Dr Valerie Heffernan

German Studies, Motherhood Project

Senior Lecturer

Arts Building
30
(01) 708 3708

Biography

Valerie Heffernan received her PhD from University College Dublin in 2004. Her dissertation, which used feminist and postcolonial theory to shed light on the work of the Swiss modernist writer Robert Walser, was published in 2007 as “Provocation from the Periphery. Robert Walser Re-examined”. Heffernan has been working for the School of Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures at Maynooth University since 2004. She was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Philological Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2011-12 and took over as Head of German on her return to Maynooth University in 2012. She is also Chair of the Research Committee for the Faculty of Arts, Celtic Studies and Philosophy.

Research Interests

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. From 2014-2016, she was 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. She is currently on sabbatical leave and is affiliated to the AFIN research group at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.


Contract Researchers

  Researcher Name Project Role Funding Body
1195309 Sexual Violence in German Memory since 1945 Post Doctorate

Books

  Year Publication
2007 Provocation from the Periphery. Robert Walser Re-examined.
Heffernan, Valerie (2007) Provocation from the Periphery. Robert Walser Re-examined. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
2015 'Matrilineal Narrative and the Feminist Family Romance'
Heffernan, Valerie (2015) 'Matrilineal Narrative and the Feminist Family Romance' In: Hester Baer and Alexandra Merley Hill (eds). German Women’s Writing in the Twenty-First Century. Rochester, NY: Camden House. [IR Link] [Details]
2015 'Versstücke, Szenen und Dialoge der Berner Zeit'
Heffernan, Valerie (2015) 'Versstücke, Szenen und Dialoge der Berner Zeit' In: Robert Walser Handbuch. Stuttgart: Metzler. [Details]
2014 'Mediating the Mommy Wars in Contemporary Germany'
Heffernan, Valerie (2014) 'Mediating the Mommy Wars in Contemporary Germany' In: Elizabeth Reid Boyd and Gayle Letherby (eds). Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. Bradford, ON: Demeter Press. [IR Link] [Details]
2013 'Perspectives on the Borderline: Julia Franck's lagerfeuer'
Valerie Heffernan (2013) 'Perspectives on the Borderline: Julia Franck's lagerfeuer' In: Valerie Heffernan and Gillian Pye (eds). Transitions: Emerging Women Writers in German-language Literature. Amsterdam: Rodopi. [IR Link] [Details]
2013 'Trends and Transitions in Contemporary German-language Writing by Women'
Valerie Heffernan and Gillian Pye (2013) 'Trends and Transitions in Contemporary German-language Writing by Women' In: Valerie Heffernan and Gillian Pye (eds). Transitions: Emerging Women Writers in German-language Literature. Amsterdam: Rodopi. [IR Link] [Details]
2011 'Julia Franck, Die Mittagsfrau: Historia Matria and Matrilineal Narrative'
Heffernan, Valerie (2011) 'Julia Franck, Die Mittagsfrau: Historia Matria and Matrilineal Narrative' In: Emerging German-Language Novelists of the Twenty-First Century. Rochester, NY: Camden House. [IR Link] [Details]
2010 'Einleitung: ›Mythos Schweiz‹. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Schweizerischen in der Literatur'
Heffernan, Valerie & Jürgen Barkhoff (2010) 'Einleitung: ›Mythos Schweiz‹. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Schweizerischen in der Literatur' In: Schweiz schreiben. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Mythos Schweiz in der Gegenwartsliteratur. Tübingen: De Gruyter. [DOI] [IR Link] [Details]
2010 'Unschweizerische Schweizerliteratur? Ruth Schweikert, Peter Stamm, Zoë Jenny'
Heffernan, Valerie (2010) 'Unschweizerische Schweizerliteratur? Ruth Schweikert, Peter Stamm, Zoë Jenny' In: Schweiz schreiben. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Mythos Schweiz in der Gegenwartsliteratur. Tübingen: De Gruyter. [DOI] [IR Link] [Details]
2008 'Robert Walser: Lange wohnte sie nun schon im Turm der Geduld'
Heffernan, Valerie (2008) 'Robert Walser: Lange wohnte sie nun schon im Turm der Geduld' In: Prose Project: Irish Germanists interpret German Short and Very Short Narrative Texts. Konstanz: Hartung-Gorre Verlag. [IR Link] [Details]
2008 'Nicht wahr, es klingt so schoen. Zur Musik des Walser-Textes'
Heffernan, Valerie (2008) 'Nicht wahr, es klingt so schoen. Zur Musik des Walser-Textes' In: Bildersprache Klangfiguren. Spielformen der Intermedialitaet bei Robert Walser. Munich: Wilhelm Fink. [IR Link] [Details]
2007 'Walter M. Diggelmanns Die Hinterlassenschaft and the landscape of Swiss Vergangenheitsbewältigung'
Heffernan, Valerie (2007) 'Walter M. Diggelmanns Die Hinterlassenschaft and the landscape of Swiss Vergangenheitsbewältigung' In: From the Margins to the Centre: Irish Germanists on Swiss Culture and Literature. Bern: Peter Lang. [IR Link] [Details]
2007 'Walsers hybride Subjekt. Zur dramatischen Szene Die Chinesin/Der Chinese'
Heffernan, Valerie (2007) 'Walsers hybride Subjekt. Zur dramatischen Szene Die Chinesin/Der Chinese' In: Robert Walsers Ferne Nähe. Neue Beiträge zur Forschung. Munich: Fink. [Details]

