Shane Alcobia-Murphy completed his BA at University College Cork in 1990. He went on to complete an MA at the same institution (1991-1993) before going to Cambridge to read for a PhD at Trinity College (1994-98). He joined Aberdeen University as a lecturer in 1998. He doesn't really look like this anymore - he very rarely smiles. He likens himself to another 'Sam' - Sam the Bald Eagle:. But he likes chocolate. Please feed him.
[Clearly thinking evil professorial thoughts]
His main research interests lie in modern Irish literature and contemporary Northern Irish visual arts. He has written three monographs: Governing the Tongue in Northern Ireland (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2005), Sympathetic Ink: Intertextual Relations in Contemporary Northern Irish Poetry (Liverpool University Press, 2006), and Medbh McGuckian: The Poetics of Exemplarity (Aberdeen University Press, 2012).
He has edited several books on Irish and Scottish Studies, including To the Other Shore: Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Studies (2004) and Beyond the Anchoring Grounds: More Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Studies (2005).
He hates it when he gets writer's block - at such moments the chase after inspiration seems so futile and he becomes Wile E. Coyote hunting the elusive Roadrunner.
His office is a reflection of his mind:
I think we can agree that this indicates quite a scary mind ...
Professor Alcobia-Murphy welcomes inquiries from potential research students in the fields of Modern/Contemporary Irish literature and Northern Irish visual arts. He would also welcome proposals on trauma literature.
Medbh McGuckian: The Poetics of Exemplarity (Aberdeen: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, 2012) ISBN 9781906108182 -Available via http://www.abdn.ac.uk/riiss/publications/
Sympathetic Ink: Intertextual Relations in Northern Irish Poetry (Liverpool University Press – August 2006) ISBN 1846310326
Governing the Tongue in Northern Ireland: The Place of Art/The Art of Place (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2005) ISBN 1904303609 Sample: http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/9781904303602-sample.pdf
Governing the Tongue in Northern Ireland: The Place of Art/The Art of Place (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008) - paperback edition. ISBN 1847187463
Founder to Shore: Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Studies, ed. with Lindsay Milligan and Dan Wall (Aberdeen: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, 2011). ISBN 978-1-906108-15-1
The Poetry of Medbh McGuckian: The Interior of Words (Cork: Cork University Press, 2010) ISBN 978-185918-465-3
The Enclave of My Nation: Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Studies, ed. with Margaret Maxwell(Aberdeen: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, 2008). ISBN 9781906108038
What Rough Beasts?: Irish and Scottish Studies in the New Millennium (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008). ISBN 978-1847185365
Ed. with Johanna Archbold et al, Beyond the Anchoring Grounds Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Studies (Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona, 2005) ISBN 0853898855
Ed. with Neal Alexander and Anne Oakman, To the Other Shore: Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Literature (Belfast: Cló Ollscoil na Banríona, 2004). ISBN 0853898634
General Editor of Review of Irish Studies in Europe
Most recent publications:
- 'Introduction', Review of Irish Studies in Europe 3.1 (2019): iii-xi. [ISSN: 2398-7685]
- 'Home and Away: The House in Exilic Narratives', Review of Irish Studies in Europe 3.1 (2019): 137-58. [ISSN: 2398-7685]
List of Articles and Book Chapters:
- Haunted Spaces in Post-Agreement Northern Ireland', Axon: Creative Explorations C.3 (October, 2018), ISSN 1838-8973 - https://www.axonjournal.com.au/issue-c3/haunted-spaces-post-agreement-northern-ireland
- ‘Forging Intertextual Encounters with Death: Medbh McGuckian’s The High Caul Cap’, New Hibernia Review 22.3 (Autumn, 2018): 124-43 [ISSN: 1092-3977]
- ‘Does Your Heart Ache with the Truth of the Past?’: Victims and Trauma in Northern Irish Culture’, Review of Irish Studies in Europe 1.2 (2017): 104-18 [ISSN 2398-7685]
- ‘Introduction: Post-Agreement Northern Irish Culture’, Review of Irish Studies in Europe 1.2 (2017): 1-11 [ISSN 2398-7685]
- ‘Recovery and Forgetting: Haunting Remains in Northern Irish Culture’, The Body in Pain in Irish Culture, eds. Fionnuala Dillane, Naomi McAreavey and Emilie Pine (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2017). 199-215. ISBN 978-3319313870 and ISBN 978-3-319-31388-7 (eBook)
- 'Lest We Forget: Memory, Trauma and Culture in Post-Agreement Northern Ireland’. Canadian Journal of Irish Studies. 39.2 (2016), 82-107. ISSN 0703-1459.
