Our Graduate Students

Celeste Andrews

Celeste Andrews

Celeste is a second year graduate student in the Celtic Dept. She earned a BA in Medieval Studies and History from Smith College in 2013, an MLitt in Medieval Studies from the University of St Andrews in 2014, and an MA in Medieval Welsh Literature from Aberystwyth University in 2016. At St Andrews, she wrote a dissertation examining how Welsh national/ethnic identity was reflected in the Cambro-Latin saints’ Lives of the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries. At Aberystwyth, she wrote on the legacy of Magnus Maximus/Maxen Wledig (and, more generally, Rome) in medieval Wales. Her primary research interests are ethnic and national identity in medieval Britain and how stories, legends, and traditions can affect that identity and influence the surrounding political culture.

Email: clandrews@g.harvard.edu

L. A. Brannelly

L.A. Brannelly

L. A. Brannelly received his BA and MA degrees in English from Hunter College (City University of New York), where he first developed an interest in the languages and literatures of medieval Britain and Ireland. At Hunter College, most of his graduate research revolved around the idea of British multilingualism and the interplay, especially, of English, Latin and Welsh in the late medieval and early modern eras. His later research (leading to his MA dissertation) was concerned almost exclusively with medieval Welsh poetry and the work of Dafydd ap Gwilym, in particular. Current interests and pursuits include exploring medieval Irish and Welsh attitudes to gender and sexuality, representations of male beauty in bardic poetry, and the possibility of applying late 20th-century postmodern theory to medieval Celtic literature.

Greg Darwin

Greg Darwin

Gregory is a 5th year Ph.D. candidate in the department of Celtic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. He earned his B.A. in 2013 from Saint Michael’s College, University of Toronto, in Celtic Studies and Classics, and has taken additional language courses through Sabhal Mòr Ostaig; the National University of Ireland, Galway; the Gaelic College of Nova Scotia; and Eglwys Dewi Sant in Toronto. He has presented at several international conferences, including the annual meetings of the Celtic Studies Association of North America, the Canadian Association for Irish Studies, the International Congress of Celtic Studies, and the American Comparative Literature Association. His work has appeared in the journal Folklore, and is forthcoming in Éigse: A Journal of Irish Studies and The Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium.

His dissertation is an in-depth study of the Seal Woman legend (ML 4080), found throughout Scotland, Ireland, and Scandinavia, tracing the migration of the story and social function, as well as its relationship with earlier traditions concerning maritime beings, and with dynastic origin legends. More broadly his research interests include the study of supernatural legends, magic, folk medicine, witchcraft, popular religious belief, modern Irish-language literature, and the digital humanities. He has taught courses for the department of Celtic and General Education.

This year, he has been awarded a Frederick Sheldon Travelling Fellowship, and is working on his dissertation research at the archives of the National Folklore Collection in Dublin, the School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh, and the Institutet för språk och folkminnen in Uppsala.

Email: gdarwin@fas.harvard.edu

Deborah Furchtgott

Deborah Furchtgott

Deborah is a sixth year graduate student in Celtic Languages and Literatures. In 2009 she received a BA from the University of Toronto with a specialization in English literature and a major in Celtic Studies. She remained in Toronto to earn an MA through the Centre for Medieval Studies the following year working with both Celtic and Old French literature and studying Medieval Latin intensively. Although interested in the literary and manuscript culture of twelfth and thirteenth century Wales and how it relates to the thriving exchange of literary ideas across Britain and Europe as a whole, she focuses mostly on Middle Welsh and Old French poetry of the courtly tradition. Most recently she presented a paper entitled "Ystorya Adaf ac Efa Wreic and the Apocryphal Narratives of the White Book of Rhydderch" at the 31st Harvard Celtic Colloquium.

Michaela Jacques

Michaela Jacquesh

Michaela Jacques is a fourth-year PhD student in the department of Celtic Languages and Literatures. She earned her BA in 2014 from the University of Toronto, with a specialization in Celtic Studies and a minor in Latin. She is currently a co-organizer of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium and the Harvard Celtic Graduate Workshop, and has presented papers at various conferences, including the Harvard Celtic Colloquium, the CCC/CSANA annual meeting, the International Congress of Celtic Studies, and the International Symposium of Societas Celtologica Nordica.

Her research focuses on medieval Welsh poetry, particularly the medieval Welsh bardic grammars. She is teaching the modern Welsh course this year.

Email: jacques@fas.harvard.edu

Katherine Leach

Katherine Leach

Kate is a fourth year PhD student in the department of Celtic Languages and Literatures. She received her BA in Classics from Hunter College, NYC, and after that moved to Wales to complete a masters in Medieval Welsh Literature at Aberystwyth University. Her thesis at Aberystwyth examined the themes of sexual transgression and animal transformation in the Mabinogion.

