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Dr Helen O'Shea

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am a Staff Tutor and Lecturer in History. Originally from Co. Cork in Ireland and based in Edinburgh since 2003, I was awarded my PhD in history from the University of Edinburgh in 2010. I first started working as an Associate Lecturer in History with the Open University in 2012 and since then have also worked as a Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Dundee and for the National Union of Students in Scotland on the issues surrounding the internationalisation of higher education. 

Research interests

My research interests include comparative decolonisation, insurgency and counter-insurgency in the British Empire, the British colonial legal service and modern Irish history in transnational and comparative contexts. My first book was published in 2015 under the title Ireland and the End of the British Empire: The Republic and Its Role in the Cyprus Emergency. I am currently researching emergency law and order in the post-war British Empire using three major emergency periods - Palestine (1945-48), Malaya (1948-60) and Kenya (1952-59) - as case studies. 

In the field of HE policy, I'm interested in issues of student access, retention and progression in the context of higher education and under-represented adult learners and have recently produced a literature review for the OU's Widening Participation and Enhancement Team in Scotland on SIMD20 students in Scotland and the attainment gap. 


Irish Legal Geographies in the Era of Emergency: Independent Ireland, Colonial Kenya and the British Colonial Legal Service (2016-08-31)
O'Shea, Helen
Éire-Ireland: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies, 51(1 & 2) (pp. 243-265)

Ireland and the End of the British Empire: The Republic and its Role in the Cyprus Emergency (2014-10-16)
O'Shea, Helen
ISBN : 9781780767529 | Publisher : I.B. Tauris | Published : London

‘Personally I Think it Would be Positively Hilarious’: The European Convention, the Cyprus Question and Frank Aiken’s State of Exception (2014-04-14)
O'Shea, Helen
In: Kelly, Stephen and Evans, Bryce eds. Frank Aiken: Nationalist and Internationalist (pp. 233-249)
ISBN : 978-0716532392 | Publisher : Irish Academic Press | Published : Kildare

"Cyprus on the Brain": Irish Identity, the Imperial Imagination and the Beginnings of British Cyprus. (2013)
O'Shea, Helen
In: Georgis, Giorgos and Kazamias, Georgios eds. Ireland-Cyprus: Parallel Journeys. Common Aspirations (pp. 212-245)
ISBN : 9789963691920 | Publisher : En tipis Publications | Published : Nicosia

Irish Law Graduates, the colonial legal service and the Cyprus Emergency, 1955-59 (2012-11-23)
O'Shea, Helen
In: Dickson, David; Pyz, Justyna and Shepard, Christopher eds. Irish Classrooms and the British Empire: Imperial Contexts in the Origins of Modern Education (pp. 223-230)
ISBN : 978-1846823497 | Publisher : Four Courts Press | Published : Dublin

Colonial Reparations, Collective Redress and the Colonial Legal Service in the Post-War British Empire (2016-11)
O'Shea, Helen
In : 3rd Academic International Conference on Interdisciplinary Legal Studies (1-3 Mar 2016, University of Oxford) (pp. 16-24)