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Department of English Studies

Academic Staff

Dr John Nash

Senior Lecturer in the Department of English Studies

(email at


BA (Hons), First class. Birmingham University. 1990.

D.Phil. Oxford University. 1996.

Lecturer. Trinity College, Dublin, 1994 - 2006.

Currently Director of Research in the Department of English Studies.

Current Research

My main current project is on the representations of domestic objects in late-Victorian, Edwardian and modernist fiction, 1890 - 1940. I am interested in several issues, such as: shifts in domestic arrangements and values in this period; the emergence of new domestic things and materials alongside older ones;  the literature of domestic advisors; the relationship between the late Victorian vogue for interiors and later literary echoes of, and responses to, this - especially insofar as they bear a relation to narrative forms of naturalism and symbolism. Work on this in 2011-12 was funded by a British Academy grant. This topic is leading me to explore writers' house museums - an article on Virginia Woolf, house museums and shoes is in preparation.

The writings of James Joyce have long been a focus of my research. This has looked at various cultural and historical contexts for the close reading of his work. Most recently, I have edited a forthcoming volume, James Joyce and the Nineteenth Century which contains new work that shows Joyce's debt to, and re-working of, a series of nineteenth-century contexts (with particular focus on Ireland,  consumerism, and intellectual history). This book came from a Leverhulme-funded project, 'Advertising, Literature, and Consumer Culture in Ireland 1848 - 1921' (, which included a Durham PhD studentship and a conference in Durham in April 2010. 

A particular interest has been the reception of Joyce during his lifetime. My book, James Joyce and the Act of Reception, reads key scenes in Joyce's fiction both to show his responses to others' readings of his work as well as to address the cultural and textual conditions of reception in general and in Ireland specifically. Joyce's work is, I argue, a 'writing of reception'.

Along with several colleagues in Durham, from English, Modern Languages and Classics, I am working on a wider project on translation - or more  specifically, non-translation of 'other' languages - within literary modernism. A launch event will be held in Durham in July 2013.

I am also involved in an interdisciplinary project on 'Tipping Points' (funded by Leverhulme), as part of which I am - together with Prof Pat Waugh and Dr Marc Botha - beginning a project on  'periodicity and disciplinary change', not only within English Studies but also as a comparative study of disciplines which draw on different traditions.

PhD Research Students

Enquiries are welcome from potential PhD students in modernist studies, 20th century fiction and Irish studies. I have supervised many PhDs to completion, including recent theses on Joyce and advertising, and luggage in fiction, 1895-1939 (both 2012). I have also supervised doctoral theses on other early twentieth-century figures, aspects of Edwardian and modernist literary culture, and the history of English studies.

Current students: Anthea Hsu and Michael Shallcross

Research Groups

  • Critical Theory
  • Irish Studies
  • Twentieth-Century Studies

Research Interests

  • James Joyce
  • Irish Literature and Culture
  • Modernist Studies
  • Critical Theory
  • Edwardian Literature and Culture

Selected Publications

Books: authored

Books: edited

Essays in edited volumes

  • Nash, John. (2010). Thomas McGreevy and 'The Catholic Element' in Joyce. In Joyce's Disciples Disciplined: A Re-exagmination of the "Exagmination of Work in Progress". Conley, Tim. UCD Press. 71-79; 160-161.
  • Nash, John. (2009). Genre, Place and Value: Joyce's Reception, 1904-1941. In James Joyce in Context. McCourt, John. Cambridge University Press. 41-51.
  • Nash, John. (2008). "In the Heart of the Hibernian Metropolis"? Joyce's Reception in Ireland, 1900-1940. In A Companion to James Joyce. Brown, Richard. Blackwell. 108-122.
  • Nash, John. (2006). 'Irish Audiences and English Readers: The Cultural Politics of Shane Leslie's Ulysses Reviews.'. In Joyce, Ireland, Britain. Gibson, Andrew. & Platt, Len. Gainesville, Fl.: University Press of Florida. 139-152.
  • Nash, John. (2005). 'Reading Joyce in English'. In Joyce on the Threshold. Fogarty, Anne & Martin, Timothy. Gainesville, Fl.: University Press of Florida. 110-131.
  • Nash, John. (2002). ''A Constant Labour': Work in Progress and the Specialization of Reading'. In Joyce's Audiences. Nash, John. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi. 127-41.
  • Nash, John. (2002). 'Introduction'. In Joyce's Audiences. Nash, John. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi. 3-9.
  • Nash, John. (2000). 'Newspapers and Imperialism in Ulysses'. In Modernism and Empire. Booth, Howard & Rigby, Nigel. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 175-97.
  • Nash, John. (2000). 'That Comes at Night: The Information'. In The Fiction of Martin Amis: a reader's guide to essential criticism. Tredell, Nicholas. Cambridge: Icon Books. 163-72.
  • Nash, John. (1998). 'Counterparts Before the Law: Mimicry and Exclusion'. In Re: Joyce: Text, Culture, Politics. Brannigan, John, Ward, Geoff & Wolfreys, Julian. London: MacMillan. 3-17.

Journal papers: academic

Other publications: research

  • Nash, John. (2004). 'James Joyce'. Oxford: Oxford University Press. The Year's Work in English Studies 83: 744-51.
  • Nash, John. (2003). 'James Joyce'. The Year's Work in English Studies 82: 667-74.
  • Nash, John. (2002). 'James Joyce'. The Year's Work in English Studies 81: 808-14.

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