Professor Chris Morash B.A. (Dalhousie), M.Phil (Dublin), Ph.D. (Dublin), M.R.I.A.Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing, Head of School
Research and Teaching Interests
Chris Morash became the inaugural Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing on January 1, 2014. Born in Nova Scotia, his first degree is from Dalhousie University, after which moved to Ireland to join the first cohort of students in the M.Phil. in Anglo-Irish Literature (as it was called at the time) in Trinity in 1985; his Ph.D. on Irish Famine literature is also from Trinity, carried out under the supervision of Professor Terence Brown. Prior to his appointment to Trinity, Chris Morash worked happily for twenty-three years in NUI Maynooth, where he had been Professor of English since 2007, and founded the Centre for Media Studies in 2003.
Chris Morash’s research interests range across a number of areas in the wider field of Irish Studies. His most recent book, co-authored with Shaun Richards, is Mapping Irish Theatre: Theories of Space and Place (Cambridge, 2013), which uses Irish theatre over the past century as a ground on which to think spatially about performance. Prior to that, his previous major publication was A History of the Media in Ireland (Cambridge, 2009), the first book to trace the media in Ireland from the earliest printed book to the present. This followed A History of Irish Theatre, 1601-2000 (Cambridge, 2002), which became the first Irish book to win the Theatre Book Prize in 2003, and has become a standard history of Irish theatre. In 1995, he published Writing the Irish Famine (Oxford, 1995), which was part of a wider re-assessment of the Famine that accompanied the 150th anniversary of the event.
Edited works include Teresa Deevy Reclaimed: Volume I (with Jonathan Banks and John Harrington; Mint Theatre, 2011; Volume II of this complete edition is forthcoming); The Hungry Voice: Poetry of the Irish Famine (Irish Academic Press, 1989; rev. ed. 2009); Shifting Scenes: Irish Theatre-Going 1955-1985 (with Nicholas Grene; Carysfort, 2008); Irish Theatre on Tour (with Nicholas Grene; Carysfort, 2005), and Fearful Realities: New Perspectives on the Irish Famine (with Richard Hayes; Irish Academic Press, 1996). He has also published more than thirty articles and essays on Irish theatre, media and culture, and has been an invited keynote speaker at the annual conferences of IASIL (Porto, 2008), ACIS (Madison, Wisconsin, 2011), the ISTR (London, 2013), the Anglistentag (Potsdam, 2012), and an international conference on the Famine in Radboud University, Nijmegen (2013). He has lectured on Irish Studies in Brazil, and in 2007 was made an Honorary Professor by Beijing Foreign Studies University for his work in teaching Irish theatre in China. Chris Morash was elected to Membership of the Royal Irish Academy in 2007. Since 2009, he has served as Chair of the Compliance Committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, which has statutory responsiblity for regulation of Irish broadcasting. Over the years, he has enjoyed teaching at all levels, and will admit to a fondness for the theatricality of large undergraduate lectures. He is married with three children; as his children work their respective ways through the Irish educational system, his sense of what it means to be a student has been usefully challenged.
Chris Morash is currently writing a book on Yeats and theatre. He is also co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre with his colleague Prof. Nicholas Grene, as well as co-editing a special issue of Éire-Ireland with Robert Savage (Boston College), and developing a project on time in Irish culture with Prof. Martin Meddeke (Augsburg).
Professor Chris Morash