Professor David Dwan

My work examines the links between literature and its wider intellectual history – particularly moral and political philosophy – in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  I have a particular interest in Irish writing.  My first book, The Great Community, considered the evolution of cultural nationalism in Ireland from Edmund Burke to W. B. Yeats.  I edited (with Christopher Insole) The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke in 2012 and have gone on to write on enlightenment in Ireland, on the putative links between Irish nationalism and romanticism, as well as several essays on Yeats.  My articles on literary-philosophical questions have appeared in a variety of journals: New Literary History, ELH, Philosophy and Literature, Textual Practice and the Journal of Modern Literature.  I published Liberty, Equality and Humbug: Orwell's Political Ideals (OUP) in 2018 and a new edition of Animal Farm for Oxford World's Classics in 2021.  I am currently completing a monograph on the ethical significance of fiction for Princeton University Press and have begun the groundwork for a study of modernism’s entanglements with philosophy.  Research for a longer-term study of intellectuals in Ireland – sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust – is also underway.  Forthcoming work includes an article on T. S. Eliot and Bertrand Russell (Modernism/modernity) and a chapter on Iris Murdoch and the philosophical novel.


Recent Publications:

—'Revolution and Counter-Revolution' in Oxford Handbook to W. B. Yeats, ed. Lauren Arrington and Matthew Campbell (Oxford University Press, 2023), 216-235

—'Unlucky Jim: Conrad, Chance, Ethics,' Journal of Modern Literature, 46.1 (2022): 1-17

—ed. George Orwell, Animal Farm (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021)

—'Orwell and Humanism' in The Cambridge Companion to Nineteen Eighty-Four, ed. Nathan Waddell (Cambridge University Press, 2020), 64-78

—'The Prejudices of Enlightenment' in Irish Literature in Transition, 1700-1780, ed. Moyra Haslett (Cambridge University Press, 2020), 91-109

—'Important Nonsense: Yeats and Symbolism,' New Literary History, 50.2 (2019): 219-43

Liberty, Equality and Humbug: Orwell’s Political Ideals (Oxford University Press, 2018)



• Undergraduate: Literature in English, 1830-1910; Literature in English, 1900-Present; FHS Paper 5; Paper 6: The Good Life
• Graduate: MSt, 1900-Present (C-Course: ‘Modernism and Philosophy’)