Nathaniel Myers, English Ph.D. 2015, explores the tightrope walk between public and private grief in his dissertation “Death Matters: Lyric, Affect and Ethics in British and Irish Elegy.” Examining elegies written by Irish poets Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Maeve McGuckian and British poets Jeffrey Hill and Denise Riley, Nathaniel considers the language and form these writers used in their public expression of private grief and finds that “the personal work of mourning is always also cultural.”
In addition to earning his English Ph.D., Nathaniel graduated with a Graduate Minor in Irish Studies and a Screen Cultures Minor through the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. A theatre major in college, his interest in Irish Studies was stoked through graduate studies at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Boston College, where he focused on English and Irish literature.
Under the direction of Keough-Naughton Institute fellows Susan Harris (English), Bríona Nic Dhiarmada (Irish Language and Literature and Film, Television, and Theatre) and Declan Kiberd (Irish Language and Literature and English), Nathaniel made full use of the research opportunities provided to graduate Irish Studies minors through the Keough-Naughton Institute. He attended the IRISH Seminar, an intensive three-week seminar, four times, including one turn as lecturer on poetry in the 2013 Seminar in Paris. Irish language classes and the steady stream of lectures and conferences sponsored by the Institute enriched his studies.
Other initiatives include the founding of a digital journal of Irish Studies: Breac with fellow graduate student John Dillon. The journal’s digital platform permits the use of audio visual materials and interactive mediums in a far reaching and cost effective manner. Nathaniel is pleased the journal also provides young scholars the opportunity to network and collaborate with peers and established scholars. Breac was an outgrowth of a successful conference he organized with John Dillon, titled Hybrid Irelands: At Culture’s Edge, a three-day graduate-student conference to address the relationship between hybridity and Irish literature, with a special focus on texts from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.
With a postdoctoral fellowship in Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters, Nathaniel has continued research in his study of poetry and film, and taught three courses: "Twentieth-Century Creature Poetry," "Human Futures in Contemporary Literature and Film," and "Documenting Ireland." He also co-chaired the 2016 American Conference for Irish Studies at Notre Dame--"The Worlding of Irish Studies"--and continues to work on the digital journal Breac, which launched issues on digital humanities and Roger Casement.
Updated: May 16, 2016