Ireland's Unmarried Fathers | Prof Clair Wills at the Centre for British Studies
The scandal surrounding Ireland's Mother and Baby Homes has focused, for obvious reasons, on the women and children involved. But what of Ireland's unmarried fathers? What sources can we use to uncover the stories of men involved in unwanted pregnancies, and how and where are they represented?
Clair Wills arrived in Cambridge in 2018 to take up the post of King Edward VII Professor of English Literature, having previously taught at Princeton in the United States, Queen Mary University of London, and the University of Essex. She did her graduate work in the late 1980s in Oxford, on contemporary Northern Irish poetry, especially the poetry of Paul Muldoon and Medbh McGuckian. Since then Clair has maintained a strong interest in Irish literature and history, including research on Irish feminism and women's writing, the history of Ireland during the Second World War, and post-war Irish emigration to England. Recent work has looked at the cultural history of post-war immigration to Britain, and of psychiatric hospitals and carceral institutions in Britain and Ireland.
Clair Wills research interests are Irish literature and history; twentieth and twenty-first century poetry, fiction and memoir; gender and sexuality; migration; embodiment. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and writes regularly for the London Review of Books and New York Review of Books.
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