Julia M. Wright


Email: julia.wright@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-6902
Mailing Address: 
McCain 2193, 6135 University Avenue
PO BOX 15000 Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Literary theory
  • Irish studies
  • Popular culture
  • Literature and ideas of the nation
  • Politics and literature
  • European studies

University Research Professor (2016-2021)

On Sabbatical 2016-2017


  • HBA, MA, PhD (Western Ontario)

Since my graduate-school days, I have been interested in the ways in which stories (perhaps even this one) create facades of identity:  epics that suggest the greatness of a nation can be found in the story of the nation's founding; ballads that suggest that the nation is suppressed, and is ready to flourish if the people will rise up and insist on it; narratives of origin in which who we are, individually and collectively, is supposedly determined by where we were born and to who rather than how we choose to live and what we learn.  This led me to be centrally concerned in the problem of nationalism, but also of gender. During my doctorate, I not only worked on nationalism in William Blake's poetry, but also on the more vexed problem of nationalism in Romantic-era Ireland.  Colonized by the English in the twelfth century, with multiple languages, religions, and political allegiances, Ireland from about 1750-1850 is a rich resource for thinking about how stories might not only create identities, but also dismantle the ones that limit and discourage us. Lady Morgan, one of the major writers of this period, and in my research, used less well-known histories to challenge dominant views:  she used the history of colonization in Europe and Asia to critique the imperial project; she used the history of Ireland to undermine the representation of the Irish as unruly or unworthy; and she used the history of women intellectuals in Europe to situate herself as a public intellectual.  My current research is building on this work to think about Morgan's contemporary, Thomas Moore, and the larger literary context in which they both wrote and argued for political and literary freedoms.  I also work on US gothic television, but that doesn't fit this story.

Selected Publications

  • Monographs: Men with Stakes: Masculinity and the Gothic in US Television (Manchester UP, 2016); Representing the National Landscape in Irish Romanticism (Syracuse UP, 2014); Ireland, India, and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Literature (Cambridge UP, 2007; paperback, 2009); Blake, Nationalism, and the Politics of Alienation (Ohio UP, 2003).
  • Other recent books (selected):  ed., The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys by Lady Morgan (Broadview, 2013); co-ed.  with Joel Faflak, A Handbook to Romanticism Studies (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012); co-ed. with Elizabeth Sauer, Reading the Nation in English Literature (Routledge, 2010).
  • Book series: co-ed. with Kevin Hutchings, Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies (2005-2015)
  • View a full list of publications, including articles and book chapters.

Selected Professional Positions

Selected Awards

  • F.E.L. Priestley Award (1994)
  • John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature (1997)
  • Northeast MLA Book Award (2002)
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grants (1997-2000; 2002-2005; 2006-2009; 2009-2012)
  • CFI grants (2002-2005; co-applicant, 2007)
  • Canada Research Chairs (2002-2005, 2005-2010, 2010-2012)
  • SSHRC Insight Grant (2013-2018)