Irish Studies Würzburg

Travelling Visiting Professor in Irish Studies: Prof. Dr. Maureen O’Connor


Irish Studies Würzburg (ISWÜ) is delighted to welcome Prof. Dr. Maureen O’Connor, the Travelling Visiting Professor in Irish Studies 2023/24 at the University of Würzburg (JMU). The guest professorship is funded by the Emigrant Support Program (ESP) of the Embassy of Ireland in Berlin. Further support for accommodation is provided by the Siebold-Collegium Institute for Advances Studies Würzburg (SCIAS).

Prof. O’Connor will teach three courses in Irish Studies in the winter term, The Comic Tradition in Irish Writing #ISWÜ (04091200), Irish Women’s Writing at the Fin de Siècle #ISWÜ (04091400) and The Natural World in Irish Women’s Writing #ISWÜ (04091600). On November 30, 2023, Prof. O’Connor will give a guest lecture on “Haunted Nature in the Fiction of Edna O’Brien”. Together with Prof. Dr. Ina Bergmann, Prof. Dr. Maria Eisenmann and Prof. Dr. Kirsten Sandrock of ISWÜ, Prof. O’Connor will organize an international and interdisciplinary symposium on “The Animal in Irleand, Real and Imagined“ at JMU on February 21-23, 2023.

Prof. O‘Connor is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of English at University College Cork in Ireland. She has published widely in the field of Irish Studies and has delivered keynote lectures in India, Japan, Austria, Spain, and France. She is the author of The Female and the Species: The Animal in Irish Women’s Writing (2010), considered by Nathaniel Myers to be ‘arguably the first substantial engagement with the intersections of Irish Studies and Animal Studies’. She has co-edited a number of field-defining volumes, including, with Derek Gladwin, a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, ‘Irish Studies and the Environmental Humanities’ (2018); with Kathryn Laing and Sinéad Mooney, of Edna O’Brien: New Critical Perspectives (2006); with Lisa Colletta, of Wild Colonial Girl: Essays on Edna O’Brien (2006); and, with Tadhg Foley, of Ireland and India: Colonies, Culture, and Empire (2006).
Claire Bracken has said of Prof. O’Connor’s work that its ‘ecocritical analysis opens up space for new ways of thinking about embodied feminine subjectivity in contemporary cultural analysis’. Her latest book, Edna O’Brien and the Art of Fiction, published by Bucknell University Press in 2021, has been described by the novelist Éilís Ní Dhuibhne as ‘a wonderful book, indispensable for anyone with an interest in Edna O’Brien or contemporary Irish literature’. Prof. O’Connor is currently writing a volume for inclusion in the Cork University Press series, ‘Síreacht: Longings for Another Ireland’, on the topic of Animals.