Dr Catherine Morris
SENIOR LECTURER IN CREATIVE WRITING
0151 291 3238 .
Research Expertise and Interest
Creative non-fiction, comparative literature, avant-garde arts practices, auto-fiction, creative life-writing, archive, feminist visual arts practice and culture, drama, theatre performance, curation, documentary playwriting, Universities as hubs of artistic innovation, Irish feminist modernism, human rights cultural activism.
I am an educationalist, writer, archival and interpretive scholar, a curator and a creative artist. Publication of my first monograph Alice Milligan and the Irish Cultural Revival, coincided with my curation of an exhibition in the National Library of Ireland that reconceptualized Irish modernism highlighting in particular the marginalised work of women human rights cultural activists. I gifted my entire research archive to Omagh Public Library as a public learning resource in homage to the Peace Process. As a creative artist, I have worked both as a writer, most recently in my memoir that is also the memoir of Liverpool, Intimate Power: Autobiography of a City; as a performer and theatre practitioner, as in my performance poem A Woman in Mexico City or my work on several plays; and as a creative director and adviser on many projects over the years in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.
In the last ten years, I have curated for major international, national, and regional institutions including the National Library of Ireland, New York Public Library, the Museum of Cambridge, Irish Museum of Modern Art and Central Library Liverpool. At the same time, I have continued to publish scholarly work including recent essays for the Cambridge Themes in Irish Culture Series (2023), Etudes Irlandaises: Special Issue Ireland and Intangible Cultural Heritage (2022), Fifty Key Irish Plays (Routledge, 2022) and as an editor of the international peer reviewed journal Performing in Digital, Special Issue of Research in Drama Education (2022). In 2022, I was elected to Irish PEN/PEN na hEireann. My work has twice been honoured by the President of Ireland at public ceremonies: in 2012 at Aras an Uachtarain and again in 2019 with a state visit to read from my work at Central Library Liverpool.
I have been the recipient of Research Fellowships at St John's College Oxford (2000-2004), Queen's College, Belfast (2004-2005) and at the John Hulme Global Irish Institute, University College Dublin (2008-2010). Academic reader for Notre Dame University Press and Cambridge University Press, I have served as Progress and Welfare Coordinator for the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Sussex, Cultural Coordinator for Trinity College Dublin and was honoured to serve as the first Director of the Museum of Cambridge.
My undergraduate and postgraduate studies in comparative literature were completed at the Universities of Cambridge, Salamanca, Aberdeen and at Trinity College Dublin. For almost three decades, I have worked at the intersections of teaching theory and practice at the Universities of Galway, Cambridge, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Queen's College, Belfast and University College Dublin. As Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Hope University Liverpool, I teach a range of practice based and academic modules in Creative Writing and Literature and promote the development of a culture of practice-based research. Over the decades, I have served on Doctoral Student Research Panels as both an advisor and examiner. At Trinity College Dublin, I helped found two new Mphil postgraduate programmes in Digital Humanities and Public Culture that were co-delivered in association with Ireland's National Cultural Institutions (galleries, museum, libraries). At Galway, I wrote a new MA in Curating and Producing and devised new modules for the MA in Playwriting.
Elected Writer-in-Residence at Dublin Writers' Centre, I was also honoured to be appointed first Writer-in-Residence at Central Library, Liverpool in 2016. In addition to the journal I co-founded in Galway for the city's Capital of Culture The Art of Re-Imagining (2021), I am co-editor of two internationally peer reviewed journal special issues in Postcolonial Connolly: Special Issue of Interventions, the International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (2008) and Performing in Digital, Special Issue Research in Drama Education (2022). Appointed research editor on The Bibliography of Irish Fiction, 1600-1900, I further developed my editorial skills at St John's College Oxford as research editor with Professor John Kelly on volumes of the The Letters of W.B. Yeats (Oxford University Press).
My artistic practice, ranging as it does across curation, creative non-fiction, documentary play-writing and performance impacts my teaching as well as my own creative writing: at Hope University and at Galway and University College Dublin, I have expanded the areas of literature and literary non-fiction through genres such as playwriting, creative essays and creative life-writing, enabling students to involve themselves deeply with their local environments in Ireland and in Liverpool. This draws on my own archival practice while offering inventive means and forms though which to engage students differently with their own experiences, attempts to create their own unique archive from their shared collective histories. I attempt in my teaching to rethink writing alongside challenging the modes in which study and performance take place: I aim to demonstrate in workshops how students and members of the larger community can use archives as inspiration that enables new modes of expression, such as auto-fiction, performance, collectivist writing, use of testimony and photography in 'stories to change the world'.
I have devised, delivered and assessed undergraduate and postgraduate modules in an interdisciplinary range of creative writing, literature, drama, curating and producing including: BA, Elective, MA and MFA Creative Writing programmes at UCD; MA programmes in Playwriting & Devised Practice and in Curating and Producing; Literary Modernism and Creative Writing at Galway. At Queen's College Belfast, I taught on the MA in Irish Studies (with a focus on feminist visual culture and literatures of non-textual production). I am a founder of the Centre for Creative Arts Practice at Galway and the Artist Centre for Human Rights (Liverpool artist project 2015-2018). I work with artists and a range of community groups in Liverpool and Ireland (such a Liverpool Carers Centre) to devise and deliver creative writing workshops. I welcome the opportunity to teach undergraduate and postgraduates in creative writing and comparative literatures.
