Dr Valerie Heffernan

German Studies, Motherhood Project

Senior Lecturer

Arts Building
30
(01) 708 3708

Biography



Valerie Heffernan is a Senior Lecturer in German Literature and Culture at the Maynooth University School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures. She studied at University College Dublin, the Université de Lausanne (Switzerland) and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany). She received her PhD in 2004.

Dr Heffernan's research interests encompass feminist theory, cultural studies and
 literary studies. Her current work looks at how motherhood is represented in contemporary literature and culture. Together with Gay Wilgus, she recently edited a special issue of Women: A Cultural Review on “Imagining Motherhood in the Twenty-First Century”. Other recent publications include articles on contemporary European women writers such as Julia Franck, Katrin Gerlof, Katharina Hagena and Annette Pehnt. She is presently working on a new book that explores family novels by female authors, provisionally 
titled Contemporary Women's Writing in German: The Feminist Family Romance.

Valerie Heffernan is the recipient of grants from the Irish Research Council, the Royal Irish Academy and the National University of Ireland, as well as scholarships from the Mexican Government, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and the Swiss Government Excellence programme, among others. She has served as Vice-Chair for the evaluation of a number of calls with the Horizon 2020 Excellent Science pillar, including Societal Challenge 6 (Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies), MSCA Initial Training Networks and MSCA Individual Fellowships. Dr Heffernan is one of the coordinators of Maynooth University's elective stream on "Gender and Sexuality in Society and Culture".

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.


Post Doctoral Fellows/Research Team

  Researcher Name Project Role Funding Body
Katherine Stone 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]

Edited Books

  Year Publication
2018 Robert Walser: A Companion
Heffernan, Valerie and Samuel Frederick (Ed.). (2018) Robert Walser: A Companion Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. [Details]
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
2018 'Introduction: Imagining Motherhood in the Twenty-first Century — Images, Representations, Constructions'
Heffernan, Valerie and Gay Wilgus (2018) 'Introduction: Imagining Motherhood in the Twenty-first Century — Images, Representations, Constructions'. Women: A Cultural Review, 29 (1):1-18 [DOI] [Details]
2018 'Mending the Torn Fragments of a Relationship: An Interview with Sarah Strong'
Heffernan, Valerie (2018) 'Mending the Torn Fragments of a Relationship: An Interview with Sarah Strong'. Women: A Cultural Review, 29 (1):97-111 [DOI] [Details]
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'. FIGURATIONEN: GENDER-LITERATUR-KULTUR, 1 :113-127 [IR Link] [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
2018 'Introduction. Robert Walser: Modernist at the Margins'
Heffernan, Valerie and Samuel Frederick (2018) 'Introduction. Robert Walser: Modernist at the Margins' In: Heffernan, Valerie and Samuel Frederick (eds). Robert Walser: A Companion. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. [Details]
2018 'Parodies of Power: Robert Walser's Dramatic Scenes'
Heffernan, Valerie (2018) 'Parodies of Power: Robert Walser's Dramatic Scenes' In: Heffernan, Valerie and Samuel Frederick (eds). Robert Walser: A Companion. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. [Details]
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]

Book Review

  Year Publication
2017 Review of “German Women Writers and the Spatial Turn: New Perspectives”.
Heffernan, Valerie (2017) Review of “German Women Writers and the Spatial Turn: New Perspectives”. Book Review [DOI] [Details]
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, Valerie (2013) The Limits of Language. Preserving Unrest. LONDON: Book Review [Details]
2009 Paul Klee: Poet/Painter.
Heffernan, Valerie (2009) Paul Klee: Poet/Painter. LEEDS: Book Review [Details]

Conference Hosted

  Year Publication
2015 Motherhood and Culture.
Heffernan, Valerie (2015) Motherhood and Culture. Maynooth, Ireland: Conference Hosted [Details]
2013 Emerging Women Writers Workshop.
Heffernan, Valerie (2013) Emerging Women Writers Workshop. Conference Hosted [Details]
2006 Mythos Schweiz? Zur Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des Schweizerischen in der Gegenwart.
Heffernan, Valerie (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)