Research Profile

Sandra McAvoy

Biography

Sandra (Larmour) McAvoy BA(Mod) (TCD) MA (UCC) PhD (UCC)

Sandra McAvoy has recently retired after years of teaching on and co-ordinating UCC's MA in Women's Studies Course and also having taught for many years on Adult Ed. Women's Studies courses, both outreach courses and UCC based. She is therefore no longer the first point of contact for Women's Studies PhD applicants.

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin (History and Political Science), she has an MA in Women's Studies and a PhD in History.

Her PhD thesis, Aspects of the State and Female Sexuality in the Irish Free State, examined how the Irish state dealt with the issues of sexual crime, prostitution, contraception, abortion and infanticide in the period 1922-1949, with a focus on developments that resulted in the passing of the 1935 Criminal Law Amendment Act and a ban on the importing and sale of contraceptives. The issues she teaches on the MA in Women's Studies course include the history and politics of reproductive rights, the women's suffrage movement and women and politics.

She has been involved in a number of community and national organisations including: Cork Women's Political Association; Cork Women's Right to Choose Group; the National Women's Council of Ireland; and the Domestic Violence One Stop Shop (OSS Cork). In 2010-2011 she was involved with others in establishing the 50:50 Group, a single issue group that campaigns for special temporary measures to ensure equal political representation for women. The group was formed after a UCC Women's Studies conference that focused on women and politics.

She has worked with colleagues in UCC and in Cork city on group theatre projects such as The 12 A Day Project (2013)  http://www.music.ucc.ie/drama/12-a-day-project-at-theatre-development-centre-cork/, and acted as historical advisor on Painted Bird's Between Trees and Water (2014) http://allevents.in/dublin/between-trees-and-water-dublin/1453103328290756# . Painted Bird has also drawn on her ongoing research on Susanne Rouviere Day and the Munster Women's Franchise League for their 2017 play 'Susanne R Day's TOILERS - Her Lost Play'. 

Her most recent published work on Susanne Day ( Relief Work and Refugees: Susanne Rouviere Day (1876–1964) on war as women's business) appears in a special December 2016 volume of the Women's History Review that focuses on Irish Women in the First World War Period (pp. 1-17).

She is currently working on two projects: one on the Munster Women's Franchise League and one on the history of fertility control in Ireland.

Research Interests

Research interests include: the history of sexuality - with a particular focus on the experiences of women in Ireland in nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the history and politics of reproductive rights issues; and women and politics.
Some of my work has focused on using court files and novels as sources for women's history. More recently I have worked on analysing discourse in Irish treatises on contaception in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. I have also focused  late nineteenth century books for girls and young adults as sources providing insights into aspects of female adolescence.

Publications

Books

 YearPublication
(2015)Sexual Politics in Modern Irish History.
Jennifer Redmond, Sonja Tiernan, Sandra McAvoy, & Mary McAuliffe (editors.), (2015) Sexual Politics in Modern Irish History. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. [Details]

