For forthcoming or past events, or previous WHAI conferences, please see our events pages. If you would like to share WHAI member news, please contact us.


19 January 2017

WHAI Annual Conference Call for Papers Deadline

The CFP for our WHAI 2017 annual conference at NUI Galway is fast approaching. Please click here for further details and submit an abstract by 20 January.

WHAI/Irish Historical Studies article prize



12 December 2016

Anna Parnell Travel Grant Prize

The Women’s History Association of Ireland is pleased to announce the competition for the 2017 Anna Parnell Travel Grant, an annual grant awarded to a member of the Women’s History Association of Ireland to assist their scholarship on Irish women’s or gender history. Anna Parnell was the fifth of eleven children born to Delia Tudor Stewart Parnell and John Henry Parnell, an Irish Protestant landowner. Michael Davitt’s proposal to establish an Irish Ladies’ Land League led him to propose Anna as its organiser as he has previously worked alongside her in New York and recognised her administrative ability. Anna Parnell’s life provides a vivid illustration of the immense difficulties faced by intelligent and energetic women in the nineteenth century to find a role and have their voices heard. The travel grant is named in her honour to reflect her vigorous campaigning, which saw her travel widely, and her intellectual and political contributions that were largely ignored in her lifetime. The travel grant is valued at up to €500. Please click here for further details and the application form. The list of previous prize-winners can be found here


24 November 2016

WHAI Winter Seminar

The WHAI is delighsinead-mccoole-posterted to announce its winter seminar which will take place at Boston College on Saturday, 3 December at 3pm. The seminar will feature a conversation with
Sinéad McCoole
, historian and member of the Government Expert Advisory Group on the Decade of Centenaries. Many of you will be familiar with Sinéad’s work, including Easter Widows, No Ordinary Women: Activists in the Revolutionary Years 1900-1923, Guns and Chiffon, Women Revolutionaries and Kilmainham Gaol, amongst many books. Our President, Jennifer Redmond will MC the event and it will be followed by seasonal refreshments. Looks set to be a wonderful event! Hope to see you there.


15 November 2016

CFP: WHAI Annual Conference at NUI Galway, 21-22 April, 2017. Deadline for abstracts: 20 January 2017

The WHAI Annual Conference will take place at NUI Galway on 21-22 April, 2017 and is being organised in association with the Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour and Class. The theme of the conference is ‘Gender and class in Ireland’ and papers are invited from a wide range of time periods across the island of Ireland. Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Carolyn Steedman, Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan, Dr Lindsey Earner-Byrne and Dr Sean Brady. Abstract deadline is 20 January, 2017 and abstracts should be submitted to Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley. Please see the poster below for further details.



11 October 2016

The thesis-in-three symposium will take place on 25 October, 2016 from 3 to 5pm at Boston College. To download the programme, please click here.


26 August 2016

WHAI flyer 2016


08 February 2016

WHAI poster jpeg

WHAI 2016 Annual Conference: Irish women and rural society from medieval to modern

The WHAI annual conference will be held at Queen’s University Belfast on Friday and Saturday 11-12 March 2016 and will focus on the theme ‘Irish women and rural society, from medieval to modern’. The programme promises a wonderful mix of academics, museum curators and professionals, postgraduate students, genealogists and independent scholars. The conference is being organised locally by Elaine Farrell, Leanne McCormick and Mary O’Dowd. For further details on the conference programme and registration, please click here.



19 May 2015

Anna Parnell Travel Grant 2015 – Winners Announced

The WHAI is pleased to announce the outcome of the Anna Parnell Travel Grant Prize for 2015. The committee decided that the prize is awarded jointly to Bláthnaid Nolan (UCD) and Maeve O’Riordan (Maynooth University). We would like to congratulate both very worthy winners and thank the other entrants whose applications were also to an exceptionally high standard. We look forward to announcing details of the 2016 competition in due course.


06 October 2014

2015 WHAI Annual Conference: Irish Women in the First World War Era

The 2015 WHAI Annual Conference will take place on 10-11 April 2015. For the Call for Papers, please click here. The deadline for abstracts is 30 November 2014.


9 September 2014

Applications open for the MacCurtain/Cullen Prize in Irishwomen’s History, 2014

See our grants and prizes page for details.


1 April 2014

Cumann na mBan 100 – Registration now closed

The organising committee for the WHAI 2014 conference, Cumann na mBan 100 would like to announce that registration for the conference is now closed. The main delegate list was filled last Friday and the standby list on 31 March. For those who are disappointed, remember you can still join us at Glasnevin Cemetery on 2 April at 11am for the National Commemoration of Cumann na mBan. Alternatively you can come along to Wynn’s Hotel in Dublin at 7pm on Thursday 3 April where the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Mr. Jimmy Deenihan TD will unveil a plaque in honour of Cumann na mBan.


