Dr Valerie Heffernan

German Studies, Motherhood Project

Senior Lecturer

Arts Building
(01) 708 3708


Valerie Heffernan’s research interests encompass 20th and 21st century literature, feminist literary theory and cultural studies. She has published widely on contemporary German literature, with a particular focus on women writers and German-speaking Swiss writers. Her current research considers the representation of mothers, mothering and motherhood in contemporary European literature and culture. Presently, she is Principal Investigator of a research project entitled “The Cultural Transmission of Motherhood in Europe: A Case Study”, for which she was awarded a prestigious Irish Research Council Research Project Grant in 2014. The recipient of numerous other grants, Heffernan is currently working on her second monograph, “Contemporary Women’s Writing in German: The Feminist Family Romance”, which looks as recent German-language novels by women that explore the connection between family stories and the broader historical narrative.