Researcher
Bealoideas
Department of Folklore, 5 Elderwood, College Road, University College Cork, Cork

T: + 353 21 490 3935
E: j.butler@ucc.ie

Dr Jenny Butler has been a Lecturer with the Department of Folklore and Ethnology since 2002. She was awarded a Government of Ireland Research Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences by The Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) in support of her doctoral research on Irish neo-pagan culture. Her book on this topic, 21st Century Irish Paganism: Worldview, Ritual, Identity, is forthcoming from Ashgate.


In 2010, she was awarded a Dobbin Scholarship, sponsored by AGF International and supported by the Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF) for an ongoing project, which is a comparative ethnographic analysis of supernatural folklore of Ireland and Newfoundland, Canada. She is also producing an ethnographic documentary on fairy folklore similar to Ireland and Newfoundland, which was funded by the Ireland-Newfoundland Partnership Scheme.



Her key interests are belief narratives, legends and, specifically, traditions connected to supernatural beings. Another main interest is that of identity construction in New Religious Movements and in popular religious practices more generally. She is a committee member of The Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR) and a formal Collaborator of the Marginalised and Endangered Worldviews Study Centre (MEWSC), University College Cork.
 

Research Interests


Jenny Butler's primary research interests are in the following areas:

    • Contemporary Paganism/neo-pagan culture
    • New Religious Movements
    • Ritual Studies
    • Narrative (particularly legends and belief narratives)
    • Death ritual and beliefs about death, dying and the afterlife
    • Mythology
    • Sacred sites, legends and landscape
    • Traditional medicine, charms, cures and healing practices
    • Popular culture and media studies

Research Grants

 ProjectFunding
Body
Start DateEnd DateAward
Ireland-Newfoundland Supernatural BeliefGovernment Departments01-MAR-0930-SEP-09€3,500.00

Books

YearPublication
(2016)21st Century Irish Paganism: Worldview, Ritual, Identity.
Jenny Butler (2016) 21st Century Irish Paganism: Worldview, Ritual, Identity. Farnham, Surrey: UK: Ashgate. [Details]

Book Chapters

YearPublication
(2015)'Magic and Supernatural Themes in Carnivàle'
Jenny Butler (2015) 'Magic and Supernatural Themes in Carnivàle' In: Peg Aloi and Hannah Sanders (eds). Carnivàle and the American Grotesque: Critical Essays on the HBO Series. Jefferson, North Carolina: USA: McFarland. [Details]
(2015)'Paganism in Ireland: Syncretic Processes, Identity and a Sense of Place'
Jenny Butler (2015) 'Paganism in Ireland: Syncretic Processes, Identity and a Sense of Place' In: Kathryn Rountree (eds). Modern Pagan and Native Faith Movements in Europe: Colonial and Nationalist Impulses. Oxford and Brooklyn, NY: Berghahn Books. [Details]
(2012)'St. Patrick, Folklore and Irish National Identity'
Jenny Butler (2012) 'St. Patrick, Folklore and Irish National Identity' In: Saint Urho - Pyhä Urho - From Fakelore To Folklore. Finland: University of Turku. [Details]
(2011)'Irish Neo-Paganism: Worldview and Identity'
Jenny Butler (2011) 'Irish Neo-Paganism: Worldview and Identity' In: Ireland's New Religious Movements. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. [Details]
(2009)'Neo-Pagan Celebrations of Samhain'
Jenny Butler (2009) 'Neo-Pagan Celebrations of Samhain' In: Treat or Trick? Halloween in a Globalising World. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. [Details]
(2008)'Symbolic and Social Roles of Women in Death Ritual in Traditional Irish Society'
Jenny Butler (2008) 'Symbolic and Social Roles of Women in Death Ritual in Traditional Irish Society' In: Women, Pain and Death: Rituals and Everyday Life on the Margins of Europe and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. [Details]
(2007)'Holistic Health and New Age in the British Isles'
Jenny Butler and Maria Tighe; (2007) 'Holistic Health and New Age in the British Isles' In: Handbook of New Age. Leiden and Boston: Brill. [Details]
(2005)'Druidry in Contemporary Ireland'
Jenny Butler (2005) 'Druidry in Contemporary Ireland' In: Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives. Santa Barbara, California; Denver, Colorado; Oxford, England: ABC-CLIO. [Details]
(2004)'Neo-pagan Ritual Practice as Visual Culture and Creative Expression of Identity'
Jenny Butler (2004) 'Neo-pagan Ritual Practice as Visual Culture and Creative Expression of Identity' In: Communicating Cultures. New Brunswick, USA and London, UK: LIT Verlag. [Details]