31 March 2014

WHAI Cumann na mBan centenary events about to commence!
After months of planning, emailing and head-scratching, the big week has arrived and the WHAI is ready to begin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Cumann na mBan. This week will see a range of exciting events commencing on Wednesday morning, 2nd April at Glasnevin Cemetery when President Michael D. Higgins will be joined by members of the Defence Forces to lay a wreath at the grave of Elizabeth Farrell.

Join us for a special event at Wynn's Hotel, Dublin

Join us for a special event at Wynn’s Hotel, Dublin

This will be followed by the Cumann na mBan Memorial Lecture delivered by WHAI President Dr Mary McAuliffe in the presence of President Higgins. On Thursday evening at 7pm at Wynn’s Hotel, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Mr. Jimmy Deenihan TD will unveil a plaque in honour of Cumann na mBan. All are welcome! Finally, at 11am on Friday 4th April we begin the long-awaited two-day conference, Cumann na mBan 100 at Collins Barracks Dublin. As of today, we are now working on our standby list for delegate registration so please be patient with us. Additionally, if you have already registered and now find that you cannot attend, please do let us know. To view the updated conference programme please click WHA! 2014 – Cumann na mBan 100 programme


26 March 2014

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht announces Cumann na mBan commemoration activities

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has today formally announced events surrounding the commemoration of Cumann na mBan. As you know, the department has teamed up with the Women’s History Association of Ireland to organise many of these events and full and further details can be found here Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Press Release 26 March 2014


22 March 2014

Cumann na mBan 100: 1914-2014

The programme for the Women’s History Association of Ireland’s 2014 Conference is now available by visiting our conference page

Registration is now open for this exciting conference. Places are free! To find out how to register please visit our dedicated conference page


December 2013: IFRWH Newsletter

The latest newsletter of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History is now available: IFRWH Newsletter Dec 2013


Winners of the WHAI Anna Parnell Travel Grant, 2013, and WHAI prize for the best gender history paper at the IHSA conference, 2013

At the WHAI 2013 AGM which was held during the WHAI Conference at the University of Limerick, Dr. Mary McAuliffe announced the winners of the 2013 prizes as follows;

2013 WHAI Prize for best paper in gender history at the IHSA Conference: Mary Hatfield, School of History and Humanities, TCD

Winner of the 2013 Anna Parnell Travel Grant: Emma O’Toole, National College of Art and Design, Ph.D candidate. The research project is entitled:  ‘The means to promoting health, strength and beauty to their offspring’: An examination into the material culture relating to breastfeeding in Ireland, c. 1680-c.1830.

The WHAI warmly congratulates both well-deserving winners and looks forward to hearing more about their research in the future.


2012 publications by WHAI members

WHAI member, Dr Catherine Morris, published her monograph Alice Milligan and the Irish Cultural Revival (Dublin: Four Courts Press) in 2012 after a successful exhibition at the National Library of Ireland on the same topic.


Winner of the MacCurtain/Cullen Prize in Irishwomen’s History, 2012

The winner of the MacCurtain/Cullen Prize in Irishwomen’s History 2012 is Celine Connell, who graduated in 2011 with an MA in Modern Irish History from TCD.
Celine was a publisher of financial magazines in London up to 2003. From 2006-2011 she undertook an English and History undergraduate degree at TCD and subsequently pursued her masters in modern Irish History.  At the time of winning, Connell was studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Education at UCD. The WHAI would like to congratulate Celine on her success.


Winners of the Anna Parnell Travel Grant, 2012

The 2012 Anna Parnell Travel Grant has been awarded to co-recipients:

David Durnin, IRCHSS Doctoral Scholar, Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland, School of History and Archives, UCD, whose project will evaluate the extent of ‘Irish female involvement in Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military and Territorial Nursing Service (QAIMTNS) and the British Red Cross’ as part of his study ‘The War Away from Home’: Irish Medical Migration during the Great War Era, 1912-1922’

Dr Laura Kelly, Department of History, NUI Galway, whose research project is ‘Vocation, gender and medicine: Catholic Irish women medical missionaries, c.1920s-1950s’

We wish David and Laura the best of luck in their research projects.


