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Our Research

The School of English has an exceptionally strong research record. The School is currently ranked 28th in the world for research (QS Rankings 2020) and has consistently performed at that level since the institution of subject rankings. Members of the teaching staff publish regularly in all areas of current teaching and research activity and there are currently strengths in medieval and early modern, eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, as well as contemporary writing, popular literature, children’s literature, Gothic, American and postcolonial literature. Irish writing in English, 1750 to the present, is an area of particular strength. Members of the School are also active as distinguished creative writers of poetry and fiction. 

Members of the School publish monographs, editions, and collections of essays in well regarded international presses such as Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, University of Chicago Press, Manchester University Press, Edinburgh University Press, Palgrave, and Harvard University Press. The School also has a strong commitment to Irish presses such as Four Courts Press and Irish Academic Press. The School has an established tradition of textual scholarship and recent years have seen the publication of significant editions of writers such as James Joyce, H.G. Wells, Elizabeth Sheridan, John Berryman, and Oliver Goldsmith. We regularly host international conferences, exhibitions, and symposia at our wonderful city-centre campus. You can see recent publications here and recent conferences/events here.

The School has long had sustained success with PhD and postdoctoral applications to the Irish Research Council. Members of the School of English have also been successful in winning external funding from national and European sources in recent years. Some of our recent projects include:

  • Medieval Big Data: Numerous large corpora of medieval texts have been built over the last thirty years, collectively comprising over ten million words. This proposal seeks to explore the possibilities for harnessing the enormous collective potential of this big data as a tool for cultural, historical, literary and linguistic analyses through the organisation of an international colloquium, the publication of a handbook on the use of existing corpora, and networking towards future international, collaborative funding bids to develop new overarching interrogation techniques. [Irish Research Council; New Foundations]

  • Domestic Noir Symposium: This research project established a network of scholars working on domestic noir, the most recent popular sub-genre in crime fiction. The project culminated in a symposium of network members and an edited collection of essays is forthcoming. [Irish Research Council; New Foundations]

  • The History Play and the British Enlightenment, 1750-1815: This interdisciplinary project investigated the importance of the history play to the discussion and dissemination of Enlightenment ideas in the two main London theatres of the eighteenth century, Covent Garden and Drury Lane, 1750-1815. The project was a collaboration with the Huntington Library, California and Caltech. [Marie Curie]

  • The National Collection of Children’s Books (NCCB): This award-winning interdisciplinary and inter-institutional project – School of English (TCD) and Church of Ireland College of Education/DCU – examined children’s book collections across five libraries and aimed to establish Dublin as a world centre for children’s literature research. The main research output was an online platform, with a centralised catalogue and detailed database, that facilitates the exploration of over 250,000 children’s books in over 90 languages. [Irish Research Council]

  • The Censorship of British Theatre, 1737-1843: This project drew on manuscript collections at the British and Huntington Libraries to produce the first integrated study of British theatre censorship between the Stage Licensing Act (1737) and the Theatres Act (1843), with particular focus on Irish and Scottish playwrights working in London during this time. [Marie Curie]

  • Yeats and the Writing of Art: This project investigates the relationship between the work of W. B. Yeats, the visual arts and the discourses of art writing. Yeats came from a family of artists and trained at art school, visual material formed an intrinsic part of his published texts and dramaturgy, and much of his writing was influenced by his reading of art history. Yet the cultural and intellectual contexts of Yeats's preoccupations with visual culture remain largely unexplored. This project addresses these gaps in scholarship by allying archival research to recent advances in verbal-visual study. [Irish Research Council]

  • Early Irish Fiction, c.1660-c.1820 (Publisher: Four Courts Press): This series aims more fully to indicate the diversity and breadth of Irish literature in the period 1680-1820 by providing critical editions of a range of exemplary works of prose fiction. This is a collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast. Seven titles published to date. [Irish Research Council]

Members of the School variously edit, or serve on the editorial advisory boards of academic journals, including International Yeats Studies, The Wildean, Eighteenth-Century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Irish University Review, Irish Journal of American Studies, Studia Philogia, Bishop-Lowell Studies, Journal of the Short Story in English, Dublin James Joyce Journal, James Joyce Quarterly, andthe Joyce Studies Annual. Members of the School also edit book series such as European Joyce Studies (Brill), Early Irish Fiction (Four Courts), and Liverpool Studies in Irish Studies (Liverpool University Press) and act as area editors for major online resources for literary studies such as the Literary Encyclopedia and Oxford Bibliographies Online. The School is home to the online Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies which can be found here.

  • Staff Research and Supervision Interests