Dr Catherine Gander

English, Diversifying Irish Poetry

Associate Professor
Research Postgraduate Coordinator

Iontas Building
Ground Floor
Office 0.44
(01) 708 7363

Biography

I research and teach modern and contemporary American literature, specialising in the intersections between written and visual texts and modes. I write across and between disciplines, publishing on literary studies, aesthetics, art history and visual theory, and word & image studies. My first monograph, Muriel Rukeyser and Documentary: The Poetics of Connection (Edinburgh UP, 2013) won the biennial book award of the Irish Association for American Studies.  I continue to publish on Rukeyser's wide-ranging work, editing a special issue of Textual Practice on her remarkable treatise, The Life of Poetry (2018), publishing an essay in the LA Review of Books (LARB), and currently editing, with Stefania Heim, a creative-critical hybrid book exploring Rukeyser's continuing relevance, called Beyond Ourselves: Contemporary Poets on Muriel Rukeyser.

My research in the areas of embodiment and phenomenology, aesthetics, critical race studies, and intertextuality has led to recent work on authors and artists including Don DeLillo, Frank O'Hara, Norman Bluhm, Claudia Rankine, Carrie Mae Weems, Layli Long Soldier, and Cecilia Vicuña. I am interested in the ways in which these artists and others blend formal experimentations with positions of political and cultural resistance.  This research won me the 2023 Max Nänny Prize for Best Essay in Word and Image Studies, awarded triennially by the IAWIS. 

From 2019-2023, I was Chair of the all-island Irish Association for American Studies (IAAS). In 2023-2024, I share this role with Dr Kate Fama (UCD). 

From 2021-2023, I was co-Associate Dean of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) for the Faculty of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Philosophy. Professor Moynagh Sullivan and I applied for this role jointly in order to model a gender-responsive and flexible method of collaborative leadership. In this role, I was also the co-chair of the Faculty Self-Assessment Team for our successful Athena SWAN Bronze Award application, and first chair of the Implementation Group for the Gender Action Plan.

I came to Maynooth after 4.5 years lecturing at Queen's University Belfast, where I established the Research Centre for the Americas and the American MA pathway. Before that, I held teaching posts at the University of Nottingham and UEA after completing my PhD at King's College London in early 2009.

Current book projects include:

Extending the Document: Contemporary Transmedial Poetics (under contract with Cambridge University Press), which takes as its starting point Muriel Rukeyser's dictum that 'poetry can extend the document' to consider poetry that works in a documentary vein to materialise language in various ways, often via visual, installation, and conceptual art. 
Beyond Ourselves: Contemporary Poets on Muriel Rukeyser (edited with Stefania Heim; under contract with West Virginia University Press), a creative/critical hybrid book that responds to Rukeyser's lasting legacy, exploring the models she provides for living, thinking, writing, and resisting in our own social, political, and poetic moment.
Matches, a poetry book in press with Verve Poetry Press for publication February 2024. Preorders are open!

I was PI on the Irish Research Council-funded New Foundations project: Diversifying Irish Poetry: Poetry Critics of Colour in Ireland (2021-22).
 
Previous funded projects include the AHRC and PaCCS-funded project 'LGBTQ Visions of Peace in a Society Emerging from Conflict'. This project's creative outcomes, including a photography exhibition and theatre performance, were launched during Belfast's Queer Arts Festival, Outburst, in November 2017, at Belfast Exposed and TheatreofplucK.

My pronouns are she/her.

Supervision: 

I have supervised and mentored research projects at doctoral and postdoctoral level on the subjects of post-9/11 American literature, ecofeminist apocalyptic literature, modernist word-image texts, contemporary literature and neoliberalism, feminist and anti-racist poetry, Teju Cole, poetry and extractivism, poetry and sleep.
I would be happy to receive PhD proposals in the areas of:

  • documentary poetics
  • word-image intersections
  • contemporary American poetry or fiction 
  • modern American poetry or fiction
  • American visual culture 

Research Interests

  • Word-image studies
  • Modern and contemporary American poetry and poetics
  • American art
  • Contemporary American fiction
  • Photography
  • Literatures of resistance
  • Visual culture
  • Feminist literature and culture
  • Radical forms and texts

