Paraic Finnerty
  • Burnaby Road, Milldam

    PO1 3AS Portsmouth

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile


I am Reader in English and American Literature in the School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature. In the School, my research and teaching focus on American literature, early modern literature, and representations of masculinities.

I am the author of Emily Dickinson’s Shakespeare (2006), the co-author of Victorian Celebrity Culture and Tennyson's Circle (2013), and the co-editor of six journal special issues, including two on nineteenth-century transatlantic celebrity culture.

Many of my publications explore the nineteenth-century American poet Emily Dickinson's British literary heritage. My most recent work concerns Dickinson's global and transnational connections, her representations of history, and her engagement with celebrity culture.


From 2014-2017, I was Deputy Director of the Centre for Studies in Literature. From 2018-2020, I was Associate Head (Research & Innovation) of the School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature. 

I joined the University of Portsmouth as a lecturer in 2004 and was appointed Senior Lecturer in English in 2006 and Reader in 2014.  At Portsmouth, I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education in 2005 and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Before joining Portsmouth, I worked as a part-time teacher at the University of Kent for a number of years. I completed my PhD in English at Kent in 2001, having received a BA in English and Philosophy and an MA in Modern English and American Literature from University College Dublin.

Research Interests

I specialise in American literature and transatlantic literary studies. I am currently completing my second monograph, Dickinson and her British Contemporaries, which examines connections between Dickinson’s writings and the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, the Brontës, and George Eliot. In 2012, I was awarded an AHRC Early Career Fellowship to facilitate the completion of this project.

I am also working on new research on nineteenth-century and contemporary celebrity culture as a member of the Celebrity, Citizenship, and Status project.

PhD Research Supervision:

I especially welcome enquiries and applications from students wishing to study a PhD with me in American literature, nineteenth-century poetry, or cultural representations of masculinity. 

Teaching Responsibilities

I deliver English and American literature components of the undergraduate programme in the School. I currently teach on the Level 4 modules Body Politics and Unpacking Texts; the level 5 modules Bloody Shakespeare, Women's Writings in the Americas and Puritans to Postmodernists; and the level 6 module US Masculinities. 

Media Availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from media on my research, and am aware of the need to respond to journalists in a timely manner. These should be directed to me, - 023 9284 6176

Interested journalists can also contact the University's Media and Communications team for support and advice on all media engagement, including out of hours.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., Stratford on Avon - accept us all: Emily Dickinson's Shakespeare, University of Kent


Award Date: 18 Jul 2001

MA, MA in Modern English and American Literature, University College Dublin


Award Date: 18 Oct 1995

BA (Hons), English and Philosophy, University College Dublin


Award Date: 20 Jul 1994

External positions

Editorial Board Member, The Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture

Nov 2016 → …

Editorial Board Member, Emily Dickinson Journal

5 May 2012 → …

Directorial Board Member, The Emily Dickinson International Society

5 May 2012 → …


  • PR English literature
  • American literature
  • nineteenth-century poetry
  • gender theory
  • transatlantic literary relations
  • E151 United States (General)
  • nineteeth-century culture
  • nineteenth-century history


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