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Dr Paraic Finnerty

Associate Head (Research and Innovation), Reader in English and American Literature

Paraic Finnerty


I am Associate Head (Research & Innovation) of the School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature. In the School, my research and teaching focus on American literature, nineteenth-century poetry, 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. 



I received my BA and MA from University College Dublin and completed my PhD at the University of Kent. Having worked as a part-time teacher at the University of Kent for a number of years, I joined the University of Portsmouth as a Lecturer in English in 2004. I completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education in 2005 and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2006 and Reader in English and American Literature in 2014. I was Deputy Director of the Centre for Studies in Literature from 2014 to 2017.

Research Interests

I specialise in American literature and transatlantic literary studies. I am currently completing my second monograph, Dickinson and her British Contemporaries, which explores 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 currently 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 teaching in the School. I contribute to the following units:

  • US Masculinities
  • Puritans to Postmodernists: American Literature

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.

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