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
Andrew Clarke: “Describe the Problem Properly”: Hybridity and Ambiguity in the work of Teju Cole. PI andrew.clarke.2019@mumail.ie 01/09/2021 31/08/2024 82500
IRC New Foundations PI There has never been a greater need to foster a literary culture that supports diversity of all kinds. While initiatives to support new writers and poets from underrepresented communities in Ireland are slowly emerging, there is no specific advocacy for new poetry critics from underrepresented ethnic communities. Through meaningful and lasting collaboration with Irish poets, critics, and poetry organisations, Dr Catherine Gander will work with Poetry Ireland, a registered charity and Ireland's premier organisation for the celebration and promotion of excellence in reading, writing, and performing poetry, to develop mentorship programme of emerging critics of colour in Ireland, where there is an urgent need for greater diversity in poetry reviewing, and in literary and cultural criticism more broadly. This mentorship programme will specifically focus on underrepresented ethnic groups whose access to critical culture might be hindered by factors like race, structural racism, and migration. The project’s ethos is that the role of the poetry critic and reviewer is a crucial point of access for literary culture and the on-going important discussion of the value society gives to the arts. Critical culture shapes and expands reading culture; hopefully, tis project can also invigorate the wider critical conversation about poetry and diversity. In sum, this project aims to 1) establish a mentoring scheme for poetry critics of colour in Ireland 2) establish lasting collaborations with publishers and editors to monitor the self-identified ethnicity of critics, and to work for change in overtly white critical practices 3) through (1) & (2), increase the publication of poetry criticism by critics of colour in Ireland 4) establish a wide-ranging dataset of poetry criticism published in Ireland in terms of ethnicity and gender 5) make measurable and lasting change to the culture of reviewing in Ireland 6) Work with Poetry Ireland, Ireland's premier organisation for the promotion and celebration of excellence in poetry, to undergo these researches and activities 01/03/2021 01/12/2021 11278.38
Hilary White PI 01/09/2023 31/08/2025 105604

Book

Year Publication
2013 Catherine Gander (2013) Muriel Rukeyser and Documentary: the Poetics of Connection. UK and US: Edinburgh University Press. [Link]

Edited Book

Year Publication
2023 Catherine Gander (Ed.). (2023) The Edinburgh Companion to Don DeLillo and the Arts. UK and US: Edinburgh University Press, [Link]
2016 Catherine Gander and Sarah Garland (Ed.). (2016) Mixed Messages: American Correspondences in Visual and Verbal Practices. UK and US: Manchester University Press, [Link]

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2020 Catherine Gander (2020) '‘Black and White Landscapes: Topographies of Disorientation in the Works of Carrie Mae Weems and Claudia Rankine''. Journal of American Studies, 53 (3):517-540. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2018 Gander C. (2018) 'Poetry as embodied experience: the pragmatist aesthetics of Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry'. Textual Practice, :1-25. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2018 Catherine Gander (2018) '‘Re-reading Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry’'. Textual Practice, 32 (7):1097-1102. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2013 Catherine Gander and Sarah Garland (2013) 'The American Imagetext Special Issue'. European Journal of American Culture, 32 (2). [Full-Text]
2013 Catherine Gander (2013) '‘Facing the Fact: Word and Image in Muriel Rukeyser’s “Worlds Alongside”’'. JNT-Journal of Narrative Theory, 42 (3):288-328. [Link] [Full-Text]
2013 Catherine Gander (2013) 'Review essay: Touching Photographs by Margaret Olin'. European Journal of American Culture, 32 (3):205-208.
2011 Catherine Gander (2011) '‘The Senses of Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead’'. European Journal of American Culture, 30 (3):175-194. [Full-Text]
2010 Catherine Gander (2010) 'Muriel Rukeyser, America, and the “Melville Revival”'. Journal of American Studies, 44 (4):759-775. [Full-Text]
2010 Catherine Gander (2010) 'Review essay: Peter Conn, The American 1930s, A Literary History'. Journal of American Studies, 44 (2):466-468.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2023 Catherine Gander (2023) 'The strength of the gesture to move like a poem: Layli Long Soldier’s poetics of relationality' In: Gestures: A Body of Work. Manchester, UK : Manchester University Press.
2023 Catherine Gander (2023) 'Poetry' In: The Edinburgh Companion to Don DeLillo and the Arts. UK : Edinburgh University Press.
2023 Catherine Gander (2023) 'Ways of Seeing / Don DeLillo and the Arts' In: The Edinburgh Companion to Don DeLillo and the Arts. UK : Edinburgh University Press.
2022 Catherine Gander (2022) ''Time: Still Life'' In: Don DeLillo in Context. Cambridge and New York : Cambridge University Press.
2018 Catherine Gander (2018) ''The Art of Being Out of Time in Don DeLillo's Point Omega'' In: Contemporary Critical Perspectives on Don DeLillo. UK and US : Bloomsbury Academic. [Link]
2016 Catherine Gander (2016) '‘“Twenty-six things at once”: Pragmatic perspectives on Frank O’Hara and Norman Bluhm’s Poem-Paintings’' In: Mixed Messages: American Correspondences in Visual and Verbal Practices. UK and US : Manchester University Press.
2016 Catherine Gander and Sarah Garland (2016) '‘To fasten words again to visible – and invisible – things’' In: Mixed Messages: American Correspondences in Visual and Verbal Practices. UK and US : Manchester University Press.
2016 Catherine Gander and Sarah Garland (2016) '‘The idea, the machine and the art: word and image in the twenty-first century’' In: Mixed Messages: American Correspondences in Visual and Verbal Practices. UK and US : Manchester University Press.

