Dr Stephanie Rains

Media Studies

Associate Professor

0.22 Iontas Building
(01) 708 6980


I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies at Maynooth University, where I have worked since 2007. Prior to that, I worked at IADT Dun Laoghaire for four years, after completing my PhD in the School of Communications in Dublin City University in 2003. 

I teach on the BA Media Studies and BA Media and Cultural Studies programmes, for which I am 3rd year Co-ordinator, as well as on the MA in Critical and Creative Media programme, for which I co-ordinate the dissertation work.  I teach classes on podcasting, media history, advertising and the political economy of the media, and I am also the International Co-ordinator for the department.

I also supervise PhD projects, and welcome both formal and informal contacts to discuss potential projects – please see my Research profile on this page for more information on my own research and also my areas of research supervision. Consultations: students can contact me at stephanie.rains@mu.ie to arrange a consultation.

Research Interests

My main research interests are in Irish media and cultural history.  My own PhD was on the 20thC Irish-American relationship to Ireland, especially as it was expressed through popular cultural forms such as film, television and tourism.  This was then the basis of my first book, The Irish American in Popular Culture, 1945-2000 (Irish Academic Press, 2007).

My subsequent work has focused on Irish cultural history, specifically the intersection between popular culture and everyday life.  My second book, Commodity Culture and Social Class in Dublin, 1850-1916 (Irish Academic Press, 2010) examined the development of department stores and consumer culture in 19thC Dublin.  For several years after that, my research focused on the Irish popular press of the late 19thC and early 20thC, particularly women’s magazines and commercial periodicals publishing popular fiction, as well as on the political economy of Irish media in the period before Independence.  I published several articles/chapters on this in journals such as in Irish Studies Review, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920, Media History and the Irish University Review.

My most recent book Advertising and Consumer Culture in Ireland 1922-1962: Buy Irish (Liverpool University Press, 2022) continued that focus on Irish popular publishing, and examines the political economy of the Irish media of the 20thC.  It explores the development of the modern advertising industry, the ways in which advertising revenue was central to the business model of Irish newspapers and magazines, and the broader implications of consumer culture in 20thC Ireland.

I am currently working towards a new book project on Irish holiday-making during the 20thC.  Most studies of Irish tourism concentrate on Ireland as a site for foreign tourists, and holidays taken by Irish people (both at home and abroad) prior to the Celtic Tiger era are relatively overlooked by comparison. This project includes a wide range of Irish holiday-making, from seaside trips to pilgrimages, cruises and the early years of package holidays.

I also run the Irish Media and Cultural History blog at https://irishmediahistory.com/.

I would welcome enquiries from students interested in pursuing PhD research in any area of Irish popular culture, including those covering film, radio and television, newspaper history and digital culture, as well as cultural history topics such as shopping, tourism and other aspects of everyday life.  I’m also available to supervise cultural studies projects with a UK or US focus, with a particular interest in popular culture and everyday life.


