Joe Cleary

Joe Cleary's picture
Professor of English

Ph.D. Columbia University, 1997

I teach and research mainly in the areas of Irish, postcolonial and modernist literatures. My work engages with several overlapping concerns: the development of a left-wing analysis of modern Irish literature and society, the analysis of long-range histories of modernization, modernism and capitalist culture, and situating Irish cultural and literary history in international postcolonial and world-systems perspectives. These interests were shaped by my time at Columbia University, New York, where I studied with Edward W. Said and took my doctorate in English and Comparative Literature, and my career in Ireland where I worked at Maynooth University for over twenty years. I have written on nationalism, national literatures, and partition in Literature, Partition and the Nation-State: Culture and Conflict in Ireland, Israel and Palestine (2002) and on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literary, cinematic, and music cultures in Outrageous Fortune: Capital and Culture in Modern Ireland (2007). Related edited volumes include The Cambridge Companion to Irish Modernism (2014) and (with Claire Connolly) The Cambridge Companion to Modern Irish Culture (2005). I have edited three special journal issues: on Ireland’s financial crisis in ‘Ireland after the Celtic Tiger: From Boom to Bust’ with boundary 2 (Spring 2018); on ‘Peripheral Realisms’ (with Jed Esty and Colleen Lye) in MLQ (September 2012); and on ‘Empire Studies’ (with Michael de Nie) for Éire-Ireland (Summer 2007). I convene the ‘Left Literary Studies’ graduate study group at Yale. 


Undergraduate: “The Irish Revival and Modernism,” “English World Literatures,” “Irish and Irish-American Modernisms,” “Modernism, Empire, World Crisis,” and “Ulysses and Omeros: The Postcolonial Epic.”

Graduate: “Modernism, Empire, World Crisis, 1890-1950,” “Imperial and Anti-Imperial Epic,” “Modernism, Imperialism and Globalization,” “Western and Postcolonial Marxist Theory.”

Work in Progress

I am currently completing a book titled Modernism, Empire, World Literature for Cambridge University Press and revising a monograph on Irish expatriate fiction and the contemporary world literary system.  Articles on the history of the English department in the Anglophone world and Irish modernist centenaries are also underway.

Selected Publications

“McGahern’s Rages,” Derek Hand and Eamon Maher, (editors), John McGahern (1934-2006): Assessing a Literary Legacy (Cork: Cork University Press, 2019): 162-180.

“Horseman Pass By!”: The Neoliberal World System and the Crisis in Irish Literature,” Boundary 2, Volume 45, Number 1, February 2018: 135-179.

“The Catholic Twilight,” in Eamon Maher and Eugene O’Brien (eds), Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish Catholicism: From Galway to Cloyne and Beyond (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017), 209-225.

“Old Europe, Aging America: A Review Essay on Franco Moretti’s Distant Reading,” Dublin Review of Books, Issue 70, September 2015 [online].

“Introduction” in Joe Cleary, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Irish Modernism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 1-20.

“European, American and Imperial Conjunctures” in Joe Cleary, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Irish Modernism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 35-50.

“Republicanism and Aristocracy in Modern Ireland,” Field Day Review,10, 2014, 5-39.

“Hedgehog in the Road of History: Form and Time in the Work of John McGahern,” The John McGahern Yearbook, Vol. 5 (2012-13), 2013.

“Realism After Modernism and the Literary World-System,” Modern Language Quarterly, 73, 3 (September 2012): 255-68.

“Irish Writing and Postcolonialism,” The Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literatures, 2 Volumes, Editor Ato Quayson, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)