Academics For Repeal

repeal-land

 

On May 20th a shorter version of this letter appeared in the Sunday Times (Ireland Edition) signed by 103 academics, working in Irish Studies, Irish History, Gender Studies, Sociology, Social Policy, Equality Studies, Social Justice, English, Social Work, Psychology etc., in Ireland, the UK, The USA and further afield.  All were concerned to call for a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum for reasons outlined below.

The number of academics is now more than 150 … for YES.

The original, longer ‘Academics for Yes’ letter

“It is an interesting symmetry that in 2018, one hundred years after some women in Ireland achieved the vote, Irish citizens are again being asked to consider whether to advance or restrict women’s rights. A notable impact of this decade of centenaries has been the rediscovery of women’s contributions to Irish history and activism, contributions made by many ordinary women, who fought for women’s rights and freedoms, as well as for national rights and freedoms. In 1916 the Proclamation of Independence guaranteed full and equal citizenship for all the people of Ireland. This equality of citizenship was included in the 1922 Constitution of the Free State. However, post 1922, the onward march of women’s equality was resisted by a conservative, theocratic Irish Free State, and many of the gains of the First Wave feminist activists were rolled back; so much so that by 1937, women’s public role was diminished and their “place” in private realm of the family was copper-fastened in the new Constitution.

The long and contested histories of women’s place within this State and the chilling effects on women’s lives occasioned by ideologies of morality, purity and respectability, re-enforced by religious doctrine, governmental legislation and societal acquiescence are now well known. Women’s bodies and behaviours were governed, ruled and regulated and if those behaviours were deemed contrary to expectations of respectability, punishment was often swift and harsh. As social/cultural historians and researchers we have studied the punishment, negligence and death of children, and their mothers, in the name of respectability and moral purity. We study the shaming of unmarried mothers, and the traumatic histories of institutions such as Magdalen Laundries and Mother and Baby Homes, where women were incarcerated because of shame and moral panic, at a time when other countries were setting up schemes which sought to aid women and their children rather than stigmatise them. Our research has demonstrated that well into the twentieth century women in Ireland have controlled their fertility using various methods, including abortion and infanticide. We also study a country which has failed to provide adequate care, housing or social welfare for women and their children, while privileging the role of mother in the constitution.

Through the last one hundred years, resistance to women’s equality has been strongest on the issue of bodily autonomy, with women’s reproductive bodies as an ideological battleground. Second and Third wave feminists have organised and mobilised consistently and persistently, since the early 1970’s, to attain reproductive rights and bodily autonomy for women. The 8th Amendment campaign of 1983 came about, in part, because the conservative right were concerned by gains in women’s rights made by Second Wave feminists. Since then we have seen some progression in women’s equality in the areas of work, pay, education etc. However, when it comes to full reproductive rights, we still have a country where a vocal sector rails against abortion, while resisting the urgent need to make adequate provision for contraceptive education in schools. Because of this continuing resistance to women’s bodily autonomy and choice we have spent too many years reacting to mistreatment of women in the healthcare system, from symphysiotomies to non-consensual caesarean hysterectomies to the most recent cervical smear scandal.

We, as historians, social and cultural researchers, and writers on women in Ireland, understand that there are sections of Irish society who support the status quo, and who continue to demand that women’s bodies be regulated by Church and State. However, in uncovering more of the histories of our revolutionary foremothers, we know that women in Ireland have always fought for equality, for freedom, and for choice. In this year, 2018, as we commemorate the gaining of the female franchise, a Yes vote would bring us back to the pioneering social justice pathway of the women, who fought, over one hundred years ago, for the right of women to vote”.

Yours sincerely

Dr Mary McAuliffe, Assistant Professor in Gender Studies, University College DublinDr

Síobhra Aiken, Doctoral Candidate, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway

Dr Pilar Villar-Argáiz, Senior Lecturer of British and Irish Literature, Department of English Philology, University of Granada

Donna Alexander, Postdoctoral Researcher, University College Cork

Dr Kate Antosik-Parsons, Research Associate, UCD Humanities Institute

Carol Ballantine, PhD Scholar, NUI Galway

Dr Rebecca Barr, Director of MA in Literature and Publishing, NUI Galway

Dr Aidan Beatty, Lecturer, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program, Wayne State University, Detroit

Dr Fiona Bloomer, Ulster University

Dr Stephanie Boland, University of Exeter

Dr Chiara Bonfiglioli, Lecturer in Gender & Women’s Studies, University College Cork

Dr Eavan Brady, Assistant Professor in Social Work, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Ciara Breathnach, Lecturer in History, Department of History, University of Limerick