Book Chapters

 YearPublication
(2015)''The Wild Irish Girl in Selected Novels of Mrs L. T. Meade''
Sandra McAvoy (2015) ''The Wild Irish Girl in Selected Novels of Mrs L. T. Meade'' In: Catherine Cox and Susannah Riordan (eds). Adolescence in Modern Irish History: Innocence and Experience (Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [Details]
(2013)''Bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein: AsPects of Irish discourse on contraception (1837-1908)''
Sandra McAvoy (2013) ''Bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein: AsPects of Irish discourse on contraception (1837-1908)'' In: Máire Leane & Elizabeth Kiely (Eds.) Sexualities & Irish Society: A Reader. Dublin: Orpen Press.   [Details]
(2013)'‘Vindicating women’s rights in a foetocentric state: the longest Irish journey’'
Sandra McAvoy (2013) '‘Vindicating women’s rights in a foetocentric state: the longest Irish journey’' In: In Noreen Giffney and Margrit Shildrick (eds.), Theory on the Edge. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [Details]
(2012)'‘Its effect on public morality is vicious in the extreme’: defining birth control as obscene and unethical, 1926–32'
Dr Sandra McAvoy (2012) '‘Its effect on public morality is vicious in the extreme’: defining birth control as obscene and unethical, 1926–32' In: In Dr Elaine Farrell (ed), ‘She said she was in the family way’: pregnancy and infancy in modern Ireland. London: Institute of Historical Research.   [Details]
(2012)'‘A perpetual nightmare’. Women, fertility control and the Irish state: the 1935 ban on contraceptives'
Dr Sandra McAvoy (2012) '‘A perpetual nightmare’. Women, fertility control and the Irish state: the 1935 ban on contraceptives' In: In Margaret Preston and Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh (eds), Gender and Medicine in Ireland 1700-1950. Syracuse NY: Syracuse University Press.   [Details]
(2008)'Sexual Crime and Irish Women's campaigns for a Criminal Law Amendment Act 1912-1935'
Dr Sandra McAvoy (2008) 'Sexual Crime and Irish Women's campaigns for a Criminal Law Amendment Act 1912-1935' In: In Valiulis, M. (ed.), Towards New Histories in Ireland: Writing Gender History. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. [Details]
(2008)'From Anti-Amendment Campaigns to Demanding Reproductive Justice: the changing landscape of abortion rights activism in Ireland 1983-2008'
Dr Sandra McAvoy (2008) 'From Anti-Amendment Campaigns to Demanding Reproductive Justice: the changing landscape of abortion rights activism in Ireland 1983-2008' In: In Schweppe, J. (ed.),The Unborn Child, Article 40.3.3 and Abortion in Ireland: Twenty-Five Years of Protection?. Dublin: Liffey Press. [Details]
(2004)'Before Cadden: Abortion in Mid-Twentieth Century Ireland'
Dr Sandra McAvoy (2004) 'Before Cadden: Abortion in Mid-Twentieth Century Ireland' In: In Keogh, D., O'Shea, F. and Quinlan, C. (eds.),The Lost Decade: Ireland in the 1950s. Cork: Mercier. [Details]
(1999)'The Regulation of Sexuality in the Irish Free State, 1929-1935'
Dt Sandra McAvoy (1999) 'The Regulation of Sexuality in the Irish Free State, 1929-1935' In: In Malcolm, E. and Jones, G. (eds.), Medicine, Disease and the State in Ireland, 1650-1940. Cork: Cork University Press. [Details]
(1994)'A Woman of Vision (Maureen Curtis Black)'
Dr Sandra McAvoy (1994) 'A Woman of Vision (Maureen Curtis Black)' In: In Bradshaw, M. (ed.), Wise Women, A Portrait. Cork: Bradshaw Books. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2013)'Review of DIARMAID FERRITER, Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland'
Sandra McAvoy (2013) 'Review of DIARMAID FERRITER, Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland'. The Australasian Journal of Irish Studies, 13 :175-177   [Details]
(2010)'All about Eve: Signe Toksvig and the intimate lives of Irish women'
McAvoy, Sandra ; (2010) 'All about Eve: Signe Toksvig and the intimate lives of Irish women'. The Irish Review, (42) [Details]
(2007)'Review of Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh's book Kathleen Lynn. Irishwoman, Patriot, Doctor (Irish Academic Press, 2006)'
Sandra McAvoy (2007) 'Review of Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh's book Kathleen Lynn. Irishwoman, Patriot, Doctor (Irish Academic Press, 2006)'. Saothar: Journal of The Irish Labour History Society, (32) [Details]
(2001)'Review of Catriona Clear's book Women of the House: Women's Household Work in Ireland 1926-1961: Discourses, Experiences, Memories'
Sandra McAvoy (2001) 'Review of Catriona Clear's book Women of the House: Women's Household Work in Ireland 1926-1961: Discourses, Experiences, Memories'. Women's Studies An Interdisciplinary Journal, 30 (6):857-860 [Details]
(1997)'Sex and the Single Girl: Ireland 1922-1949'
Aniagolu, C. ed.; (1997) 'Sex and the Single Girl: Ireland 1922-1949'. In From the Shadows: The UL Women's Studies Collection, 111 :55-67 [Details]

Newspaper Articles

 YearPublication
(2013)'The Elephant in the Room' - on-line article in thejournal.ie.
Sandra McAvoy (2013) 'The Elephant in the Room' - on-line article in thejournal.ie. on-line: Newspaper Articles   [Details]

Professional Activities

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
National Women's Council of Ireland Delegate/
Women's History Association of Ireland Former Executive Committee Member/

