Dr Kaarina Hollo

Dr. Kaarina Hollo, A.B. magna cum laude (Anthropology, Harvard), A.M. (Celtic Languages & Literatures, Harvard), Ph.D. (Celtic Languages & Literatures, Harvard)

Contact Photograph of Dr Kaarina Hollo

Room 4.13, Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
Sheffield S3 7RA

Internal extension: 28484
Tel: +44(0)-114-222-8484
Fax: +44 (0)114-222-8481


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; and 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.