2017 Lecturers & Readers


Nicholas Grene

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Nicholas Grene is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Trinity College Dublin, where he taught for 36 years. His books include Shakespeare’s Tragic Imagination (Macmillan, 1992), The Politics of Irish Drama (Cambridge University Press, 1999), Shakespeare’s Serial History Plays (Cambridge University Press, 2002), Yeats's Poetic Codes (Oxford University Press, 2008), and Home on the Stage (Cambridge University Press, 2014). His most recent publication is the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre (Oxford University Press, 2016), co-edited with Chris Morash.

Associate Director

Rónán McDonald

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Rónán McDonald is Professor of Modern Literature at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Between 2010 and 2015, he held the Australian Ireland Fund Chair in Irish Studies at UNSW. For Fall Term 2016, he was Visiting Professor in Comparative Literature at UCLA. His research interests span modern Irish literature and culture, modernism, theories of cultural value and the role of the humanities in the modern university. His books include Tragedy and Irish Literature (2002), The Cambridge Introduction to Samuel Beckett (2007) and The Death of the Critic (2008). Recent edited collections include The Values of Literary Studies: Critical Institutions, Scholarly Agendas (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Flann O’Brien and Modernism (2014). He is currently preparing a monograph on Modernism, Cultural Value and the Irish Revival.

Lectures / Seminars:

Each weekday morning lectures take place at 9.30am and 11.15am. In addition to our distinguished Directors, who will both lecture on Friday 21 July, lecturers include Nicholas Allen, Terence Brown, Clare Connolly, Rob Doggett, Nicky Grene, Joseph Hassett, Rosie Lavan, Joep Leerssen, Laura Marcus, Jill Wharton.

Nicholas Allen

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Nicholas Allen is Franklin Professor of English and Director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia. His books include Broken Landscapes: Selected letters on Ernie O'Malley (Dublin, 2011), Modernism, Ireland and Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2009), That Other Island (2007), The Proper Word (2007), George Russell and the New Ireland (2003), and The Cities of Belfast (2003). Recent essays have been published in The History of the Irish Book in the Twentieth Century (Oxford, 2011) and Synge and Edwardian Ireland (2011). He is editor with Nick Groom and Jos Smith of the forthcoming Coastal Works (Oxford, 2017) and will be Astor Visiting Lecturer at Oxford University this summer.

Terence Brown

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Terence Brown is one of the most distinguished living scholars of Yeats and Anglo-Irish literature. His numerous books include the indispensible Ireland: A Social and Cultural History, 1922-1972(1981; enlarged edition 2002) and his acclaimed The Life of W.B. Yeats: A Critical Biography (1999). He spent most of his academic career at Trinity College Dublin, where he was elected to a Fellowship in 1976 and appointed Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature in 1993. He is now an Emeritus Professor and Senior Fellow. He was elected a member of the Irish Academy in 1992 and has been Visiting Professor at the Sorbonne and the University of New South Wales. That Island Never Found: Essays and Poems for Terence Brown appeared in 2007, edited by Nicholas Allen and Eve Patten. Terence Brown’s latest book is The Irish Times: 150 Years of Influence (2015).

Claire Connolly

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Claire Connolly is Professor of Modern English at University College Cork. She has published scholarly editions of novels by Maria Edgeworth and Sydney Owenson. Her Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790-1829 was published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press and awarded the Donald J Murphy prize by the American Conference for Irish Studies. Edited books include Theorizing Ireland (Palgrave) and (with Joe Cleary), Cambridge Companion to Modern Irish Culture. She is current writing a book on Irish romanticism for Cambridge UP.

Curlew Theatre Company

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Curlew Theatre Company consists of Eamon Grennan, Seán Coyne and Tegolin Knowland. They will present History! Reading the Easter Rising in which some of the complexities of the Easter Rising—its beginnings and its variously vexed aftermaths—are brought before us in some of the major and minor voices of those who took part in the Rising. By seeing the Rising from a number of different perspectives, History! Reading the Easter Rising presents a brief, balanced, commemorative account of those still- crucial foundational events of 1916 and after.

Rob Doggett

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Rob Doggett is Professor and Chair of English at SUNY Geneseo, where he teaches courses in Irish Studies. He often leads student groups to Sligo, and this will be his fourth time lecturing at the Yeats International Summer School. His most recent scholarly work includes an edited edition of Yeats's writings titled When You Are Old: Early Poems, Plays, and Fairly Tales (Penguin Classics, 2015). His monograph is Deep-Rooted Things: Empire and Nation in the Poetry and Drama of William Butler Yeats (University of Notre Dame, 2006).

Eamon Grennan

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Eamon Grennan’s recent collections are There Now (Gallery Press, and Graywolf USA). The Gallery Press There Now won the 2016 Pigott Prize at the Listowel Writers’ Week. In the past few years he has been writing and directing “plays for voices” for a small Irish theatre group—Curlew Theatre Company—whose other members are the actors are Seán Coyne and Tegolin Knowland. He lives in Poughkeepsie and in Connemara.

