' in M.E. Daly and M O'Callaghan (eds.), 1916 in 1966: commemorating the Easter Rising (Dublin:Royal Irish Academy, 2007), pp 148-172.

'The Constant Reality Running through our Lives: Commemorating Easter 1916' in P. Crotty, L. Harte and Y. Whelan (eds.), Ireland: Space, Text, Time (Dublin: Liffey Press, 2005),pp 45-56.

 'Creating New Forms: Civil Society in Northern Ireland' in R. J. Morris and L. Kennedy (eds.), Order and Dis-order: Ireland and Scotland, 1500-2000 (Edinburgh: John Donald, 2005), pp 101-112. 

Journal Articles:

The ‘incorruptible inheritors of 1916’: the battle for ownership of the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising in Saothar: The Journal of Irish Labour History (Summer, 2016), pp.33-44.

The hall mark of pluperfect respectability’: the early development of golf in Irish society, Éire Ireland, Spring /Summer (48:1/2) 2013, pp 15-31.

'Projections and Reflections: Irishness and the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising', Eire-Ireland,Autumn/Winter (42: 3/4), 2007, pp 11-34.

'Review Essay: A Drift of Chosen Females: The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vols. 4 and 5'. Irish University Review, Autumn/Winter (33: 2), 2003, pp 400-6.

Other Publications:

‘Remembering  the Rising’: in 1916: Weaving Private and Public Narratives: the online exhibition curated by the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI). 

A Nation’s Voice, Arts Council of Ireland, 2016.

‘The Past is a Political Minefield: public memory, politicians and historians’, Museum Ireland, vol. 24 (2015), pp.13-18.

'Buildings for sports and sports fields', in R. Loeber and H. Campbell, (eds.), Art and Architecture in Ireland, Vol IV (Yale University Press,2014).

‘Carlow’s Sporting Heritage’ Carloviana: Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society, (Number 59), 2010,  pp 7-8.

‘The Irish Sporting Heritage Project’, History Ireland, (17:6), Nov/Dec, 2009,pp 8-9.

‘Sporting Heritage’, Heritage Outlook: the magazine of the Heritage Council, Winter 2009/ Spring 2010, pp 62-63.

‘William Robertson Nicoll’, Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Journalism. The British Library, Academia Press of Ghent, and ProQuest, 2007.

'1966 and all that: the fiftieth anniversary commemoration' with C. Holohan and C. O’Donnell, History Ireland, March/April, 2006, pp 31-6.

Programme notes and glossary for production of G.B. Shaw’s John Bull’s Other Island, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, 2004.

No Place Like Home,(ed.), (Belfast: Tinderbox, 2001)

 



View Roisin Higgins' Publications on TeesRep

In the news

  • ITV News Lookaround
    ITV 1 Border; 24/04/2017
    Dr Roisin Higgins comments about the Pennyman letters.


  • A very different generation
    Daily Mail Scotland, p.29, 03/02/2017, Mail Online, 03/02/2017
    Letters reveal heartbreak of World War One widows.


  • Letters from bereaved women in World War One
    BBC Tees, 31/01/17:Family Tree Magazine, Main,01/03/2017
    Dr Roisin Higgins talks about the letters written to Mary Pennyman by women who had lost loved ones in World War One.


  • Wartime letters
    BBC Tees, 30/1/2017
    Roisin Higgins' involvement in project based on letters from wartime widows


  • Letters from wartime widows
    BBC Radio 4, 30/1/2017
    Roisin Higgins talks about the project on letters written by widows during the War


  • Academic leads wartime letters project
    BBC Radio Wales, 30/1/2017
    Roisin Higgins leading project relating to letters from widows during the War


  • Letters from bereaved World War One women
    BBC Look North, 31/01/2017, BBC Radio Newcastle,
    A project to digitise letters written by women during the war is being lead by Dr Roisin Higgins.


  • Emotional letters will reveal heartbreak of World War One widows
    Love Middlesbrough, 24/01/17
    Dr Roisin Higgins, a Senior Lecturer in History at Teesside University, has been leading a project to digitise scores of recently discovered letters that were written by women during the war.


  • Letters from grieving women take centre stage
    Northern Echo, p.45, 25/01/2017, North East Connected, online, 24/01/2017
    The personal torment of women who lost loves ones during World War One will be publicly presented for the first time as part of a unique history project.


  • The Anglo-Irish Century
    BBC Radio 4, 01/11/2016
    Roisin Higgins talks about the Easter Risings.


  • The Anglo-Irish Century
    BBC Radio 4, 06/05/2016
    Dr Roisin Higgins discusses the Easter Risings.


  • The Anglo-Irish Century
    BBC Radio 4, 06/05/2016
    Roisín Higgins contributes to a programme on Anglo-Irish relations in the post-war period.


