Conor McCarthy is Senior Lecturer in English at Maynooth University. After schooling in Ireland and Canada, he took his BA in English and Sociology at Trinity College Dublin (1989), his Master’s Degree in English at University College Dublin (1991) and his D.Phil. in English at Sussex (1996). He is the author of Modernisation, Crisis and Culture in Ireland 1969 - 1992 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000), and The Cambridge Introduction to Edward Said (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Conor won one of the first Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, which he held from 2000 to 2002 at NUI Galway. He has lectured in universities in Ireland, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, the United States, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and in the Middle East. He is Associate Editor of College Literature and Second Year Co-Ordinator in the Maynooth University English Department.
Conor has long developed intellectual and political expertise both within and beyond the academy. This work centres around the value of scholarship as a public good in itself but also on the vocation of the critical intellectual, who produces major research while seeking to put his/her expertise in the service of wider publics and constituencies beyond the academy. Accordingly, Conor seeks to work as a scholar-activist. He is a founder-member of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and of Academics for Palestine, which campaigns for the academic boycott of Israeli higher education institutions. Through those organisations, and many other forms of research, cultural and outreach activities, Conor has helped shape discussion of the Palestine question in Ireland over the last two decades. He is also a veteran member and participant in the work of the Red Stripe Marxist collective and seminar. Conor's interest in and sympathy with the Marxist tradition issued most notably in the 2018 '(Re-)Birth of Marx(-ism)' conference, held to recognise the bicentenary of Marx's birth. This international event, conceived and co-organised by Conor, was the largest humanities or social science conference held at Maynooth University for many years.
As well as two monographs and two edited volumes, Conor has published articles, essays and reviews on literature, criticism and cultural politics in the Yearbook of English Studies, Interventions, Textual Practice, the Irish University Review, the Irish Literary Supplement, Eire-Ireland, the Journal of Palestine Studies, the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, Wasafiri, College Literature, The Citizen, Current Writing, the Dublin Review of Books, the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Field Day Review. Conor has also written and reviewed for The Irish Times and The Sunday Business Post, as well as publishing political essays and reviews with Electronic Intifada, Jacobin, Jadaliyya, Mondoweiss and the Irish Left Review. Conor's work has been translated into German and Italian.
Conor has supervised doctoral research on the twentieth century Irish novel, on the importance of Nietzsche to the great Irish modernists, and on the counter-revolutionary character of Irish fiction in the era of the Free State. He welcomes research proposals in these areas, as well as in the history of Irish political thought, Western Marxism, postcolonialism, and twentieth century Irish culture.
Conor's Google Scholar page: Conor McCarthy McCarthy - Google Scholar
Conor has kept a blog since 2012: reflectionsfromdamagedlife.blogspot.com Views expressed there are his alone.
Conor has recently published articles on Edward Said's self-invention as a radical humanist, and on James Connolly and empire. A major article on the concept of authority in Said's criticism appeared in Ariel in October 2020. 'Edward Said: Literature and the World' was published in May 2022 in Joel Evans's edited volume Globalization and Literary Studies (Cambridge UP). Conor published a review-article on Timothy Brennan's life of Edward Said Places of Mind, with the Dublin Review of Books in September 2021, and also a review-article of Seamus Deane's last volume of essays, Small World, with the Los Angeles Review of Books in November 2021. An article on the political thought of the Irish revolutionary period was published in the Dublin Review of Books in October 2022. An article on the value and implications of Said's work for critical and normative political theory is due with the Los Angeles Review later in 2023. Conor is currently working on an essay on Seamus Deane's appropriations of the work of the controversial jurist and political theorist Carl Schmitt.
Conor’s research interests lie in the history of ideas and in Irish intellectual history, especially the history and politics of criticism and literary pedagogy. He is also interested in twentieth-century Irish culture, the history of Marxism, in postcolonial theory, and in the intersections of literature and political thought. He is currently planning a project concerning the intellectual legacy in Ireland of Edmund Burke. Conor is also preparing a book for the radical French publisher La Fabrique, with the working title l'Irlande: Un inventaire du present.
Conor has supervised doctoral research in Irish modernism, theory, and the twentieth century Irish novel. He welcomes doctoral research proposals in any of these or related areas. He particularly welcomes research proposals in the areas of criticism and intellectual history.
