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Dr Janice Holmes

Profile summary

  • Regional Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in History
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • History
  • janice.holmes

Professional biography

Janice Holmes studied History at the University of Guelph and Queen’s University Kingston in Canada, before obtaining a PhD in History from Queen’s University Belfast in 1995. She was awarded a three-year Faculty of Arts Fellowship at University College Dublin before taking up the post of Lecturer in Irish History at the University of Ulster Coleraine in 1997. She joined the Open University in 2006 and is based in Belfast where she works as a Senior Lecturer and Staff Tutor for The Open University in Ireland.

She serves on the committee of the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies and is currently Chair of the Irish Committee of Historical Sciences, which represents historians working in Irish schools, colleges, universities, archives and societies.

Research interests

Her research interests are in the social history of religion, in particular, evangelical Protestantism in nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain and Ireland. She has written on revivalism, female preaching and the interconnections between street preaching and sectarian violence. Now her interests have moved towards domestic evangelism and public history. In 2006 she curated a travelling exhibition entitled Saved or Lost: Protestant evangelism in Ulster since 1790, in co-operation with the Causeway Museum Service. Her most recent research includes the deaconess movement in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, vernacular religious buildings in Ulster and a biography of the Rev. Hugh Hanna.



Janice Holmes, Religious Revivals in Britain and Ireland, 1859-1905, Irish Academic Press, 2001, 281 pp., 0-7165-2692-1.
Review: English Historical Review 117, no. 472 (June 2002), 654-6.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

‘Women preachers and the new orders: women preachers in the Protestant Churches’ in Sheridan Gilley and Brian Stanley (eds), The Cambridge history of Christianity: World Christianities, c. 1815-c.1914, Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp 84-93.

‘Irish evangelicals and the British evangelical community, 1820s-1870s’ in James Murphy (ed.), Evangelicals and Catholics in nineteenth-century Ireland: proceedings of the Society for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Ireland, Four Courts, 2005, pp 176-99.

‘Transformation, consolidation or aberration? Explaining the Ulster revival of 1859’ in Niall O Ciosain (ed.), Explaining change in cultural history: Historical Studies XXIII: papers read before the 25th Irish Conference of Historians, held at University College Galway, 18-20 May 2001, University College Dublin Press, 2005, pp 120-39.

‘Religion, sectarianism and gender: the Salvation Army in Ireland, 1881-82’ in Rosemary Raughter (ed.), Religious women and their history: breaking the silence, Irish Academic Press, 2005, pp 63-81.

Journal Articles

‘The role of open-air preaching and the Belfast riots of 1857’ in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 102C, no. 3 (2002), pp 47-66.

Conference Papers

‘Evangelicalism, sectarianism and Protestant identity’, Religious Identities, Sectarianism and Bridge-Building: Belief Beyond Boundaries Symposium, Open University, April 2007.

‘Deaconesses in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’, The Robert Allen Lecture, Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, May 2007.

‘Explaining the Welsh revival of 1904-5’, MTh Residential Conference, University of Wales Lampeter, April 2005.


Saved or Lost: Protestant evangelism in Ulster since 1790, curated and developed in partnership with the Causeway Museum Service, Coleraine, various venues in Northern Ireland, June-November 2006

Teaching interests

While at the University of Ulster, she developed and delivered numerous courses on early modern and modern Irish history, including Year 1 surveys as well as more specialist courses on women and religion. She also developed an interest in museum studies and initiated a ground-breaking course which involved students working in partnership with local museums to stage a public exhibition.

She is a member of the A200 Course Team and is currently helping to rewrite the new MA in History, by contributing a unit on history and religion. She is also developing the department’s interests in Irish history.

She would be interested in supervising PhD students wishing to research a topic in British or Irish religious history, particularly ones focusing on evangelicalism, evangelism or women.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
British and Irish History GroupGroupFaculty of Arts
Material Cultures Research GroupGroupFaculty of Arts


The role of open-air preaching in the Belfast riots of 1857 (2002-10)
Holmes, Janice
Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Section C, 102C(3) (pp. 47-66)
A century of service: celebrating the role of deaconesses in the church (2008)
Holmes, Janice and McCracken, Philippa
ISBN : 9781906173067 | Publisher : 10Publishing | Published : Belfast
Religious revivals in Britain and Ireland, 1859-1905 (2001)
Holmes, Janice
ISBN : 716526921 | Publisher : Irish Academic Press | Published : Dublin, Ireland
Methodists and Holiness (2017)
Holmes, Janice
In: Larsen, Timothy and Ledger-Lomas, Michael eds. The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions Volume III: The Nineteenth Century (pp. 124-149)
ISBN : 9780199683710 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford
John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress in Nineteenth-Century Ulster (2017)
Holmes, Janice
In: Gudmundsson, David; Maurits, Alexander and Nykvist, Martin eds. Classics in Northern European Church History over 500 Years: essays in honour of Anders Jarlert (pp. 61-84)
ISBN : 9783631720837 | Publisher : Peter Lang | Published : Frankfurt am Main
The reform of piety in Ireland, 1780-1920 (2013)
Holmes, Janice
In: Jarlert, Anders ed. Piety and Modernity. The Dynamics of Religious Reform in Northern Europe, 1780-1920 (3) (pp. 65-98)
ISBN : 9789058679321 | Publisher : Leuven University Press | Published : Leuven
Women preachers and the new Orders - A: Women preachers in the Protestant churches (2006)
Holmes, Janice
In: Gilley, Sheridan and Stanley, Brian eds. World Christianities, c.1815-c.1914. The Cambridge History of Christianity (pp. 84-93)
ISBN : 9781139053952 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge
Gender, public disorder and the Salvation Army in Ireland, 1880-82 (2005-06)
Holmes, Janice
In: Raughter, Rosemary ed. Religious women and their history: breaking the silence (pp. 63-81)
ISBN : 071652760x | Publisher : Irish Academic Press Ltd | Published : Dublin, Ireland
Transformation, aberration or consolidation? Explaining the Ulster revival of 1859 (2005-05-17)
Holmes, Janice
In: O Ciosain, Niall ed. Explaining Change in Cultural History. Historical Studies (XXIII - pa) (pp. 120-139)
ISBN : 1904558267 | Publisher : University College Dublin Press | Published : Dublin, Ireland
Irish evangelicals and the British evangelical community, 1820s-1870s (2005)
Holmes, Janice
In: Murphy, James H. ed. Evangelicals and Catholics in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (pp. 209-222)
ISBN : 1-85182-917-2 | Publisher : Four Courts Press | Published : Dublin
The "Absence" of Family in 19th-Century Irish Presbyterian Clerical Biographies (2017)
Holmes, Janice
In : Spiritual and Ecclesiastical Biographies: Research, Results and Reading (11-12 Jun 2015, Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien (Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities), Stockholm, Sweden) (pp. 105-120)

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