Edited Books

YearPublication
(2017)
Jenny Butler (Ed.). (2017) The Twin Peaks Phenomenon: Essays on a Show both Wonderful and Strange. Jefferson, North Carolina: USA: McFarland. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

YearPublication
(2015)'Review of Dennis Gaffin’s 'Running with the Fairies: Towards a Transpersonal Anthropology of Religion' (2013, Cambridge Scholars Publishing)'
Jenny Butler (2015) 'Review of Dennis Gaffin’s 'Running with the Fairies: Towards a Transpersonal Anthropology of Religion' (2013, Cambridge Scholars Publishing)'. Fieldwork in Religion, [Details]
(2015)'Remembrance of the Ancestors in Contemporary Paganism'
Jenny Butler (2015) 'Remembrance of the Ancestors in Contemporary Paganism'. Journal of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions, 2 [Details]
(2009)'The Neo-Pagan Ritual Year and Gender'
Jenny Butler (2009) 'The Neo-Pagan Ritual Year and Gender'. Cosmos, 25 (25):191-200 [Details]
(2002)'The Neo-Pagan Ritual Year'
Jenny Butler (2002) 'The Neo-Pagan Ritual Year'. Cosmos, 18 :121-142 [Details]

Other Journals

YearPublication
(2011)'An Ethnographic Study of Irish Neo-Pagan Culture'
Jenny Butler (2011) 'An Ethnographic Study of Irish Neo-Pagan Culture' The Boolean, 2 . [Details]
(2003)'Ireland's Sacred Landscape: Neo-pagan Worldview and the Ritual Utilisation of Sacred Sites'
Jenny Butler (2003) 'Ireland's Sacred Landscape: Neo-pagan Worldview and the Ritual Utilisation of Sacred Sites' Beascna, 2 :29-45. [Details]

Conference Publications

YearPublication
(2011)The Ritual Year and Gender
Collection of Papers; (2011) The Ritual Year 4: The Ritual Year and Gender . In: Butler, Jenny (Guest Editor) with Emily Lyle (General Editor) eds. The Ritual Year and Gender Cork, [Details]
(2008)Ritual Year 3: The Ritual Year and History
Jenny Butler (2008) The Neo-Pagan Ritual Year and Historical Reinterpretations Ritual Year 3: The Ritual Year and History , pp.72-78 [Details]
(2007)Ritual Year 2: The Ritual Year and Ritual Diversity
Jenny Butler (2007) Midsummer Magic: Neo-Pagan Celebrations of the Summer Solstice Ritual Year 2: The Ritual Year and Ritual Diversity , pp.45-50 [Details]
(2004)Proceedings of the Congress Sacral Through the Eyes of the Lay and the Initiated
Jenny Butler (2004) Expressions of the Sacred in Contemporary Pagan Culture in Ireland . In: Piterskaja, E. S. and Kharitonova V. I eds. Proceedings of the Congress Sacral Through the Eyes of the Lay and the Initiated Moscow, Russia, , pp.162-171 [Details]

