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Assoc Professor Elva Johnston

Assoc Professor

Elva Johnston

Associate Professor
School of History
01 716 8145
University College Dublin, School of History, Newman Building Belfield Dublin 4


I am a Late Antique and Early Medieval Irish historian with research interests in conversion, materiality, literacy, sanctity and sexuality. I was educated in UCC, where I studied History and English, before later completing my doctorate in the University of Oxford. My monograph, Literacy and Identity in Early Medieval Ireland (2013), was awarded the Irish Historical Research Prize (2015). I am currently co-editor of Peritia, Journal of the Medieval Academy of Ireland. Previews and samples of my published academic research can be found on my academia page ( I am a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission. I teach undergraduate modules on various aspects of Late Antique and Early Medieval history. I offer graduate teaching and supervision in these areas. I have supervised several PhD candidates and welcome graduates with interests in all aspects of Early Irish History and Insular Studies, particularly before the year c. AD 1000. I also mentor postdoctoral scholars in these areas.


  • Vice-Principal for Graduate Studies, College of Arts and Humanities
    UCD, Ireland23 Jan 2017 - 27 Jan 2020
  • Member of the Academic Council Quality Enhancement Committee
    UCD, Ireland29 Jan 2018


  • External Examiner for Celtic and Gaeilic
    University of Glasgow, United Kingdom5 Sep 2016 - 30 Sep 2019
  • Commissioner
    Irish Manuscripts Commission, Ireland17 Jul 2017


  • BA
    University College Cork
  • MA
    University College Cork
  • DPhil
    Oxford University UK


  • RSSDP (Research Supervisor Support and Development Programme)
    UCD31 Aug 2015


  • The Cult of Relics in Early Medieval Ireland
    University College Dublin, History, Dublin, Ireland3 Sep 2012 - 30 Aug 2013
    Early Irish HistoryPostdoctoral FellowshipSupervised by Johnston E
  • Bede, the Irish and Ireland
    University College Dublin, History, Dublin, Ireland31 Aug 2014 - 1 Sep 2015
    early medieval historyPostdoctoral FellowshipSupervised by Johnston E
  • Saint Brigit's Cult in Ireland and Europe: A Comparative Investigation into the Adaptation, Growth and Success of Medieval Female Sanctity
    University College Dublin, History, Dublin, Ireland30 Sep 2015 - 2 Oct 2017
    Early Irish HistoryPostdoctoral FellowshipSupervised by Johnston E


  • Latin
    Can read
  • Irish, Old (to 900)
    Can read
  • Irish, Middle (900-1200)
    Can read
  • English, Old (ca.450-1100)
    Can read