Joseph Hassett

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Joseph M. Hassett is a lawyer and literary scholar residing in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Canisius College and Harvard Law School, holds a Ph.D. in Anglo-Irish Literature from University College Dublin, and was a visiting scholar at St. John’s College, Oxford. His conversation with Chief Justice John Roberts appeared on C-Span television. He is the author of W.B. Yeats and the Muses, published by Oxford University Press in 2010, and The Ulysses Trials: Beauty and Truth Meet the Law, published by Lilliput Press in 2016.

Rosie Lavan

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Rosie Lavan teaches Irish literature in the School of English at Trinity College, Dublin. She has just completed a monograph on Seamus Heaney, and her current research considers representations of the city of Derry in literature, photography, and documentary film.

Joep Leerssen

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Joep Leerssen is Professor of Modern European Literature at the University of Amsterdam. His books Mere Irish and Fíor-Ghael (1986) and Remembrance and Imagination (1996) helped establish the interdisciplinary field of Irish Studies. Leerssen’s work deals with the rise of cultural nationalism in 19th-century Europe, and the role of literature, historicism, and ethnic stereotyping in that process (National Thought in Europe, 2006; Imagology, 2007; Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe, 2016). Leerssen held visiting appointments at Harvard, Cambridge, Göttingen, and the Ecole Normale Supérieure; he is a recipient of the Spinoza Prize and of a Royal Netherlands Academy Professorship; he is an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

Joan McBreen

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Joan McBreen is from Sligo. She divides her time between Tuam and Renvyle, County Galway. Her poetry collections are: The Wind Beyond the Wall (Story Line Press, 1990), A Walled Garden in Moylough (Story Line Press and Salmon Poetry, 1995), Winter in the Eye – New and Selected Poems (Salmon Poetry, 2003) and Heather Island (Salmon Poetry, 2009, reprinted 2013).

Joan McBreen’s publications also include her anthologies, The White Page / An Bhileog BhánTwentieth-Century Irish Women Poets (Salmon Poetry, 1999) and The Watchful Heart – A New Generation of Irish Poets – Poems and Essays (Salmon Poetry, 2009). Her CD The Long Light on the LandSelected Poems, read to a background of traditional Irish airs and classical music, was produced in 2004.

Joan has travelled widely reading her work in Ireland and the US as well as Australia and New Zealand. She has been involved for many years with Irish literary festivals and is a serving member of the board of Poetry Ireland. Her papers are housed at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library at Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Laura Marcus

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Laura Marcus is Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. She was previously Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. She has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture. Her many books include The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period (Oxford University Press, 2007) and Dreams of Modernity: Literature, Cinema, Psychoanalysis (Cambridge University Press, 2014). She is currently working on a book on the concept of 'rhythm' in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts.

Paula Meehan


Paula Meehan was born in Dublin in 1955, the eldest of six children. She started school at St. Elizabeth's in Kingston upon Thames, England, where her parents had travelled to find work. She subsequently attended a number of primary schools around Dublin. She finished her primary education at the Central Model Girls' School in Gardiner Street.

She began her secondary education at St. Michael's Holy Faith Covent in Finglas but was expelled for organising a protest march against the regime of the school. She studied for her Intermediate Certificate on her own and then went to Whitehall House Senior School, a vocational school, to study for her Leaving Certificate. Outside school she was a member of a dance drama group, became involved in band culture and, around 1970, began to write lyrics. Gradually composing song lyrics would give way to writing poetry.

At Trinity College, Dublin, (1972–77) she studied English, History and Classical Civilization, taking five years to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree. This included one year off, spent travelling through Europe. While a student she was involved in street theatre and various kinds of performance.

After college she travelled again, spending long stretches in Greece, Germany, Scotland and England. She was offered a teaching fellowship at Eastern Washington University where she studied (1981–83) with James J. McAuley in a two-year programme which led to a Master of Fine Arts degree in Poetry. Gary Snyder & Carolyn Kizer were among the distinguished visiting writers to have a profound influence on her work and on her thought. She returned to Dublin in the mid-eighties. Her poem "Seed" was used in the 2010 Leaving Certificate examination as the unseen poem, although (critically) the department misprinted 'useful' as 'useless' which somewhat diminished the meaning of the poem. In September 2013, Meehan was awarded the Chair of Irish Poetry, Professor of Poetry, by President Michael D. Higgins.

Anthony Roche

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Joined UCD in 1990 where he is currently Associate Professor in the School of English, Drama and Film.

Colm Toibin

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Colm Toibin is the author of nine novels, including The Master and Brooklyn, and two collections of stories. His play The Testament of Mary was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 2013. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He is Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Columbia and a contributing editor at the London Review of Books.

Jill Wharton

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Jill Wharton recently completed her Ph.D. in English and Irish literature at the University of Notre Dame. Her current research considers Anglo-Irish Big House fiction as part of a transatlantic archive of writing on the 20th century plantation and the agrarian search for tradition. Her dissertation examines novels by Elizabeth Bowen, Eudora Welty, and Molly Keane. Jill has published with Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies, is a member of the International James Joyce Foundation, and the American Conference for Irish Studies. She been a participant in the International Network for Comparative Humanities since 2013.

For more information contact:

The Yeats Society
Yeats Memorial Building
Hyde Bridge


tel:+353 7191 42693