Keynote Speakers

Frank McNally is a former civil servant and now a staff journalist with The Irish Times. As a colour/sketch writer, he covered the end of the Northern Troubles, the Good Friday Agreement, the various tribunals on political corruption, and a wide variety of sports events at home and abroad. Since 2006, he has been chief writer of the daily An Irishman’s/woman’s Diary column.

Maebh Long is a Senior Lecturer in the English Programme at the University of Waikato. She is the author of award-winning work on Flann O’Brien – Assembling Flann O’Brien and The Collected Letters of Flann O’Brien. Maebh is a co-investigator of the Oceanian Modernism project with Matthew Hayward and is currently working with him on a co-authored monograph on Pacific literature, Pacific universities, and modernism. Maebh is also in the early stages of a project, funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand, which examines the ways ‘immunity’ became a contagious metaphor for modernist writers.

Catherine Flynn is Associate Professor of English at University of California, Berkeley where she works on Irish modernist literature and culture in a European avant-garde context. She is the author of James Joyce and the Matter of Paris (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and editor of the forthcoming New Joyce Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2022) as well as the forthcoming Cambridge Centenary Ulysses: The 1922 Text with Essays and Notes (Cambridge University Press, 2022), equipped with maps, photographs, and annotations and an introductory essay on each of the episodes by a Joyce scholar. She hosts the related podcast, U22.

Panel Session Speakers

Therese Cox is a Lecturer and Early Career Fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her research explores intersections between contemporary literature, architecture, and urban planning. Her current book project, Structures of Feeling: Postwar Architecture and Literature, demonstrates the critical role that writing plays in mediating and reimagining developments in public architecture and civic reconstruction in postwar Britain and Ireland. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Stinging Fly, gorse, and Banshee.

Paul Fagan is a Senior Scientist at the University of Salzburg. He is a co-founder of the International Flann O’Brien Society and a founding general editor of The Parish Review: Journal of Flann O’Brien Studies, which is published by the Open Library of Humanities. Fagan co-edited Flann O’Brien: Contesting Legacies (2014) with Ruben Borg and Werner Huber, Flann O’Brien: Problems with Authority (2017) with Borg and John McCourt, and Flann O’Brien: Gallows Humour (2020) with Borg, Stage Irish: Performance, Identity, Cultural Circulation with Dieter Fuchs and Tamara Radak (2021) and Irish Modernisms: Gaps, Conjectures, Possibilities (2021) with John Greaney and Radak. He is currently finalising the collections Flann O’Brien: Acting Out (with Dieter Fuchs), and Flann O’Brien and the Nonhuman (with Greaney and Katherine Ebury) for publication, as well as a monograph on the Irish literary hoax.

S. E. Gontarski edited the Journal of Beckett Studies from 1989-2008. He has also edited The Beckett Critical Reader: Archives, Theories, and Translations (2012) and The Edinburgh Companion to Samuel Beckett and the Arts (2014), both from Edinburgh UP, as are his monographs, Creative Involution: Bergson Beckett, Deleuze (2015) and Beckett Matters: Beckett’s Late Modernism (2016). Revisioning Beckett: Samuel Beckett’s Decadent Turn appeared from Bloomsbury in 2018; and his Burroughs Unbound: William Burroughs and the Performance of Writing was issued by Bloomsbury in 2021. Włodzimierz Staniewski and the Phenomenon of “Gardzienice”, ed. with Tomasz Wiśniewski and Katarzyna Kręglewska appeared from Routledge, also in 2021. Stan is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University.

Dominic Harkin is a PhD Student at Queen’s University, Belfast. His research is interdisciplinary, attempting to better understand the relationship between Late Victorian/Modernist literature and the Philosophy of Science. In particular, his thesis concerns the effects of the New Empiricism – specifically, the Vienna and Berlin Schools of Logical Positivism – on the works of Irish Modernist, Brian O’Nolan. His research interests include the emergent genres of Detective and Science fiction at the turn of the century, their debt to particular conceptions of scientific thinking, and their (post)modernist transformation/subversions.