- 'Living So Far from Words: Memory and Trauma in Medbh McGuckian’s Blaris Moor’ Review of Irish Studies in Europe 1.1 (2016), 18-35. ISSN 2398-7685
- 'After the Fall: Marking Trauma in Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers’, Post-Conflict Literature: Human Rights, Justice, Peace, ed. Matt Maguire (Routledge, 2016), 191-202. ISBN 978-1138916302.
- '"I Could Not Tell": The Representation of Memory and Trauma in Northern Irish Culture', Changes in Contemporary Ireland, eds. Catherine Rees (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2013). 51-67. ISBN 978-1-4438-44727
- “‘Nobody Knows What Is in Them until They Are Broken’: Medbh McGuckian’s Feminist Poetry”. Études Irlandaises 37.2 (2012): 97-111. ISBN 978-2-7535-2158-2
- “‘Neurosis of Sand’: Authority, Memory and the Hunger Strike”, Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry, eds. Fran Brearton and Alan Gillis. (Oxford: OUP, 2012). 387-402. ISBN 0199561249
- '"Signs of the Still Recent War": Medbh McGuckian and Conflict', Irish Studies Review 12 20.2 (May, 2012): 115-33 ISSN 0967-0882
- '"My Cleverly Dead and Vertical Audience": Medbh McGuckian's "Difficult" Poetry', New Hibernia Review (2012).
- “‘Snared by Words’: Trauma and the Shoah in the Poetry of Medbh McGuckian”, Études Irlandaises 36.1 (Spring, 2011): 109-20. ISBN 978-2-753513488
- “‘The Earth Has Done Its Time’: Death in the Work of Medbh McGuckian’”, Founder to Shore: Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Studies, ed. with Lyndsay Milligan and Dan Wall (Aberdeen: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, 2011). 1-14. ISBN 9781906108151
- “‘That Now Historical Ground’: Memory and the Representation of Atrocity in the Poetry of Medbh McGuckian”, The Interior of Words: The Poetry of Medbh McGuckian, eds. Shane Alcobia-Murphy and Richard Kirkland, (Cork: CorkUniversity Press, 2010). 130-46. ISBN 978-185918-465-3
- "Strange Little Girls: Medbh McGuckian's Exemplary Poetics", Irish Review (Winter, 2009): 74-90. ISSN 07907850
- "'What Do I Say When They Wheel out Their Dead?'": The Representation of Violence in Northern Irish Art", Irish Literature since 1990: Diverse Voices, eds. Scott Brewster and Michael Parker (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009). 287-307. ISBN 9780719075636
- "'The Same Seed that Carried Me till It Saw Itself as Fruit': Medbh McGuckian's Exemplars", What Rough Beasts?, ed. Shane Alcobia-Murphy (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008).12-24. ISBN 978-1847185365
- "'If I Prolonged the Look to Rediscover Your Face': Medbh McGuckian's Ekphrastic Elegies", The Enclave of My Nation: Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Culture, eds. Shane Alcobia-Murphy and Margaret Maxwell (Aberdeen: AberdeenUniversity Press, 2008). 1-17. ISBN 9781906108038
- "'The Name Flows from the Naming': The Key to Understanding Medbh McGuckian's Poetry", Estudios Irlandeses 3 (2008), 1-10, ISSN 1699-311X.
- "Remembering Bloody Sunday", Recovering Memory: Irish Representations of Past and Present, eds. Hedda Friberg et al. (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007) ISBN 1847181473
- “Intertertextual Relations in the Poetry of Medbh McGuckian,” Back to the Present: Forward to the Past: Irish Writing and History since 1798, vol.2, eds. Patricia A. Lynch et al., (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006), 271-86.
- “Re-reading Five, Ten Times, the Simplest Letters”: Detecting Voices in the Poetry of Medbh McGuckian”, Nordic Irish Studies, 5.1 (April, 2006), 123-47.
