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Postgraduate English at Trinity

Berkeley Library

The School of English at Trinity is recognized globally for the excellence of its teaching and research. It was ranked 7th in Europe and 22nd in the world for English Language and Literature in the 2023 QS Subject rankings – the highest placed department of English in the European Union and the highest placed humanities department in Ireland. Each year, we have a graduate community of about 100 students from all over the world. As well the students on our four taught M.Phil. programmes, this includes many postgraduate research students working on a wide range of topics and employing diverse methodologies and critical perspectives. More details on project currently being undertaken by research students in the School can be found here.

As might be expected, the School has a particularly high profile in Irish literature in English. Other areas of notable research strength include: medieval literature; renaissance and early modern literature; print culture; eighteenth-century drama and prose; nineteenth-century poetry and prose; twentieth-century prose and drama; modern and contemporary poetry; US literature; post-colonial literatures; children’s literature; cultural studies; popular Literature; the gothic; and literary practice. More details on our Faculty’s research interests can be found here.

Facilities and Resources
Berkeley Library

Our postgraduate students have access to superb facilities and resources. Trinity’s legal deposit library holds over 5 million books, having been entitled since 1801 to a copy of every book published in Ireland and the UK. The library also has remarkable special print, and manuscript and archive collections. We also benefit from our city-centre location in having other major research libraries and archives nearby, such as the National Library of Ireland and the National Archives of Ireland.

The Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing offers a lively working and social environment for the students on the M.Phil.s in Irish Writing and Creative Writing. The Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute provides a stimulating environment for early careers researchers and visiting research fellows. As well as offering a fantastic workspace to many postgraduate research students from the School of English, the Hub offers a rich programme of lectures, seminars and conferences through the academic year. It also hosts research projects and interdisciplinary research centres, such as the Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies and the Trinity Centre for Digital Humanities. Further dedicated workspace for postgraduate students and researchers is offered at various locations across the campus.

Seminars, Lectures and Readings

The Staff-Postgraduate Seminar Series is integral to the School of English’s research community. The series provides a relaxed and convivial atmosphere for staff and students to present their research to their peers. The series also frequently welcomes distinguished guest lecturers from outside Trinity College. It offers a fantastic opportunity to share ideas and engage with the diverse research taking place within the School. A wealth of other lectures, readings and literary events are also hosted by the School through the year.

Producing Research

Many Ph.D. research projects undertaken in the School have led to significant publications. In recent years, these have included:

  • Bates, Julie, Beckett’s Art of Salvage (Cambridge University Press, 2017)
  • Borsing, Christopher, Daniel Defoe and the Representation of Identity (Routledge, 2016)
  • Brown, Jenny, Cannibalism in Literature and Film (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
  • Bulfin, Ailise, Gothic Invasions: War, Imperialism and Fin de Siecle Popular Fiction (University of Wales Press, 2018)
  • Creasy, Jonathan, ed., Black Mountain Poets (New Directions, 2019)
  • Durnin, Marion, ed., Sketches of Irish Character by Mrs S.C. Hall (Chatto and Pickiering, 2015)
  • Dunne, Derek, Shakespeare, Revenge Tragedy and Early Modern Law: Vindictive Justice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
  • Ferguson, Trish, Thomas Hardy’s Legal Fictions (Edinburgh University Press, 2013)
  • Groenland, Tim, The Art of Editing: Raymond Carver and David Foster Wallace (Bloomsbury, 2019)
  • Hayes-Brady, Clare, The Unspeakable Failures of David Foster Wallace (Bloomsbury, 2016)
  • Impens, Florence, Classical Presences in Irish Poetry after 1960: The Answering Voice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)
  • Kinane, Ian, Theorising Literary Islands: The Island Trope in Contemporary Robinsonade Narratives (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016)
  • Lacivita, Alison, The Ecology of Finnegan’s Wake (University of Florida Press, 2015)
  • Little, James, Beckett in Confinement (Bloomsbury, 2020)
  • McFeely, Deirdre, Dion Boucicault: Irish Identity on Stage (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
  • Murnane, Ben, Ayn Rand and the Posthuman: The Mind-Made Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)
  • Ni Fhlainn, Sorcha, Postmodern Vampires: Film, Fiction, and Popular Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)
  • O’Connell, Mark, John Banville’s Narcissistic Fictions: The Spectral Self (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
  • O’Donnell, Nathan, Wyndham Lewis's Cultural Criticism and the Infrastructures of Patronage (Liverpool University Press, 2020)
  • Prendergast, Amy, Literary Salons across Britain and Ireland in the Long Eighteenth    Century (Palgrave, 2015)
  • Parker, Elizabeth The Forest and the EcoGothic: The Deep Dark Woods in the Popular Imagination (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).
  • Pierse, Michael, Writing Ireland’s Working Class: Dublin After O’Casey (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)
  • Runchman, Alex, Delmore Schwartz: A Critical Reassessment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
  • Sebo, Erin, In enigmate: The history of a riddle, 400–1500 (Four Courts Press, 2018)
  • Woodward, Guy, Culture, Northern Ireland and the Second World War (Oxford University Press, 2015)