Published Reports

YearPublication
(2007)Report on the Conference: Charming and Crafty: Witchcraft and Paganism in Contemporary Media. Harvard University, Cambridge, USA May 18th-21st 2006. In Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies (JASANAS), Vol. 3.
Jenny Butler (2007) Report on the Conference: Charming and Crafty: Witchcraft and Paganism in Contemporary Media. Harvard University, Cambridge, USA May 18th-21st 2006. In Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies (JASANAS), Vol. 3. Kempress Ltd, London. [CORA Link] [Details]

Articles

YearPublication
(2012)The Cultural Significance of the Amulet Project.
Jenny Butler (2012) The Cultural Significance of the Amulet Project. Articles [Details]

Book Reviews

YearPublication
(2013)Review of Kathryn Rountree’s Crafting Contemporary Pagan Identities in a Catholic Society (2010, Ashgate) in The Pomegranate Journal of Pagan Studies.
Jenny Butler (2013) Review of Kathryn Rountree’s Crafting Contemporary Pagan Identities in a Catholic Society (2010, Ashgate) in The Pomegranate Journal of Pagan Studies. Book Reviews [Details]
(2005)Review of Kathryn Rountree's Embracing the Witch and the Goddess - Feminist Ritual-Makers in New-Zealand in Cosmos, Vol. 21, No. 1: June 2005, 127-129.
Jenny Butler (2005) Review of Kathryn Rountree's Embracing the Witch and the Goddess - Feminist Ritual-Makers in New-Zealand in Cosmos, Vol. 21, No. 1: June 2005, 127-129. Book Reviews [Details]

Commissioned Compositions

YearPublication
(2013)The Amulet Project, Folklore and Social Change.
Jenny Butler (2013) The Amulet Project, Folklore and Social Change. Commissioned Compositions [Details]

Encyclopedia Entries

YearPublication
(2015)Changelings.
Jenny Butler (2015) Changelings. Santa Barbara, California:ABC-CLIO. Encyclopedia Entries. [Details]

Magazine article

YearPublication
(2006)Halloween's Celtic Roots (Interview with Jenny Butler).
Archaeology: A Publication of the Archaeological Institute of America; (2006) Halloween's Celtic Roots (Interview with Jenny Butler). http://www.archaeology.org/online/interviews/butler.html: Magazine article [Details]

Thesis/Dissertation

YearPublication
(2012)Irish Neo-Paganism: Worldview, Ritual and Identity.
Jenny Butler (2012) Irish Neo-Paganism: Worldview, Ritual and Identity. Thesis/Dissertation [Details]

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2010Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF) Dobbin Scholarship Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF)
2008Ireland-Newfoundland Partnership Research Bursary Ireland-Newfoundland Partnership
2001Government of Ireland Research Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences The Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
2001Title of UCC College Scholar - Undergraduate scholarship awarded in recognition of high grades University College Cork's Undergraduate College Scholarships Scheme
2000Title of UCC College Scholar - Undergraduate scholarship awarded in recognition of high grades University College Cork's Undergraduate College Scholarships Scheme

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
American Folklore Society (AFS) Member/
Anthropological Association of Ireland (AAI) Member/
Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR) Member/
Société Internationale d'Ethnologie et de Folklore (SIEF) Member/

