Transnational Irish Studies

James Joyce.

The peculiar complicated progress of Irish history—from the evangelizing mission of the early medieval period, to colonial occupation by the British, to the Penal Laws, the Act of Union, the Great Famine and the ensuing mass emigration, to the revolutionary struggles of the early twentieth century and the ongoing partition of Northern Ireland to the Republic—has shaped a rich, diverse, and highly politicized literary and cultural tradition, demanding a correspondingly wide variety of critical methods. Here at Buffalo, leading scholars in a number of the approaches that constitute Irish studies encourage and assist students in honing an interpretive practice at once expansive, flexible, and synthetic. Faculty and graduate students pursue research in several subfields of nineteenth and twentieth century Irish literature, such as the Anglo-Protestant Gothic, the Irish Literary Revival, the modernist novel, the contemporary literary scene, and Irish Diasporic literature. They bring to bear a range of theoretical optics, including postcolonial, queer, feminist, and disability theory, and locate Irish literature in relation to other national traditions and within a global context.

Buffalo boasts the largest holdings of James Joyce material in the world, and Joyce certainly looms as a preeminent subject of study in our program. But the Poetry Collection/Rare Book Room features extensive materials in other areas of modern Irish literature and culture as well, both native and diasporic, offering excellent opportunities to perform groundbreaking archival scholarship.


The James Joyce Collection

The James Joyce Collection at UB holds the world’s largest and most distinguished Joyce collection in the world. It contains an archive of holdings and manuscripts that include the author’s private library, more than 10,000 pages of his working papers, 66 “Work in Progress” notebooks, voluminous typescripts, galleys, and page proofs for Ulysses, 1000s of newspaper clippings relating to Joyce and his works, letters to and from Joyce, over 150 photographs of Joyce and his family, the family portraits, and the complete body of significant Joyce criticism.