Dr. Lili Zách

senior lecturer

Dr. Lili Zách HU


My studies at the English and History Departments at the University of Szeged, together with the PhD I undertook at the National University of Ireland, Galway, contributed to my passion for pursuing interdisciplinary and cooperative historical research. I find it crucial to emphasise the complexity of political and socio-economic issues and to investigate different events and themes in their wider historical contexts as this enhances students’ ability to critically engage with primary sources and relevant historiographical debates. Besides my teaching experience in Ireland (Maynooth University, NUI Galway), I have wide-ranging international research experience. I have participated and presented at the conferences of organisations such as the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), the European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC), the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACES), the Irish Association for Russian, Central and Eastern European Studies (IARCEES), and the American Hungarian Educators Association (AHEA).


My research interests concentrate on three fields. Firstly, I have been researching the transnational history of modern Ireland in order to bridge the gap between the historiographies of East and West. More specifically, I focus on the complexity of Irish national identities and the significance of small nations in Irish political rhetoric, with special attention to perceptions of and links with Central Europe, highlighting the significance or personal experience. Secondly, I am also exploring the importance and limitations of humour and laughter throughout the twentieth century, in both dictatorships and democracies, within the interdisciplinary field of Humour Studies. Thirdly, I am involved in Food and Drink History Research, covering British, American, European and Hungarian themes and topics and tracing transnational connections.

Selected publications:

  • Imagining Ireland Abroad, 1904- 1945: Conceiving the Nation, Identity, and Borders in Central Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.
  • "Introduction: The Birth Pains of 'Old-New Europe'" and "'Compulsory Independence': Irish nationalist images of empire and republic after the birth of independent German-Austria, 1919-1922". Nationalities Papers: 1918 and the Ambiguities of the Old-New Europe: Special Edition, co-edited with John Paul Newman, 2021.
  • "'Like Ireland, Hungary had her struggles for freedom': Cultural and Diplomatic Links between Interwar Ireland and Hungary." Philologica, Vol 12 No 1, 2020.
  • "'The First of the Small Nations': The Significance of Central European Small States in Nationalist Irish Political Rhetoric, 1918-1922." Irish Historical Studies, Vol 44 Issue 165, 2020.
  • "Catholicism and anti-communism: The reactions of Irish intellectuals to revolutionary changes in Hungary (1918-1939)." Diacronie. Studi di Storia Contemporanea / Diachronies Studies of Contemporary History, Issue 33, March 2018.
  • "Central European border settlements and interwar Ireland: a transnational study of the North-Eastern Boundary Bureau and the Boundary Commission." Prispevki za novejšo zgodovino / Contributions to Contemporary History, Nov 2017. 12-25.

Selected conferences

  • "The First of the Small Nations': The Significance of Central European Small States in Nationalist Irish Political Rhetoric, 1918-1922." The global Irish Revolution, 1916-1923 Workshop, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 2019.
  • "The formulation of Irish national identity in view of Central European parallels in the aftermath of the Great War." ASN European Conference: Nationalism in Times of Uncertainty, University of Graz, Austria, 2018.
  • "The Irish Intelligentsia and the Self-determination of Small Nations: Links and Parallels between Ireland and Habsburg Central Europe in the Early Twentieth Century." European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC): The Urban Elite at Breaking Points in the Political History of Small European Nations in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Queen’s University, Belfast, United Kingdom, 2018.
  • "Small Nations in a Transnational Perspective: The Significance of Irish Perceptions of Central European Parallels in the First Half of the Twentieth Century." European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS) Annual Conference: Translocation: Pathways in Irish Studies, Universidade da Coruña, Spain, 2017.
  • "Beyond 1917: the legacy of the Bolshevik Revolution and its impact on Irish perceptions of interwar Hungary." British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) 2017 Annual Conference: Fitzwilliam College – Churchill College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2017


  • Social change and everyday life in modern Ireland
  • Ireland and the wider world in the 20th century
  • The Empire on a plate: colonial culture and food history in Great Britain and Ireland since the 18th century
  • The history of political humour: caricatures, satire and stand-up comedy in 20th century Britain, Ireland and USA
  • George Orwell’s Britain and Europe


The modern history of any English-speaking country (political, diplomatic, socio-economic and cultural history); Humour Studies; Food and Drink Studies.

Further information