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Jonathan Allison


Office hours: M,T, 2.00-3.30

  • BA, PGCE Queen's University, Belfast
  • MA, PhD University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Areas of Specialty:

  • Twentieth-Century British and Irish Literature
  • Modernism
  • Poetry
  • Irish and Scottish Studies
  • Textual Studies

Jonathan Allison specializes in modern British and Irish literature and his main research interests are in modern poetry, especially W.B. Yeats and the Revival, Louis MacNeice and the Auden generation, and Irish literature since 1945.  He teaches courses on twentieth-century writing, and the Survey of British Literature, 1750-2000.

Allison's annotated edition of Letters of Louis MacNeice (Faber and Faber, 2010) was named a 2010 'Book of the Year' by the Times Literary Supplement. In 2014, he gave the BBC Louis MacNeice Memorial Lecture at Queen's University, Belfast. He has edited several essay collections, including Yeats's Political Identities (University of Michigan Press, 1996), Poetry and Contemporary Culture, with Andrew Roberts (Edinburgh University Press, 2002) and Bound for the 1890s (Rivendale Press, 2007). His essays have appeared in many journals, including Colby Quarterly, Critical Survey, Sewanee Review, South Atlantic Review,Yearbook of English Studies, Yeats: An Annual of Critical and Textual Studies. He previously taught at University College London and the University of Michigan and has worked as an editorial assistant with the London Review of Books. He has been Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh. A former Director of the W. B. Yeats International Summer School, Sligo, he contributed to the documentary film The Passions of William Butler Yeats, produced by Lucasfilm.

Selected Publications:


Selected articles and chapters

Doctoral dissertations supervised

  • Anna Bedsole, Uncertain Inheritance: The Motherless Heiress in Anglo-Irish Big House Fiction (2019)
  • Alison HItch, Fathers and Sons in Modern British, Irish and Postcolonial Fiction (2019)
  • Delmar Reffett, Waking Sleep: The Uncanny in Modernist Literature (2019)
  • Andrew Beutel, The Revolt Against Mourning: Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner (2019)
  • Hannah Ruehl, Understanding the Gray: Ageing Women in Victorian Fiction and Culture (2018)
  • Leah Hutchison Toth, Resonant Texts: Sound Revolutions in Technology and Modern Literature (2016)
  • George Phillips, Seeing Subjects: Recognition, Identity, and Visual Cultures in Literary Modernism (2011)
  • Charles Hampton Poff, Truths Universally Acknowledged: The Problem of Romantic Education (2007)
  • Elizabeth Tashery Shannon, Tree and Gyre: Yeats's Poems, Occultism, and A Vision (2005)
  • Sarah Jane Stafford, George Eliot’s Rewriting of Sir Walter Scott (2003)

Selected courses taught

  • Seminar on W.B.Yeats (740)
  • Poetry and Modernism, 1900-1945 (740)
  • Contemporary British Poetry and Culture Since 1950 (642)
  • Modernism and Ireland (642)
  • Bibliography and Textual Studies (600)
  • Honors Seminar: Seamus Heaney (495)
  • Yeats and Joyce (481G)
  • British Writers of the Thirties (481G)
  • Modern British Poetry (481G)
  • Scottish Literature (481G)
  • Irish Literature (481G)
  • British Fiction Since 1950 (481G)
  • The Swinging Sixties (440G)
  • Modernism (349)
  • Elegy and Love Poetry (345)
  • Ulysses in Context (330)
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four in Context (330)
  • Survey of English Literature II (242)
  • The Thistle and Shamrock: Scotland, Ireland and America (230)

Exhibitions at Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries (curated with James Birchfield)

  • All the Olympians: Modern Irish Manuscripts and Editions (opened by Ronald Schuchard), spring 2017
  • Four Nobel Laureates: Yeats, Shaw, Beckett, Heaney (opened by Seamus Heaney), spring 2006
  • Scottish Books and Manuscripts: Exhibition (opened by Ian Duncan and Patrick Scott), fall 2005
  • The 1890s: Symposium and Exhibition (opened by James G. Nelson), fall 2004
  • Irish Literature 1700-1945: An Exhibition (opened by Helen Vendler), spring 2003