Dr James Kelly

Research interests

My research looks at Irish and Scottish writing in the Romantic century (1750-1850), with a focus on the relationship between imaginative literature and political and historical agency and notions of nationality.

At present, I am interested in ideas of eloquence in this period; how a reputation for oratorical excess affected conceptions of Irish literature and nationality; and the connection between rhetoric, civic society, political economy, and Scottish philosophy fed into the categorisation of ‘literature’ in the modern sense. Authors looked at include Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Edmund Burke, Thomas Moore, Sydney Owenson, Maria Edgeworth, Mary Tighe, Richard Lalor Sheil, Sir Walter Scott, and the writers associated with the Young Ireland movement.

I’m interested in Romantic period literature, early-to-mid Victorian literature, Eighteenth-century literature. I also have an interest in the historical relationship between rhetoric and literature from the Renaissance to the present. In addition to this, I am interested in Twentieth-century Irish and Scottish literature, particularly in the area of poetry and the novel.