Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
University Hall 5030
(205) 934-8823

Research and Teaching Interests: 20th-century American modernism, literatures of the American South and of Ireland, issues in philosophy/religion and literature

Office Hours: By appointment


  • B.A., Oxford University, Philosophy and Psychology
  • M.A., Oxford University, Philosophy and Psychology
  • Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, English and American Literature

My academic interests have progressed from theology, philosophy, and psychology to literature at institutions in Ireland, England, and the United States.

I publish books, articles, and reviews mainly about philosophical and cultural issues in 20th-century American and Irish authors. I have recently revised a book manuscript titled Seamus Heaney and the End of Catholic Ireland, and have returned to a memoir on monastic life in Ireland. A related essay, “Kirwan Street, In Memory,” was listed as a Notable in Best American Essays 2013; another excerpt titled “In the Village of the Foreigners” appears in the Spring 2018 issue of New Hibernia Review. Other recent activities and publications include a memoir paper on monastic life given at Imperial College, London (2016), one on Seamus Heaney at Université Paris-Sorbonne (2015), and “Tracking the Fugitive Poets” in The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry (2015). I am currently completing a bibliographical article on John Crowe Ransom for the online Oxford Bibliographies in Literary and Critical Theory series.

Recent Courses

  • American Literature 1914-1945
  • Three Tough Texts: Ulysses, The Waste Land, and The Sound and the Fury
  • Survey of English Literature part 2 (William Blake to Samuel Beckett)
  • Survey of American Literature part 2 (Kate Chopin to Jhumpa Lahiri)

Select Publications


Articles and Book Chapters

  • “In the Village of the Foreigners,” New Hibernia Review 22:1 (Spring 2018): 9-18.
  • “Heaney at Halftime,” Birmingham Poetry Review 43 (Spring 2016), 31-38.
  • “Tracking the Fugitive Poets,” In Walter Kalaidjian, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry (Cambridge UP, 2015), 116-27.
  • “Breadth of a Salesman,” Chronicle of Higher Education (May 29, 2015), B20.
  • “Exhuming the Monks of Mount Melleray from ‘The Dead,’” James Joyce Quarterly 52.1 (2014), 633-40.
  • “From Cloister to Quad,” Chronicle of Higher Education (September 3, 2013): B20.

Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

  • UAB’s Ireland Award for Scholarly Distinction, 2014
  • Essay listed as a Notable in Best American Essays 2013 (see publications)
  • American Conference for Irish Studies
  • Southern Studies Forum