RIFNET: A New Agenda for the Irish Family

Date / time: 15 June, 9:15 am - 5:00 pm

RIFNET: A New Agenda for the Irish Family


RIFNET: Reconstituting the Irish Family Research Network is a major research collaboration funded by the ESRC and the IRC. The network is led by Dr Leanne Calvert (University of Hertfordshire) and Dr Maeve O’Riordan (University College Cork). We are interested in capturing the messy realities of Irish family life and we aim to create a more inclusive picture of what it means (and has always meant) to be part of “the family” in Ireland. The network brings together researchers working on the Irish family across Ireland, the UK, and the world, as well as professionals working in the Heritage and Museum sectors.

This event wil take place online via Zoom, to register please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rifnet-a-new-agenda-for-the-irish-family-tickets-334541732327

A New Agenda: Programme

9.15 am | Welcome

9.30 – 10.30 am | Panel 1: Performing the Family

Liz Kiely (University College Cork): ‘We’re an outdoorsy family’: family display as a conceptual model to understand family

Leanne Calvert (University of Hertfordshire): ‘Queering the Presbyterian family, c. 1700-1830’

10.45 – 12.15 pm | Panel 2: Ideas and Perceptions of Family

Janice Holmes (Dalarna University, Sweden): ‘Manse life: literary and historical interpretations of Presbyterian clerical family life in the north of Ireland, 1880s-1920s’

Ruth Coon (Queen’s University, Belfast): ‘Mixed marriage in Ireland: Perception and reality’

Maeve O’Riordan (University College Cork): ‘Negotiating the Irish gentry family through singleness’


1.00 – 2.00 pm | Panel 3: Looking Outside the Nuclear

Clodagh Tait (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick): ‘His son is his son til he have a wife’: thinking about parenting, ‘other-parenting’, kinship and young men in 17th-century Ireland

Ciara Meehan (University of Hertfordshire): ‘We will be [happy] when we’re a real family again’: Widows and the meaning of family in independent Ireland

2.15 – 3.15 pm | Panel 4: Horizontal Family Relationships

Shannon Devlin (Queen’s University, Belfast): ‘My brother … wept in Cookstown street’: exploring nineteenth-century Irish family life through sibling relationships

Sarah O’Brien (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick): ‘Critiquing the family dynamics of post-Famine Irish emigration to America’

4.00 – 5.00 pm | Keynote

Katie Barclay (University of Adelaide): ‘Emotion and the making of the Irish family’

Image details: Family portrait of Fitzgerald family at the door of Waterford Castle, Ireland, 1909