Professor Tara Stubbs

Profile details


Professor 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. 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 has recently completed her second monograph, The Modern Irish Sonnet: Revision and Rebellion (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), 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'. Another recent book chapter discusses Moore's preoccupation with dictionaries and definitions, published in Poetry and the Dictionary, ed. Andrew Blades and Piers Pennington (Liverpool UP, 2020).

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; paperback 2020), co-edited with Doug Haynes 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' in The Other Capital: Irish Writing London (Bloomsbury, 2013). Together with a recent chapter on Richard Murphy's sonnet sequence The Price of Stone in Ben Keatinge, ed., Making Integral: Critical Essays on Richard Murphy (Cork UP, 2019), her ongoing interests in Yeats have informed The Modern Irish Sonnet: Revision and Rebellion. This book surveys the 'Irish sonnet' from 1900 to the present day, giving equal weight to female and male poets. She is also the Book Reviews editor for the new biannual journal International Yeats Studies.

From Michaelmas Term 2017 to Trinity Term 2020, Dr. Stubbs served as the Academic Programme Director, and the Associate Director for Public Engagement, for Oxford's Rothermere American Institute. She is also the co-founder of a public engagement project on 'Poetry and Structure', for which she and artist J. D. Haigh were awarded an Oxford Public Engagement for Research award, and which is linked to a new project on Poetry and Structure in the Coronavirus Age.


For OUDCE, Dr. Stubbs teaches the Introduction to Literary Studies and Modernist Literature for the Foundation Certificate in English Literature, gives weekly classes on Irish and American literature and poetry, and runs the Creative Writing and English Literature summer schools in alternate years. She alternates the role of Director of Studies in English Literature and Creative Writing with Dr. Sandie Byrne.

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 runs a Master's seminar course on 'Modern Irish-American Writing and the Transatlantic',  lectures annually on a range of topics within twentieth-century literature.

Research interests

Modernist literature

Irish and American literature and culture

Transatlantic literature and approaches to literature

Poetry and poetics (especially Irish poetry)

Poetry and form

Digital Humanities

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

For the English Faculty, Dr Stubbs has recently supervised DPhil projects on the Irish avant-garde, Irish-American fiction, and on William Trevor.


Dr. Stubbs will be giving a talk on the Irish and Celtic Renaissance to Princeton University's Irish Studies seminar series in March 2021; and on Irish-American literature to the University of Wurzburg's Irish Studies programme in December 2020.

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. She also gives regular talks and presentations for the OUDCE Graduate School, of which she has been a committee member.

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


The Modern Irish Sonnet: Revision and Rebellion (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

'Lyrical Lexicons: Dictionaries and Definitions in Marianne Moore's Observations', in Poetry and the Dictionary, ed. Andrew Blades and Piers Pennington (Liverpool UP, 2020)

'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, 2019)

'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:.

'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.