from Johannes Vermeer, Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window (circa 1659)

from Johannes Vermeer, Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window (circa 1659)

My research focuses on British and Irish writing of the 1920s through midcentury. I'm particularly interested in the way writers in the interwar and WWII years used modernist experimentation to call attention to issues like the breakdown of private and public space, surveillance and spying, propaganda and censorship, and the role of literature as public speech in an era marked by historical crisis. My current book project studies the way a group of writers used letters within their novels and in their poetry as commentary on secrecy and surveillance, and as a means of engaging readers in an ethical exchange. Writers including Elizabeth Bowen, Virginia Woolf, Graham Greene, Louis MacNeice, and W.H. Auden all navigate and write about the changes in private life and the use or misuse of public speech through the trope of letters. 

At New York University, I teach in the Irish Studies Program at Glucksman Ireland House. My courses cover 20th and 21st century Irish literature and visual culture. I've published articles on Harry Clarke and Gerard Dillon, and I'm working on articles about Arts & Crafts architecture in Dublin as part of the Irish Revival movement. I also write and publish on contemporary Irish poetry, on the non-fiction work of Tim Robinson, and on modernist women writers. My full list of essays and book projects can be found on the Publications section of this website.