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Maria McGarrity

Associate Professor of English

B.A., Rutgers University M.A., University of New OrleansPh.D., University of Miami


My work in British, Irish, and Caribbean literatures and cultures grows out of a desire to examine the intersections between literary modernism and the global impact of colonialism. I am particularly interested in the demise of the British Empire and the role of geography in creating what I call an "island imaginary" for writers. For example, EA Markham's Letters from Ulster and the Hugo Poems joins the "Troubles" of Northern Ireland with the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo in the Caribbean and highlights the imperfect and yet enduring relation among these cultures. The complex interplay of cultures that makes up both Ireland and the Caribbean, the islands they inhabit both literally and metaphorically, ensures that neither peoples nor cultures exist in anything less than a "meta-archipelago." The links in these chains of islands and peoples, dispersed geographically, economically, and politically connect strongly not simply throughout the North Atlantic but throughout the larger diasporic world.


Irish, Caribbean, Modern British, and Postcolonial Literatures and Theory; Twentieth-Century and Transatlantic Studies.



  • Washed by the Gulf Stream: the Historic and Geographic Relation of Irish and Caribbean Literature. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2008.

Edited Volume

  • Irish Modernism and the Global Primitive, co-edited collection with Claire Culleton. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.


  • “Hell’s Kitchen as Contact Zone: The African in Jim Sheridan’s In America,” College Language Association Journal. 51 (2008): 304-323.
  • “‘I’m a Naughty Girl’: Prostitution and Outsider Women in James Joyce’s ‘The Boarding House’ and Eric Walrond’s ‘The Palm Porch,’” with co-author, Louis J. Parascandola, College Language Association Journal. 50 (2006): 141-161.
  • “Mary Seacole’s Wonderful Adventures: an Eastward Economy of Disease,” Victorians Institute Journal. 34 (2006):127-144.
  • “The Gulf Stream and the Epic Drives of Joyce and Walcott.” Ariel: a Review of International English Literature. 34 (2003): 1-22.
  • “The ‘Houses of decay’ and Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet XIII:’ Another Nexus in ‘Proteus.’” James Joyce Quarterly. 35 (1997): 153-155.


  • Long Island University, Office of Sponsored Research, Intramural Research Grant, 2010
    -research at the British Library examining the Harriet Shaw Weaver and Roger Casement papers to examine conceptions of Primitivism in Irish Modernism
  • Columbia University, University Seminars, Leonard Hastings Schoff Grant, 2008
    - subvention to support the publication of Washed by the Gulf Stream: the Historic and Geographic Relation of Irish and Caribbean Literature.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, Summer Seminar, 2007, Trinity College Dublin, “James Joyce’s Ulysses: Texts and Contexts”
    -research at the Library of Trinity College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland exploring Irish Primitivism through James Joyce, Roger Casement, and the Congo.
  • University of Miami, Center for Latin American Studies, Doctoral Research Grant, 2000-2001
    -research at the National Library at the Institute of Jamaica, Kingston, examining the papers of Peter Browne Howe, Marquess of Sligo, last Governor of Jamaica under slavery.
  • University of Miami, Department of English, Doctoral Research Grant, 2001
    -research at the National Library of Ireland and Library of Trinity College Dublin using the NLI’s Index of the Irish Abroad, West Indies