Dr Shane McCorristine

Shane McCorristine

Dr Shane McCorristine

Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow

BA, MA, PhD (University College Dublin), F.R.Hist.S


Shane is an interdisciplinary cultural geographer and historian with interests in cultural, social, literary, and environmental history, focusing on embodiment, intangibility, and the supernatural as expressed and understood in different historical contexts and under different frames of meaning.

Shane was a doctoral scholar at the Humanities Institute of Ireland at University College Dublin and was awarded a Ph.D. in History in 2007. His research focused on ideas about ghost-seeing in Victorian and Edwardian Culture and his monograph, Spectres of the Self: Thinking about Ghosts and Ghost-seeing in England, 1750-1920 was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010. 

He was then employed in a variety of postdoctoral projects and positions at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University of London, and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Shane has maintained a wide range of research interests and has published essays on French surrealism, the history of Irish science, Swedish crime fiction, psychical research, and the literary history of childhood. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2011 and shortlisted for the BBC Radio 3 / AHRC New Generation Thinkers Awards 2013

In 2010 he was awarded a three-year Marie Curie Fellowship (COFUND - Irish Research Council CARA Postdoctoral Mobility Fellowship) for a research project entitled 'Supernatural and Disembodied Experience in Victorian Narratives of Arctic Exploration'. This resulted in several conference presentations, seminars, popular and peer-reviewed articles, and media interviews. A monograph entitled Polar Otherworlds: Ghosts, Dreams, and the Spectral Arctic is forthcoming.


In 2013 he joined the major new Wellcome-funded research project at the University of Leicester, 'Harnessing the Power of the Criminal Corpse'. This five-year project explores the criminal corpse from the disciplines of archaeology, medical and criminal history, folklore, literature and philosophy. It will reveal the ways in which the power of the criminal corpse was harnessed, by whom, and to what ends in Britain between the late seventeenth and twentieth centuries. Shane is investigating Strand 5 of the project, 'The Criminal Corpse in Pieces',  focusing on the criminal corpse as it travelled through high and low cultures, through dreams and discourses of risk, and was disseminated in literary fiction.


Selected Publications

  • 2013 ‘Searching for Franklin: A Modern Canadian Ghost Story’, British Journal of Canadian Studies, 26 (1): 39-57.
  • 2013 ‘“Involuntary We Listen: Hearing the Aurora Borealis in Nineteenth-Century Arctic Exploration and Science’, Canadian Journal of History, 48 (1): 29-61.
  • 2012 Spiritualism, Mesmerism, and the Occult, 1800-1920, 5 Volume edited collection, (London: Pickering & Chatto).
  • 2012 ‘The “Bolton Clairvoyante” and Arctic Exploration’, Wellcome History, 49: 18-20.
  • 2011 ‘William Fletcher Barrett and Psychical Research in Edwardian Dublin’, Estudios Irlandeses, 6: 39-53.
  • 2011 ‘The Place of Pessimism in Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander Novels’, in P. Arvas and A. Nestingen (eds.), Scandinavian Crime Fiction, Cardiff: University of Wales Press: 77-88. ISBN: 9780708323304.
  • 2010 Spectres of the Self: Thinking About Ghosts and Ghost-seeing in England, 1750-1920, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
  • 2010 ‘Ghostly Relations: The Aunt-type in the Fiction of Walter de la Mare’, English, 59 (226): 224-43.
  • 2010 ‘The Ghostly Concept of Childhood in the Fiction of Walter de la Mare’, The Lion and the Unicorn, 34 (3): 333-53.
  • 2009 ‘Ghost Hands, Hands of Glory, and Manumission in the Fiction of Sheridan Le Fanu’, Irish Studies Review, 17 (3): 275-95.



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