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Dr. Mary Philomena Mullen

Assistant Professor (Sociology)


I am the Assistant Professor of Black Studies and am located in the Department of Sociology. I teach on the Trinity elective which introduces students to the epistemology of Black Studies as an intellectual pursuit. This is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field of knowledge that interrogates historical events that have impacted on those who are racialised as Black, while centring the perspectives of Black people in constructing and deconstructing these events. We also look at the knowledge production that comes from Black activists, academics, artists and storytellers. As we do this within an Irish university, I apply an Irish perspective to the critical race analysis, in addition to more common perspectives such as those coming from the US, UK, Africa, and other Black diasporan regions. This novel perspective is what makes our course so exciting and challenging. I also teach Gender and Race on the Sociology Department's M.Phil course, Race Ethnicity and Conflict. I co-Chair the Race, Ethnicity and Equality Working Group in College with the AVPEDI.
  BLACK and MIXED RACE IRISH   Irish Industrial Schools
Details Date
Board Member of UNIDPAD 2014 -2024 (International Decade for People of African Descent), and Chair of UNIDPAD's Education subcommittee
Trustee and Company Secretary of AMRI (Association of Mixed-Race Irish)
Member of AFSAI (African Association of Scholars in Ireland)
Details Date From Date To
Member of the British Sociological Association 2021 2023
Philomena Mullen, Defying the exclusionary homogeneity of Irish whiteness: mixed-race children in Irish industrial schools in the twentieth century, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 46, (7), 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Philomena Mullen, On Being Black, Irish and a Woman, Women's Studies Review, 6, 1999, Journal Article, PUBLISHED

Philomena Mullen, Black baby box[ed], Irish University Review, 50, (2), 2020, p252 - 255, Journal Article, PUBLISHED


Award Date
IRC Government of Ireland Postgraduate scholar 2017
My field of research is twofold: 1) I research race and the racialised in Ireland, as well as the sociological and historical processes of Africans and those of African descent (like me) in Ireland pre-1990s and the Celtic Tiger period, and 2) as a survivor myself, I study the impact of being racialised, along with the intersectional factors of being institutionalised, classed and gendered within the institutional care system in Ireland of the 1940s-1980s. My approach is to apply an autoethnographic lens to these two research strands.