We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Special Guest Lecture: 'In Search of Enabling Light: Heaney, Wordsworth, and the Poetry of Cultural Trauma,' by Professor Dan Ross (Columbus State University, USA)

19th November 2008, 18:15 to 19:15, Elvet Riverside 201

Seamus Heaney’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, ‘Crediting Poetry’, established him as a poet with a profound and persistent interest in cultural and personal trauma. As Heaney’s critical essays reveal, one of the figures who has guided him in this respect has been William Wordsworth. Heaney credits Wordsworth for teaching him how to find “enabling light” even in the midst of tragic events. This enabling light has helped Heaney transmute the tragic circumstances of “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland, and to find the transcendent within the tragic. With an emphasis on Heaney’s 1991 poem, “Seeing Things,” the lecture will consider the ways in which Heaney has used Wordsworth's example as he has worked his way through the traumas of Northern Ireland’s recent history.

Dan Ross is Professor of English at Columbus State University in Georgia, USA. He has published on many of the major writers of English, American, and Irish literature, including Seamus Heaney, William Wordsworth, William Shakespeare, Seamus Deane, and William Trevor. He is editor of The Critical Response to William Styron (1995). He also directs a summer study abroad program for Georgia students in London.

Contact for more information about this event.


Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.


Many of our public lectures, seminars and conferences are recorded, and can be listened to as podcasts.

Follow English Studies on Social Media

Research English At Durham Facebook Twitter Mixcloud

Next Event