Conference Contributions

YearPublication
(2015)Annual Anthropological Association of Ireland Conference 2015--Permanence & Transition: Anthropological Perspectives,
Butler, Jenny (2015) Divine Encounters: Contemporary Pagan Artwork, Liminal Spaces, and the Creative Process. [Oral Presentation], Annual Anthropological Association of Ireland Conference 2015--Permanence & Transition: Anthropological Perspectives, University College Cork , 06-MAR-15 - 07-MAR-15. [Details]
(2014)Third Annual ISASR Conference--Religion and Remembering,
Butler, Jenny (2014) Remembering the Ancestors in Contemporary Paganism. [Oral Presentation], Third Annual ISASR Conference--Religion and Remembering, Union Theological College, Belfast in collaboration with Queen's University Belfast , 23-MAY-14 - 24-MAY-14. [Details]
(2013)Meanings of Madness: Critical and Creative Perspectives,
Butler, Jenny (2013) Folklore and Madness: Traditional Beliefs and Contemporary Popular Conceptions of Madness in the Irish Context. [Oral Presentation], Meanings of Madness: Critical and Creative Perspectives, University College Cork , 13-NOV-13 - 14-NOV-13. [Details]
(2013)Paper: Fairy trees and holy wells as sites of nexus between different popular religious traditions,
Butler, Jenny (2013) ISASR Conference 2013 - Ireland, America and transnationalism: studying religions in a globalised world. [Oral Presentation], Paper: Fairy trees and holy wells as sites of nexus between different popular religious traditions, Clinton Institute, University College Dublin , 10-MAY-13 - 12-MAY-13. [Details]
(2013)Marginalised and Endangered Worldviews Study Centre (MEWSC) Seminar,
Butler, Jenny (2013) Living the Magical Life: Supernatural Forces in Contemporary Pagan Worldview. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Marginalised and Endangered Worldviews Study Centre (MEWSC) Seminar, University College Cork , 01-OCT-13 - 02-OCT-13. [Details]
(2012)ISASR Conference - Emerging Perspectives: Religions and Ireland,
Butler, Jenny (2012) Paper: Researching Irish Neo-Paganism: exploring issues of ethnographic practice, spiritual experience narrative and religious worldview. [Oral Presentation], ISASR Conference - Emerging Perspectives: Religions and Ireland, Study of Religions Department, University College Cork , 25-MAY-12 - 26-MAY-12. [Details]
(2012)ISASR Conference - Emerging Perspectives: Religions and Ireland,
Butler, Jenny (2012) Member of Action Committee to organise the first conference of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions. [Conference Organising Committee Member], ISASR Conference - Emerging Perspectives: Religions and Ireland, Study of Religions Department, University College Cork , 26-MAY-11 - 26-MAY-12. [Details]
(2009)The Power of the Mask Conference,
Butler, Jenny; (2009) Paper: Masks and Processions in the Traditional Irish Ritual Year. [Oral Presentation], The Power of the Mask Conference, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania , 02-JUL-09 - 06-JUL-09. [Details]
(2009)Alternative spiritualities, the New Age and New Religious Movements in Ireland,
Butler, Jenny; (2009) Paper: Irish Neopaganism: Worldview and Identity. [Oral Presentation], Alternative spiritualities, the New Age and New Religious Movements in Ireland, NUI Maynooth, Ireland , 30-OCT-09 - 31-OCT-09. [Details]
(2008)The Ritual Year and Gender Conference,
Butler, Jenny; (2008) Organiser: Fourth conference of the SIEF Ritual Year Working Group. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], The Ritual Year and Gender Conference, Cork, Ireland , 22-JUN-08 - 26-JUN-08. [Details]
(2008)The Ritual Year and Gender Conference,
Butler, Jenny; (2008) Paper: The Neo-Pagan Ritual Year and Gender. [Oral Presentation], The Ritual Year and Gender Conference, Cork, Ireland , 22-JUN-08 - 26-JUN-08. [Details]
(2008)Transcending European Heritages: Liberating the Ethnological Imagination,
Butler, Jenny; (2008) Paper: Celticity as a Cultural Resource in Irish Neo-Paganism. [Oral Presentation], Transcending European Heritages: Liberating the Ethnological Imagination, University of Ulster, Derry, Northern Ireland , 16-JUN-08 - 20-JUN-08. [Details]
(2008)The Ritual Year and Gender Conference,
Butler, Jenny; (2008) Guest Editor RY4: The Ritual Year and Gender. [Editorship of Whole Conference Proceedings], The Ritual Year and Gender Conference, Cork, Ireland , 22-JUN-08 - 26-JUN-08. [Details]
(2007)The Ritual Year and History,
Butler, Jenny; (2007) Paper: History of Neo-Paganism and Neo-Pagan Reinterpretations of History. [Oral Presentation], The Ritual Year and History, Straznice, Czech Republic , 25-MAY-07 - 29-MAY-07. [Details]
(2007)Challenging Cultures of Death: Mercy Not Sacrifice,
Butler, Jenny; (2007) Paper: Neo-Paganism as a Life-Embracing Spirituality. [Oral Presentation], Challenging Cultures of Death: Mercy Not Sacrifice, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland , 02-NOV-07 - 04-NOV-07. [Details]
(2007)Trees in Legend and Tradition: English Folklore Society Conference,
