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Dr. Rosie Lavan B.A. (Oxon), M.A. (London), M.St (Oxon), D.Phil (Oxon)Assistant Professor in Irish Writing, Literary Arts Officer


After reading English at St Anne’s College, Oxford, I trained as a journalist at City University, London. I subsequently worked on the business desk at The Times for two years, as a media assistant to a London MEP during the European elections in 2009, and for House of Lords Hansard. I returned to Oxford for postgraduate study in 2010 and completed my doctorate, ‘Seamus Heaney and Society, 1964 – 1994’, in 2014. I held stipendiary lectureships in English at St Hugh’s and St Anne’s Colleges in 2014-15, teaching a range of courses on literature in English post-1830, before joining the School of English at TCD in September 2015.


My doctoral thesis, which I am currently revising for publication, resituates Seamus Heaney’s work in its varied textual, cultural, institutional, and political contexts. It pays close attention to his early journalism and work for radio and television, and to his key institutional affiliations in publishing, broadcasting, and education, in Ireland, Britain, and the United States.

My next project, ‘Representing Derry, 1968-2013’, examines representations of the city of Derry in poetry, drama, life-writing, journalism, and photography during the forty-five years which run from the civil rights era to Derry’s year as a UK Capital of Culture in 2013. Through its comparative and interdisciplinary framework, it seeks to explore how experiences of conflict, and its aftermaths and legacies, are represented and reimagined, within and beyond Irish Studies. In April 2016 I held a Moore Institute Visiting Fellowship at the National University of Ireland, Galway, for research towards this project.

In addition to twentieth-century Irish literature and culture, my research interests include literature, culture, and society in twentieth-century Britain; intersections between literature, politics, and the media; comparative approaches to literature and the visual arts, especially photography; life-writing; textual criticism; and poetic form.


I teach a range of courses in the School of English covering Irish literature and culture since 1800. This year, these will include the Senior Freshman lecture course ‘Contemporary Irish Writing’, and the Sophister modules ‘Heaney and his Contexts’ and ‘History and Memory in Modern Irish Writing’. For the Moderatorship in Irish Studies, I teach the course Nineteenth-Century Irish Writing, and contribute to the interdisciplinary Imagining Ireland modules. In the Oscar Wilde Centre, I contribute to the core course for the MPhil in Irish Writing, teaching a range of post-1970 texts, and an optional module on modern Irish poetry.

With students following the ‘Heaney and his Contexts’ module in Hilary 2016 I co-curated the exhibition Death of a Naturalist at 50: Seamus Heaney in Print, 1966-2016, which was on display in the Old Library. The exhibition examined the publication histories and contexts of Heaney’s first collection on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications


  • ‘Image, Text and Conflict: Approaching the Border in Willie Doherty’s Work’ in Nicola Gardini, Adriana Jacobs, Ben Morgan, Mohamed-Salah Omri and Matthew Reynolds eds., Minding Borders: Resilient Divisions in Literature, the Body and the Academy (Leeds: Legenda, 2017): forthcoming.

  • ‘Heaney and Education’ in Geraldine Higgins ed., Seamus Heaney in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017): forthcoming.

  • ‘The World of Sense in In Parenthesis’ Jamie Callison, Paul Fiddes, Anna Johnson and Erik Tonning eds., David Jones: A Christian Modernist? (Leiden: Brill, 2016): forthcoming.

  • ‘Active Images: Heaney and Derry’, Honest Ulsterman (Summer 2016).

  • ‘Heaney and the Audience’, Essays in Criticism 66:1 (2016), pp. 54-70.

  • ‘Screening Belfast: “Heaney in Limboland” and the Language of Belonging’, Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, 21:2 (2015), pp. 301-16.

  • Explorations: Seamus Heaney and Education’, The Irish Review,49-50 (Winter-Spring 2015), pp.54 – 70.


  • Review of Hearing Heaney: The Sixth Seamus Heaney Lectures, eds. Eugene McNulty & Ciarán Mac Murchaidh, Irish Literary Supplement: forthcoming in 2017.

  • Review of Yeats and Modern Poetry, by Edna Longley, Irish Review 52 (Summer 2016), pp. 73-5.

  • Review of Poetry, by David Constantine, Notes and Queries, 62:4 (2015), pp. 641-43.

  • Review of The Poor Bugger's Tool: Irish Modernism, Queer Labor, and Postcolonial History, by Patrick R. Mullen, Notes & Queries, 62: 1 (2015), pp. 175-77.


Room 4079, Arts Building
School of English
Trinity College
Dublin 2

Telephone: + 353 (0) 1 896 1185

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