Edited Books

  Year Publication
2013 Transitions: Emerging Women Writers in German-language Literature
Heffernan, Valerie & Gillian Pye (Ed.). (2013) Transitions: Emerging Women Writers in German-language Literature Amsterdam: Rodopi. [Details]
2010 Schweiz schreiben. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Mythos Schweiz in der Gegenwartsliteratur
J. Barkhoff & V. Heffernan (Ed.). (2010) Schweiz schreiben. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Mythos Schweiz in der Gegenwartsliteratur Tübingen: De Gruyter. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
2017 'Dementia narratives in contemporary German women’s writing'
Heffernan, Valerie (2017) 'Dementia narratives in contemporary German women’s writing'. Journal of Romance Studies, 13 (3):361-378 [DOI] [Details]
2010 'Swimming against the current? Rolf Lappert's Nach Hause schwimmen'
Heffernan, Valerie (2010) 'Swimming against the current? Rolf Lappert's Nach Hause schwimmen'. To be added, 1 :113-127 [IR Link] [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
2012 German Studies Association Conference.
(2012) German Studies Association Conference. [Oral Presentation], Mediating the Mommy Wars: Kerstin Gier’s Mütter-Mafia trilogy, Milwaukee, USA [Details]
2011 Seminar of the Centro de Poética, Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas.
(2011) Seminar of the Centro de Poética, Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas. [Oral Presentation], The German-Speaking Exile in Mexico 1939-1946, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Mexico City [Details]
2011 Symposium on ‘Larissa Boehning and Contemporary Literature’.
(2011) Symposium on ‘Larissa Boehning and Contemporary Literature’. [Oral Presentation], Transitions: Women’s Writing in the 21st Century, Liverpool, UK [Details]
2011 Royal Irish Academy Modern Languages Symposium on ‘Language, Migration and Diaspora’.
(2011) Royal Irish Academy Modern Languages Symposium on ‘Language, Migration and Diaspora’. [Oral Presentation], Writing Between Cultures: The German-Speaking Exile in Mexico 1941-1946, Dublin, Ireland [Details]
2010 German Studies Association Conference.
(2010) German Studies Association Conference. [Oral Presentation], Perspectives on the Borderline: Julia Franck’s Lagerfeuer (2003), Oakland, USA [Details]
2009 German Studies Association Conference.
(2009) German Studies Association Conference. [Oral Presentation], Weak, Ineffectual Mothers in Contemporary Fiction, Washington D.C [Details]
2007 Conference of the University Teachers of German.
(2007) Conference of the University Teachers of German. [Oral Presentation], The erosion of the Inselmentalität in Contemporary Swiss Literature, Bristol, UK [Details]
2006 Mythos Schweiz. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Schweizerischen in der Gegenwart.
(2006) Mythos Schweiz. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Schweizerischen in der Gegenwart. [Oral Presentation], Unschweizerische Schweizerliteratur? Ruth Schweikert, Peter Stamm, Zoë Jenny, Maynooth, Ireland [Details]
2006 “Ferne Nähe” International Symposium to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Robert Walser.
(2006) “Ferne Nähe” International Symposium to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Robert Walser. [Oral Presentation], Robert Walser lesen: Walsers dramatische Szenen, Zurich, Switzerland [Details]
2005 Swiss Literature seminar 'Bilder Helvetias in der neueren Literatur der deutschsprachigen Schweiz'.
(2005) Swiss Literature seminar 'Bilder Helvetias in der neueren Literatur der deutschsprachigen Schweiz'. [Oral Presentation], Urs Faes’ Sommerwende und die Landschaft der Vergangenheitsbewältigung in der Schweiz, Dublin, Ireland [Details]
2005 International conference on 'Contemporary European Women Writers: Gender and Generation'.
(2005) International conference on 'Contemporary European Women Writers: Gender and Generation'. [Oral Presentation], Engendering generational conflict: Zoë Jenny’s Das Blütenstaubzimmer, Bath, UK [Details]
2004 Women in German Studies 16th Annual Conference.
(2004) Women in German Studies 16th Annual Conference. [Oral Presentation], “Zeugen einer doppelten Verdrängung”? Representations of the Second World War in Swiss Literature, Cambridge, UK [Details]
2004 Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas on ‘The Politics of Memory'.
(2004) Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas on ‘The Politics of Memory'. [Oral Presentation], Re(constructing) the Past: Switzerland and World War II, Pamplona, Spain [Details]
2004 HII conference on ‘Memory Contests: Cultural Memory, Hybridity and Identity'.
(2004) HII conference on ‘Memory Contests: Cultural Memory, Hybridity and Identity'. [Oral Presentation], Between Collective Memory and Collective Amnesia: Negotiating Swiss Cultural Identity, Dublin, Ireland [Details]
2004 Symposium on Swiss Presence in Ireland.
(2004) Symposium on Swiss Presence in Ireland. [Oral Presentation], Robert Walsers Mikrogramme, Limerick, Ireland [Details]
2003 Royal Irish Academy Symposium on ‘Intercultural Spaces’.
(2003) Royal Irish Academy Symposium on ‘Intercultural Spaces’. [Oral Presentation], The Hybrid Text. Robert Walser’s Mikrogramme, Dublin, Ireland [Details]
2001 Postgraduate Forum on Historizität-Ereignis-Medialität.
(2001) Postgraduate Forum on Historizität-Ereignis-Medialität. [Oral Presentation], Inszenierte Lektüre. Zu Robert Walsers dramatischen Szenen, Zurich, Switzerland [Details]
2001 Sentimente, Gefühle, Empfindungen: Zur Geschichte und Literatur des Affektiven von 1770 bis heute.
(2001) Sentimente, Gefühle, Empfindungen: Zur Geschichte und Literatur des Affektiven von 1770 bis heute. [Oral Presentation], Affektierte Weiblichkeit – Robert Walsers Schreibweisen, Dublin, Ireland [Details]
2000 Royal Irish Academy 27th Annual Research Symposium on ‘Cultural Memory’.
(2000) Royal Irish Academy 27th Annual Research Symposium on ‘Cultural Memory’. [Oral Presentation], Tell Retold. Robert Walser’s Retellings and Reversions of the William Tell story, Dublin, Ireland [Details]
1999 Postgraduate Conference of the Troisième Cycle Romande.
(1999) Postgraduate Conference of the Troisième Cycle Romande. [Oral Presentation], Der Text des Anderen oder der andere Text?’, Château d’Oex, Switzerland [Details]

