Barbara Hillers

Assistant Professor in Irish Folklore, School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore, University College Dublin
Associate, Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University

B.A., The Queen's University Belfast, 1987.
M.Phil., National University of Ireland (University College Dublin), 1990.
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1997.
Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Fellow in Celtic, University of Edinburgh, 1997-2000.
Assistant Professor, Harvard University, 2000-2006.
Associate Professor, Harvard University, 2006-2009.
Associate, Harvard University, 2009-.
Visiting Lecturer, Experimental College, Tufts University, 2010.

Check these out -

Research Interests

Oral narrative in Ireland and Scotland
The international ballad tradition and Gaelic narrative song
Irish narrative charms in their European context
The role of gender and the articulation of women's space in folk narrative and song
Oral/literary and popular/elite interactions in Gaelic tradition
Amour (dis)courtois in Gaelic verse
Reception of classical literature in medieval Ireland


Courses Developed and Taught

At University College Dublin:
At Harvard:
At Tufts University:

Current Projects (Manuscripts in Preparation/Forthcoming)


  1. `"Bhí an saol aoibhinn ait": Cormac mac Airt in Oral Folk Tradition’, Ollam: Studies in Gaelic and Related Traditions in Honor of Tomás Ó Cathasaigh, ed. Matthieu Boyd, 141-159, 2016.
  2. ‘A Night of Storytelling and Years in the “Z-Closet”: The Re-discovery and Restoration of Oidhche Sheanchais, Robert Flaherty’s “Lost” Irish Folklore Film’, Folklore 126, 1-19, 2015 (with Natasha Sumner and Catherine McKenna).
  3. 'A Fond Farewell: In Praise of the Ediphone', The Seanchas Gaelic Jukebox Blog, Posted on November 10, 2015 (
  4. `The Medieval Irish Wanderings of Ulysses Between Literacy and Orality', Classical Literature and Learning in Medieval Irish Narrative, ed. Ralph O'Connor, 2014, 83-100.
  5. Editor, with Joseph Harris, of Child's Children: Ballad Study and its Legacies, Ballads and Songs International Studies (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier), 2012.
  6. `A Mixed Media Folklore Trove: Celtic Folklore in Harvard Libraries' (with Sìm Innes), Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 31, 173-208, 2011.
  7. `The Knight of the Green Cloak and Other Irish Folklore Marvels,' Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 31, 137-157, 2011.
  8. `The Reception and Assimilation of Continental Literature', A Companion to Irish Literature, ed. Julia M. Wright (Blackwell Publishing: 2010), volume 1, 39-56.
  9. `Cleas a' Choin Sholair: Aesop's Dog Fable in the Poetry of Sìleas na Ceapaich', Bile ós Chrannaibh: A Festschrift for William Gillies, eds. W. McLeod, A. Burnyeat et al. (Clann Tuirc: Ceann Drochaid, 2010), 195-210.
  10. `The Middle Irish "Wanderings of Aeneas", in The Virgilian Tradition to 1500', eds. Michael C. J. Putnam and Jan Ziolkowski (Yale University Press: New Haven and London, 2008), 608-616.
  11. `Cuckolds and Faithful Wives: The Genesis of the Gaelic Ballad of ``Peigín and Peadair,''' Emily Lyle: The Persistent Scholar, Ballads and Songs International Studies 5, eds. F J. Fischer and Sigrid Rieuwerts (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier: Trier, 2007), 100-113.
  12. `Storytelling and the International Folktale in Scotland', Scottish Life and Society: A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology, Volume 10: Oral Literature and Performance Culture, ed. J. Beech et al. (John Donald: Edinburgh, 2007), 153-170.
  13. `Dialogue or Monologue: Lullabies in Scottish Gaelic Tradition', Litreachas & Eachdraidh / Literature & History: Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 2, ed. Michel Byrne et al. (Roinn na Ceiltis Oilthigh Ghlaschu: Glasgow, 2006), 33-55.
  14. Entries on Homer (p.938-9), Vergil (p.1733), and a number of Irish classical translations, including Togail Troí (p.1679), Togail na Tebe (p.1679), In cath catharda (p.960), Merugud Uilixis meic Leirtis (p.1292), and Scéla Alaxandair (p.1567), Celtic Culture: a historical encyclopedia, ed. John T. Koch (ABC-Clio: Santa Barbara, 2006).
  15. `Poet or Magician: Mac Mhuirich Mór in Oral Tradition,' Poetic Heroes and Heroic Poets, CSANA Yearbook 3-4, ed. J. Nagy (Four Courts Press: Dublin, 2005), 141-157.
  16. `Early and Medieval Irish Literature', Encyclopedia of Irish History and Culture (2 vols.), ed. J.S. Donnelly (Macmillan Reference USA, 2004), 393-396.
  17. `In fer fíamach fírglic: Ulysses in Medieval Irish Literature', Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 16 (2003), 15-38.
  18. `Oidhche Rionnagach Reulagach - A Tale with a Sting’, Northern Lights: Aistí in Adhnó do Bho Almqvist, ed. Seamus Ó Catháin (University College Dublin Press: Dublin, 2001), 72-86.
  19. `Ulysses and the Judge of Truth: Sources and Meanings in the Irish Odyssey', Peritia: Journal of the Medieval Academy of Ireland 13 (2000), 194-223.
  20. `Sgél in Mínaduir: Dädalus und der Minotaurus in Irland', in E. Poppe and H. Tristram, Hgg., Übersetzung, Adaptation und Akkulturation im insularen Mittelalter (Nodus Publikationen: Münster, 1999), 131-144.
  21. `The Abbot of Druimenaig: Genderbending in Gaelic Tradition', Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 15 (1998), 175-197.
  22. `Music from the Otherworld: Modern Gaelic Legends about Fairy Music', Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 14 (1997), 58-75.
  23. `The Odyssey of a Folktale: Merugud Uilix Meic Leirtis', Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 12 (1995), 63-79.
  24. `Voyages between Heaven and Hell: Navigating the Early Irish Immram Tales', Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 13 (1995), 66-81.
  25. `The Heroes of the Ulster Cycle', Ulidia: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Ulster Cycle of Tales, J.P. Mallory and G. Stockman (December Publications: Belfast, 1994), 99-106.
  26. `The Irish Historical Romance: A New Literary Development?' Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 11 (1993), 15-24.
  27. `The Man Who Never Slept: A Survey of the Redactions and their Relation to the Lai de Tydorel', Béaloideas 59 (1991), 91-105.
  28. `Pay Me For My Story: the Etiquette of Storytelling,' with Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh, Sinsear 6 (1990), 50-60.

Course Materials / Textbook


Barbara Hillers
University College Dublin
School of Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore & Linguistics
Newman Building F011
Belfield, Dublin 4

Telephone: 353-1-716-8438