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Professor Bronwen Walter

Emerita Professor of Irish Diaspora Studies
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Research Supervision:

Bronwen’s research focuses on Irish migration to Britain and the wider experiences of the Irish diaspora. Her current interests include multi-generational Irish identities in England, Newfoundland and New Zealand, and whiteness.

[email protected]


Bronwen's academic publications include a monograph, Outsiders inside: whiteness, place and Irish women (Routledge, 2001), and articles and chapters on a wide range of aspects of Irish emigration and settlement abroad. She has been awarded research grants by the ESRC and the British Academy.

Bronwen has made substantial contributions to policy, holding consultancies with the Irish Government, Commission for Racial Equality, Runnymede Trust, London boroughs and Irish welfare and community groups. She co-authored the widely-cited report for the Commission for Racial Equality Discrimination and the Irish Community in Britain (1997), with Mary J Hickman.

Research interests
  • Multi-generational Irish identities
  • Comparative experiences of the Irish diaspora in British Empire destinations
  • Exploring migration through women’s personal lives
  • Irish settlement in the East End of London from mid-nineteenth century to the present
  • Comparing Irish experiences as migrants with the Jews in England, Koreans in Japan
Areas of research supervision
  • PhD supervision thesis on Virgin Mary as role model for Irish migrant women
  • DPhil Geography, University of Oxford
  • MA International Relations, University of Pennsylvania
  • BA, MA Geography, University of Oxford
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Member, Royal Geographical Society
  • Member, British Association of Irish Studies
  • Member, Women on Ireland Research Network
Selected recent publications

Walter, B. 2020. ‘Irish-English cultural encounters in the diaspora’ in Guido Rings and Sebastian Rasinger (eds) The Cambridge Handbook of Intercultural Communication. Cambridge University Press. pp.460-474.

Walter, B. 2018. ' "Hidden diasporas"? Second- and third-generation Irish in England and Scotland’, in J. Devlin Trew and M. Pierse (eds) Rethinking the Irish diaspora: after the Gathering, Cham Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. pp.189-214.

Walter, B. 2017. 'The diaspora in comparative and multi-generational perspective'. Chapter 23 in Mary Daly and Eugenio Biagini eds The Cambridge Social History of Modern Ireland. pp. 423-438

Walter, B. 2015. 'Old mobilities'? Transatlantic women from the West of Ireland 1880s-1920s. Irish Journal of Sociology 23.2 pp.49-68.

Walter, B. 2015. Migrants and descendants: multi-generations of the Irish in London in the 21st century. In: Kershen, A. (Ed.). London the Promised Land Revisited. Farnham: Ashgate pp.127-146. Read PDF. Used by permission of the publishers. Copyright © 2015.

Walter, B. 2014. 'Placing Irish women within and beyond the British Empire', In MacPherson, DAJ and Hickman, MJ (Eds.). Women and Irish diaspora identities: Theories, concepts and new perspectives, Manchester University Press.

Walter, B. 2014. England people very nice: multi-generational Irish identities in the multi-cultural East End. Socialist History Journal, 45, pp.78-102.

Walter, B. 2013. 'Transnational networks across generations: childhood visits to Ireland by the second generation in England' in M. Gilmartin and A White (eds) Migrations: Ireland in a global world, Manchester University Press 2013 pp. 17-35.

Walter, B. 2013. Personal lives: narrative accounts of Irish women in the diaspora. Irish Studies Review, 13(1).

Walter, B. 2011. Whiteness and diasporic Irishness: nation, gender and class. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 37(9), pp.1295-1312.

Walter, B. 2010. 'Irish/Jewish diasporic intersections in the East End of London: paradoxes and shared locations' in M. Prum (ed) La place de l'autre Paris: L'Harmattan Press pp.53-67.

Walter, B. 2009. Strangers on the inside: Irish women servants in England, 1881. Immigrants & Minorities, 27(2 and 3), pp.279-299. (Full article)

Walter, B. 2008. "No, we are not Catholics": intersections of faith and ethnicity amongst the second-generation Protestant Irish in England' in M. Busteed, F. Neal and J. Tonge (eds) Irish Protestant identities, Manchester University Press (with Sarah Morgan).

Walter, B. 2008. From "flood" to "trickle": Irish migration to Britain 1987-2006, Irish Geography 41.2:181-94.

Walter, B. 2008. 'Celebrations of Irishness in Britain: second-generation experiences of St. Patrick's Day' in M. C. Considère-Charon and M. Savaric (eds), Ireland: the Festive and the Tragic, Cambridge Scholars Press.

Walter, B. 2008. 'Voices in other ears: "accents" and identities of the first- and second-generation Irish in England' in Rings G. and Ife A. (eds) Neocolonial Mentalities in Europe, Cambridge Scholars Press.

Walter, B. 2006. English/Irish hybridity: second generation diasporic identities, International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations 6,17-24.

Walter, B. 2005. 'The limitations of whiteness and the boundaries of Englishness: second-generation Irish identifications and positionings in multi-ethnic Britain', Ethnicities 5.2:160-182 (with Hickman M.J., Morgan S. and Bradley J.).

Walter, B. 2005. 'Exploring diaspora space: entangled Irish/English genealogies' in by L. Harte, Y. Whelan and P. Crotty (eds), Ireland: space, text, time, Liffey Press, Dublin.

