Dale Johnson

  • Research Student

PGR supervision: Clare Hutton and Deirdre O’Byrne.

 

Dale has returned to full time study following a successful career in housing management. He holds a BA (Hons) in Social Policy and Administration from the University of Nottingham and was sponsored by the ESRC for the Post Graduate Diploma in Housing Policy and Management (CIH) at Northumbria University.

He completed the MA in Creative Writing at Loughborough in 2018. His dissertation, ‘Following the Blind – The Battle of Mount Street Bridge’, was a fictional account of an actual event which occurred in Dublin during the Easter Rising of 1916. He wanted to understand the interactions and politics of this period from both sides, including the mindsets of the Irish nationalists and the colonialist government forces of the British Army.

Dale's PhD in English is by Creative Practice.  Provisionally entitled ‘The Working-Class in the Irish Easter Rising 1916: Critical Analysis and Creative Responses,’ it will be work of historic fiction and is supervised by Clare Hutton and Deirdre O’Byrne.

Building on the work he undertook for his MA, Dale is writing a fictional representation which explores one of the most important and exciting period in Irish history - the two-year span between the Easter Rising of 1916 and the conscription encounter of 1918. Currently, Irish literary representations of this period tend to be written from a middle-class perspective. Similarly, British military reports of the same period, were written by middle-class officers. Little consideration has been given to the working-class, or to the views of other participants in these conflicts. Dale aims to fill this gap, and to contribute to an understanding of the complexities of this period.

He is undertaking detailed historical and literary research, including research in British and Irish archives. Interestingly, he has found that there is a significant body of material to draw on locally. The Sherwood Foresters were the first British Army regiment to be drafted into Dublin to quell the rebellion. The actions and thoughts of this group of predominantly working-class soldiers are richly documented at Chilwell Barracks, Nottingham and the Nottinghamshire Archives, and further afield in the National Archives at Kew and the Imperial War Museum. Dale is also interested in the Irish working-class militant nationalism of this period, particularly as voiced by female activists, and will be looking at relevant archival holdings in this area, specifically in Dublin and Cork.

His creative writing aims to find new ways of exploring and evaluating debates and controversies in Dublin during World War One and the Irish and British identities of this era. Further, his work will illuminate the many unacknowledged stories of hardship and contrasting impressions of the working-class.

  • Johnson, D.K. The Brinwade Chronicles – An Anthology (Nottingham: Fosseway Writers, 2020)
  • Johnson D.K. A Selection of Short Stories (Mumbai, Saga, 2021)