Dr Tara Stubbs

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Dr. Stubbs came to OUDCE from St. Peter’s College, Oxford. She works on modernist poetry and fiction, with particular interests in Irish and American literature and life writing. The author of American Literature and Irish Culture, 1910-1955: the politics of enchantment (MUP: 2013), which was re-issued in paperback in 2017, Dr. Stubbs is now writing her second monograph 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. An associated project took the form of ‘The idea of influence in American literature’, beginning with a conference at Oxford (March 2010), and leading to a ‘special issue’ of Comparative American Studies (June 2011).

Dr. Stubbs continues to write on Moore in particular, and in 2016 published 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 (2018).

She is also interested more generally in questions of transatlantic exchange. She set up the Oxford English Faculty's 'Transatlantic Literature in Context' seminar, which ran between 2012 and 2015. This led to an essay collection, Navigating the Transnational in Modern American Literature and Culture: Axes of Influence (March 2017), co-edited with Doug Haynes and developed from seminar papers given at Oxford (among others), and including her own chapter on 'W. B. Yeats in Contemporary American Poetry and Song'. Further recent publications within this area include '"Beyond the lines of poetry": Ethnic Traditions and Imaginative Interventions in Irish-American Poetics', a survey article for Oxford Handbooks Online (February 2017); and 'T. S. Eliot, 1922, and Transatlantic Culture' for The London Magazine (August/September 2017).

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 led to a chapter on Yeats and the Ghost Club for an edited collection on Irish writers in London (2012), and work on Yeats and Harold Macmillan as a publisher. Together with a forthcoming chapter on the contemporary Irish poet Richard Murphy and his sonnet sequence The Price of Stone, her ongoing interests in Yeats have informed her second monograph, entitled The Modern Irish Sonnet: Revision and Rebellion. This book will survey the 'Irish sonnet' from 1900 to the present day, taking in a range of male and female poets. She is also the Book Reviews editor for the new biannual journal International Yeats Studies.

From Michaelmas Term 2017 to Trinity Term 2019, Dr. Stubbs is serving as the Academic Programme Director for Oxford's Rothermere American Institute.


For OUDCE, Dr. Stubbs teaches literary theory and modernism for the Foundation Certificate in English Literature, gives weekly classes on Irish and American literature, and runs the Creative Writing and English Literature summer schools in alternate years. She was Director of Studies in English Literature and Creative Writing for 2014-16 and will be again in 2018-2020. 

For the English Faculty, Dr. Stubbs acts as a supervisor and assessor for BA, MSt and DPhil dissertations in a range of topics including twentieth-century Irish poetry and drama, American modernism and poetry and poetics. She also lectures annually on American Modernist Poetry.

Research interests

Modernist literature

Irish and American literature and culture

Biography and life writing

Poetry and poetics

Digital Humanities

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.



'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, 2018)

'Lyrical Lexicons: Dictionaries and Definitions in Marianne Moore's Observations', in Poetry and the Dictionary, ed. Andrew Blades and Piers Pennington (Liverpool UP, 2018)


'T. S. Eliot, 1922, and transatlantic culture', The London Magazine, August/September 2017.

Edited collection (co-ed. with Doug Haynes, Sussex), Navigating the Transnational in Modern American Literature and Culture: Axes of Influence (Routledge: Transnational Perspectives Series, 2017): introduction (pp.1-8) and book chapter, 'Man and the Echo: W. B. Yeats in modern American poetry and song' (pp.52-72).

'"Beyond the lines of poetry": Ethnic Traditions and Imaginative Interventions in Irish-American Poetics', Oxford Handbooks Online, February 2017.

‘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 (Manchester University Press, 2013; reissued in paperback 2017)

'"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.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, issue 1 (Spring 2009)

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


Dr. Stubbs has given presentations to OUDCE on 'Decay' and on W. B. Yeats and Harold Macmillan; 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. She is active in the research centres of OUDCE and Kellogg College, and in particular Kellogg's Centre for Creative Writing, as well as the Oxford English Faculty, and regularly chairs OUDCE's research seminars. She was involved in Oxford's 'Curiosity Carnival' in September 2017, running a sonnet-building workshop -- a project she hopes to extend to schools and other organisations. She also gives regular talks and presentations for the OUDCE Graduate School, of which she is a committee member.

Dr. Stubbs has an academic blog, which gives further details of her research interests, presentations and writing projects.