Peer Reviewed Journal
|2020||McCarthy, C (2020) 'Edward Said and Authority: From Conrad to Orientalism and Beyond'. Ariel: A Review of International English Literature, 51 :33-64. [DOI] [Full-Text]|
|2018||Conor McCarthy (2018) ''James Connolly, Civil Society and Revolution''. Observatoire de la société britannique, 23 :11-34. [Full-Text]|
|2016||Conor McCarthy (2016) ''Academic Freedom and the Boycott of Israeli Universities: On the Necessity of Angry Knowledge''. College Literature, 43 (1):264-274. [Full-Text]|
|2013||McCarthy C. (2013) 'Said, LukÃ¡cs, and Gramsci: Beginnings, geography, and insurrection'. College Literature, 40 (4):74-104. [DOI] [Full-Text]|
|2010||McCarthy, C (2010) 'Irish Criticism and the Political'. Wasafiri, 25 :59-64. [DOI] [Full-Text]|
|2010||Conor McCarthy (2010) ''The Wake of Edward Said''. College Literature, 37 (4):195-203. [Full-Text]|
|2007||Dr Conor D. McCarthy (2007) 'Edward Said and Irish Criticism'. ÉIRE-IRELAND, 42 :311-335. [Full-Text]|
|2005||Conor McCarthy (2005) ''Reply to Bruce Stewart, or, The Politics of Irish Criiticism''. Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 30 (1):91-92. [Full-Text]|
|2005||Conor McCarthy (2005) ''Seamus Deane: Between Burke and Adorno''. The Yearbook of English Studies, 35 :232-248. [Full-Text]|
|2005||Conor McCarthy (2005) ''Ireland and Israel''. Journal of Palestine Studies, 35 (1):114-117.|
|1997||Dr Conor D. McCarthy (1997) 'Ideology and Geography in Dermot Bolger's The Journey Home''. Irish University Review, 27 :98-110. [Full-Text]|
|2023||Conor McCarthy (2023) ''The Wars on Palestine'' Dublin Review of Books, . [Link]|
|2022||Conor McCarthy (2022) ''The Primacy of Politics'' Dublin Review of Books, (148) . [Link]|
|2021||Conor McCarthy (2021) ''Intellectual Insurrection'' Dublin Review of Books, (136) . [Link]|
|2021||Conor McCarthy (2021) ''Edward Said Showed Intellectuals How to Bring Politics to Their Work'' Jacobin, . [Link]|
|2021||Conor McCarthy (2021) ''Relentless Erudition'' Los Angeles Review of Books, . [Link]|
|2020||Conor McCarthy (2020) ''Academic Freedom in Palestine Matters, Too'' SSRN Electronic Journal, . [Link]|
|2020||Conor McCarthy, David Landy, Ronit Lentin (2020) ''Enforcing Silence: Academic Freedom Palestine and the Criticism of Israel - New Texts Out Now'' Jadaliyya, . [Link]|
|2016||Conor McCarthy (2016) ''James Connolly in America'' Jacobin Magazine, . [Link]|
|2012||Conor McCarthy (2012) Reflections from Damaged Life. [Blog] [Link]|
|2020||Conor McCarthy (2020) 'Academic Freedom, Boycott and the Question of Palestine'. Dublin: [Newspaper Articles] [Link]|
|2021||Conor McCarthy and Timothy Brennan (2021) Book Launch Places of Mind A Life of Edward Said. Youtube: [Webinar] [Link]|
|2021||Conor McCarthy and Timothy Brennan (2021) 'Edward Said, Jonathan Swift and Ireland'. [Webinar] [Link]|
|2021||Conor McCarthy (2021) Enforcing Silence Booklaunch. [Webinar] [Link]|
|Academics for Palestine||Civic Society||Founder member of Academics for Palestine since 2014. Campaigns for the academic boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education, as called for by the Palestinian BDS call of 2005. [Link]|
|U3A Bray||Civic Society||The University of the Third Age is an offshoot of Age Action Ireland, an education initiative for retired persons. I delivered a talk on Zionism, the nakba/war of 1948, and Trump's Middle East policy, for U3A Bray, on April 18, 2019|
|U3A Monkstown||Civic Society||I delivered a talk on Palestine for U3A Monkstown, October 16, 2018.|
|U3A Glasthule||Civic Society||I gave an invited lecture to U3A Glasthule on June 6, 2017, on 'Palestine in the Age of Trump'.|
|Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign||Civic Society||Founder member of Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in 2001. Premier Irish organisation for Palestine-related activism in Ireland [Link]|
Conor also has taught courses in cultural theory at Second Year (BA) and MA level. Having worked on a second year course on feminism a few years ago, where he concentrated on Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir, Conor more recently lectured on Western Marxism - the ideas of Gramsci, Brecht, Benjamin, Adorno and Jameson.
In the spring of 2020, Conor co-taught a Third Year module on 'Dissent and Revolution', where he concentrated on Maxim Gorky, Alexandra Kollontai and Mikhail Bulgakov as writers of the Russian Revolution of 1917. In spring 2022, this module was re-organised to deal with the counter-revolutionary contexts of early 19th century and Victorian English literature, reading writers such as Disraeli, Gaskell, Dickens and Engels against the background of industrial unrest, Owenism, Chartism and the Peterloo massacre. This course, with its new focus on Victorian literature and society, will run again in Spring 2023.
In the coming year (2022-2023) Conor will also teach his Master's level module on fictions from Israel and Palestine. This course covers writers as various as Sahar Khalifeh, AB Yehoshua and Emile Habibi, and looks at cultural representations of such controversial matters as the history of Zionism, the Nakba and the birth of Israel, the ongoing occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and the Lebanon War and the camp massacres. The course is recognised by external examiners as rare in the British and Irish university systems, and never fails to elicit passionate reactions from students.