The Art of Aftermath with New York photographer Tim Maul, (2023 Publication TBC).
Intimate Power: Autobiography of a City Book (Completed manuscript).
Alice Milligan and the Irish Cultural Revival, (Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2012 hbk; ppk with new preface by Declan Kiberd, 2013).
Co-Editor Lonergan European Capitals of Culture: The Art of Imagining (Summer 2021).
Co-Editor Performing in Digital, Special Issue Research in Drama Education (Publication Summer 2022).
Co-editor Post-Colonial Connolly: Special Issue of Interventions, an International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (Spring/Summer 2008). This issue includes the lost 1916 Connolly play.
Performance poem A Woman in Mexico City said They took so much of us they also took our fear, The New Pretender December 2020.
Play Towards May 12th published in The New Pretender May 2020.
Graphic Novel Alice Milligan/Francis Ledwidge, Graphic Novel about Alice Milligan, designed and published by Nerve Centre, April 2016; launched onto the National Curriculum Key Stage 3 in secondary schools across Northern Ireland.
- Erin Fettered; Erin Free Revival Feminism: History, Politics, Art, Cambridge Themes in Irish Culture Series edited by Gregory Castle and Ronan McDonald (publication date Winter 2023)
- My so strange roots: Performing Archive; Embodying Memory, Etudes Irlandaises Special Issue Ireland and Intangible Cultural Heritage (47-1 2022), pp. 33-47.
- The Last Feast of the Fianna, Fifty Key Irish Plays. Ed. Shaun Richards, (Routledge, 2022).
- Staging Censorship, Human Rights and Europe: Heaney's Burial at Thebes (publication TBC)
- Teaching Theatre Archives as Practice, International Association Museums, Archives and Documentation Centre of the Performing Arts Paris (2018; published 2023.)
- Visual Culture and performance in Representing Revolution in Irish Culture: Special Issue of Review of Irish Studies in Europe (edited by Rod Stoneman & Sean Crosson), 2018.
- Alice Milligan: Republican Tableaux and the Revival, Field Day Review, (December 2010).
- In the enemy's camp Cities of Belfast ed. A. Kelly, (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2003).
- Becoming Irish? The Paradoxes of Identity, Irish University Review (2003).
- Putting Belfast into the Cultural Revival Picture, Irish Times 27 January 2007.
- Exhibition Booklet: El Lissitzky: Artist and State (IMMA, 2015)
- Exhibition Catalogue Human Rights in Performance (National Library of Ireland, 2012)
- Document! Visual arts archives, (National Irish Visual Arts Library, 2012)
- Alice Maher Retrospective 'Breathing it all in: gendered bodies in the Art of Alice Maher', (IMMA 2012)
Reports into Universities, Culture & Arts
- Universities in New York, Dublin and Liverpool: Connecting Culture with Art (Dublin: Trinity Long Room Hub, 2012)
- Practice Orientated Degrees & Creative City Partnerships: London, York and Dublin (Trinity Long Room Hub, 2012)
- Libraries Facing the Digital Challenge (Dublin: Trinity Long Room Hub, 2012).
- Research editor with R. Loeber, Bibliography of Irish Fiction, 1650-1900 (Four Courts Press, 2006).
- Research editor with John Kelly The Letters of W. B. Yeats, 1907-12 (Oxford University Press).
Fellowships, Selected Grant Applications and Awards
- Markievicz Award, Arts Council Ireland Artist Project with Mairead Ni Chronin submitted February 2023
- Principal Investigator, Creative Europe bid to bring 88 contemporary writers and emerging artists from 42 European countries to Galway for workshops with writers and artists based in Ireland 2019
- Galway University Strategy Grant Award 150k awarded in 2019 to hire Post-doctoral Researcher to lead European Capital of Culture Arts Evaluation Project
- Government of Ireland award, Labour, Gender Class Conference Galway 2019
- Writer-in-Residence Central Library Liverpool, Arts Council award 2015-17
- Elected Hon. Fellow, Centre for Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, 2015-2021.
