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Dr Elizabeth Barry

Barry main

Associate Professor (Reader)

Email: e dot c dot barry at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building
University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


Dr Elizabeth Barry is Associate Professor (Reader), and teaches on the English and Comparative Literary Studies program.

Research interests

Research interests include medical humanities, especially in relation to psychology, psychopathology and ageing; Samuel Beckett; English and French modernism; modern British and Irish theatre; Irish Studies and Anglo-Irish writing; the cultural history of celebrity; and the writing of death (epitaph, obituary, graveyard poetry). I have published a monograph on Samuel Beckett, and articles and book chapters on Beckett in relation to a range of subjects, as well as on the politics of translation, Black British theatre, Sarah Kane, and Jean Genet.

I am a partner on a Norwegian Funding Council project, Historicizing the Ageing Self, based at the University of Bergen, Norway.

Teaching and supervision

Research supervision: I have supervised graduate work on Samuel Beckett, literature and psychoanalysis, the Anglo-Irish tradition, Northern Irish poetry and modern American Theatre. I would welcome research projects in the fields of Irish Studies, post-1940 British and European fiction, modern theatre and modernist stylistics, and on literature (particularly modernist literature) and ageing, psychology, psychiatry, neurology and neuroscience.

I have currently have two PhD students:

  • Madeline Scherer (working on a new model for the study of classical reception, focusing on uses of the classical Underworld in postcolonial literature)
  • Freya Verlander (working on a new reading of skin in modern literature, theatre and performance art)

I have supervised the following PhD projects to completion:

  • Rina Kim (Women and Ireland as Beckett's Lost Others, now a monograph with Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Madolyn Nichols (Emigration in Irish Women's Writing 1900-1940)
  • Catherine Charlwood (Cognitive and Cultural Memory in the Poetry of Thomas Hardy and Robert Frost)
  • Robert Starr (Irish Soldier-Writers of the First World War)

MA teaching: I set up and convened the MA module Outcast Ireland: Institutions and the Making of Irish Society 1801-2000 (not currently running) with Professor Maria Luddy from the Department of History.

I set up, convene and teach an interdisciplinary Masters-level module on The Medical Mind in Literature and Culture with Jonathan Heron from Warwick's Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL).

Undergraduate teaching: I convene the first year module British Theatre since 1939, and (with Tina Lupton and, this year, Gill Partington) the Honours module Literature, Theory and Time. I also teach and lecture on the module European Theatre, and lecture on Modern World Literatures.

Selected publications

  • Beckett and Authority: The Uses of Cliche (Palgrave Macmillan: 2006)
  • Ed., The Cultural History of Celebrity, special issue of International Journal of Cultural Studies, October 2008
  • Ed., Beckett, Language and the Mind, special issue of Journal of Beckett Studies, Dec 2008
  • 'The ageing body', The Cambridge Companion to the Body in Literature, November 2015
  • Ed., Beckett, Medicine and the Brain, special issue of Journal of Medical Humanities, March 2016

Professional service

External examiner for post-1900 English programme, University of Nottingham

Peer reviewer for Wellcome Trust, Arts and Humanities Research Council, National Universities of Ireland (NUI); Oxford University Press, Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan; Journal of Beckett Studies, French Studies, Performance, Contemporary Theatre Review, Performing Ethos.

External PhD examiner at Andra University, India (2006), University of Dundee (2013), University of Ulster (2015), McGill University, Canada (2015), University of Reading (2016).