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 and have published essays on, amongst others, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Martin Heidegger, Wyndham Lewis and Virginia Woolf.   My monograph Liberty, Equality and Humbug: Orwell's Political Ideals was published by Oxford University Press in 2018.  I also produced a new edition of Animal Farm for Oxford World's Classics in 2021.  I am currently working on two book projects: 1) a study of intellectuals in twentieth-century Ireland (sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust) 2) a monograph on the philosophical dimensions of modernism.  Forthcoming essays include an analysis of moral luck in Joseph Conrad for The Journal of Modern Literature and a study of Iris Murdoch's conception of the philosophical novel.


—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: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 64-78

—'The Prejudices of Enlightenment' in Irish Literature in Transition, 1700-1780, ed. Moyra Haslett (Cambridge: 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: Oxford University Press, 2018)

—ed. with Emilie Morin, International Yeats Studies: Yeats and Mass Communications, 3.1 (2018)

—‘Romantic Nationalism: History and Illusion in Ireland’, Modern Intellectual History, 14.3 (2017): 717-45 

—‘Young Ireland to Yeats’ in The Princeton History of Modern Ireland, ed. Richard Bourke and Ian McBride (Princeton, 2016), 217-35

—‘The Problem of Romanticism in Wyndham Lewis’, Essays in Criticism, 65.2 (2015): 163-86

—‘Modernism and Rousseau’, Textual Practice, 27.4 (2013): 537-63

—‘Orwell’s Paradox: Equality in Animal Farm’, ELH, 79.3 (2012): 655-83

—ed. (with Chris Insole), The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)

—‘Burke and Utility’ in The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 131-44

—‘Edmund Burke and the Emotions’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 72.4 (2011): 571-93

—‘Truth and Freedom in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four’, Philosophy and Literature, 34.2 (2010): 381-93

—‘Yeats’s Thought’ in Visions and Revisions: W. B. Yeats (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2010), 109-26

—'Woolf, Scepticism and Manners’, Textual Practice, 22.2 (2008): 249-68

The Great Community: Culture and Nationalism in Ireland (Dublin: Field Day, 2008)

—‘Civic Virtue in the Modern World: The Politics of Young Ireland’, Irish Political Studies, 22.1 (2007): 35-60

—‘Abstract Hatred: Yeats and the Counter-Revolutionary Paradigm’, Literature and History, 15.1 (2006): 18-36

—‘Young Ireland and the Horde of Benthamy’ in Politics and Power in Victorian Ireland, ed. Roger Swift and Christine Kinealy (Dublin: Four Courts, 2006), 109-18  

—‘Culture and Democracy in Ireland’, Irish Review, 32 (2004): 23-38

—‘That Ancient Sect: Yeats, Hegel, and the Possibility of Epic in Ireland’, Irish Studies Review, 12.2 (2004): 201-11

—‘Idle Talk: Ontology and Mass Communications in Heidegger’, New Formations, 51 (2003): 113-27

—‘Yeats, Heidegger and the Problem of Modern Subjectivism’, Paragraph, 25.1 (2002): 74-91


• 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’)