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Staff Profile

Dr Caitríona Ní Dhúill, BA, PhD [Trinity College, Dublin]

Associate Professor (Reader) in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43456
Room number: A9, Elvet Riverside I

Contact Dr Caitríona Ní Dhúill (email at caitriona.nidhuill@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

My interests lie in nineteenth- and twentieth-century German and comparative literature, utopian fiction and theory, gender theory, and life writing; I am happy to supervise research students working in any of these areas. I have published articles and essays on Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Frank Wedekind, Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ingeborg Bachmann, Ernst Bloch, Ingmar Bergman, Ilija Trojanow, and Imre Kertész.

My first book, Sex in Imagined Spaces: Gender and Utopia from More to Bloch (2010), examined the re-imagined sex-gender systems of past futures, in order to offer a critical account of the relationship between gender discourse and utopian thought. Reading utopia as a dialogue between history and possibility, the book explores alternative constructions of gender in the utopian tradition since More, in the classic dystopias of the twentieth century, and in little-known and unpublished texts of the fin de siècle.

My forthcoming monograph, Metabiography: Reflecting on Biography (under contract with Palgrave), seeks to account for the complex and dynamic relationships between lived and narrated life. It starts by confronting the limitations of biography as a hermeneutic framework for the reception of literature, and engages with current and historical debates about and against biography, bringing these into dialogue with perspectives from gender theory, literary theory and theories of subjectivity. Yet it is also committed to the view that biographical approaches are an integral part of any culture's engagement with the past, and particularly with its literary heritage.

Since completing my PhD at Trinity College Dublin in 2005, I have taught at the universities of St Andrews, Durham and Vienna. From 2005-2009, I held a postdoctoral research position at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography, Vienna. In 2013, I was a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham. In 2016, I held the Käthe Leichter Visiting Professorship in Women’s and Gender Studies at the departments of German, English and Comparative Literature, University of Vienna.

Research Interests

  • 19th- and 20th-century German literature
  • Critical Theory
  • Utopian fiction and thought
  • Gender theory
  • Biography, life writing, metabiography

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2010). Sex in Imagined Spaces. Gender and Utopia from More to Bloch. Oxford: Legenda.