While at Aberystwyth, Kate served as Treasurer for the Aberystwyth Postgraduate Association. She was also Treasurer for the Association of Celtic Students of Ireland and Britain, and was a co-organizer of the Association's annual conference. She has given papers at several conferences, including the Harvard Celtic Colloquium, for which she is a co-organizer this year. Her most recent research interests focus on the medical tradition of medieval Wales.

Email: katherineleach@fas.harvard.edu

Patrick McCoy

Patrick McCoy

Patrick is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Celtic Languages & Literatures. Originally from Fairborn, Ohio, he received his BA in Medieval Studies and Classics—with a minor in Irish Language & Literature—from the University of Notre Dame. As an undergraduate, he studied abroad during his junior year at Trinity College, Dublin and interned at the Royal Irish Academy, working on the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources and assisting (although quite briefly) with the St. Patrick’s Confessio Hypertext Stack Project (www.confessio.ie). He returned to Trinity as a postgraduate student, earning a Postgraduate Diploma in Old Irish and an MPhil in Early Irish. Patrick is also an Eagle Scout.

Patrick’s dissertation topic examines the non-geographic use of place in Early Irish literature, focusing specifically on Greece. His other research interests include medieval Irish language and literature, Celtic historical linguistics, and heroic literature, and he has presented papers at various academic conferences, including ICCS Glasgow, ICMS Kalamazoo, CSANA, ACIS, and HCC. Patrick assisted with the 2010 CSANA conference, has co-organized the Harvard Celtic Colloquium and the Celtic Graduate Workshop, and has co-edited Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium. As a teaching fellow, Patrick has taught for courses in the departments of Celtic, English, and General Education.

Email: pmccoy@fas.harvard.edu

Heather Newton

Heather Newton

Heather is a second year graduate student in the department of Celtic Languages and Literatures. She earned her BA from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014 with majors in English and Celtic Studies. She has done language study through the the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her current research focuses on medieval Irish heroic literature and comparisons with medieval Norse sagas.

Kathryn O'Neill

Katy O'Neill

Kathryn is in her fifth year of graduate studies in the Celtic Languages and Literatures Department. Before coming to Harvard, Kathryn studied at University College Cork, Ireland. Under the supervision of Professor Máire Herbert, she conducted research into Irish saints’ Lives and the King Cycle. She received her B.A. from DePaul University in History, with a sub-focus on Irish Studies. During her time at DePaul, she received two major awards for her scholarship in history, as well as a research grant from the university to pursue her work on the nineteenth-century Irish nationalist group, the Fenian Brotherhood. Kathryn’s interests include the historical implications found within the Irish King Cycle and Historical Tales, using literary vernacular works as a source to enrich historical accounts, and the use of tales and poems as tools for propaganda. In addition, she also has a continued interest in nineteenth-century Irish nationalism. During her time at Harvard, she hopes to pursue her driving passion, namely to expand the use of medieval Irish vernacular texts as historical sources, and thereby enhance our understanding of medieval Ireland.

Email: kathrynoneill@fas.harvard.edu

Shannon Rose Parker


Shannon is a first-year PhD student from Shropshire in England. She graduated in the summer of 2017 from Aberystwyth University with a BA in Celtic Studies taught through the medium of Welsh where her undergraduate dissertation examined place-names in Canu Heledd which are today located within Shropshire’s county border. During her undergraduate degree, Shannon also spent a semester abroad in Trinity College Dublin studying Early Irish and developed a keen interest in the saga literature. Additionally, Shannon enjoys playing early music and is interested in the history of musical traditions in Scotland and Ireland.

Email: Shannon_parker@g.harvard.edu

Joseph Shack

Joe Shack

Joseph is a third year graduate student in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures. Before coming to Harvard, Joseph earned his B.A. in History and English Literature at New York University. Following his undergraduate education, Joseph traveled to England where he earned an M.A. in Medieval Studies at the University of York in 2014, where his dissertation examined the postcolonial resonances embedded in the Mabinogi's presentation of Otherworld. The following year he completed an M.A. in Welsh and Celtic Studies at Cardiff University, with his final research project focusing on the counter-discursivity inherent in the Arthurian world of Peredur. Joseph's research interests include the utilization of the Matter of Britain in regard to identity formation in the British Isles, applying post-colonial theory to medieval literature, geocriticism, particularly in regard the use of landscape in middle Welsh prose, and Celtic influence on Arthurian literature.

Email: josephshack@g.harvard.edu

Joe Wolf

Joe wolf

Joe is a third year graduate student in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures. Before coming to Harvard, Joe earned a M.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech in 2014 specializing in political theory and historical political thought. Afterwards, he traveled to Scotland where he earned a M.Litt. in Celtic Studies from the University of Glasgow in 2015 writing his dissertation on political assembly in early Irish law. Joe's research interests focus on early Irish law, comparative political assembly traditions, the history of political thought, toponymics, and mapping. In particular, he is interested in the history, place-names, and law of the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Ireland.

Email: mwolf@g.harvard.edu

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Last updated Tuesday, 17-Oct-2017 11:24:12 EDT