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Dr Paul Delaney B.A., M.Litt. (Dublin), Ph.D. (Kent), F.T.C.D.Associate Professor; Director of Postgraduate Professional Development



Research and Teaching Interests

My research focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary Irish writing, with particular interest in post-independence Irish culture and short fiction.  

I am currently writing a monograph on contemporary Irish short fiction for Routledge. This book charts a generation of short-story writing in Ireland, from the late twentieth century to the present. It analyses the production, dissemination, and reception of the short form in the contemporary moment, and it pays special attention to modes of publication (to processes of anthologisation, periodical culture, online forums, and independent publishing houses), as well as to the institutionalisation of short-story criticism in Ireland. This book is due for publication in 2024.

I am the author of Seán O’Faoláin: Literature, Inheritance and the 1930s (Irish Academic Press, 2014). This book examined the early career of this once towering short-story writer and cultural critic, and engaged with O’Faoláin’s complex legacy on a range of topics, including decolonisation, freedom of expression, cultural inheritance, and the relationship between Church and State.

Together with Adrian Hunter, I co-edited The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English (Edinburgh University Press, 2019). This critical collection explored the short story in its many forms and venues of publication, and featured contributions from an extended group of scholars from across the anglophone world.  I have also edited essay volumes on two major Irish prose writers: Reading Colm Tóibín (Liffey Press, 2008); and William Trevor: Revaluations, with Michael Parker (Manchester University Press, 2013). In addition, I am co-editor of the forthcoming anthology of short stories, Dublin Tales, with Eve Patten (Oxford University Press, 2023).

I have written extensively on Irish literary culture, publishing in peer-reviewed journals, bibliographies, and critical collections. This comprises chapters and essays on a variety of topics such as Irish short fiction, post-independence literature, Irish working-class writing, literary biography, and representations of and by the Traveller community. Recent essays include:

  • ‘A gathering of possibilities: anthologising acts and contemporary short fiction', Irish Studies Review 31.3 (Autumn 2023), in press [special issue on twenty-first century Irish writing, eds. Eoghan Smith and Simon Workman]
  • ‘Simply because it happened before: Walter Macken’s historical fiction’, in Walter Macken: Critical Perspectives, eds. Sandra Heinen and Katharina Rennhak (Cork University Press, 2022), 87-104
  • ‘Frank O’Connor’, in Oxford Bibliographies in British and Irish Literature, ed. Andrew Hadfield (Oxford University Press, 2021), (c.13,000 words) 
  • ‘Literary biography in transition’, in Irish Literature in Transition, 1940-1980, ed. Eve Patten, volume 5 of the 6-volume The Cambridge History of Irish Literature in Transition, general editors Claire Connolly and Marjorie Howes (Cambridge University Press, 2020), 309-328  
  • Rising again: Revision, Trauma, and Frank O’Connor’s “Guests of the Nation”, New Hibernia Review 23.3 (Autumn/Fómhar 2019), 35-54
  • "I wanted them not to be lost": Immigration and Irish short fiction’, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies 42 (2019), 74-96 [special issue on contemporary Irish short stories, ed. Michael Kenneally]
  • “A system that inflicts suffering upon the many”: Early-to-mid twentieth-century prose fiction’, in A History of Irish Working-Class Writing, ed. Michael Pierse (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 257-270 

A full list of my publications can be found at

I am a member of the Editorial Board of the peer-reviewed journal Irish University Review, and I am former Books Editor of this biannual periodical (2017-21). I am currently joint editor, with Sinéad Sturgeon, of the Irish Literature and Culture section of the international database The Literary Encyclopedia (

Supervised PhD students have successfully completed theses on a range of topics in Irish studies, including post-independence literary culture, short fiction, working-class literature, contemporary fiction, Travellers and music, and mid-twentieth-century intellectual history. I have mentored several postdoctoral projects, and I also co-supervised the School’s inaugural PhD in Literary Practice with Carlo Gébler.

I have served in several senior administrative roles in the School, including most recently as Head of Discipline (2017-20). I have been an External Examiner for the undergraduate and MA degree programmes in English at Queen’s University Belfast (2019-22) and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick (2018-21); and I have also acted in this capacity for the undergraduate degree programmes at DBS School of Arts (2015-19), Carlow College (2011-14), and All Hallows College/DCU (2007-11). I have served as External Examiner for PhD theses in Ireland and overseas, and I have been a reader for a wide selection of peer-reviewed journals, awards agencies, and academic publishers.

In 2016 I was elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin; and I received a Provost’s Teaching Award for teaching excellence in 2012.


Dr Paul Delaney
School of English
Trinity College
Dublin 2

Telephone: (01) 896 3841

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