Eliza McKee

Fulbright All Disciplines Scholar Award - New York University

Eliza’s interest in the relationship between clothing, identity, poverty, vernacular culture and folklore was nurtured through the community and family folklore told to her by her grandmothers who were part of a family of linen mill workers and clothing manufacturers from the Linen Triangle in Ulster. Eliza took this interest into her academic studies, first studying fashion design and design history, then completing a BA in Modern History, an MA in Archives, and an MA in Irish History, fusing her passion for Irish history and the history of clothing into her Ph.D, which she completed at Queen’s University Belfast in 2022.  

Eliza is now a social historian specialising in dress, consumption and the material culture of poverty in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ireland. As Fulbright Scholar, Eliza will be joining Irish Studies academics at Glucksman Ireland House, New York University. Her Fulbright project entitled ‘Irish and Scots-Irish dress, migration and identity formation in the United States of America, c. 1800-1900’ will explore how clothing was used by lower-class Irish immigrants as an expression of community identity and to create belonging. Eliza is looking forward to the opportunities the Fulbright award will give her to share her work internationally and to engage with the Irish diaspora and the community of Irish studies and dress scholars in the US.