Dr Mary Bridgeman, Research Fellow, Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, School of Histories and Humanities, Trinity College Dublin

Professor Kath Browne, Professor of Geographies of Sexualities and Genders, Maynooth University

Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley, Lecturer in History, NUI Galway

Dr Rosie Burrows, Independent Psychotherapist, Lecturer in Dublin Business School

Dr Audrey Bryan, School of Human Development, Dublin City University

Dr Anne Byrne, Political Science and Sociology, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway

Dr Louise Caffrey, Assistant Lecturer in Social Policy, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Leanne Calvert, Research Fellow, University of Herdfordshire

Arpita Chakraborty, PhD Researcher, School of Law and Government, Dublin City University

Jamie Canavan, Irish Research Council PhD Candidate in History, NUI Galway

Dr Denis Condon, Lecturer in Film, Departments of English and Media Studies, Maynooth University

Dr Catherine Conlon, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin

Catherine Connolly, PhD candidate in International Law and Politics, Dublin City University

Professor Linda Connolly, Professor of Sociology, Maynooth University

Dr Michael G. Cronin, Lecturer, Department of English, Maynooth University

Dr Nessa Cronin, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway

Dr Niamh Cullen, Lecturer in history, University of Southampton

Dr Sharae Deckard, Lecturer in World Literature, School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin

Professor Seamus Deane, Emeritus Professor, University of Notre Dame

Dr Christa de Brún, Lecturer in English Literature, Waterford Institute of Technology

Dr Cara Delay, Associate Professor of History, College of Charleston, South Carolina

Dr Cathy Dalton, ASSISTID Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of MME, University College Dublin

Dr Colman A Dennehy, IRC Marie Sklodowska-Curie Elevate Fellow, School of History, University College Dublin

Dr Jane Elizabeth Dougherty, Associate Professor of English and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Southern Illinois University Cardondale

Dr Jessica Leigh Doyle, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ulster University

Dr Deidre Duffy, Senior Lecturer in Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Mel Duffy, Assistant Professor in Sociology & Sexuality Studies, School of Nursing & Human Sciences, Dublin City University

Dr Lindsey Earner-Byrne, Associate Professor, School of History, University College Dublin

Dr Mairead Enright, Senior Lecturer, Birmingham Law Schoool, University of Birmingham

Jonathan Evershed, Postdoctoral Fellow in Government and Politics, University College Cork

Dr Katherine Fama, Assistant Professor of American Literature in the School of English, Film, Drama, and Creative Writing, University College Dublin

Dr Elaine Farrell, Senior Lecturer in History, Queen’s University Belfast

Mary Farrell, PhD Researcher, School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha St.

Dr Maggie Feeley, Research and Teaching Fellow, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin

Dr Alice Feldman, Director of Graduate Studies, School of Sociology, University College Dublin

Dr Clara Fischer, EU Marie-Sklodowska Curie Fellow, Centre for Gender, Feminisms, and Sexuality, University College Dublin

Deirdre Foley, PhD researcher in History, School of History and Geography, Dublin City Univerity

Professor Tadhg Foley, Professor Emeritus, NUI, Galway

Dr Kelly Fitzgerald, Assistant Professor, School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore, University College Dublin

Dr Deirdre Flynn, University of Limerick

Dr Oona Frawley, Lecturer in English, Maynooth University

Dr Lisa Godson, Director MA Design History & Material Culture, School of VIsual Culture, National College of Art & Design, Thomas St. Dublin 8 and Research Fellow, Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Rebecca Graham, PhD Researcher, University College Cork

Dr Shirley Graham, Director of Gender Equality Initiative, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, DC

Dr Carrie Griffin, Lecturer in English, University of Limerick

Lorraine Grimes, PhD researcher in History, NUI Galway

Helen Gubbins, Doctoral Researcher, University of Sheffield

Dr Brian Hanley, University of Edinburgh

Dr Donal Hassett, Lecturer in French, Political and Cultural History, University of Bristol

Nicola Fox Hamilton, lecturer/PhD Researcher, IADT/University of Wolverhampton

Dr Miriam Haughton, Director of Postgraduate Studies in Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway

Dr Marnie Hay, Lecturer in History, Dublin City University

Dr Rory Hearne, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, Maynooth University

Dr Ann Hegarty, Gender Studies, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin

Dr Myrtle Hill, Visiting Research Fellow, Queen’s University Belfast

Goretti Horgan, Ulster University

Dr Carole Holohan, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Melanie Hoewer, School Of Politics & International Relations, University College Dublin

Dr Sarah Hughes, Lecturer in Psychology, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Kylie Jarrett, Senior Lecturer, Department of Media Studies, Maynooth University

Dr Sarah Jankowitz, Research associate, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool

Derina Johnson, Doctoral researcher, School of Social Work and Social Policy in Trinity College Dublin

Dr Jennifer Kavanagh Lecturer in Law School of Humanities Waterford Institute of Technology

Fiona Kearney, Director, The Glucksman, University College Cork

Professor Gerry Kearns, Professor of Human Geography, Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, Maynooth University

Professor Margaret Kelleher, Professor Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama, School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin.

