Claire Lynch


Senior Lecturer

Room: Gaskell Building 134
Brunel University
United Kingdom
Tel: 01895 266475


Claire Lynch studied at the University of Kent and took her doctorate at the University of Oxford. She is a Lecturer in English, specialising in autobiography and contemporary British and Irish literature.

She is a member of the International Association of Studies in Irish Literatures (IASIL) and a council member and web editor for the British Association of Irish Studies (BAIS). Claire is on the board of the South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive (SALIDAA) and founding co-Editor and now Advisory Board Member of H-Memory, the international discussion and review resource.

Claire is the Co-ordinator for the English Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme at Brunel (PALS) and Editor of the School of Arts Touchpoint Newsletter.

Research and Teaching

Research Overview

Claire Lynch' s research examines the way people write about their own lives, from traditional novels and autobiographies, to contemporary blogs and websites. Focusing on British and Irish authors from the turn of the last century onwards, she is particularly interested in the literature of the working class and representations of childhood and youth.

Teaching Activity

With a keen interest in using and developing learning technologies, Claire is currently developing online resources and ‘pencasts’ to support her teaching.

She teaches across all levels within the school including modules EN1013: Approaches to Poetry and Prose, EN1015: Thinking About Literature and EN2014: Modernism. She is module leader for EN3604: Writing Ireland and supervises several final year projects. At postgraduate level Claire teaches on the MA in English Literature and the MA Contemporary Literature and Culture, focussing on contemporary Irish ‘terrorist’ and emigration literature and British and Irish confessional and ‘trauma’ narratives.

Claire also has a key role in the teaching of research and study skills for arts students. She is module leader for AH1021: Academic Practice the compulsory module for all School of Arts Undergraduates and leads the advanced research skills module on the English MA programmes.

She is currently supervising PhD students working on embodied autobiography in performance and representations of white working class males. She would be happy to hear from prospective PhD students who share her research interests.

More about Claire

Selected publications in the field of Irish life writing and fiction include Claire’s first book, Irish Autobiography: Stories of Self in the Narrative of a Nation (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009) and the forthcoming chapters “Borstal Boys and Cockney Chinas” Irish Writing London, Tom Herron ed. (London: Continuum, 2012) and “'Educate that you may be free': Childhood Reading in Irish Memoir.” Maria Luddy and Jim Smith eds., Irish Childhood (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011).

As lead researcher at Brunel on the project to digitise the Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiography, Claire is on the steering group for the Online Archive of Working Class Writing which aims to bring unpublished manuscripts and enhanced metadata to a new audience.

Publications in this field include:
§ “Trans-genre confusion: What does autobiography think it is?” Bradford, R.W. ed., Life-Writing (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

§ “The Meaning of Hard Work in the Burnett Archive” a/b: Journal of Auto/Biography eds., Claire Brant and Max Saunders, 2011.

Claire is currently working on two new books, a co-authored study of the cultural phenomenon Who Do You Think You Are? with Prof. Peter Lunt, Leicester University and a monograph on the impact of cyber culture in Ireland forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.



Journal Papers

(2014) Lynch, C., The Drinker with the Writing Problem: Brendan Behan's Anecdotes of Alcoholism, Irish University Review: a journal of Irish studies

(2013) Lynch, C., Autographic Narratives and the (N)ever Changing Picture of Life, Narrative Works

(2013) Lynch, C., Ante-Autobiography and the Archive of Childhood, Prose Studies: history, theory, criticism

(2013) Lynch, C., Memoir: An Introduction by G. Thomas Couser (Review), MLR 108 (1)

(2011) Lynch, C., Who do you think you are? Intimate pasts made public, Biography - An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 34 (1) : 108- 118

(2010) Lynch, C., New essays on life writing and the body (Review), Auto/Biography Studies 25 (1) : 138- 141

(2010) Lynch, C., "Unlike actors, politicians or eminent military men”: The meaning of hard work in working class autobiography, AutoBiography Studies 25 (2) : 186- 202

(2009) Lynch, C., The Literature of the Irish in Britain: Autobiography and Memoir, 1725–2001 (Review), Irish Studies Review 17 (4) : 531- 533

(2007) Lynch, C., If you’re not Irish stop calling yourself Irish’: Self-expression and Cyber Irishness in virtual communities, Études irlandaises 32 (2) : 83- 97

Conference Papers

(2012) Lynch, C., Irish Lives Online, 18th Annual Conference of Irish Historians in Britain

(2012) Lynch, C., Ante-Autobiography and the Archive of Childhood, Telling Tales: Childhood, Youth and Life Narrative

(2012) Lynch, C., A Sketch of the Past: Drawing Memory in Working Class Autobiography, 8th Biennial International Auto/Biography Association Conference

(2012) Lynch, C., Irish Twitterature: Contemporary Irish Writing in the Cyber Age, Irish Literature and Art Study Day

(2012) Lynch, C., Blogtrotters: Unearthing the Irish in Britain Online, Irish in Britain Seminar Series

(2012) Lynch, C., A Sketch of the Past: Drawing Memory in British Working Class Autobiography, Archives and Texts Seminar Series

(2010) Lynch, C., First aid for archives: A case study of the Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiographies, 12th British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA) International Conference: 'Archive'

(2010) Lynch, C., "Who do you think you are?" Life writing, popular culture and family history, 7th Biennial International Auto/Biography Association Conference

(2009) Lynch, C., “Only an interruption in the steady progress of our lives”: European consciousness in British post-war working class autobiography, 2009 International Auto/Biography Association Founding Conference

(2009) Lynch, C., Teenage clicks: Irish teenagers and online textual identities, Changes in Contemporary Ireland: Texts and Contexts

(2009) Lynch, C., “Discover your own Ireland”: Virtual Ireland(s) for an international audience, 2009 International Association of Studies in Irish Literatures (IASIL 2009)

Book Chapters

(2013) Lynch, C., Auto/biography: The Barometer of Irish Women’s Identity. In: Luddy, M., Meaney, G. and Mulhall, A. eds. Women in Modern Irish Culture and Society. Irish Academic Press

(2013) Lynch, C., “Critical Humanist Thoughts on the Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiography – ‘Nobody Wages War with Dostoevsky or Dickens’. In: The Documents of Life Revisited. London : Sage

(2013) Lynch, C., “Educate that you might be free”: Childhood Reading in Irish Literary Autobiography. In: Smith, J. and Luddy, M. eds. Children, Childhood and Irish Society, 1700-2010. Chicago : University of Notre Dame Press (Forthcoming)

(2012) Lynch, C., Borstal Boys and Cockney Chinas. In: Herron, T. ed. Irish Writing London: Volume 2 Post-War to the Present. London : Continuum (Volume 2: Post-War to the Present) : 19- 32

(2010) Lynch, C., Once Upon a Life: Irish Autobiography and the Irish Short Story. In: McWilliams, E. and Griffin, B. eds. Irish Studies in Britain: New Perspectives on History and Literature. Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Press 148- 159

(2009) Lynch, C., Trans-genre Confusion: What does autobiography think it is?. In: Bradford, R. ed. Life Writing. Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 209- 218

(2009) Lynch, C., Keeping it in the family: The autobiographies of Brendan Behan. In: Griffin, B. and McWilliams, E. eds. New voices in Irish studies: Essays on history and literature. Bath : Suilis Press


(2013) Lynch, C., Cyber Ireland: Text, Image, Culture. Palgrave Macmillan

(2009) Lynch, C., Irish autobiography: Stories of Self in the Narrative of a Nation. Peter Lang

Page last updated: Thursday 27 June 2013