Professor Nicholas Grene B.A. (Dublin) Ph.D. (Cambridge), F.T.C.D., M.R.I.A.
Professor of English Literature (1867)
Co-Director, M.Phil in Irish Writing
Nicholas Grene has been Professor of English Literature in the School of English since 1999; he is a Fellow of the College, a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Taking his first degree in TCD (1969) and his PhD at the University of Cambridge (1973), he lectured at the University of Liverpool for seven years before returning to Trinity in 1979, where he has been Head of Department in English for three different terms (1984-8, 1994-7, 2001-3).
His main research interests are in drama, primarily on Shakespeare and modern Irish theatre, but he has also worked on Irish poetry and on Indian literature in English. He is the author of a number of books including Synge: a Critical Study of the Plays (Macmillan, 1975), Shakespeare, Jonson, Molière: the Comic Contract (Macmillan, 1980), Bernard Shaw: a Critical View (Macmillan, 1984), Shakespeare’s Tragic Imagination (Macmillan, 1992), The Politics of Irish Drama (Cambridge University Press, 1999), Shakespeare’s Serial History Plays (Cambridge University Press, 2002), Yeats’s Poetic Codes (Oxford University Press, 2008) and R.K. Narayan (Northcote House 2011). He has also edited and co-edited several works: J.M. Synge, The Well of the Saints (Catholic University of America Press, 1982), with Terence Brown Tradition and Influence in Anglo-Irish Poetry (Macmillan, 1989), with Dan H. Laurence, Shaw, Lady Gregory and the Abbey: a Correspondence and a Record (Colin Smythe, 1993), Interpreting Synge: Essays from the Synge Summer School 1991-2000 (Lilliput 2000), Talking about Tom Murphy (Carysfort Press, 2002), Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara, New Mermaids (Methuen, 2008), J.M. Synge, Travelling Ireland: Essays 1898-1908 (Lilliput Press, 2009) and, with Brian Cliff Synge and Edwardian Ireland(Oxford University Press, 2011). His childhood memoir Nothing Quite Like It was published by Somerville Press in 2011. He is currently working on a book about domestic spaces in modern drama.
A Andrew W. Mellon Fund Fellow at the Huntington Library in California in 1994, he was the founding Director of the Synge Summer School (1991-2000) and is the chair of the Irish Theatrical Diaspora research network, for which he has co-edited three volumes: Irish Theatre on Tour (Carysfort Press, 2005), with Chris Morash, Interactions: Dublin Theatre Festival 1957-2007 (Carysfort Press, 2008), with Patrick Lonergan, and again with Patrick Lonergan, Irish Theatre: Local and Global Perspectives (Carysfort Press, 2012). He was the holder of a IRCHSS Thematic Project grant (2007-10) for a joint research project with NUI, Galway on ‘The Internationalization of Irish Drama 1975-2005’.
He has taught widely across the range of literature and drama in English, including courses on theatre, Shakespeare, Indian literature in English, modern Irish drama. Undergraduate courses taught currently include an introductory module on ‘Stages of Theatre’, and more advanced specialist options on ‘Home on the Stage’ and ‘Shakespeare and Sexuality’. He has supervised many research students on Boucicault, Beckett, Somerville and Ross, Irish theatre and film; at present he is directing dissertations on Brian Friel and and on Elizabethan history plays; in addition to Irish literature would be happy to supervise work on Shakespeare or on Indian literature.
One of the initiators of the MPhil in Anglo-Irish Literature in Trinity, he is now the co-Director of its successor, the M.Phil in Irish Writing, on which he teaches a module on Irish drama and seminars on Beckett. He was responsible for the introduction of the outreach evening lectures in English and has acted as co-ordinator for many of these very successful series. He has been a guest lecturer in many different countries and has held visiting professorships at the University of New South Wales (2003), Dartmouth College (2004) and the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne (2009). He is married with four children.
Professor Nicholas Grene
telephone: + 353 1 896 1179