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Professor in the Department of English Studies+44 (0) 191 33 42569


I work on modern and contemporary literature with a current focus on how affect, literary style and ecological thinking interact. I’m also interested in the history of psychoanalysis, in the discursive life of negative affects such as anxiety and shame, and in theories of the gendered subject. I’d welcome enquiries from potential research students in any of these research areas, or in the fields of transnational modernism and modern Irish literature. 

Research Projects 

My first book W.B. Yeats and World Literature: the Subject of Poetry (2015) considered Yeats’s role in the development of an international literary marketplace and a translational English literature in the early twentieth century, and his key collaborations with figures including Rabindranath Tagore, Shri Purohit Swãmi and Ezra Pound. You can read more detailed reviews of this work here and here.

My next monograph ‘Meteorological Modernism’ is similarly invested in the reconfiguration of disciplinary space. It associates the modernist investments in alternative futures, simultaneity and the single day as a unit of narrative art, with the development of scientific meteorology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Specifically, it argues that modernist literature does more than record past modes of environmental knowledge, but also formalises an archival and anticipatory self-consciousness with regard to the registration of the natural world, combining anxious embodiment with questions of literary technique.

I have co-edited and introduced two essay collections Narcissism, Melancholia and the Subject of Community (2017) and Shame and Modern Writing (2018), as well as a special issue of Textual Practice on The Contemporary Problem of Style (2022). 

I publish my research in journals including New Literary HistoryTextual Practice and Modernism/modernity, and in various edited collections on topics such as fanaticism and modern poetry; affect in Irish literature; the historical association of hysteria with style; ekphrasis and ecology; queer elegy; literary laughing; and blushing. 

I’m planning further work on weather writing and well-being, as well as on autofiction, seduction and conviviality in modern literature. One day, I hope to write interestingly on the topic of self-respect.

About Me

I’ve been in Durham since 2016. Before that I was an Irish Research Council Fellow at University College Dublin, having previously held an Early Career Fellowship with the Institute of Advance Study at Warwick University. I also lectured at Swansea University. I received my Doctorate from Warwick, and my BA from Trinity College, Dublin.

Department Roles

In Durham English, I have been the Chair of the UG Board of Examiners since 2019. 

I have convened the following modules:

Post-war Fiction and Poetry [Final-year lecture module] (ENGL 3591)

W.B. Yeats [special topic] (ENGL 3201)

Literary Psychoanalysis [special topic] [ENGL3831]

Shame and Modern Writing [MA] (ENGL 44530).

Other Roles

 I currently sit on the Board of the International Yeats Society.

I am Associate Director of the Centre for Culture and Ecology

Research interests

  • Critical and Cultural theory
  • Irish modernism and contemporary Irish fiction
  • Modernist ecologies
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Shame and Affect
  • Transnational poetics and theories of 'world' literature
  • W.B. Yeats

Esteem Indicators

  • 2000: Keynote Address: English n'existe pas: towards a modernist genealogy of world literature', Swedish National Forum for English Studies Conference, April 2017


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

Other (Print)


Supervision students