Irish Literature

The teaching and scholarship of Irish literature in our department has for almost two decades built from a shared expertise in contemporary Irish poetry and the influence of Joyce and Yeats (both as modernists and as distinctively “Irish” writers at the center of the Irish Renaissance courses that we teach, and also as they inherit the traditions of the Romantic Enlightenment).   Our work springs from a range of interests, from the broader contexts of modernism and the world wars, to ideology theory (notably at the intersection of theories of political theology and of the ethics, violence, and erotics of embodiment), and publication and institutional histories.  Two faculty members in this field helped found and subsequently directed the university press that continues to be the leading publisher of living Irish poets, and another has directed one of the leading Irish Studies programs in the country.   While our central focus is the English-language tradition of literature in Ireland, we understand “Irishness” as only one of several European traditions that have helped shape the innovative writing, and the international reach, of what is by no means a narrowly “national” literature.  Our research, teaching, and publication includes also a full awareness of the significance of the dynamics of linguistic and cultural translation for our understanding of texts in the Irish (Gaelic) language from the 5th century to the present; of the strong tradition of Irish women’s writing (in Irish and in English); and of “Celtic” cultural and nationalist traditions as they extend to Scotland and Wales. 

Faculty Experts