- ‘Safe House: Authenticity, Nostalgia and the Irish House’, Our House: The Representation of Domestic Space in Modern Culture, eds. Gerry Smyth and Jo Croft (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006), 103-20 ISBN 9042019697
- ‘Not Forgotten or Passed Over at the Proper Time’: The Representation of Violent Events in Contemporary Culture’, Culture, Language and Representation 2 (May, 2005), pp.19-40 ISSN 1697-7750
- ‘The City Is a Map of the City: Representations of Belfast’s Narrow Ground,’ Cities on the Margin: On the Margin of Cities: Representation of Urban Space in Contemporary British and Irish Fiction, eds. Eric Tabuteau and Philippe LaPlace (Paris: Presses Universitaires Franc-Comtoises, 2003), pp.183-99 ISBN 2848670185
- ‘Sonnets, Centos, and Long Lines: Muldoon, Paulin, McGuckian and Carson,’ The Cambridge Companion to Irish Contemporary Poetry, ed. Matthew Campbell (Cambridge: CUP, 2003). ISBN 0521813018
- 'A Code of Images: Northern Irish Centos', Irish Studies Review 10.2 (2002), pp.193-203. ISSN 0967-0882
- '“Don't Mention the War!”: The Trouble(s) in Northern Irish Poetry', Aesthetics of Violence, ed. Michael Hensen. (Passau: Verlag Karl Stutz, 2001). ISBN 3888491053
- '“The Eye That Scanned It”: The Picture Poems of Heaney, Muldoon and McGuckian', New Hibernia Review 4.4 (Winter, 2000), pp.85-115. ISSN 1092-3977
- '“A Dove Involving A Whole Nation”: Politics in the Poetry of Medbh McGuckian', Études Irlandaises 24.1 (Spring, 1999), pp.91-108. ISSN 0183-973X
- 'Remapping America: Paul Muldoon's Madoc — A Mystery', Nua: Studies in Contemporary Irish Writing 2.1-2 (Autumn 1998, Spring 1999), pp.103-12. ISSN 1096-6129
- '“Roaming Root of Multiple Meanings”: The Poetry of Medbh McGuckian', Metre 4 (Winter, 1998), pp.99-109. ISSN 1393-4414
- 'Writing in the Shit: The Northern Irish Poet and Authority', Canadian Journal of Irish Studies 24.1 (July, 1998), pp.1-21. ISSN 0703-1459
- '“You Took Away My Biography”: The Poetry of Medbh McGuckian', Irish University Review 28.1 (Spring-Summer, 1998), pp.110-32. ISSN 0021-1427
- 'Friel and Heaney: Setting the Island Story Straight?', New Hibernia Review 1.2 (Summer, 1998), pp.110-32. ISSN 1092-3977
- 'Obliquity in the Poetry of Paul Muldoon and Medbh McGuckian', Éire-Ireland 31.3-4 (Fall-Winter, 1996), pp.76-101. ISSN 0013-2683
- '“Clearing Rooms”: Identity and the Irish Writer', Graph 2.2 (Winter, 1996), pp.102-115. ISSN 0790-8016
Contemporary Irish Culture and Trauma
Project leaders: Shane Alcobia-Murphy (Aberdeen), Richard Kirkland (King’s College, London), Stefanie Lehner (Queen's University, Belfast), Gráinne O’Keefe-Vigneron (Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique, Rennes)
3-year research project
Irish society in the period between 1990 and 2012 experienced numerous traumatic events, including economic collapse, enforced austerity regimes, large scale emigration, a fraught and complicated attempt at a resolution of conflict in Northern Ireland, the effective collapse of the Catholic Church’s influence in the affairs of state and the revelation of widespread institutional child abuse. Investigations into malpractice in the Irish beef industry, the corrupt management of planning applications, the bribing of politicians, the collusion of Church and State regarding the silencing of abuse victims and the events of Bloody Sunday all suggested that Ireland was characterised by a ‘tribunal culture’; indeed, during this period McCracken, Flood, Mahon and Saville each became household names. In light of the political, financial and religious scandals in the Republic, and the ongoing (albeit low-intensity) insurgency in the North, a number of questions must be asked: (1) To what extent have the contemporary traumatic events shaped the culture of the island of Ireland? (2) To what extent can Ireland itself be characterised as a traumatised society? (3) Have cultural responses – in literature, the visual arts, music, spatial planning/architecture – provided commentaries on or imaginative ways of dealing with these traumas in light of the continued failures in the political realm?
This three-year project has four research strands:
(1) An investigation of the cultural responses to the Belfast Agreement
(2) An analysis of how one writer (Medbh McGuckian) has responded to the Northern Irish Troubles and the peace process
(3) An exploration of the cultural responses to the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger
(4) An analysis of the diasporic experience in the period coinciding with the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger
- Further Info
EL1513 Controversial Classics (convenor)
EL30IH States of Mind (convenor)
EL45UR Putting the Art into Atrocity (convenor)
EL50A1 Amnesty and Amnesia (convenor)
EL5089 Novel Ideas (teaching)