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Jack Elliott

I am a researcher of nineteenth and twentieth century Irish history. In particular, I focus on identity formation, performance and material culture.

Educational Background

I completed my BA in history (1:1) at the University of Sussex in 2007 and moved to the University of Warwick where between 2007-2008 I completed an MA in history (distinction) under the supervision of Professor Maria Luddy. My PhD was supervised by Professor Maria Luddy and was submitted in November 2012. The thesis was entitled Communicating Advanced Nationalist Identity in Dublin, 1890-1917 


My Masters and PhD were funded by the Economic and Social Research Council 1+3 Quota Award 

Doctoral Research

My recent doctoral thesis addressed the ways in which radical nationalist identity was communicated to the broader Irish populace in Dublin from 1890 to 1917. It contends that the performance and communication of radical nationalist identity is best understood within the context of fin de siècle Dublin. During this period the streets formed spaces in which identities, both political and otherwise, were performed and through reciprocal spectatorship were also negotiated and mediated. The public funerals of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa and Thomas Ashe in 1915 and 1917 respectively, are the subject of close scrutiny. Through analysis of these funerals, the thesis showed how the relationship between the physical space of the city and the body was integral to the performance of radical nationalist identity. The Easter Rising was presented as a moment of rupture between these two funerals, during which the rebels failed to communicate effectively with their audience, giving rise to confusion about what was really happening in the city. The thesis further argued that, in the immediate aftermath of the Rising, material culture in the form of relics and mass-produced ephemera played a vital role in shaping and communicating an intelligible narrative of the Rising to the Irish populace. The successful construction of an interpretive framework meant that, by the time the rebels returned from their various places of internment, public understanding of, and identification with both the Rising and radical nationalist identity more broadly, had dramatically increased.

 Conference Papers

“After I am hanged my portrait will be interesting but not before’ Ephemera and the construction of personal responses to the Rising’, presented on 27th April 2013 at the Object Matters: Making 1916 Conference, hosted by University CollegeDublin and the Irish National College of Art and Design.

‘The effect of Irish secession on conceptions of gender in Britain and Ireland’, presented on 21 September 2012 at the Easter Rising and Irish Secession Symposium, Universtiy of Sussex.

‘Material identities. Ephemera and the communication of advanced nationalist identity in Ireland, 1916’, presented on 28May 2012 at the Warwick Postgraduate Conference, Universtiy of Warwick.

‘Visualizing gender and nation in post-Easter Rising Ireland’, presented on 19 February 2010 at the Irish History Students Conference, Trinity College Dublin.

‘Domesticity, material cultures and the communication of nationalist identity in Ireland, 1890-1918’, presented on 26 May 2008 at the Warwick Postgraduate Conference, University of Warwick.

‘The emergence of Catholic agency in Ireland 1791-1796’, presented as a paper on 17 November 2007 at the 3rd Annual Postgraduate Conference in Irish Studies, Bath Spa University.


Current Research

My next research project will seek to examine the construction of gender amongst Irish radicals during the period of internment. In particular, it will advance my existing research on material culture to explore the agency of women in generating public support for Irish radicalism within Ireland following the Rising. It will also develop a new strain of research focusing on the homosocial nature of the internment camps themselves, how gender roles were articulated within them and how the homosocial nature of the camps affected the gendering of Irish republicanism. The proposed project will build upon my existing, but as yet unused, archival research from Kilmainham Gaol, University College Dublin and the Bureau of Military History. This work will be further detailed through investigation of the records of Irish prisoners at Reading and Lewes Gaol, held by Berkshire and Sussex Records Offices.

Teaching and Organisational Responsibilities

I plan and deliver seminars to students on the core undergraduate module ‘The making of the modern world’ which involves sparking curiosity and enthusiasm in students on a wide range of historical events whilst developing their subject specific skills and knowledge. Students are engaged with the ways in which key concepts and events from the French Revolution to the end of the Cold War inform contemporary debates around citizenship and identity.

As a seminar tutor I am responsible for the planning and delivery of seminars, student assessment, monitoring and evaluation. Whilst a broad course outline exists I am solely responsible for interpreting the curriculum to provide weekly tutorials for the students. The role also requires me to work closely with a small team of tutors and management to ensure that the university’s core strategic aims are developed in accordance with the changing demands and focus towards student experience. To this end, the ability to process and synthesise student and faculty feedback and evaluation is a core component of this role. I have enjoyed seeking out opportunities to develop my teaching skills by accessing courses run by the reinvention centre at Warwick University which exists to provide an open, creative space for a range of teaching and learning activities.

During my Masters year I took on the responsibility of being the co-organiser of the University of Warwick's annual Postgraduate History Conference. In the September of 2008 I assisted my supervisor Professor Maria Luddy with the preparations for the Irish Historians of Britain bi-annual conference. This conference is the flagship event for Irish History in Britain and was funded by numerous research bodies and the Irish embassy. During the second year of my thesis I worked with a fellow student to establish the Cultural History Seminar Series. This seminar programme was a student-led initiative that allowed postgraduates to suggest speakers relevant to their research and then take on the responsibility of inviting speakers, organising the seminar and chairing the event. The programme was been generously supported by the history department.