Butler, Jenny; (2007) Paper: Fairy Trees and Sacred Groves: Trees in Neo-Pagan Worldview and Ritual Practice. [Oral Presentation], Trees in Legend and Tradition: English Folklore Society Conference, Weald and Downland Folk Museum, Singleton, East Sussex, England , 01-SEP-07 - 02-SEP-07. [Details]
(2007)Charms, Charmers and Charming Conference,
Butler, Jenny; (2007) Paper: Neo-Pagan Charms. [Oral Presentation], Charms, Charmers and Charming Conference, Pécs, Hungary , 11-MAY-07 - 13-MAY-07. [Details]
(2006)The Ritual Year and Ritual Diversity,
Butler, Jenny; (2006) Paper: Neo-Pagan Celebrations of the Summer Solstice. [Oral Presentation], The Ritual Year and Ritual Diversity, Gothenburg, Sweden , 07-JUN-06 - 11-JUN-06. [Details]
(2006)International Conference on Halloween,
Butler, Jenny; (2006) Paper: Neo-Pagan Celebrations of the Festival of Samhain. [Oral Presentation], International Conference on Halloween, Glasgow, Scotland, UK , 31-OCT-06 - 01-NOV-06. [Details]
(2006)Charming and Crafty: Witchcraft and Paganism in Contemporary Media,
Butler, Jenny; (2006) Paper: Irish Witchcraft and Paganism in Contemporary Media. [Oral Presentation], Charming and Crafty: Witchcraft and Paganism in Contemporary Media, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA , 18-MAY-06 - 21-MAY-06. [Details]
(2005)The 5th Celtic-Nordic-Baltic Folklore Symposium on Folk Legends,
Butler, Jenny; (2005) Paper: Celtic Legends and the Irish Neo-Pagan Community. [Oral Presentation], The 5th Celtic-Nordic-Baltic Folklore Symposium on Folk Legends, Reykjavík, Iceland , 15-JUN-05 - 18-JUN-05. [Details]
(2005)14th Congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR),
Butler, Jenny; (2005) Paper: Personal Spiritual Narratives of Irish Neo-Pagans. [Oral Presentation], 14th Congress of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR), Tartu, Estonia , 26-JUL-05 - 31-JUL-05. [Details]
(2004)The Ritual Year Conference,
Butler, Jenny; (2004) Paper: The Neo-Pagan Ritual Year. [Oral Presentation], The Ritual Year Conference, University of Edinburgh, Scotland , 07-JUL-04 - 07-JUL-04. [Details]
(2004)Sacral Through the Eyes of the Lay and the Initiated,
Butler, Jenny; (2004) Paper: Expressions of the Sacred in Contemporary Pagan Culture in Ireland. [Oral Presentation], Sacral Through the Eyes of the Lay and the Initiated, Moscow, Russia , 20-JUN-04 - 30-JUN-04. [Details]
(2004)ASANAS (Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies) Goes Mainstream?,
Butler, Jenny; (2004) Paper: Neo-Paganism and the Domain of Alternative Healing in Contemporary Ireland. [Oral Presentation], ASANAS (Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies) Goes Mainstream?, University of Wolverhampton, England , 21-MAY-04 - 21-MAY-04. [Details]
(2003)From Vernacular Religion to Contemporary Spirituality: Locating Religion in European Ethnology,
Butler, Jenny; (2003) Paper: Neo-Pagan Ritual Practice in Ireland as Cultural Process. [Oral Presentation], From Vernacular Religion to Contemporary Spirituality: Locating Religion in European Ethnology, Open University, Milton Keynes, England , 10-JAN-03 - 11-JAN-03. [Details]
(2003)Language, Literature and the Imaginaire,
Butler, Jenny; (2003) Paper: The Imaginaire of Neo-Pagan Discourse: Perceptions of Landscape. [Oral Presentation], Language, Literature and the Imaginaire, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland , 02-MAY-03 - 04-MAY-03. [Details]
(2003)Alternative Spirituality and New Age Studies (ASANAS),
Butler, Jenny; (2003) Paper: Ireland's Neo-Pagan Community: Worldview and Ritual. [Oral Presentation], Alternative Spirituality and New Age Studies (ASANAS), Open University in Milton Keynes, England , 30-MAY-03 - 01-JUN-03. [Details]
(2002)Communicating Cultures,
Butler, Jenny; (2002) Paper: Irish Neo-Pagan Ritual Practice: Visual Representations of Culture and Creative Expressions of Identity. [Oral Presentation], Communicating Cultures, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland , 20-JUN-02 - 22-JUN-02. [Details]
(2002)Ireland's Heritages: Critical Perspectives on Consumption, Method and Memory,
Butler, Jenny; (2002) Paper: Ireland's Sacred Landscape: Neo-Pagan Worldview and the Ritual Utilisation of Heritage Sites. [Oral Presentation], Ireland's Heritages: Critical Perspectives on Consumption, Method and Memory, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) in Castlebar, Ireland , 18-OCT-02 - 20-OCT-02. [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
Charms, Charmers and Charming (ISFNR) Conference Organising Committee Member2015 /
Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR) Fourth Annual Conference Organising Committee Member2014 / 2015
Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR) Third Annual Conference Organising Committee Member of Organising Committee2013 / 2014
Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR) Committee Member2013 / 2016
The Action Committee of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR) Member2011 / 2012