Chapter in book

  • Ni Dhuill, Caitriona (Accepted). ‘Subrisio saltat.’. Translating the acrobat in Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies. In Modernism and Non-Translation. Nash, John & Harding, Jason Oxford University Press.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2017). Biography as Exposure: Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians. In Biography in Theory: An Annotated Anthology. Hemecker, Wilhelm & Saunders, Edward Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter. 78-82.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2017). Intersectional Biography: Class, Gender, and Genre in Carolyn Steedman’s Landscape for a Good Woman. In Biography in Theory: An Annotated Anthology. Hemecker, Wilhelm & Saunders, Edward Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter. 206-209.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2017). Samuel Johnson’s Advice to Biographers. In Biography in Theory: An Annotated Anthology. Hemecker, Wilhelm & Saunders, Edward Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter. 15-18.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2017). World History as Heroic Biography: Thomas Carlyle and ‘Great Men. In Biography in Theory: An Annotated Anthology. Hemecker, Wilhelm & Saunders, Edward Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter. 30-34.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitriona (2016). Indigestible Biographies: Limits to the Narrative Processing of Life. In Narrative im Bruch. Babka, Anna, Bidwell-Steiner, Marlen & Mueller-Funk, Wolfgang Göttingen: V&R unipress. 223-238.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2015). Vom Unbehagen an der Biographie: Metabiographische Reflexionen in Literatur, life writing und Film. In Legitimationsmechanismen des Biographischen: Kontexte – Akteure – Techniken – Grenzen. Klein, Christian & Schnicke, Falko Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang. 369-384.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2014). Wedekind in der Traumfabrik. In Wedekinds Welt: Theater - Eros - Provokation. Mittermayer, Manfred & Bengesser, Silvia Leipzig: Henschel. 158-167.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2013). The hero as language learner: biography and metabiography in Der Weltensammler/The Collector of Worlds . In Ilija Trojanow. Preece, Julian & Finlay, Frank. Peter Lang. 63-80.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2011). A Woman Proposes: Embattled Masculinity and Female Desire in Der Schwierige. In The Nameable and the Unnameable. Hofmannsthal’s Der Schwierige in context. Liebscher, Martin., Fricker, Christophe. & Dassanowsky, Robert. Munich: Iudicium/IGRS. 94-106.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2011). Rauchspiel: Zur Poetik des Rauchens bei Bachmann. In Mythos Bachmann: Zwischen Inszenierung und Selbstinszenierung. Hemecker, Wilhelm & Mittermayer, Manfred Vienna: Zsolnay. 154-169.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2009). Der Kanon des Heroischen: Ernst Bertrams Nietzsche. Versuch einer Mythologie. In Die Biographie. Beiträge zu ihrer Geschichte. Hemecker, Wilhelm. Berlin, New York: de Gruyter. 123-154.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2009). Lebensbilder: Biographie und die Sprache der bildenden Künste. In Die Biographie. Zur Grundlegung ihrer Theorie. Fetz, Bernhard. Berlin, New York: de Gruyter. 473-500.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2009). Von 'er' bis 'sie': Möglichkeiten und Grenzen relationaler Biographik. In Die Biographie. Zur Grundlegung ihrer Theorie. Fetz, Bernhard. Berlin, New York: de Gruyter. 199-226.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2009). Widerstand gegen die Biographie: Sigrid Weigels Bachmann-Studie. In Die Biographie – Beiträge zu ihrer Geschichte. Hemecker, Wilhelm. Berlin, New York: de Gruyter. 43-70.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2007). "One loves the girl for what she is, the boy for what he promises to be". Gender discourse in Ernst Bloch's Das Prinzip Hoffnung. In Exploring the Utopian Impulse: Essays on Utopian Thought and Practice. Griffin, Michael & Moylan, Tom Oxford: Peter Lang. 273-292.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2006). Am Beispiel der Brontës. Gender-Erzählungen im biographischen Kontext. In Spiegel und Maske. Konstruktionen biographischer Wahrheit. Fetz, Bernhard & Schweiger, Hannes Vienna: Zsolnay. 113-127.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2004). Netzwerk-Rhizom-Banyan-Baum. Komplikationen der Verwurzelung bei Kafka und Joyce. In Netzwerke. Eine Kulturtechnik der Moderne. Riou, Jeanne, Barkhoff, Jürgen & Böhme, Hartmut Cologne: Böhme. 279-296.

Journal Article

  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona & Renfrew, Alastair (2016). Introduction to No Future, Issue of Poetics Today. Poetics Today 37(2): 241-248.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitriona (2016). Negating the Family: Ritual and Dionysus in modernist utopia. Cultural Dynamics 28(1): 55-68.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitriona (2016). Refusing the Child: Weininger, Edelman, Kertész. Poetics Today 37(3): 369-385.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2012). Towards an anti-biographical archive: mediations between life-writing and metabiography. Life Writing 9(3): 279-289.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2010). Geschwitz Bewitched: The Lesbian Gaze in and after Wedekind. Germanistik in Ireland 5(1): 69-87.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2008). Lesser-known Lulus: Wedekind and the economics of Eros. Wege und Bewegungen, Medieval and Modern Encounters [Germanistik in Ireland] 3: 131-144.
  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2006). 'Ein neues, mächtiges Volkstum'. Eugenic discourse and its impact on the work of Gerhart Hauptmann. German Life and Letters 59(3): 405-422.

Edited Journal

  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona & Renfrew, Alastair (2016). No Future. Poetics Today, 37 (2): Duke University Press.

Working Paper

  • Ní Dhúill, Caitríona (2013). Engendering the future: Bloch's utopian philosophy in dialogue with gender theory. 144-163.

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Supervises