Year Publication
2022 Stephanie Rains (2022) Advertising and Consumer Culture in Ireland, 1922-1962: Buy Irish. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
2010 Dr Stephanie Rains (2010) Commodity Culture and Social Class in Dublin, 1850-1916. : Irish Academic Press.
2007 Rains, S. (2007) The Irish American in Popular Culture, 1945-2000. : Irish Academic Press.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2022 Stephanie Rains (2022) 'The Politics of Sitting Down: Women, Cafes and Public Toilets in Dublin' In: Shopping and the Senses, 1800-1970. London : Palgrave Macmillan.
2020 Stephanie Rains (2020) ''Popular Prints'' In: Irish Literature in Transition, 1830-1880 (Vol 3). Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
2019 Stephanie Rains (2019) 'Reading the Hand: Graphology and Alternative Literacies' In: Literacy, Language and Reading in Nineteenth-Century Ireland. Liverpool, UK : Liverpool University Press.
2009 Rains, S. (2009) 'Ireland as a Past Life: Bridey Murphy and Irish-American Tourism to Ireland, 1945-1960' In: James Rogers and Matthew O’Brien(Eds.). After the Flood: Irish-America 1945-1960. Dublin : Irish Academic Press.
2007 Rains, S. (2007) 'Making Strange: Journeys through the Unfamiliar in the Films of Vincent Ward' In: Ian Conrich and Stuart Murray(Eds.). New Zealand Filmmakers. Detroit : Wayne State University Press.
2006 Rains, S. (2006) 'Roots and Routes: Irish-American Interest in Genealogy, 1945-2000' In: Diane Negra(Eds.). The Irish In Us: Irishness, Performativity, and Popular Culture. Durham, NC : Duke University Press.
2004 Rains, S. (2004) 'Quarterizing the City:  The Spatial Politics of the Joyce Industry in Dublin' In: David Bell and Mark Jayne(Eds.). City of Quarters: Urban Villages in the Contemporary City. Aldershot : Ashgate Publishing.
2003 Rains, S. (2003) 'Home from Home: Diasporic Images of Ireland in Film and Tourism' In: Barbara O’Connor and Michael Cronin(Eds.). Tourism in Ireland: A Critical Study. Clevedon : Channel View Publications.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2021 Stephanie Rains (2021) '“No irregularity or obstruction can resist them”: advertising of abortion pills in the Irish press, 1890–1930'. Irish Studies Review, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 Rains, S (2020) 'The Kennedys of Castleross: Soap Opera and Sponsorship on Irish Radio'. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2017 Rains, S (2017) 'Irish Women Freelance Writers and the Popular Press: An Army Beyond Literary Circles'. English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, 60 :36-57. [Full-Text]
2016 Rains S. (2016) 'City streets and the city edition: newsboys and newspapers in early twentieth-century Ireland'. Irish Studies Review, 24 (2):142-158. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2015 Rains, S (2015) ''Nauseous Tides of Seductive Debauchery': Irish Story Papers and the Anti-Vice Campaigns of the Early Twentieth Century'. Irish University Review, 45 . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2015 Dr Stephanie Rains (2015) 'Going in for Competitions Active readers and magazine culture, 1900–1910'. Media History, 21 :138-149. [Full-Text]
2014 Dr Stephanie Rains (2014) '‘“Do You Ring? Or Are you Rung for?”: Mass Media, Class, and Social Aspiration in Edwardian Ireland’'. New Hibernia Review, 18 . [Full-Text]
2011 Dr Stephanie Rains (2011) 'The Ideal Home (Rule) Exhibition: Ballymaclinton and the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition'. Field Day Review, 7 . [Full-Text]
2008 Rains, S. (2008) 'Joyce’s ‘Araby’ and the Real Araby Bazaar of 1894'. Dublin James Joyce Journal, 1 :17-29. [Full-Text]
2008 Rains, S. (2008) 'Here Be Monsters: the Irish Industrial Exhibition of 1853 and the Growth of Dublin Department Stores'. Irish Studies Review, 16 :487-506. [Full-Text]
2007 (2007) 'Modernity and Consumption in 19thC Ireland: The Araby Bazaar and 1890s Popular Visual Culture'. Early Popular Visual Culture, 5 :285-300. [Full-Text]
1999 Rains, S. (1999) 'Touring Temple Bar: Cultural Tourism in Dublin’s ‘Cultural Quarter’'. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 6 :3-15. [Full-Text]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2015 Dr Stephanie Rains (2015) '‘Suburban Speculation: Dublin’s 19thC suburbs and the making of the middle-classes’' 2ha magazine, 10 .
2015 Dr Stephanie Rains (2015) ''A Brief History of Clery's'' History Ireland, 23 . [Full-Text]
2013 Dr Stephanie Rains (2013) 'Colleens, Cottages and Kraals: the politics of 'native' village exhibitions' History Ireland, 2 . [Full-Text]
2004 Rains, S. (2004) 'Celtic Kitsch: Irish-America and Irish Material Culture' Circa Art Magazine, 107 :52-57.