Tobias W. Harris is an Associate Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has published in Estudios Irlandeses, the James Joyce Broadsheet, Modernist Cultures, and is the winner of the ‘Best Essay-Length Study on a Brian O’Nolan Theme (2015-16)’ prize for an essay on O’Nolan and Karl Kraus published in The Parish Review: Journal of Flann O’Brien Studies.

Joseph LaBine is a poet and critic. He was awarded the 2018 Marie Tremaine Fellowship from the Bibliographic Society of Canada and currently holds a SSHRC doctoral fellowship as a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa. His research focuses on modern Celtic fiction, and he has published articles on Flann O’Brien, James Joyce, and David Jones. He has also been the managing editor of Flat Singles Press since 2013. He lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Andrew Kuhn earned his PhD at Boston College with a dissertation that explored technologies of literature in Yeats, Joyce, Gissing, and Woolf. He has contributed articles to English Literature in Transition, Éire-Ireland, and edited collections, including Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture (2017). He created the website Dubliners Bookshelf: Readings with Joyce and has collaborated with Joseph Nugent on various online and virtual reality projects related to Joyce and Flann O’Brien. Andrew lectures at Penn State University, where he also serves assistant director of the Office of Foundation Relations.

Deirdre Learmont was born in Glasgow and reared in Northwest Donegal. She is a native Irish speaker. Having studied in the universities of Galway, Glasgow and Edinburgh she became a television producer. Her work includes Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey and most recently An Cuan, a four-part study of Dublin Bay. She curates the Flann O’Brien festival, Slí na gCopaleen, in Donegal. She is a strong proponent of dialect individuality and provides one of the voices for the Ulster dialect on the Irish language online dictionary. She enjoys rain, misery and a pint of plain.

Elliott Mills is a final year PhD student at Trinity College Dublin where he is completing his thesis on Brian O’Nolan and mediation, supervised by Tom Walker and Sam Slote. He was a co-organiser of the online symposium ‘Bureaucratic Poetics: Brian O’Nolan and the Irish Civil Service’, and he is currently a co-guest editor of a special issue of The Parish Review on the same theme. His work on O’Nolan includes the essay ‘Origin, Iterability and Violence in The Third Policeman‘, published in the collection Flann O’Brien: Gallows Humour.

Thomas O’Grady is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he was Director of Irish Studies from 1984 to 2019. He is currently Scholar-in-Residence at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Early in his career he published articles on Flann O’Brien in Studies in the Novel and Éire-Ireland. He has returned to O’Brien in retirement, while also publishing on other topics in recent issues of a variety of journals, including Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, Mosaic, James Joyce Quarterly, Dublin Review of Books, and Southern Literary Review.

Oisín Ó Nualláin has taught English and history for the last couple of decades. He has taught in several schools in Ireland and for two years in Libya. He created a bespoke literary tour on the life of Oscar Wilde and his family where he deposits the tour fee back into them afterwards in Kennedy’s pub. He is a director of Sweny’s Joycean chemist, a literary hub of Victorian Dublin. He has been arrested on four continents. He has been married many times and is open to any advice on divorce proceedings in the state of Nevada. On the matter of a pint of plain, advice is not required.

Germán Asensio Peral obtained both his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree in English Studies at the University of Almería (Spain), both with honorary distinctions. He completed his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Almeria (2020) on Irish writer Brian O’Nolan (1911-1966), also known as Flann O’Brien and Myles na gCopaleen, and mid-twentieth-century Irish politics in his Cruiskeen Lawn column (1940-1966). He is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Almería (Department of Philology/ English Division) and has published articles and delivered papers on O’Nolan’s novels, short stories and columns.

Holly Connell Schaaf teaches right down Commonwealth Ave. from Boston College in Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences Writing Program. There she co-directs Boston Now, an initiative focused on bringing students outside the classroom. BC events figured prominently in one course she taught for this initiative: Irish Imagination Now. She enjoys writing and teaching about Irish literature and culture as well as ecological issues, so this presentation is a treasured opportunity to combine those interests. Past writings, including her dissertation, explore The Third Policeman, so she’s also excited by the chance to discuss At Swim-Two-Birds.