Presentation to President Michael D. Higgins, June 2012

Sonja Tiernan, Secretary of the WHAI 2011-2013 and WHAI Executive Committee Member 2008-2011, was invited to formally present her new book, Eva Gore-Booth: An Image of Such Politics, to President Michael D. Higgins at his official residence on 5th June 2012image


WHAI Annual Conference 2012

The 2012 WHAI annual conference, hosted by Irish Studies, Mater Dei Institute of Education (DCU) will be held on the 25-26th May, 2012 in Mater Dei.

The theme of the 2012 conference is ‘1912: Irish Women before the Revolution’.  Proposals for papers should be approximately 500 words and must be sent to Dr Leeann Lane and Dr Mary McAuliffe at by the 24th March, 2012.


Winner of the MacCurtain/Cullen Prize in Irishwomen’s History, 2011

The winner of the 2011 MacCurtain/Cullen Prize in Irishwomen’s History  is Bláthnaid Nolan, UCD

Bláthnaid is currently a PhD student at UCD Women’s Studies Centre, School for Social Justice UCD.  She is an IRCHSS Government of Ireland Scholar. Her research is on female transportation of Irish women to Australia in the mid 19th century, using the Grangegorman Women’s Prison archives. Her winning essay is based on her MA thesis ‘Disposal of Bodies: Transportation as a system of Recycling Irish Convict Women to Van Dieman’s Land’.


2011 publications by WHAI members

2011 saw the publication of a special edition of the labour history journal Saothar (Journal of the Irish Labour History Society, no. 36, 2011) based on the ‘Bread and Roses’ conference in held jointly by the Irish Labour History Association and the WHAI in Dublin in October 2010. The journal was edited by previous WHAI executive committee member Mary Clancy and her colleague John Cunningham and contains a number of contributions from WHAI members including past president Mary McAuliffe’s essay on an important piece of legislation in the history of twentieth-century women’s working lives, titled ‘The Irish woman worker and the Conditions of Employment Act, 1936: responses from the women senators’. To see an image from the launch of Saothar, no. 36, click here. Mary Clancy also published another article of a more contemporary nature, ‘An equal and just society? Towards recovery: The programme for a national government (2011-2016)’, which appeared in in The Citizen, Issue 4, in September 2011. Mary is also involved in the re-issue of Fanny Taylor’s Irish Homes and Irish Hearts (1867) to be published by UCD Press Classics Series.

WHAI member Clara Cullen has produced work on the history of women and the sciences in 2011, a much neglected topic that is beginning to receive greater attention as the field of medical history widens. In 2011 she published ‘Women and the pursuit of scientific knowledge in mid-Victorian Dublin’ in Donna Spanding Andreolle and Veronique Molinari (eds), Women and Science, 17th century to the present: pioneers, activists and protagonists (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011) and a collection, edited jointly with Orla Feely, The building of the State: science and engineering with government in Merrion Street (Dublin, University College Dublin, 2011), which contains a number of essays on female science and engineering students and female professors in the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland and Univeristy College Dublin.

WHAI member Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh published a number of books and articles in the field of women’s history, including Quiet Revolutionaries: Irish Women in Education, Medicine and Sport, 1861-1964 (Dublin: The History Press, 2011), ‘The Diary of Dr. Kathleen Lynn, 1919-1921’ in The Irish Sword, Winter, 2010, and ‘Irish Nurses in England since World War II’, in Klaus J. Blade, Pieter C. Emmer, Leo Lucassen and Jochen Oltmer (eds), The Encyclopedia of European Migration and Minorities: Since the 17th Century to the Present (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

Clare O’Halloran of University College Cork examined the history of scholarly recognition for women in ‘”Better without the Ladies”: the Royal Irish Academy and the Admission of Women Members’ in History Ireland, 19:6 (Nov./Dec. 2011). For those interested in literary history, Sharon Tighe-Mooney published ‘Exploring the Irish Catholic Mother in Kate O’Brien’s Pray for the Wanderer’ in Eamon Maher and Eugene O’Brien (eds), Breaking the Mould: Literary Representations of Irish Catholicism. Reimagining Ireland Series (Bern: Peter Lang (Oxford), 2011).


Winner of the MacCurtain/Cullen Prize in Irishwomen’s History, 2010

Group closeupThe winner of the 2010 MacCurtain Cullen Prize in Irishwomen’s History is Mary Gibbons, University College Cork. Mary was presented with her prize at the WHAI annual conference, held at Queen’s University Belfast in 2010, and is pictured above second-right with left-right Margaret MacCurtain, her supervisor at UCC Sandra McAvoy, Ann Gibbons, and Mary Cullen. We wish Mary all the best with her future research.

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