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2023 Stephanie Rains (2023) Our Great National Temple of Art and Industry The 1853 Exhibition and the rise of consumer culture in nineteenth century Ireland Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, .
2022 Stephanie Rains (2022) Profitable Patriotism: Irish Historical Fiction and Edwardian Periodicals Irish Literature and Periodical Culture Symposium, KU Leuven KU Leuven, Belgium, .
2021 Stephanie Rains (2021) ‘Shopping for Ireland: Consumer Culture and Patriotism in the Irish Free State’ Contemporary Irish History Seminar Series, Trinity Long Room Hub Trinity College Dublin (online), .
2014 Stephanie Rains (2014) ‘Cathedrals of Consumption: Department Stores in 19thC Dublin’ Irish Architectural Archive Dublin Shops Lecture Series Irish Architectural Archive, Dublin, .
2016 Stephanie Rains (2016) RTE Reflecting the Rising, 2016 Shopping in 1916, RTE Reflecting the Rising, 2016 Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, .
2014 Stephanie Rains (2014) ‘Irish Story Papers and the Anti-Vice Campaigns of the Early 20thC’ Irish Historical Society Seminar Series, Boston College, Dublin Boston College, Dublin, .
2013 Stephanie Rains (2013) ‘Get On, or Get Out!’: Publishing, Class and Social Aspiration in Edwardian Ireland’ Lawrence McBride Memorial Lecture, American Conference for Irish Studies Midwest Conference, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA, .
2012 Stephanie Rains (2012) ‘The Politics of Consumption in Ireland’ Roundtable Discussion Politics of Consumption Conference, Trinity College Dublin Trinity College Dublin, .
2012 Stephanie Rains (2012) ‘Grub Street in Dublin: a geography of the printing and publishing industry in the early 20thC’ Making Money in Dublin Since 1500: Dublin City Research Group, Trinity College Dublin Trinity College Dublin, .
2009 Stephanie Rains (2009) ‘The Development of Modern Consumer Culture in Dublin: Department Stores and the Irish Industrial Ex Consumer Culture, Advertising and Literature in Ireland 1848-1921 Public Lecture Series, University of Sunderland, UK University of Sunderland, UK, .
2009 Stephanie Rains (2009) ‘Petite Bourgeoisie or Radical Revolutionaries? Drapers’ Assistants, Fenianism and Social Class in 1 Humanities Institute of Ireland Seminar Series, UCD, Ireland University College Dublin, .
2008 Stephanie Rains (2008) ‘Modernity and Consumption in 19thC Ireland: The Araby Bazaar and 1890s Popular Culture' Journal of Early Popular Visual Culture special Irish issue launch symposium, IADT Dun Laoghaire IADT Dun Laoghaire, .
2006 (2006) ‘The Everyday and the Academy: A New Generation of Cultural Studies?’ Rethinking the Everyday: Different Approaches to Material Culture NCAD, Dublin, .
2005 (2005) ‘An Introduction to Michel Foucault’ Cultural Theory Public Lecture Series Douglas Hyde Gallery, TCD Dublin, .
2005 Stephanie Rains (2005) ‘John Wayne Seeks Maureen O’Hara: Representations of Sexuality and Gender in Irish-American Popular' University College Dublin Centre for Film Studies Research Seminar University College Dublin Centre for Film Studies Research Seminar, .

Book Review

Year Publication
2022 Stephanie Rains (2022) 'Advertising and the Transformation of Screen Cultures, by Bo Florin, Patrick Vonderau and Yvonne Zimmerman'. [Book Review] [DOI]
2023 Stephanie Rains (2023) White Cottage, White House: Irish American Masculinities in Classical Hollywood Cinema / Tony Tracy. [Book Review]


Year Publication
2023 Stephanie Rains (2023) The 'turkey lift': when Irish turkeys were posted in droves to Britain for Christmas. [Media] [Link]
2023 Stephanie Rains (2023) How neon advertising signs lit up Dublin in the 1930s, RTE Brainstorm. [Media] [Link]
2018 Stephanie Rains (2018) Tríd an Lionsa/ Through the Lens, TG4 television documentary appearance. [Media]
2016 Stephanie Rains (2016) Ireland Before the Rising, RTE television documentary appearance. [Media]
2013 Stephanie Rains (2013) The History Show, RTE Radio 22 December. [Media]
2011 Stephanie Rains (2011) The History Show, RTE Radio 16 January. [Media]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.