Dr Sarah Roddy


Associate Professor

Rhetoric House
(01) 708 3485


I am Associate Professor in Modern Irish Social History. Before arriving at Maynooth in January 2021, I spent 9 years as, successively, Research Assistant, Hallsworth Research Fellow, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Modern Irish History at the University of Manchester. My doctorate and MA were completed at Queen's University Belfast, and my undergraduate degree in History and Politics is from the University of Limerick.

My research interests lie in modern Irish and British social, economic and religious history. My doctoral research explored the attitudes and responses of the Catholic, Presbyterian and Anglican churches in Ireland to mass outward migration during the nineteenth century. It did so in comparative, thematic terms and with a fresh emphasis on the effects that migration had on the sending rather than the receiving society. This work was published as Population, providence and empire: The churches and emigration from nineteenth-century Ireland by Manchester University Press in late 2014.

I have also published essays and articles on nineteenth-century print culture, on Irish missionaries and empire, on various aspects of Ireland's 'spiritual empire', and on religious fundraising. 

In addition, I have produced, with Professors Bertrand Taithe and Julie-Marie Strange, articles on the regulation of the charity fund-raising market in late Victorian Britain, and in 2018 we published, with Bloomsbury, a monograph entitled The Charity Market and the making of modern humanitarianism, 1870-1912.

My current project, entitled 'Visible Divinity: Money and Irish Catholicism, 1850-1921', is a transnational examination of the financial relationship between the Irish Catholic Church and its laity, and was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK; a monograph is under contract with Cambridge University Press. I am also developing a spin-off project (PARISH: Preserving and Recording Ireland's Sacred Heritage) on crowdsourcing church inscriptions in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame in the US. 


Year Publication
2018 Sarah Roddy, Julie-Marie Strange, Bertrand Taithe (2018) The Charity Market and the making of modern humanitarianism, 1870-1912. London: Bloomsbury.
2014 Sarah Roddy (2014) Population, providence and empire: the churches and emigration from nineteenth-century Ireland. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2023 Sarah Roddy (2023) 'Spaces of space-making: diaspora fundraising by the nineteenth-century Irish Catholic Church'. Journal of Victorian Culture, .
2022 Sarah Roddy (2022) 'Locating the Backstage of Victorian Religion: Spaces of Irish Catholicism'. Journal of Victorian Culture, . https://doi.org/10.1093/jvcult/vcac082
2022 Caple J.; Roddy S. (2022) 'The stakes of religious fundraising: economic transition and religious resurgence in Irish Catholicism and Tibetan Buddhism'. Journal of Cultural Economy, . [DOI]
2021 Patrick Doyle, Sarah Roddy (2021) 'Money, death, and agency in Catholic Ireland, 1850-1921’'. Journal of Social History, 54 (3):799-818. [Full-Text]
2015 Sarah Roddy, Julie-Marie Strange, Bertrand Taithe (2015) 'Humanitarian accountability, bureaucracy and self-regulation: the view from the archive'. Disasters, 39 (2):188-203.
2015 Sarah Roddy, Julie-Marie Strange, Bertrand Taithe (2015) 'The charity-mongers of modern Babylon: fraud and the charity market-place, 1870-1912'. Journal of British Studies, 54 (1):118-137.
2014 Sarah Roddy, Julie-Marie Strange, Bertrand Taithe (2014) 'Henry Mayhew at 200 – the ‘other’ Victorian bicentenary'. Journal of Victorian Culture, 19 (4):481-496.
2013 Sarah Roddy (2013) 'Spiritual imperialism and the mission of the Irish race: the Catholic Church and emigration from nineteenth-century Ireland'. Irish Historical Studies, 38 (152):600-619.
2012 Sarah Roddy (2012) 'The spoils of spiritual empire: emigrant contributions to nineteenth-century Irish Catholic church building'. Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies, 5 (2):95-116.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2023 Sarah Roddy (2023) 'Catholic Ireland and the Devotional Revolution' In: The Oxford Handbook of Religion in Modern Ireland. Oxford : Oxford University Press.
2022 Sarah Roddy (2022) 'Doing good? Irish women, religion and charity, 1852-1922' In: Gender History: Ireland, 1850-1922. Abingdon : Routledge.
2023 Sarah Roddy (2023) 'The spiritual empire strikes back: Americanisation and religion in Ireland, 1841-1925' In: The Americanisation of Ireland vol. II. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
2020 Sarah Roddy (2020) 'The news and numbers: a guide to using digitized newspapers' In: History and economic life: a student’s guide to approaching economic and social history sources. Abingdon : Routledge.
2017 Sarah Roddy (2017) 'Mass migration’s impact on Irish Catholicism: an historical view' In: Migration, transnationalism and Catholicism: global perspectives. London : Palgrave Macmillan.
2016 Sarah Roddy (2016) 'Father Cahill’s last journey' In: Death and the Irish: a miscellany. Dublin : Wordwell.
2016 Sarah Roddy (2016) 'Missionary empires and the worlds they made' In: The Cambridge social history of Ireland. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
2015 Sarah Roddy (2015) 'Jolly beggars: priest fundraising abroad' In: Treasures of Irish Christianity vol. III. Dublin : Veritas.
2012 Sarah Roddy (2012) 'Not a duffer among them’: The Colonial Mission of the Irish Presbyterian Church' In: Irish classrooms and British empire. Imperial contexts in the origin of modern education. Dublin : Four Courts Press.
2010 Sarah Roddy (2010) 'The emigrant’s friend’? Guides for Irish emigrants by clergymen, c. 1830-82’' In: Visual, material and print culture in nineteenth-century Ireland. Dublin : Four Courts Press.

Other Journal

Year Publication
2022 Julie-Marie Strange, Sarah Roddy (2022) 'Banking for Jesus: Financial Services, Charity, and an Ethical Economy in Late Victorian and Edwardian Britain' Capitalism: A Journal of History and Economics, . [Link]

Review Articles

Year Publication
2019 Sarah Roddy (2019) Economic History Review: Review of periodical literature published in 2018: 1850-1945. [Review Articles]
2018 Sarah Roddy (2018) Economic History Review: Review of periodical literature published in 2017: 1850-1945. [Review Articles]
2017 Sarah Roddy (2017) Economic History Review: Review of periodical literature published in 2016: 1850-1945. [Review Articles]
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