Dr Kaarina Hollo


Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA


I have been associated with the School of English since September 2004, first as an honorary research fellow and since January 2009 as a Lecturer in Irish.

Prior to coming to Sheffield I was head of the Department of Celtic at the University of Aberdeen, and I have also taught at Harvard University, University College Cork, Queens University Belfast, and Boston College.


My main areas of research include:

  • The literary culture of early medieval Ireland, broadly conceived, with a particular interest in the relationship between the reading and interpretation of scriptural texts/liturgy and the composition of prose narrative
  • Early medieval Irish poetry, especially metrical structure
  • The Ulster Cycle of tales during the Old and Middle Irish periods
  • Representations of female mourning and madness in medieval and early modern Irish texts
  • Literary translation in the Irish context, from the 18th century to the present.

I also translate from Irish into English and vice versa, and won the Times Stephen Spender Prize for Translation in 2012.


I currently teach the modules Introduction to Celtic Languages and Literatures (ELL117) and Introduction to Modern Irish (EGH206). I also teach Irish with Sheffield Gaelach, a community Irish-language group that I helped found in 2011.


Books and edited volumes
  • Fled Bricrenn ocus Loinges mac nDuíl Dermait and its place in the Irish literary and oral narrative traditions. Maynooth Medieval Irish Texts II. Series editor: Kim McCone. Maynooth: National University of Ireland, 2005. An edition, study, and translation
  • Fil súil nglais / a grey eye looks back: A Festschrift in honour of Colm Ó Baoill. Ceann Drochaid, Perthshire: Clann Tuirc, 2007. Edited with Sharon Arbuthnot
  • Proceedings of Proceedings of the 6th and 7th Harvard Celtic Colloquia. Cambridge, MA, 1990. Edited with Brian Frykenberg
Book chapters
  • Finn and the Man in the Tree as verbal icon.’ In Essays on the Gaelic Finn Tradition, ed. Sharon Arbuthnot and Geraldine Parsons (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012): 50-61
  • ‘Allegoresis and literary creativity in eighth-century Ireland: the case of Echtrae Chonnlai.’ In Narrative in Celtic Tradition: Essays in Honor of Edgar M. Slotkin. CSANA Yearbook 8-9, ed. Joseph Eska. Hamilton, NY: Colgate University Press, 2011: 117-28
  • The Literature of Late Medieval Ireland, 1200-1600: From the Normans to the Tudors. Part II: Prose Literature.’ In Cambridge History of Irish Literature, ed. Phil O’Leary and Margaret Kelleher. Cambridge: CUP, 2006: 110-39
  • ‘Laments and lamenting in early medieval Ireland.’ In Medieval Celtic literature and society, ed. Helen Fulton. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005: 83-94
  • ‘Machiavelli in Mullach an Rátha: Belphegor, folklore, and anticlericalism in Sheffield Ms 17.’ Scottish Gaelic Studies 24 (2008), 267-284. Special volume Caindel Alban: Fèill-sgrìobhainn do Dhómhnall E. Meek
  • ‘Keltische Literatur’ and ‘Keltische Sprachen.’ In Enzyklopädie des Mittelalters, ed. Gert Melville and Martial Staub (Primus, 2008): vol. 1, 299-300, vol. 2, 54-57
  • ‘‘Do my bidding’: Sencha mac Ailella in Fled Bricrenn and other Ulster Cycle Tales.’ Aiste 1 (2007): 170-180
  • Fingal Rónáin: the medieval Irish text as argumentative space.’ In Cín Chille Cúile: Texts, Saints and Places -- Essays in Honour of Pádraig Ó Riain, ed. John Carey, Máire Herbert, Kevin Murray. Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2004: 241-49
  • 'The shock of the old: translating Early Irish poetry into Modern Irish.' Éire-Ireland 38 (2003), 54-71. Special issue: Language and Identity in Twentieth-Century Irish Culture, ed. M. Tymoczko and C. Ireland
  • ‘From the Irish: on The Astrakhan Cloak.’ New Hibernia Review 3:2 (Summer 1999), 129-41
  • ‘Acts of translation: an interview with Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.’ Edinburgh Review 99 (Spring 1998), 99-107
  • ‘Cú Chulainn and Síd Truim.’ Ériu 49 (1998), 13-22
  • ‘Metrical irregularity in Old and Middle Irish syllabic verse.’ In Celtica Helsingiensia, ed. A. Ahlqvist et al. Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum 107, 47-56 (Helsinki, 1996)
  • Eachtra Ridire na Leomhan ina comhthéacs Eorpach.’ In Nua-Léamha: gnéithe de chultúir, stair, agus polaitíocht na hÉireann c.1600-c.1900, ed. Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha. Dublin: Clóchomar, 1996: 54-71
  • ‘Conchobar’s ‘sceptre’: the growth of a literary topos.’ CMCS 29 (Summer, 1995), 11-25
  • ‘A context for Fled Bricrenn ocus Loinges mac nDuíl Dermait.’ In Ulidia, ed. J. Mallory & G. Stockman, 91-98 (Belfast, 1994)
  • ‘The exile of the sons of Dóel Dermait.’ Emania: Bulletin of the Navan Research Group 10 (1992), 18-24
  • 'The Alliterative Structure of Mael Ísu Ua Brolcháin's a aingil, beir.’ Ériu 41 (1990), 77-80