Dr Celia Keenan, retired Senior Lecturer in English, SPD-DCU

Dr Marie Keenan, Assistant Professor, School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College

Bridget Keown, PhD Candidate in World History, Northeastern University

Dr Sinéad Kelly, Lecturer, Department of Geography, Maynooth University

Dr Sinéad Kennedy, Department of English, Maynooth University

Dr Elizabeth Kiely, Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Studies University College Cork

Dr Tina Kinsella, Lecturer in Critical and Contextual Studies, Faculty of Film, Art and Creative Technologies, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology and Research Fellow, Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Heather Laird, College Lecturer, School of English, University College Cork

Dr Catherine Lawless, Director, Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Máire Leane, Senior Lecturer, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork

Professor Loraine Leeson, Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Hilary Lennon, School of English, Trinity College Dublin

Patrick MacDonagh. Doctoral Candidate, European University Institute

Dr Andrew MacLaran, Director, Trinity Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Professor Ed Madden, Professor of English, Director of Women’s & Gender Studies Program, University of South Carolina

Dr Caroline Magennis, Lecturer in English Literature, University of Salford

Professor Gerardine Meaney, Professor of Cultural Theory, School of English, Drama and Film, University College

Professor Geraldine Moane, Professor Emerita, School of Psychology, University College Dublin

Dr Anne Mulhall, Co-Director, UCD Centre for Gender, Feminisms & Sexualities, University College Dublin

Dr Anna Marie Mullally, Lecturer, department of Humanities, I.T Tallagh

Dr Karol Mullaney-Dignam, Lecturer in History, University of Limerick

Dr Laura McAtackney, Associate Professor, Dept of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark

Dr Sandra McAvoy, Historian, University College Cork

Dr Kate McCarthy, Lecturer in Drama, Waterford Institute of Technology

Professor Lucy McDiarmid, Marie Frazee-Baldassarre Professor of English at Montclair State University

Mary McGill, Doctoral Candidate, School of Languages, Literature and Cultures, NUI Galway

Prof Pauline McGuirk, University of Wollongong, NSW 2500, Australia

Dr Anne-Marie McGauran, Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Charles Ivar McGrath, Associate Professor, School of History, University College Dublin

Dr Charlotte McIvor, Drama and Theatre Studies, NUI Galway

Dr Sarah E. McKibben, Associate Professor of Irish Language and Literature, University of Notre Dame

Dr Timothy G. McMahon, Associate Professor, Department of History, Marquette University

Dr Cathal McManus, Lecturer in Education, Queen’s University Belfast

Aoife O’Leary McNeice, PhD candidate, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

Dr Sara Dybris McQuaid, Associate Professor in British and Irish History, Society and Culture & Director, Centre for Irish Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark

Dr Martin Maguire, Senior Lecturer, Department of Humanities, Dundalk Institute of Technology

Lidia Manzo, IRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Maynooth University Department of Geography

Dr Ida Milne, Visiting Research Fellow, Queen’s University Belfast

Chiara Mizzoni, PhD Candidate in Peace & Gender Studies, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin.

Dr Marie Moran, Equality Studies, School of Social Policy, Social work, Social Justice, University College Dublin

Dr Catherine Morris, Research & Teaching Fellow, O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway

Dr. Eve Morrison, Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Contemporary Irish History, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Mary Muldowney, Historian of the Pro-Choice Movement in Ireland

Dr Denis Murphy, Department of Media Studies, Maynooth University

Drew Murphy, Researcher, Genders and Sexualities Research Group, Limerick Institute of Technology

Carmel McKenna, Official Historian for An Comhdháil na Múinteoirí le Rincí Gaelacha (Congress of Irish Dance Teachers) & LIT Researcher

Dr David Nally, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

Dr Caoimhe NicDháibhéid, Senior Lecturer in Modern History, University of Sheffield

Róisín Ní Ghallóglaigh, PhD Scholar, IWAMD, University of Limerick

Dr Niamh NicGhabhann, Assistant Dean: Research, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Limerick

