Valerie Kennedy is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of English, Drama, and Film at University College Dublin (UCD). Her Ph.D. research aims to establish previously overlooked connections between literary representations by Irish authors and socio-political values to advance our critical understanding of the “unmarried mother” figure in Irish cultural settings. Her project will be the first extensive examination of Irish literature and discourses surrounding this historically stigmatised character. Taking the years of nation-building post-independence as an important moment and the development of a distinct national cultural identity, Kennedy’s research, funded by the Irish Research Council, also includes work on broader cultural representations in the approach to mid-century Ireland, including aspects of popular culture such as film, drama, and music, as well as church and state narratives around the expectations of Ireland’s women, girls, and femininity.