Dr Geraldine Parsons
- Senior Lecturer (Celtic & Gaelic)
I work primarily on the literature and language of the medieval and early modern Gaelic-speaking world. I have a particular interest in the material centred on the legendary hero Finn mac Cumaill (later Finn/Fionn Mac Cumhaill/McCool), known as fíanaigecht (fianaigheacht / fiannaíocht) literature. My research is often concerned with the great Middle Irish text at the heart of that corpus, Acallam na Senórach (‘The Colloquy of the Ancients’) and an ongoing project is the preparation of an edition of the Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson B 487 copy of the Acallam. I am also concerned with questions of genre and convention in medieval Irish literature more broadly, including the inter-relationships of prose and poetry, and with medieval Welsh literature.
I am developing interests in the reception of medieval Irish literature in modern Ireland and in eighteenth-century Scottish Gaelic literature through work on manuscripts collected by the Rev James McLagan (1728-1805).
I welcome contact from anyone interested in postgraduate study in my research areas.
I have organised several conferences, including:
- Finn IV: the 4th International Conference on Fíanaigecht (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, 2022)
- Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Culture and the Wider Gaelic World (Royal Irish Academy, 2019)
- the Ulidia VI/Finn III conference (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, 2018)
- McLagan and his Manuscripts (University of Glasgow, 2016)
- XV International Congress of Celtic Studies (University of Glasgow, 2014)
- 2ndInternational Conference on the Finn Cycle (University of Glasgow, 2014)
- Fíanaigecht Studies: Twenty Years A-Growing (University of Cambridge, 2009).
In 2018, I was the Lynn Wood Neag Distinguished Visiting Professor in British Literature at the University of Connecticut. Prior to that appointment, I was the Snell Visitor to Balliol College, Oxford (Michaelmas 2017). Before coming to Glasgow, I was a Title A Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. I hold BA (MA), MLitt and PhD degrees from the Dept of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, University of Cambridge, and gained my early education in Ireland.
Externally awarded grants include:
- British Academy Mid-Career Grant (2022)
- Strathmartine Trust, Grant-in-aid of publication (2018)
- Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network Research Grant (for ‘Gaelic Literature in Enlightenment Scotland: The McLagan Ossianic material’) (2018) [jointly awarded with Dr Sìm Innes]
- MHRA Conference Grant Fund (in connection with An t-Urr. Seumas MacLathagain (1728-1805) agus a làmh-sgrìobhainnean | The Rev. James McLagan (1728-1805) and his manuscripts) (2016) [jointly awarded with Dr Sìm Innes]
- Royal Society of Edinburgh: Small Research Grant (for work on an edition of the Rawl. B. 487 version of Acallam na Senórach) (2014)
- The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland Research Grant (for work on the Rawlinson B. 487 version of Acallam na Senórach) (2011)
- The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland a Publication Illustration Grant (in respect of Sharon J. Arbuthnot & Geraldine Parsons (eds), The Gaelic Finn Tradition (Dublin, 2012)) (2009)
Internally awarded grants include:
- School of Humanities, Research Incentivisation Fund (2016)
- Strategic Research Fund (2016) [jointly award with Dr Sìm Innes]
- Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies, conference organisation funding (2013)
- The Chancellor’s Fund (2012)
I am currently supervising three PhD candidates and I have supervised four successful PhD projects and a number of MRes theses. They concern medieval and early modern Irish literature (Finn Cycle and Ulster Cycle texts, love and gender as literary concerns, the theme of memory), medieval Gaelic learned culture and medieval Welsh literature. All but one were University of Glasgow awards; I was an external supervisor for a Universität Zürich candidate, 2012-15. I also supervise a wide range of work at Taught Masters level for students of Celtic and Gaelic, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Comparative Literature and the Fantasy Literature. I welcome contact from anyone wishing to work on medieval Celtic literary topics at postgraduate level.
I convene and teach four Honours courses:
- Introduction to Early Gaelic (Old and Middle Irish)
- Advanced Early Gaelic Texts
- Early Gaelic Literature in Translation
- The Finn Cycle
I contribute to the teaching of:
- Celtic Civilisation 1A
- Celtic Civilisation 1B
- Celtic Civilisation 2A
- Comparative Literature 1A: Heroic Men
I convene the MLitt in Celtic Studies Programme.
I convene and teach on:
- Skills and Scholarship in Celtic Studies
- Themes and Debates in Celtic Studies
and contribute widely to other postgraduate teaching within Celtic and Gaelic and across the School of Humanities and the College of Arts.