Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Staff

Dr Brian Cliff  B.A. (Michigan), M.Phil. (Dublin.), Ph.D. (Emory)Visiting Research Fellow


Research and Teaching Interests

Before my appointment as a lecturer and subsequently Assistant Professor at Trinity (2007-2019), I held teaching posts at Emory University (2001-2002), the Georgia Institute of Technology (2002-2005), and Montclair State University (2005-2007). I lecture primarily on modern and contemporary Irish literature, particularly on Irish fiction, though my other undergraduate and postgraduate teaching interests include the Harlem Renaissance and crime fiction. From 2011-2015, I directed Trinity’s Irish Studies Moderatorship. In November 2013, I co-organized “Irish Crime Fiction: A Festival” at Trinity, featuring 18 leading Irish and Irish-American crime novelists. My recent publications include Irish Crime Fiction (Palgrave, 2018), and essays on John Connolly, Tana French, and Deirdre Madden. I am currently working on an essay about Irish domestic noir, and a monograph about community and contemporary Irish writing, focused on writers who came of age in the 1960s and after, drawing on their work to examine a broader set of relations between literature and community in Ireland.



  • Irish Crime Fiction. London: Palgrave, 2018.

Edited Works

  • Guilt Rules All: Irish Mystery, Detective, and Crime Fiction. Forthcoming, Syracuse University Press, 2020. Co-editor, with Elizabeth Mannion.

  • Synge and Edwardian Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Co-editor, with Nicholas Grene.

  • Hood, by Emma Donoghue. Reprint with supplementary materials. Written and co-edited with Emilie Pine. New York: Harper Perennial, 2011.

  • Representing the Troubles: Texts and Images, 1970-2000. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2004. Co-editor, with Éibhear Walshe.

Selected Articles and Essays

  • “Class and Multiplicity in One by One in the Darkness.” In Deirdre Madden: New Critical Perspectives,ed. Anne Fogarty and Marisol Morales-Ladrón. Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming 2020.

  • “The power of a good book in times of chaos.” Irish Times 3 November 2018.

  • “Why Irish crime fiction is in murderously good health.” Irish Times 25 July 2018.

  • “Tana French’s Dublin Ghosts.” In 21st Century Popular Fiction Writers, ed. Bernice Murphy
    and Stephen Matterson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018.

  • “Subversive series shows ’80s Belfast as shape of things to come.” Irish Times
    27 October 2018.

  • “Unwilling Executioner: Crime Fiction and the State – Accessible, insightful and even-
    handed.” Irish Times 23 September 2017.

  • “Crime pays, from academia to bestseller lists.” With Clare Clarke. Irish Times 27 March

  • “Emma Donoghue.” In “The Cracked Looking Glass”: An Exhibition of the Leonard L. Milberg Collection of Irish Prose at Princeton University, ed. Renee Fox and Greg Londe (Princeton, Princeton University Library, 2011): 185-6.

  • The Pillowman: A New Story to Tell.” In Martin McDonagh: A Casebook. Ed. Richard Russell. New York: Routledge, 2007: 131-148.

  • “Community, the Desire to Belong, and Contemporary Irish Literature.” The Irish Review 34 (Spring 2006): 114-129.

  • “Paul Muldoon’s Community ‘on the cusp’: Auden and MacNeice in the Manuscripts for ‘7, Middagh Street.’” Contemporary Literature 44.4 (Winter 2003): 613-636.

  • “‘Whither thou goest’: The Possibility of Community in Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme and Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me.” Foilsiú: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies 3.1 (Spring 2003): 33-45.

  • “Crossing Through the Borderlands.” In The Theatre of Frank McGuinness: Stages of Mutability. Ed. Helen Lojek. Dublin: Carysfort Press, 2002: 1-15.

  • “‘as assiduously advertised’: Publicizing The 1899 Irish Literary Theatre Season.” In Critical Ireland: New Essays in Literature and Culture. Ed. Alan Gillis and Aaron Kelly. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001: 30-36.

  • “On Language and Violence.” In Memory and Mastery: Primo Levi as Writer and Witness. Ed. Roberta Kremer. Albany: SUNY Press, 2001: 105-114.


Dr Brian Cliff
Arts Building
Trinity College
Dublin 2