  • Tonight with Vincent Browne
    TV3 Ireland, 03/05/2015
    Roisín Higgins takes part in a panel discussion on the Easter Rising on the anniversary of the executions of Pearse, Clarke and MacDonagh.


  • 1916 historical treat
    Irish News, 29/03/2016; BBC Radio Jersey, 03/04/2016
    A timeline of events both north and south Ireland, written by Ballymena academic Roisin Higgins, a senior history lecturer at Teesside University,


  • Easter Ridings
    BBC Radio 4, 27/03/2016
    Dr Roisin Higgins comments about the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Risings


  • Was jubilee the catalyst for the Troubles?
    Irish Independent web; 27/03/2016; The Irish News, 29/03/2016
    Dr Roisin Hughes comments about the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter risings.


  • Ireland's Ambiguous Past
    The Tablet, 02/01/2016
    Dr Roisin Higgins looks at the upcoming centenary of the Easter Rising in March 2016.


  • Research into World War 'agony aunt' letters
    BBC Tees, 03/11/2015; GazetteLive, 12/11/2015
    Dr Roisin Higgins has received a grant to research World World 1 letters.


  • Unearthed letters reveal heartbreaking challenges faced by women during World War One
    BBC Breakfast, 07/11/2015, BBC News, 07/11/2015, BBC online, 07/11/2015
    Doctor Roisin Higgins is leading a project to digitise recently discovered letters that were sent from women whose loved ones died in World War One.


  • Letters from World War One to be digitised
    BBC Look North, 04/11/2015; The Evening Gazette, 11/11/2015
    Letters sent from women whose loved ones died in World War One have been rediscovered and will be digitised.


  • Research into World War 1 letters
    BBC Radio 2, 07/11/2015; BBC Radio Lancashire, 07/11/2015; BBC Radio 5 Live, 07/11/2015; BBC Radio Foyle, 07/11/2015; BBC Radio Leeds, 07/11/2015; BBC Radio Humberside, 07/11/2015; BBC Radio Ulster, 07/11/2015; BBC Radio Devon, 07/11/2015
    Dr Roisin Higgins receive grant to research into World World 1 letters.


  • Research into World War 1 letters
    BBC Radio Cumbria, 07/11/2015;
    Dr Roisin Higgins research into World War 1 letters


  • World War One 'agony aunt' letters found by Teesside University
    BBC News, online, 30/10/2015
    Letters sent from women whose loved ones died in World War One have been rediscovered and will be digitised.


  • Can we let go of history?
    Newstalk, 22/03/2015
    Dr Roisin Higgins contributes to a discussion at the National Library of Ireland.


  • Centenary of the Easter Rising.
    RTE Radio 1, 16/11/2014
    Roisin Higgins, Senior Lecturer in History at Teesside University, talks about the Irish government's plans for the centenary of the Easter Rising.


  • From Tee to Green: the Story of Irish Golf
    Setanta Ireland, 23/09/2014
    History lecturer Roisin Higgins features in a documentary which examines the history of Irish Golf.


  • Young people and happiness
    BBC Tees, 29/07/2014
    Roisin Higgins, a Senior Lecturer in History, talks about whether young people are more unhappy now than they were in the early twentieth century.


  • Conscientious Objectors during the First World War
    BBC Radio Tees, Mike Parr, 15/5/14
    To mark International Conscientious Objectors Day Roisín Higgins discusses the experience of those who refused to fight during the First World War.


  • Irish Association of Professional Historians
    RTÉ Radio; RTÉ: The History Show, [online] 13/4/2014
    This week marks the launch of the Irish Association of Professional Historians. Founder member, historian, Roisin Higgins came in to tell us why they were set up and what they aim to do.


  • Centenary of Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army
    RTÉ Radio; RTÉ: The History Show, [online] 17/11/2013
    Historians Roisin Higgins and Conor Mulvagh discuss these centenaries and the questions they raise about commemorating private armies.


  • Young people's sense of duty
    BBC Radio Tees, MIke Parr, 13/03/14, 11:08
    Dr Roisín Higgins interviewed about young people's sense of duty today compared with the First World War.


  • Every First World War memorial tells a story
    Evening Gazette. 06/02/14, P. 6,7
    As part of Teesside's War, the Gazette's coverage of the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Teesside University lecturer Dr Roisín Higgins looks at the impact of war memorials across the region


  • Historian presents prize-winning book to Irish President
    Northern Echo (Web), 10/12/2013
    Teesside University senior lecturer Roisin Higgins - who shares the same surname as President Michael D. Higgins - was welcomed to his official resident in Dublin to hand him a copy of her book 'Trans