Cathryn Bronwyn McWilliams

Cathryn Bronwyn McWilliams

Associate Professor
Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Science
Department of Languages and Literature Studies
Campus Vestfold (C3-7)
Originally from the seaside town of Bangor, Northern Ireland, I came to Norway by way of Finland where I undertook my doctoral studies at Åbo Akademi University. My research concerned the life, letters and legacy of Belfast humanitarian activist Mary Ann McCracken (1770–1866). My research interests include Irish studies, life writing, biography, epistolary studies, women's history, commemoration, creative writing and creativity in the classroom.


I teach on the BA, MA and KfK programmes in English at Vestfold. My research interests are in life writing, women's history, Irish studies, biography, epistolary studies, commemoration, creative writing, poetry and creativity in the classroom.

I am currently a creative response editor for the journal MAI: Feminism and Visual Culture. I am also a member of the research group Forskning på tekst, retorikk og skriving (TRESK). 



PhD, English, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Master's Degree, English Literature, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland

Bachelor of Arts Degree, English, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland

I am a published children’s author, having written the 2010 illustrated chapter book Who Ate All the Pies?, which was nominated in the 5–11 age category in the 2011 Rotherham Children’s Book Awards. My poetry has been published in The Honest Ulsterman, Allegro Poetry Magazine and Channel - Irish environmentalist literary magazine.


Pending: McWilliams, Cathryn (ed.). The Correspondence of Mary Ann McCracken (1770–1866). Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission, 2024.

McWilliams, Cathryn. “‘The Moving Spirit’: Traversing Mary Ann McCracken's Belfast.” In O. Purdue (Ed.), The First Great Charity of this Town: Belfast Charitable Society and Its Role in the Developing City. Kildare: Irish Academic Press, 2022. 218–238.

McWilliams, Cathryn. Review of Cappock, Margarita, ed. Sarah Cecilia Harrison: Artist, Campaigner, and City Councillor. Dublin: Dublin City Council, 2022. Women’s History Association of Ireland.

Editorial revisions: Mary McNeill, The Life and Times of Mary Ann McCracken: A Belfast Panorama. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2019.

McWilliams, Cathryn. Review of Maureen O’Rourke Murphy, Compassionate Stranger: Asenath Nicholson and the Great Irish Famine (Syracuse University Press, 2016) Irish Studies Review (Routledge) 24.2 (2016): 231-233.