- Elected Writer-in-Residence, Dublin Writers' Centre, 2008-2010
- Irelands Fund 2010 Exhibition & National Public Town Hall Debate Series
- IRCHSS Co Fund Bid Public Digital Curation of Archive exhibitions 2011
- EU Cultural Programme 2007-2013 TCD Awarded 2012
- National Universities Project grant Awarded 2011
- Tyrone Association Communities Project Grant Awarded 2012
- Liverpool City Council publishing award (2012)
- French Embassy publishing award
- Belfast Cross Community Council publishing award 2013
- SHARE Grants Museum of Cambridge Three Awards: 2013-14
- City Council Arts and Community Development Grant 50k awarded 2014
- Art Fund Grant 21k awarded 2014
- V&A Purchase Fund 2014 21k awarded 2014
Public & University Service
- Elected to Irish PEN/PEN na hEireann 2022
- Founder Creative Writing for Carers' Liverpool 2023
- Co-lead, LIMINA Liverpool Hope Research Group Hope (Philosophy / Creative Practice) 2023-
- Lead, InterUnivesity Research Forum Liverpool 2022-
- Lead Humanities Research Forum, Liverpool Hope University 2022-
- Board Member University Network of the European Capitals of Culture (2017-)
- Liverpool Libraries Literary Task Force, Liverpool City Council (2015-)
- Founding member Centre for Creative Arts Research, University of Galway
- Founding member Artist Centre for Human Rights (Liverpool Artist Project, 2015-2018)
- Member International Federation for Theatre Research (2017-2021)
- Member University Network of Capitals of Culture (2017-2021)
- Member Abbey Theatre Digital Archives Steering Group (2017-2021)
- Member NUI Galway Library Archives Strategy Group (2017-2021)
- Member NUI Galway European Capital of Culture University Steering Committee (2017-2021)
- Member International Association Museums, Archives and Documentation Centre of the Performing Arts Paris (2018)
- Conference theatre coordinator: Decade Centenary conference (Galway 2019)
- Judge for Jermone Hynes One-Act Play Awards, 2017-2021
Selected Exhibitions & Public Cultural Events Exhibitions
- Curator Intimate Power: Autobiography of a City Central Library Liverpool, 2018
- Creative Advisor The Two Deaths of Roger Casement, play with Cia Ludens, 2018
- Creative Director: Arts in Action with Stella McCusker, Galway, 2017
- Writer/Director: X-Ray Plath Culture Night, Ireland 2017
- Guest Curator El Lissitzky: The Artist and State Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2015
- Contributor British Folk Art (Tate Britain, 2014).
- Curator Women Painters, 1880-1921 Museum of Cambridge, 2013.
- Curator The Irish Cultural Revival, National Library of Ireland, 2012. Opened by Fiona Shaw.
- Curatorial Advisor The Ties That Bind: Ireland & America New York Public Library, 2011.
- With Gabriel Byrne Culture and Community public discussion Millbank Theatre 2011.
- Curator with Imagine Ireland of The Summer Salon, New York Public Library 2011
- Chair, Cities Forum, Policy Institute, Trinity College 2011
- Curator Round Table Creativity & the City, New York Public Library 2011
- Curator International Women's Day National Library of Ireland, 2011
- Curator Ninette De Valois & the Ballets Russes Oonagh Young Gallery 2010
Selected Plenary Lectures, Public Talks & Conference Papers
Since I was invited to give the Field Day public lectures in Derry in 1998, I have delivered community talks, plenary lectures and conferences papers including at the Yeats and the Parnell Summer Schools and international Literary Festivals. Here is a selection from the past five years:
- Archive & Urban Autofiction, LIMINA Research Group, Hope University 2023.
- Beyond Partition: Feminism & Literature Irish Studies Research, Hope University 2022.
- Capitals of Culture, Univercities & Culture Conference (webinar) 2021.
- Creative Writing and the Art of Commitment, University College Dublin 2021.
- Black Lives Matter: Culture & Politics public conversation with Antonella Bundu 2021.
- Edward Bunting: Culture & Archive, NI Public Libraries, 2021.
- Liverpool's Collective Encounters online recorded conversation 2020.
- Sixteen Days of Action: performance poem Galway Capital of Culture, 2020.
- On Writing conversation with Emer Nolan, Maynooth University 2020.
- Gender and the Archives workshop for the Sorbonne at the National Library of Ireland, 2019.
- Human Rights & the Archive Siobhan McKenna Symposium, NUI Galway, 2019.
- Women Writers and the Invention of the Self, Galway, 2019.
- Plenary lecture Space, Obligation, Place conference, Maynooth 2018.
- Live performance in digital archives Bibliotheque Nationale de France, 2018.
- The archives in Urban Memoir, Irish Studies Research Seminar, Galway 2019.
- Biennial exhibition opening address Central Library, Liverpool 2018.
- Seamus Heaney and European Literature, conference paper University of Valetta, 2018.
- Modern Irish Literature, plenary Thomas MacDonagh Centenary Lough Jordon 2018.
- Writing, Walking, Performance, Maynooth English Department Research Seminar 2018.
- Theatre making with New York Feminist Theatre Collective, Galway 2018.
- Participant, Unexploded Ordinances Split Britches Galway Theatre Festival 2018.
- Hybrid Histories: conversation with artist Alice Maher, Trinity College Dublin 2017.
- Creative Writing & Autobiography, Central Library Liverpool 2017.
- Literatures of Change: plenary lecture Liverpool Inaugural Literary Festival Panel 2016.
- Feminist Commemoration, a plenary lecture Irish Literary Society, London 2016.
- Re-Examining Irish Nationalism in Ulster, Queens University, Belfast 2016.
- Silence on Screen, plenary, Cinema & Revolution Conference, Huston School of Film 2016.