Phenomenology and Late Modernism
My interdisciplinary research brings Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy to readings of late modernist literature in Ireland, Britain, France, and elsewhere. Inter- and post-war writing within the modernist tradition begins to disrupt it, undermining a sovereign consciousness by means of repetition, formal play, interruption and fragmentation. Phenomenology also emphasizes the human body’s implication within its natural and built environments.
Bodying Space: Beckett and the Question of Agency
The abject, decrepit body in Beckett does not, as some have argued, signal the impossibility of agency but demands its reconceptualization. Sensuality and bodily passivity in Beckett work to situate the human within its immediate, physical environment, suggesting a post-humanist version of agency that, unlike voluntarism, avows our material, embodied relationship to earth.
Scholarly Publications (selected)
“Uncertain Humanisms: Energies of Environment in Beckett, Bowen and Merleau-Ponty,” Understanding Merleau-Ponty, Understanding Modernism, Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2018.
“Compulsive Bodies, Creative Bodies: Beckett and Agency in the 21st Century,” Journal of Beckett Studies 27.1 (2018), pp. 5-21.
“Radical Indecision: Aporia as Metamorphosis in The Unnamable,” Journal of Beckett Studies 24.2 (2015), pp. 180-197.
“Glitches in Logic in Beckett’s Watt: Toward a Sensory Poetics,” Journal of Modern Literature, 38.2 (2015), pp. 103-116.
“Poets of Their Own Acts: Tactics, Style and Occupation in Beckett’s Nouvelles,” Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui 27 (2015), pp. 43-55.
“Dithyrambs and Ploughshares: The Cycle of Creation and Criticism in Nietzsche’s Aesthetics,” The European Legacy 16.4 (2011), pp. 469-485.
“Heterotopias: The possible and real in Foucault, Beckett and Calvino,” The Routledge Handbook of Literature and Space, ed. Robert T. Tally Jr. (Taylor & Francis, 2017) pp. 168-178
“On Roaming in The Lost Ones: Embodiment and Virtual Space,” Beckett and the ‘State’ of Ireland, ed. Alan Graham and Scott Eric Hamilton (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017) pp. 127-146.
“Samuel Beckett et la langue maternelle: l’ambivalence et expatriation linguistique,” Samuel Beckett et la culture française, Éditions Minard, forthcoming 2018.
“A Theater of the Nerves: Samuel Beckett’s Non-Representational Art” (review of the Edinburgh Companion to Samuel Beckett and the Arts, edited by S.E. Gontarski), Journal of Modern Literature, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Summer 2017), pp. 134 143.
“Between the Body and the World: Merleau-Ponty and the Rehabilitation of the Sensible” (review of Scott L. Marratto, The Intercorporeal Self: Merleau-Ponty on Subjectivity), Word and Text Vol. 3, No. 2, 2013, pp. 181-186.