Dr Paraic Finnerty
Associate Head (Research and Innovation), Reader in English and American Literature
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 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 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
- Women's Writing in the Americas
My central research interests are American literature and transatlantic literary relations. My first book, Emily Dickinson’s Shakespeare (2006), examines Shakespeare’s reception in nineteenth-century America and locates Dickinson’s allusions to his writings in this context. My second book, Dickinson and her British Contemporaries, will explore 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 the co-author of Victorian Celebrity Culture and Tennyson's Circle (2013) and co-editor of five journal special issues including two on nineteenth-century transatlantic celebrity culture.
I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Emily Dickinson International Society and serve on the Editorial Board of the Emily Dickinson Journal and the Advisory Board of Victoriographies.
I would welcome PhD projects on American literature, nineteenth-century poetry or cultural representations of masculinity. I am currently supervising two PhD students:
- Lisa Felstead is working on a project that examines the representation of male friendships within American fiction written after the Second World War.
- Debbie Parker-Kinch is working on a biographical study of Bessie Rayner Parkes (later Belloc, 1829-1925) who was a pioneering women’s rights campaigner in the 1850s and 1860s, and a writer of journalism, essays, memoirs and poetry.