Professor Emer Nolan, Department of English, Maynooth University

Dr Frances Nolan, Occasional Lecturer, School of History, University College Dublin

Dr Julia Obert, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Wyoming

Dr Anne O’ Brien, Lecturer Department of Media Studies, Maynooth University

Dr Gillian O’Brien, Reader in Modern History, Liverpool John Moores University

Caitríona O’Brien, PhD student, Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity Collge Dublin

Dr Maeve O’Brien, Ulster University

Dr Sorcha O’Brien, Senior Lecturer in Design History and Theory, Kingston University London

Dr Cian O’Callaghan, Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Muireann O’Cinneide, Disciple of English, NUI Galway

Dr Aileen O’Carroll, Maynooth University Social Science Institute, Maynooth University

Dr Éimear O’Connor, Independent Academic and Researcher

Dr Jenny O’Connor, Lecturer in English, School of Humanities, Waterford Institute of Technology

Dr Maureen O’Connor, College Lecturer, University College Cork

Catherine Elliott O’Dare, PhD candidate, Trinity College Dublin

Diane O Doherty Researcher at Graduate Entry Medical School, Limerick & PhD Student at Limerick Institute of Technology

Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir, School of English, University College Cork

Dr Clare O’Halloran, Chair of Women’s Studies, University College Cork

Dr Theresa O’Keeffe, Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University College Cork

Dr Ciaran O’Neill, Ussher Assistant Professor in Nineteenth Century History, School of Histories and Humanities, Trinity College Dublin

Paul O’Neill, PhD Researcher, School of Communications, Dublin City Univerity

Dr Ray O Neill, Clinical Psychoanalyst & Research Associate with the Centre for Gender and Women Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Maeve O’Riordan, Lecturer in Women’s and Cultural History, University College Cork

Dr Jacqueline O’Toole, Lecturer in Social Research, Department of Social Sciences, Institute of technology, Sligo

Dr Tina O’Toole, Senior Lecturer, School of English, Irish, and Communication, University of Limerick

Professor Senia Pašeta, Professor of Modern History, St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford

Dr John Pender, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Futures Studies, Department of Social Sciences, Institute of Technology, Sligo.

Dr Will Peters, Social Sciences Lecturer, Access Foundation Programme, Dublin Institute of Technology

Dr Claire Pierson, lecturer in Politics, University of Liverpool

Dr Emilie Pine, Associate Professor of Modern Drama, University College Dublin

Dr Aideen Quilty, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies, University College Dublin

Dr Stephanie Rains, Department of Media Studies, Maynooth University

Abagail Rieley, Doctoral Researcher in History, University of Sussex

Professor Niamh Reilly, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway

Dr Margaret Robson, English Department, Dublin City University

Nancy Rochford Flynn. Social and Cultural Postgraduate Researcher, Artist and Activist for former Magdalenes.

Dr Sarah Roddy, Lecturer in Modern Irish History, University of Manchester

Dr Michael Rush, Lecturer in Social Policy, School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin

Dr Yvonne Seale, Assistant Professor of History, State University of New York-Geneseo

Dr Edel Semple, School of English, University College Cork

Dr William Sheehan, MA, FRHistS, Historian and Independent Scholar

Sharon Slater, Independent researcher and Historian

Dr Karen Smith, Assistant Professor in Equality Studies, School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin

Dr Karen Sugrue, Sociology Lecturer and Psychotherapist, Limerick Institute of Technology

Dr Simon J Statham, Lecturer in Englih, Queen’s University Belfast

Dr Jennifer Moran Stritch, Lecturer / Research Group Director, Limerick Institute of Technology

Dr Dorota Szelewa, Assistant Professor, School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin

Dr Clodagh Tait, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick

Dr Sonja Tiernan, Associate Professor of History, Liverpool Hope University

Professor Karen Till, Professor of Cultural Geography, Maynooth University

Dr David Toms, Folkeuniversitetet Ost, Oslo, Norway

Dr Isabelle Torrance, Associate Professor, Centre for Irish Studies, Aarhus University

Dr Diane Urquhart, Associate Professor in Modern Irish History, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool

Dr Jenny van Hoff, Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Fionnuala Waldron, Professor of Education, Dublin City University

Dr Fionnuala Walsh, School of History, University College Dublin

Martin Walsh, Independent Social Historian

Dr Patrick Walsh, School of History, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Margaret Ward, Honorary Senior Lecturer, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University

Dr Lisa Weihman, Associate Professor of English and Irish Literature, West Virginia University

Caroline West, PhD researcher, School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, Dublin City University

Dr Olivia Walsh, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, University of Nottingham

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