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2014)Women and the Media: Feminist Concerns,
Sandra McAvoy and Liz Kiely (organisers) (2014) Women's Studies Conference. [Other], Women and the Media: Feminist Concerns, UCC , 13-SEP-14. [Details]
(2014)Cork Adult Education Council event: public lecture in the Crawford Gallery, Cork,
Sandra McAvoy (2014) Twenty Months in a War Zone: Susanne Day’s experiences in the period of the battle for Verdun. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Cork Adult Education Council event: public lecture in the Crawford Gallery, Cork, Crawford Gallery, Cork , 01-MAY-14. [Details]
(2014)Paying the price to the uttermost farthing? Women and the First World War,
Sandra McAvoy (2014) Relief Work in a War Zone: Cork Suffragist Susanne Day’s Experience with a Quaker unit at Bar-le-Duc. [Oral Presentation], Paying the price to the uttermost farthing? Women and the First World War, UCC , 01-MAR-14. [Details]
(2013)Irish Feminist Activism and the Arts,
Sandra McAvoy (conference organiser) (2013) Women's Studies Conference. [Other], Irish Feminist Activism and the Arts, UCC , 15-JUN-13. [Details]
(2012)NWCI Members and Friends Seminar on the Constitutional Convention,
McAvoy.S (2012) Co-organiser of this daylong seminar jointly hosted by UCC Women's Studies and the National Women;s Council of Ireland. [Oral Presentation], NWCI Members and Friends Seminar on the Constitutional Convention, Metropole Hotel, Cork City , 24-SEP-12 - 24-SEP-12. [Details]
(2012)From X to A B C: 20 Years On,
Sandra McAvoy (conference organiser) (2012) Conference. [Other], From X to A B C: 20 Years On, UCC , 25-FEB-12. [Details]
(2011)Gender and Sexual Politics/ the Politics of Sexuality in Ireland (Women's History Association of Ireland Annual Conference),
Sandra McAvoy (conference organiser) (2011) Annual Conference. [Other], Gender and Sexual Politics/ the Politics of Sexuality in Ireland (Women's History Association of Ireland Annual Conference), UCC , 27-MAY-11 - 28-MAY-11. [Details]
(2010)Moving in from the Margins: Women's political representation in Ireland,
McAvoy, S; Buckley, F; (2010) Co-Organised with Fiona Buckley - a conference highlighting underepresentation of women in Irish politics. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Moving in from the Margins: Women's political representation in Ireland, University College Cork , 18-SEP-10 - 18-SEP-10. [Details]
(2010)Adolescence in Modern Irish History,
McAvoy, S; (2010) Paper: Irish adolescence in selected works of L.T. Meade. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Adolescence in Modern Irish History, UCD , 30-JAN-10 - 30-JAN-10. [Details]
(2010)Women's History Association of Ireland Conference,
McAvoy, S; (2010) Paper: Its effect on public morality is vicious in the extreme: defining birth control as obscene and unethical, 1926-1932. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Women's History Association of Ireland Conference, Queen's University Belfast , 16-APR-10 - 17-APR-10. [Details]
(2009)Alliance Française de Cork seminar marking anniversary of CEDAW,
McAvoy, S.; (2009) Paper: CEDAW, Human Rights and Irish Women. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Alliance Française de Cork seminar marking anniversary of CEDAW, UCC , 10-DEC-09 - 10-DEC-09. [Details]
(2009)Gender Futures: Law, Critique and the Struggle for Something More: University of Westminster Conference,
McAvoy, S.; (2009) Paper: Abortion rights and embodied justice: New directions in theory, policy and practice. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Gender Futures: Law, Critique and the Struggle for Something More: University of Westminster Conference, University of Westminster , 03-APR-09 - 04-APR-09. [Details]
(2009)Irish Feminisms and the Future (Women's Studies Conference UCC),
McAvoy, S; (2009) Conference organiser. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Irish Feminisms and the Future (Women's Studies Conference UCC), University College Cork , 09-MAY-09 - 09-MAY-09. [Details]
(2008)Exploring Mothers: Discourses, Representations and Practices of Mothering (Women's Studies UCC and the Association for Research on Mothering in Ireland),
McAvoy, S.; (2008) Co-organised with Dr Maire Leane and Dr Anna Kingston - Women's Studies Conference. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Exploring Mothers: Discourses, Representations and Practices of Mothering (Women's Studies UCC and the Association for Research on Mothering in Ireland), University College Cork , 24-MAY-08 - 24-MAY-08. [Details]
(2008)25 Years of Protection? Article 40.3.3.: the Unborn Child and Abortion in Ireland - Universityof Limerick Conference,