Book Review

  Year Publication
2014 Review of Reproducing Women: Family and Health Work Across Three Generations by Marilyn Porter and Diana L. Gustafson.
Heffernan, Valerie (2014) Review of Reproducing Women: Family and Health Work Across Three Generations by Marilyn Porter and Diana L. Gustafson. Book Review [Details]
2013 The Limits of Language. Preserving Unrest.
Heffernan, V (2013) The Limits of Language. Preserving Unrest. LONDON: Book Review [Details]
2009 Paul Klee: Poet/Painter.
Heffernan, V (2009) Paul Klee: Poet/Painter. LEEDS: Book Review [Details]

Thesis

  Year Publication
2004 Provocation from the periphery : Robert Walser re-examined.
Heffernan, Valerie (2004) Provocation from the periphery : Robert Walser re-examined. University College Dublin: Thesis [DOI] [Details]
1995 Diese nicht einzuordnende weibliche Struktur. Untersuchungen zur Weiblichkeit in Robert Walsers späterer Prosa.
Heffernan, Valerie (1995) Diese nicht einzuordnende weibliche Struktur. Untersuchungen zur Weiblichkeit in Robert Walsers späterer Prosa. University College Dublin: Thesis [Details]

Translation

  Year Publication
2005 As if he were a King – The Rise and Fall of Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman', translated by V. Heffernan.
Paul, Fritz (2005) As if he were a King – The Rise and Fall of Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman', translated by V. Heffernan. Translation [Details]
2000 The 1994 Civil War in Northern Ghana: The Genesis and Escalation of a “Tribal” Conflict', translated by V. Heffernan.
Bogner, Artur (2000) The 1994 Civil War in Northern Ghana: The Genesis and Escalation of a “Tribal” Conflict', translated by V. Heffernan. Translation [Details]

Conference Hosted

  Year Publication
2013 Emerging Women Writers Workshop.
Dr Valerie Heffernan (2013) Emerging Women Writers Workshop. Conference Hosted [Details]
2006 Mythos Schweiz? Zur Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Schweizerischen in der Gegenwart.
Dr Valerie Heffernan (2006) Mythos Schweiz? Zur Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Schweizerischen in der Gegenwart. Conference Hosted [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2011 Mexican Government Scholarship for Foreigners
2002 University College Dublin Faculty of Arts Fellowship
2000 IRCHSS Government of Ireland Scholarship
2000 University College Dublin Open Postgraduate Scholarship
1997 Swiss Government Scholarship
1998 Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Scholarship

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
Faculty Research Committee Chair 2013 / 2016

Education

  Year Institution Qualification Subject
2004 University College Dublin Ph.D
1995 University College Dublin M.A.
1993 University College Dublin B.A. (Hons)