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Prof Aileen Douglas B.A. (Dublin), M.A. (Delaware), Ph.D. (Princeton), F.T.C.D.Professor; Director of Postgraduate Professional Development

Research and Teaching Interests

Aileen Douglas’s research and teaching interests centre on the writing of the long eighteenth century; on the novel; print culture; Irish writing; women’s writing, and the disciplinary history of English studies. Underlying connections between these diverse areas of study are her theoretical concerns with somatic experience and literary representation, with literary form, and with the history of writing.

Recent publications include Work in Hand: Script, Print, and Writing, 1690-1840 (Oxford University Press, 2017), which deals with the interaction of manual writing and print. The book gives particular attention to the reproduction of script through printed engraving; to concepts of the copy and the autograph; and to constructions of the author. Currently she is working on issues relating to women and print in the long eighteenth-century with a particular focus on the Maria Edgeworth’s writing for children. Forthcoming work includes 'The Province of Poetry: Women Poets in early Eighteenth-Century Ireland' (Irish Literature in Transition, Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Her other publications include Uneasy Sensations: Smollett and the Body (Chicago, 1995); a co-edited volume of essays, Locating Swift: Essays from Dublin on the 250th anniversary of the death of Jonathan Swift (Four Courts, 1998); as well as a range of journal articles and book chapters on eighteenth-century fiction and print culture. 

Ongoing research involvements include the IRCHSS-assisted ‘Early Irish Fiction, 1680-1820’ project, which provides critical editions of Irish fiction in the designated period. For this series, she has co-edited Sarah Butler, Irish Tales (Four Courts Press, 2010) and Elizabeth Sheridan, The Triumph of Prudence over Passion (Four Courts Press, 2011). She has also co-guest edited a special issue of the Irish University Review on Irish Fiction, 1660-1830 (Spring/Summer 2011). Another ongoing project is a website dedicated to writers associated with Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Writers (

In addition to several dissertations on aspects of the Irish and English novel in the long eighteenth century, Aileen has supervised work on Jonathan Swift; the eighteenth-century Irish book trade; and eighteenth-century aesthetics. She has acted as a mentor for IRC-funded postdoctoral work on women’s writing in the romantic period, on romantic poetic circles, the literary salon, and eighteenth century friendship. She welcomes enquiries from prospective students considering research in these areas.

In 2017, Aileen Douglas was one of the co-organizers of Swift350, an international conference held to mark the 350th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift. In June 2017 she was elected President of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society: An Cumann Éire San Ochtú Céad Déag (2017-2023).

Aileen Douglas was Head of the School of English (2016-19). At College Level she has served as Senior Lecturer/Dean of Undergraduate Studies (2008-11).


Dr Aileen Douglas
Room 4016
Arts Building
Trinity College
Dublin 2


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