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
Dublin City University, Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI) Instructor of Celtic Studies course as part of the Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI) Summer-School Programme 2006, Dublin City University01-JUN-06 / 01-JUL-06
University College Cork Lecturer01-SEP-02 / 30-DEC-11
Cork County Vocational Education Committee (VEC) Instructor of a course on Local History01-MAR-05 / 15-JUN-05
Ashton Community College, Blackrock, Cork Instructor of Adult Education Night Class01-SEP-05 / 30-APR-06
Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI), Dublin City University Instructor04-OCT-03 / 26-JUL-08

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
2013University College Cork PhDFolklore and Ethnology
2001University College Cork BAPhilosophy and Folklore (Joint Honours)

Consultancy

 ClientDescription
RTE - Researcher for Television Programme

Research was carried out for a television programme on festivals. The research focused on mythology and folklore surrounding one festival in particular and documented how this time was celebrated historically in Ireland.

Outreach Activities

 Description

The Amulet Project: Jenny Butler was involved, in an advisory capacity, with this project, based at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) April - December 2010. It was a visual arts project involving local Cork community groups of women, led by the Ballyphehane & Togher Community Art & Craft Initiative. The groups created remembrance amulets and layettes for stillborn babies and also made keepsake amulets for living babies, using traditional crafts such as crocheting, beadwork and knitting. The artist Marie Brett (MA in Visual Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London), CUMH staff  (including directors of Neo-Natal and Bereavement and Loss sections), HSE Cork Arts & Health Programme and The Arts Council were partners on the venture. Cork Film Centre collaborated with the group to help produce an audiovisual record of the project. Jenny Butler held a consultative role on the project with regard to folklore surrounding stillbirth and dead child traditions. Website: http://www.mariebrett.ie/Amulet.html


Journal Activities

 JournalRoleTo / From
Beascna Member of Editorial Board01-SEP-03 - 30-DEC-06
Cosmos Guest Editor01-SEP-09 - 30-DEC-09
Beascna Member of Advisory Board01-SEP-10 -
Beascna Referee-
Cosmos Referee-

Other Activities

 Description

Interview with Jenny Butler about Irish Paganism.
Interviewer: David Jenkins for 2XXFM Canberra Community Radio, Australia: Watch on Youtube

Doctoral Showcase UCC 2011: Talk on Irish Pagan Culture

Invited Lectures:
  • Guest Lecture: "Irish Folklore and the Supernatural" for the EIL Intercultural Learning Programme at The Ambassador Hotel, Cork city, Ireland, 4 July, 2013.

