Who we are

Principal Investigator

Adam Kelly

Dr Adam Kelly, the Principal Investigator on the TRUST project, is Associate Professor of English at University College Dublin. He is the author of American Fiction in Transition: Observer-Hero Narrative, the 1990s, and Postmodernism (Bloomsbury 2013) and is currently completing a book about the aesthetics and politics of sincerity in American fiction during the period 1989-2008. He is co-editor of special issues of Comparative Literature Studies and Open Library of the Humanities, and has published a wide range of articles and chapters in leading journals and edited collections.

Before joining UCD in 2020, Adam was Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer at the University of York from 2013-19, and from 2011-13 he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. His research in literary studies has focused primarily on normative concepts including sincerity, complicity, dignity, debt, and freedom, making the shift to the subject of social trust a natural step. His broader research and teaching interests include literary and critical theory, the history of ideas, the history of the novel, and the relationships among literature, philosophy, politics, and economics.

IRC Research Scientist

Iryna Kovalchuk

Iryna Kovalchuk is an IRC Research Scientist at University College Dublin and an Assistant Professor at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine. She completed her PhD in Linguistics at the Institute of Philology, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, examining product labelling, analyzing its semantic, pragmatic, structural and discursive features, interpreting the role of verbal and non-verbal means in transmitting the message and studying representation and verbalization of social values in advertising discourse. She has also published in areas of intercultural communication and text interpretation. She holds an MA in Management. She is currently working on examining the communicative strategies employed by literary institutions to build trust among readers and the public when literary institutions promote, distribute, and reward the work of literature.
Katerina Pavlidi
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Katerina Pavlidi

Katerina Pavlidi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin (UCD). She completed her PhD dissertation at the Slavonic Studies section at the University of Cambridge in 2022. Her dissertation examines the relationship between language and the body in the literary works and performances of Vladimir Sorokin – a Russian author who began his career in the late 1970s in Moscow Conceptualist circles of the late Soviet underground and who nowadays is one of Russia’s best-selling authors of international renown. Katerina’s doctoral research served as the basis for the development of her interest in the legacies of the late Soviet underground art worlds in contemporary Russian culture, in the historical and cultural genealogies of Russian postmodernism as well as in its theorisation and transnational contextualisation. Her encounter with affect theory and her contemplation on the role that the body plays in literary production and reception triggered her interest in exploring how embodied practices can inform literary criticism itself as well as academic activities, including academic writing, research dissemination and teaching.
PhD Candidate

Alexander Kroll

Alexander Kroll is a doctoral student at UCD’s School of English, Drama & Film under the supervision of Dr. Adam Kelly. His research explores representations of social trust in/and the small town in American and Irish literature after 1990. His work is supported through the project “Trust: Imaginative Literature and Social Trust, 1990-2025,” funded by the Irish Research Council. He has a BA in English from the University of South Carolina (2016-2020) and an M. Phil. in Irish Writing from Trinity College Dublin (2021-2022)