Dr Tara Stubbs

Associate Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing


Formerly a lecturer in English Literature at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, Dr. Tara Stubbs works on modernist poetry and fiction, with particular interests in Irish and American literature and life writing. The author of a recent monograph, American literature and Irish culture, 1910-1955: the politics of enchantment (MUP: 2013), Dr. Stubbs has recently begun a new project on the idea of the sonnet within twentieth and twenty-first century Irish writing.

American literature and Irish culture, 1910-1955 discusses how modernist American writers (including Fitzgerald, Moore, O’Neill, Steinbeck and Stevens) engaged with Irish culture, and underlines the importance of Ireland as a locus of inspiration for American modernism. Associated projects include an ongoing, collaborative project on ‘The idea of influence in American literature’, which began with a conference at Oxford (March 2010); this led to a ‘special issue’ of Comparative American Studies (June 2011).

Dr. Stubbs continues to write on Moore in particular, and has recently completed an article on Moore and England for a special issue of Modernist Cultures (March 2016), ed. David Barnes, on 'New Transatlanticisms'. A forthcoming book chapter discusses Moore's preoccupation with 'lyrical lexicons', to be published in an edited collection on Poetry and the Dictionary, ed. Andrew Blades and Piers Pennington (2017).

She is also interested more generally in questions of transatlantic exchange. She set up and continues to convene the Oxford English Faculty's 'Transatlantic Literature in Context' seminar, which has been running since 2012. This has led to an essay collection, to be published with Routledge later in 2016, entitled Navigating the Transnational in Modern American Literature and Culture, co-edited with Doug Haynes and developed from seminar papers given at Oxford (among others).

Since working for Prof. John Kelly on the Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats in 2007–9 Dr. Stubbs has developed concurrently her interests in W. B. Yeats. This has led to several publications, including a chapter on Yeats and the Ghost Club for an edited collection on Irish writers in London, and a book chapter on Yeats and contemporary American poetry and song. Together with a forthcoming chapter on the Irish poet Richard Murphy and his sonnet sequence The Price of Stone,my ongoing interests in Yeats have also informed her new longer-term project, a book-length study on the idea of the 'Irish sonnet' within twentieth-century literature entitled provisionally The Irish Sonnet in the Twentieth Century: Revision and Rebellion.


For OUDCE, she teaches literary theory and modernism for the Foundation Certificate in English Literature, gives weekly classes on Irish literature, and runs the Creative Writing summer school. She is Director of Studies in English Literature and Creative Writing for 2014-16.  She also acts as a supervisor and assessor for MSt and DPhil dissertations for the English Faculty.

Research interests

Modernist literature

Irish and American literature and culture

Biography and life writing

Poetry and poetics

Dr Stubbs would welcome any enquiries from graduate students keen on working in any of these areas, particularly as part of the new part-time DPhil programmes offered by OUDCE.

For the English Faculty, Dr Stubbs has recently supervised DPhil projects on the Irish avant-garde and on William Trevor. She also set up, and co-convenes, the 'Transatlantic Literature in Context' seminar at the Faculty (2012-).



Edited collection (co-ed. with Doug Haynes, Sussex), Navigating the Transnational in Modern American Literature and Culture(Routledge: Transnational Perspectives Series, 2016): introduction and book chapter, 'Man and the Echo: W. B. Yeats in modern American poetry and song'.

'What price stone? The shaping of inheritance into form in Richard Murphy’s The Price of Stone sonnet sequence’, (book chapter) in Making Integral: Critical Essays on Richard Murphy, ed. Ben Keatinge (Cork UP, 2016)


‘Its native surroundings: Marianne Moore, England and the idea of the “characteristic American”’, Modernist Cultures special issue on ‘New Transatlanticisms’, ed. David Barnes, 11.1 (March 2016): 48–64.

‘Transatlantic poetics: “webs of connection” in recent Irish-American critical writing’, Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations (special issue on ‘Transatlantic Poetics’), 19.2 (October 2015): 211–223.

American Literature and Irish Culture, 1910-1955: the politics of enchantment: monograph (Manchester University Press, 2013)

'"So kind you are, to bring me this gift": Thomas MacGreevy, American modernists, and the "gift" of Irishness', The Life and Work of Thomas MacGreevy: A Critical Reappraisal, ed. Susan Schreibman (NY and London: Continuum, 2013), pp.pp.227–241: part of the 'Historicizing Modernism' series.

'W.B. Yeats and the Ghost Club', Irish Writing London, Vol.1, ed. Tom Herron (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), pp.21–33.

'One title, three works? Marianne Moore, Maria Edgeworth and The Absentee', Romantic Ireland from Tone to Gonne: Fresh Perspectives on Nineteenth-Century Ireland, Vol. 1: Literature, ed. Paddy Lyons, Willy Maley, John Miller (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012), pp.pp.246–253.

'Introduction: the idea of influence in American literature', Comparative American Studies, Vol. 9.2 (June 2011): 87-90.

'"Writing was resilience. Resilience was an adventure." Marianne Moore, Bernard Shaw and the Art of Writing', SHAW 29 (The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies; Nov/Dec 2009): 66-78.

'Irish by descent? Marianne Moore's American-Irish Inheritance', Irish Journal of American Studies (Spring 2009): http://www.ijasonline.com/TARA-STUBBS.html

'New Readings of Marianne Moore's "Spenser's Ireland" (1941)', Peer English 2 (December 2007), pp.32-44.


Dr. Stubbs has recently given presentations to OUDCE on 'Decay', to Kellogg College on 'The History of the Ghost Club', and to various conferences on aspects of her current research. She also gives talks to schools and literary societies, including the Woodstock Literature Society in 2013. She is active in the research centres of OUDCE and Kellogg College, as well as the Oxford English Faculty, and regularly chairs OUDCE's research seminars. She also gives regular talks and presentations for the OUDCE Graduate School, of which she is a committee members.

Dr. Stubbs also has an academic blog (http://drtarastubbs.blogspot.co.uk), which gives further details of her research interests, presentations and writing projects.