Ruth Gilligan

Ruth Gilligan

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

I am a bestselling novelist and journalist who joined Birmingham in September 2014. My research interests include world literature, transcultural fiction and Irish studies, with a particular emphasis on structure and form.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Ruth Gilligan's fourth novel, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan, is based around the history of the Jewish community in Ireland, and combines extensive research with formal experimentation. Her critical research, meanwhile, is currently focused on devising a ‘Narratology of Otherness’ which examines the way contemporary transcultural writers use structure and form. Much of this work centres around Irish-American novelist Colum McCann and his fictional and extra-fictional project. Finally, she is interested in concepts of empathy and its relationship with narrative and storytelling.

Dr Gilligan would be interested in receiving proposals for postgraduate projects on any themes related to her research (contemporary literature; transnational fiction; form and narratology; Irish Studies).