Headshot of Dr. Kervick

Dr. Mollie Kervick

Postdoctoral Assistant Professor


Postdoctoral Assistant Professor, Department of English and Philosophy (2022-Present)

Ongoing Research Projects

I am currently working on my book project, “Networks of Nurture in Celtic Tiger and Post-Crash Irish Fiction by Women,” which unites Irish literary criticism and the emergent field of care studies to interrogate representations of care in Irish literature. My project pivots the psychoanalytic trend in recent Irish feminist criticism to a critical posthuman methodology that is inclusive of care structures that do not fit within a framework that privileges biological connection. In texts by Anne Enright, Emma Donoghue, and Claire Keegan, among other writers, I analyze four networks of nurture—adoptive parents and children, secondary schoolmates, foster carers, and nurse trainees—as case studies that reveal how changes in Irish law shape care networks. Through my posthumanist approach to narratives about care, I propose a new way of thinking about human connection that embraces the need for care from others. I demonstrate how research questions raised in posthumanist thinking about care result in new perspectives on Irish literature and culture.

Publications & Presentations

Refereed Journal Articles

“Gothic Girlhood and Resistance: Confronting Ireland’s Neoliberal Containment Culture in Tana French’s The Secret Place.” Critical Inquiries into Irish Studies, edited by Martha Carpentier and Elizabeth Redwine. Forthcoming.

"'Looking Back’ at Inis Meáin: Alternative Mothering in J. M. Synge’s The Aran Islands and Emily Lawless’s Grania.New Hibernia Review, vol. 22, no. 1, 2018, pp. 87–101. http://doi.org/10.1353/nhr.2018.0006

Book Chapter 

“Archiving Trauma: Emma Donoghue’s Hood as an Archive of Irish Lesbian Life” Women Writing Trauma in Literature, edited by Laura Alexander, Cambridge Scholars. In press. 
Book Review 

Review of The Child Sex Scandal and Modern Irish Literature: Writing the Unspeakable by Margot Gayle Backus and Joseph Valente. Twentieth-Century Literature, forthcoming.

“A Changeling in Dublin?” Review of Eggshells by Catriona Lally. Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies. April 6, 2018. 

Selected Conference Presentations

“Rummaging in the Attic Press Archive: Stories of Irish Lesbian Activism and the Mundanity of Collective Organizing.” American Conference of Irish Studies, New England and Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT, October 2021. 

“Haunting Adoptive Bonds: Navigating Legislative and Cultural Gaps in Anne Enright’s What Are You Like?” La Société Française d’Études Irlandaises/The French Society for Irish Studies, Annual Meeting, Virtual Convention, May 2021.    

“Transnational Nurses in Recent Irish Fiction.” Works-In-Progress Presentation, American Conference of Irish Studies, New England Regional Meeting, Virtual Convention, October 2020.  

“A Social Education: Representing Class-Based Difference in Emma Donoghue’s Hood (1995).” Comhfhois 2020: In Awe of All Mná, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, February 2020. 

“Toward a Critical Posthuman Understanding of Nonbiological Care in Anne Enright’s What Are You Like? (2000).” International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures, Trinity College, Dublin, July 2019. 
“Beyond Biological 'Networks of Nurture' in Emer Martin’s The Cruelty Men (2018).” National Meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies, Boston College, Boston, MA, March 2019.  
“Traces of Matrilineal Inheritance in Bowen’s The Last September (1929) and Johnston’s The Old Jest (1979).” National Meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies, University College Cork, Ireland, June 2018.