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Durham University

Department of English Studies


Academic Staff

Dr John Nash

Associate Professor (Reader) in the Department of English Studies

(email at

After a degree at Birmingham, and a D.Phil at Oxford, I took up a lectureship at Trinity College Dublin, where my research on Joyce was assisted by the National Library of Ireland's collections. I moved to Durham in 2006 and have expanded my field of research into twentieth-century literary culture more generally, with particular interests in the interpretative problems that arise from historicist accounts of modernism.

Current research focuses on ideas of domesticity in late-Victorian, Edwardian and modernist writing, c.1890 - 1940. This project analyses several issues, including: the ways in which literary and popular fictions enacted ideas about domesticity; shifts in domestic arrangements and values in this period; the emergence of new things and materials alongside older ones; the journalism and literature of home advice; the relationship between narrative forms and domesticity as a model and metaphor. Early work on this was funded by a British Academy grant. A wide range of writers feature, including Arthur Conan Doyle, Arnold Bennett, John Galsworthy, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen and Evelyn Waugh.

This topic is leading me to explore the creation of writers' house museums. An article on Woolf, house museums and shoes is here.

The writings of James Joyce have long been, and will continue to be, an important part of my research, with particular focus on national and intellectual contexts for the analysis of his work. Most recently, I have edited James Joyce and the Nineteenth Century which examines 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 (with John Strachan) on 'Advertising, Literature, and Consumer Culture in Ireland 1848 - 1921'. 

A particular interest has been the reception of Joyce during his lifetime. 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 - within literary modernism, which examines the notion of 'untranslatability'.

PhD Research Students

Enquiries are welcome from potential PhD students in all aspects of Joyce studies, modernism and 20th century literary culture, and Irish studies.

I have supervised many PhDs to timely commpletion, including recent theses on James Joyce and advertising, G.K. Chesterton and parody, and luggage in fiction, 1895-1939.

Current students:

Carissa Foo: phenomenology of place in modernist women's writing.

Ashley Savard: 'cultural drag': performance in James Joyce

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

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Nash, John (2013). Introduction: Joyce in the Nineteenth Century. In James Joyce in the Nineteenth Century. Nash, John Cambridge University Press.
  • Nash, John (2013). Liberalism and Domesticity in Ulysses. In James Joyce in the Nineteenth Century. Nash, John Cambridge University Press.
  • 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.

Edited book

Journal Article

Other (Print)

  • Nash, John. (2004). 'James Joyce'. 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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