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Personal profile


Dr Jennifer O Mahoney is an active and committed research activist, who promotes an ethical and participant focussed research agenda, with a view to effecting social change.  Jennifer is a Lecturer in Psychology and a Chartered Member of the Psychological Society of Ireland. She is also Co-Director the Crime and Justice Research Group at WIT and a Senior Researcher at INSYTE (The Centre for INformation SYstems and TEchno-culture) at WIT. Her research focuses on how victimology and trauma are remembered and narrated; the relationship between memory and cultural heritage in digital humanities; and activism and social change. She is the primary investigator of the Waterford Memories Project, which examines historical institutional abuse in Ireland and a Working Group Leader of EU Cost Action “Cultures of Victimology: Understanding processes of victimization across Europe”.  Jennifer’s research is located at the intersections of digital humanities; social change; and psychology, emphasising public scholarship and the collaboration and co-production of knowledge. 

Research Interests

Jennifer disseminates her work widely, has successfully won competitive national and European funding and awards and, demonstrates ongoing success in international research collaboration.

A key aspect of Jennifer’s work, borne initially from her PhD research and voluntary work with the Waterford Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, focuses on how victimology and trauma are remembered and narrated. Jennifer’s background in narrative psychology and her understanding of the importance of personal stories to make sense of the world, particularly during times of trauma, remains central to her research, publications, and research-led teaching, which considers the intersections of narrative, cultural heritage, and social change.

Of particular impact, both regionally, nationally, and internationally, is Jennifer’s work as the PI of The Waterford Memories Project, an oral history driven project in the digital humanities, which documents and analyses survivor stories, giving voice to women who have been unheard and silenced in Ireland for decades. This project links with individuals, academic institutions, and NGOs across numerous projects directly related to academics, activism, and social change.  These outputs are a testament to a core ethos of Jennifer’s work, which is making academic research more accessible and comprehensible to the public.

Jennifer’s most recent publications demonstrate her interest in social change and the digital humanities and how this intersects with storytelling, examining how technology acts as both a vehicle for social change, while also perpetuating the exclusion and marginalisation of people in society, and the role of story and narrative (i.e. the person) in this process.

Jennifer co-established two research groups at WIT, the Analysing Social Change Research Group and the Crime and Justice Research Group, and is currently the Co-Director (with Dr Niamh Maguire) of the Crime and Justice Research Group.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Psychology, University of East London

Award Date: 10 Aug 2013

Masters Degree, MSc by Research (Psychology), University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 01 Oct 2004

Bachelors Degree, Applied Psychology, University College Cork

Award Date: 10 Aug 2003


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