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Literature in Times of War: TCD School of English Evening Lectures 2024

About this Event
Through the centuries, and even in times of peace, warfare has always been a central theme in poetry, epic and drama. Literary works tend to represent both the glories and the devastations of war, to articulate both the praises of the victor and the laments for the vanquished. And while literary texts have often been used to warn of the dangers and atrocities associated with military conflict, they just as frequently have been instrumentalized as propaganda that contributes to the war effort, fostering patriotism and whipping up hate of the supposed enemy.

As much as literature may try to represent war as a senseless butchery: doesn’t it necessarily aestheticize military conflict, rendering it fit for consumption and thus perpetuating it? Given the increasing tendency to regard war as the ultimate solution of political problems, these are urgent issues. The evening lecture series will delineate how English literature in its long history has related to war and how the representation of military conflict has changed over time.


€50 for the entire series. Individual lectures are €5 each. Concessionary rates for the full series will be €40 or individual lecture €4 each. The concessionary rate applies to: students, OAPs, unemployed, groups of 20+; TCD staff and Graduates.

Date, Time and Place

Tuesdays 19:00-20:00 Tuesdays 19:00-20:00, Jonathan Swift Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. This will be a hybrid event and also available online. Tickets available via Eventbrite.

Online/Video Recordings of Lectures

The lectures are happening live in the Jonathan Swift Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. However they will also be recorded. If you purchased a ticket to a particular lecture, to several lectures, or to the entire series, you will be emailed a link to the video recording of the lecture or lectures as soon as these are available (usually the very next day). 

The recordings will be available and watchable at any time until the end of the Evening Lecture series in April.

We regret that it has not been possible to livestream the lectures as they happen. 


There will be ten weekly lectures beginning on Tuesday 23 January 2024. Registration for individual lectures will close at 6pm on the relevant day. Lecture recordings will be uploaded shortly after the live event.

23 January - Dr Brendan O’Connell: “Betwex hem was a litil envye”: Contesting the Legacy of Troy in Medieval Literature

30 January - Dr Clare Clarke: Late Victorian Anxieties in H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds: Exploration, Invasion, Extinction

6 February - Dr Alice Jorgensen: Consolation and Politics in the Old English Poem The Battle of Maldon

13 February - Dr Ema Vyroubalova: “Let’s fight with gentle words”: War in Shakespeare’s Richard III and Richard II

20 February - Dr Björn Quiring: The Divine Theatre of War in Shakespeare’s Henry V

27 February - Prof Darryl Jones: Forever England: Rupert Brooke’s “The Soldier” and the Poetry of the First World War

5 March - Reading Week: No Lecture

12 March - Prof Christopher Morash: Meditations in Time of Civil War

19 March - Dr Margaret Robson: Game of Thrones: Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur and the Wars of The Roses

26 March - Prof Nicholas Grene: Silent Wars: Frank McGuinness and Christina Reid

2 April - Prof Sam Slote: Apocalypse Then: Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and Mutual Assured Destruction


Tickets from Eventbrite:
Please book tickets online via Eventbrite

Contact Details:

Ms Sophia Ni Sheoin