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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