Award: Fulbright-National University of Ireland Scholar
Institution: University College Cork
Dr Emma Penney is an IRC Postdoctoral Fellow at UCC where she is completing her monograph Women Writing the Margins. She is currently collaborating with poet Sophie Meehan and digital artist, Áine O’Hara on an Arts Council funded project to recuperate and create a digital archive of working-class writing. Emma is also organising Ireland’s first Working-Class Studies Conference with the support of an IRC New Foundations Award and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Working-Class Studies Association of America. As a Fulbright-NUI Scholar, Emma will travel to Howard University in Washington, DC where she will consult the archives of the National Welfare Rights Organisation paying special attention to the creative writing produced by grassroots women’s groups as part of a welfare rights movement. She will be based at the Cathy Hughes School of Communication where she will work closely with Dr. Monica Ponder and Dr. Loren Saxton-Coleman on their CDC Foundation-funded project, Project REFOCUS, which addresses social stigma related to COVID-19 and racism. Through transnational archival practice, Emma will explore how writing cultures can be collectively transformative and could offer a non-traditional response during public health crises, where the experience of racism impacts significantly on people’s mental well-being, health behavior and access to health care services.