Walter, B. 2005. Action Group for Irish Youth: 2001 Census profiles of the Irish in London.

Walter, B. 2004. Irish women in the diaspora: exclusions and inclusions, Women's Studies International Forum 2: 369-384.

Walter, B. 2004. Invisible Irishness: second-generation Irish identities', Association of European Migration Institutions Journal 2:185-193.

Walter, B. 2004. 'Irish domestic servants and English national identity' in A. Fauve-Chamoux and R. Sarti (eds), Domestic service and the formation of European identity: understanding the globalization of domestic work 16th-21st centuries, Bern: Peter Lang, pp.428-445.

Walter, B. 2003. Three contributions (2500 words) to The Encyclopaedia of Ireland, Brian Lalor (ed) Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. Women and emigration; Women, careers; Patterns of emigration.

Walter, B. et al, 2002. Irish emigrants and Irish communities abroad: a study of existing sources of information and analysis for the Task Force on policy regarding emigrants. Dublin: Department of Foreign Affairs.

Walter, B. 2002. The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing Volume V Irish women's writing and traditions: chapter from Outsiders Inside.

Walter, B. 2002. 'Family stories, public silence: identity construction amongst second-generation Irish in England' Scottish Geographical Magazine 118(3): 201-217.

Walter, B. 2002. ESRC End of Award Report for 'The second-generation Irish: a hidden population in multi-ethnic Britain'.

Walter, B. 2001. Outsiders inside: whiteness, place and Irish women. London: Routledge.

Walter, B. 2001. Report: Second-generation Irish people in Britain: a demographic, socio-economic and health profile London: Irish Studies Centre, UNL (with Mary J. Hickman and Sarah Morgan), 76pp.

Walter, B. 2001. 'The Irish diaspora' 4000 word entry in R. Hansen and M. Gibney (eds), Immigration and Asylum: From 1900 to the Present, ABC Clio.

Walter, B. 2000. 'Shamrocks growing out of their mouths: dialect and Irish identities in Britain' in A. Kershen (ed) Language, Labour and Migration, Aldershot: Ashgate pp.57-73.

Walter, B. 2000. 'The Irish community: diversity, disadvantage and discrimination'.

Walter, B. 1999. 'Gendered Irishness in Britain: changing constructions' in C. Graham and R. Kirkland (eds), Ireland and cultural theory: the mechanics of authenticity, London: Macmillan pp.77-98.

Walter, B. 1999. 'Inside and outside the Pale: diaspora experiences of Irish women' in P. Boyle and K. Halfacree (eds), Gender and migration in the developed world, London: Routledge pp.310-324.

Walter, B. 1999. 'Gender, class and ethnicity: Irish women and men in England' in M. Cohen and N. Curtin (eds), Reclaiming gender: transgressive identities in modern Ireland, New York: St Martin's Press pp.267-92 (with Mary J. Hickman).

Walter, B. 1998. Challenging the black/white binary: the need for an Irish category in the 2001 Census, Patterns of Prejudice 32:73-86.

Walter, B. 1997. Les femmes irlandaises en Grande-Bretagne: admises et rejétés, Migrations Societe 9.52:79-90.

Walter, B. 1997. 'Gender, "race", and diaspora: racialized identities of emigrant Irish women' in J. P. Jones, H. Nast and S. Roberts (eds), Thresholds in Feminist Geography: difference, methodology, representation, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp.339-360.

Walter, B. 1997. 'Contemporary Irish settlement in London: women's worlds, men's worlds' in J. Mac Laughlin (ed), Location and dislocation in Irish society: emigration and Irish identities, Cork: Cork University Press pp.61-93.

Walter, B. 1997. Report: Discrimination and the Irish Community in Britain, London: Commission for Racial Equality 286pp. (with Mary J. Hickman).

Walter, B. 1997. Contributions to L. McDowell and P. Sharp (eds), A Glossary of Feminist Geography, London: Arnold : ethnocentric; homeland; racism; land; race; territory; monuments; imagined community; nation/nation-state/nationalism.

Walter, B. 1995. Irishness, gender and place, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 13:35-50.

Walter, B. 1995. Deconstructing whiteness: Irish women in Britain, Feminist Review 50:5-19 (with Mary J. Hickman).

Walter, B. 1991. 'Gender and recent Irish migration to Britain' in R. King, Contemporary Irish Migration, Geographical Society of Ireland Special Publications 6 pp.11-20.

Walter, B. 1989. Report: Irish women in London: the Ealing Dimension, London: London Borough of Ealing 96pp.

Walter, B. 1989. Gender and Irish migration to Britain, Anglia Working Paper 4 37pp.

Walter, B. 1988. Report: Irish women in London, London: London Strategic Policy Unit 64pp.

Walter, B. 1986. Ethnicity and Irish residential distribution, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 11:131-146.

Walter, B. 1984. 'Tradition and ethnic interaction: second wave Irish settlement in Luton and Bolton' in C. Clarke, C. Peach and D. Ley (eds), Geography and ethnic pluralism, London: George Allen and Unwin pp.214-230.

Walter, B. 1980. Time-space patterns of second-wave Irish settlement in British towns, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 5:297-317.