  • Guest Lecture: "Irish Neo-Paganism: Worldview and Ritual Practices" for the Association of Icelandic Folklorists (Félag Þjóðfræðinga Á Íslandi) at The University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland, September 14th, 2011.

  • Guest Lecture: "Folk and Popular Belief Systems" for Cork Northside Folklore Project, St. Finbarr's College, Farranferris College, Cork, 2010.

  • Guest Lecture: "Glimpsing the Supernatural: From Pagan Gods to Fairies" for Mythic Links Mythology Group, Dublin, Ireland, April 2nd, 2009.

  • Guest lecture: "Fire, Fairies & Sun Gods: Tara and Contemporary Paganism" for The Office of Public Works, Hill of Tara Visitor Centre, Co. Meath, Ireland, 18th July, 2007.

  • Guest Lecture: "Danú as Mother Goddess in Irish Mythology" for IRD Duhallow seminar on "Danú and Spirituality - a Spirit of Belonging", Rathmore, Co. Kerry, 2007.

  • Guest Lecture: "Traditional Irish Festival Celebrations" for The Centre for Irish Cultural Studies, Sacred Heart University, Dingle Campus, Kerry, January, 2006.

  • Guest Lecture: "Folklore, Oral History and Heritage" for Cloyne Literary and Historical Society, Cloyne, East Cork, Ireland, 2004.

  • Guest Lecture: "Folklore, Landscape and Mythology of West Cork" for Cork County Vocational Education Committee, Maria Immaculata Community College, Dunmanway, West Cork, 2003.

Teaching Interests

Dr Butler's teaching areas include the examination of worldview, traditional cosmologies, belief and ritual behaviour. Teaching interests range from the customs and beliefs of the early modern period in Ireland to contemporary urban ethnology, popular culture and media studies.

She has taught the following modules in the undergraduate degree programme in Folklore and Ethnology:


  • An Introduction to Folklore and Popular Culture
  • Worldview and its Externalisations: a course on belief-systems and expressions of belief through ritual custom.
  • Irish Folklore and History: a course that examines the intellectual and ideological background and historical development of folklore collection and study in Ireland.

  • Urban Ethnology, Popular Culture and Modernity: a course on urban studies and contemporary popular culture.

  • Tradition in a Changing World: a course that examines traditional culture in new contexts and looks at new areas of folklore research and the development of new approaches to the study of changing culture
  • The Rise of Folklore and Ethnology: a course on the history of folklore collection and the beginnings of ethnological scholarship in Ireland and elsewhere.
  • History, Memory, Folklore: a course that deals with the concept of folklore and the relationship between the oral tradition and written history.

  • Narrative, Belief and Ritual in Everyday Life: a course that examines the interrelationship of belief, verbal and ritual behaviour.

  • The Early Start Semester in Folklore and Ethnology: (Special programme for Visiting Students): a course on Irish culture taught to visiting American undergraduates. Jenny Butler's classes as part of this course deal with the concept of "sacred landscape" and legends connected to sacred sites. The programme also involves excursions with the students to heritage sites and other places of cultural interest.

  • Folklore in a Changing World: a course that investigates the place of "tradition" in the contemporary world, the role of folklore as a discipline in the study of changing culture, and related areas of heritage "ownership" and cultural identity.


She has also taught in the area of Adult Education through University College Cork's Centre for Adult Continuing Education and also through UCC's Diploma in Local and Regional Studies. Additionally, she has worked as an instructor for the Vocational Education Committee's Adult Education community-based programmes.