McAvoy, S; (2008) Paper:From Anti-Amendment Campaigns to Demanding Reproductive Justice: the changing landscape of abortion rights activism in Ireland 1982-2007. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], 25 Years of Protection? Article 40.3.3.: the Unborn Child and Abortion in Ireland - Universityof Limerick Conference, University of Limerick (Law Department Conference) , 08-MAR-08 - 08-MAR-08. [Details]
(2007)Irish Feminist Thought Conference - NUIGalway,
McAvoy, S; (2007) Paper:Marion Duggan LLB: feminist and socialist. (One Irish Feminist's Political Thought in the Teen's of the Twentieth Century. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Irish Feminist Thought Conference - NUIGalway, National University of Ireland, Galway , 13-APR-07 - 14-APR-07. [Details]
(2007)Mothering in Contemporary Ireland: Issues, Images and Actions - UCC Women's Studies Conference,
McAvoy, S.; Leane, M.; Kingston, A.; (2007) Co-organised with Dr Maire Leane and Dr Anna Kingston- UCC Women's Studies Conference. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Mothering in Contemporary Ireland: Issues, Images and Actions - UCC Women's Studies Conference, University College Cork , 09-JUN-07 - 09-JUN-07. [Details]
(2006)Buying Sex is not a Sport: a one day Seminar on Trafficking in Women and Children - Women's Studies UCC,
McAvoy, S; (2006) Organiser: Women's Studies one day event. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Buying Sex is not a Sport: a one day Seminar on Trafficking in Women and Children - Women's Studies UCC, University College Cork , 17-JUN-06 - 17-JUN-06. [Details]
(2006)Irish Feminist Futures Postgraduate Conference UCC Women's Studies Conference,
McAvoy, S; (2006) Conference Organiser. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Irish Feminist Futures Postgraduate Conference UCC Women's Studies Conference, University College Cork , 27-MAY-06 - 27-MAY-06. [Details]
(2006)Women's History Association of Ireland Annual Conference,
McAvoy, S.; (2006) Paper: Reasonable Cause to Believe: Gender Bias and Gender Stereotyping in the Conception of Sexual Crime Legislation in Ireland 1922-1935. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Women's History Association of Ireland Annual Conference, Trinity College Dublin , 17-NOV-06 - 18-NOV-06. [Details]
(2005)Women's History Association of Ireland Annual Conference,
McAvoy, S; (2005) Paper: All about Eve: Signe Toksvig and the Intimate Lives of Women in Ireland (1926-1937). [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Women's History Association of Ireland Annual Conference, University College Cork , 18-NOV-05 - 19-NOV-05. [Details]
(2005)If I knew then what I know now: A Women's Studies Post Graduate Forum - UCC Women's Studies Conference,
McAvoy, S.; (2005) Conference Organiser - postgraduate conference. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], If I knew then what I know now: A Women's Studies Post Graduate Forum - UCC Women's Studies Conference, University College Cork , 21-MAY-05 - 21-MAY-05. [Details]
(2005)Network for European Women's Rights Conference - University of Birmigham,
McAvoy, S.; (2005) Paper:Breaking Through...or Hitting a Wall? The Pro-choice Movement in Ireland: an Activist's View. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Network for European Women's Rights Conference - University of Birmigham, University of Birmingham , 28-JUN-05 - 30-JUN-05. [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
Justice for Magdalenes Committee Committee Member/
Board of Women's Studies Coordinator/
Former member Editorial Board Irish Journal of Feminist Studies /
Editorial Board Gender, Sexuality & Feminism (GSF) Editorial Board Member/
Cork Women's Right to Choose Group Committee Member/
Domestic Violence One-Stop Shop (OSS Cork) Former board member/
Cork Women's Political Association Former coordinator, hon secretary and committee Member/

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

Teaching interests focus on women's and gender history but also on current political and women's issues relevant to postgraduate Women's Studies classes.

I have also particularly enjoyed many years of teaching Women's Studies to Adult and Continuing Education students and in community settings.  

Contact details

  • Sandra McAvoy
    Pensioner PHILOSOPHY, WOMENS STUDIES, HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE, EDUCATION
  • sandra.mcavoy@ucc.ie
  • WOMENS STUDIES
    University College Cork
    Cork
    Ireland
  • +353-21-490-3654

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School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland T23 N73K

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