Edited Journal Issue

Year Publication
2018 Catherine Gander (2018) Textual Practice Special Issue: Muriel Rukeyser's THE LIFE OF POETRY. [Edited Journal Issue]

Co-edited Journal Issue

Year Publication
2013 Catherine Gander and Sarah Garland (2013) The European Journal of American Culture. [Co-edited Journal Issue]

Pamphlet

Year Publication
2024 Catherine Gander (2024) Matches. [Pamphlet] [Link]
2022 Catherine Gander, Georgia Hilton, Anna Kisby (2022) Sea Between Us. [Pamphlet] [Link]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2020 Catherine Gander (2020) 'Topographies of displacement' Poetry Ireland Review, (132) :106-110.
2019 Catherine Gander (2019) 'Singing in Dark Times' Poetry Ireland Review, (129) .
2014 Catherine Gander (2014) '‘Accords of Components Whose End is Truth’' Wolf Poetry Magazine, 30 .

Invited Lectures

Year Publication
2022 Catherine Gander (2022) Extending the document: the transmedial poetics of Layli Long Soldier. University of Strasbourg, France: [Invited Lectures]
2022 Catherine Gander (2022) Being a good relative: Layli Long Soldier’s transmedial poetics of relation. Uppsala University, Sweden: [Invited Lectures]
2019 Catherine Gander (2019) An Aesthetics of Displacement: Lecture and Response to IMMA exhibition, Doris Salcedo, Acts of Mourning. [Invited Lectures] [Link]
2019 Catherine Gander (2019) Topographies of disorientation in the work of Carrie Mae Weems and Claudia Rankine (Trinity College Dublin). [Invited Lectures]
2015 Catherine Gander (2015) ‘“Twenty-six things at once”: Pragmatic perspectives on Frank O’Hara and Norman Bluhm’s Poem-Paintings’. [Invited Lectures]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2022 Catherine Gander (2022) IAAS Annual Conference 2022 Rewilding, reciprocity and repair: Layli Long Soldier’s transmedial poetics DCU, Ireland, 29/04/2022-30/04/2022.
2021 Catherine Gander (2021) ASAP/12: Reciprocity Panel: 'Imagining Relations and Mediating Crisis online, 27/10/2021-30/10/2021.
2019 Catherine Gander (2019) Gestures: Writing that moves between ‘From there. To here. Gestures of orientation in the landscapes of Carrie Mae Weems and Claudia Rankine' Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 15/02/2019-16/02/2019.
2019 Catherine Gander (2019) Contemporary Literature: Politics and Aesthetics in Crisis Topographies of disorientation in the work of Carrie Mae Weems and Claudia Rankine Queen's University Belfast, .
2017 Catherine Gander (2017) MSA annual conference ‘Claudia Rankine’s curatorial poetics of witness’, part of a panel organised by Gander and Peat Amsterdam, 10/08/2017-13/08/2017.
2017 Catherine Gander (2017) ALA annual convention ‘Seeing what happens from here: the ethics of (re)inscribing the visual in Carrie Mae Weems and Claudia Rankine’ Boston, USA, 25/05/2017-28/05/2017.
2017 Catherine Gander (2017) Trying things out in America, Cambridge Faculty of English symposium Between no longer and not yet, there's still life: art and time in Don DeLillo's late fiction Cambridge University Faculty of English, 13/05/2017-.
2016 Catherine Gander (2016) MLA Annual convention ‘(Re)Considering Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry Austin, Texas, 07/01/2016-10/01/2016.
2016 Catherine Gander (2016) ICLA annual conference The physiology of the nervous system and the processes of the imagination: ekphrasis and artful language in William Carlos Williams's Spring and All University of Vienna, 21/07/2016-27/07/2016.
2016 Catherine Gander (2016) Don DeLillo: Fiction Rescues History ‘Between “no longer and not yet”: art and time in Don DeLillo’s post-9/11 fiction’ Université Paris Diderot & Sorbonne, 18/02/2016-20/02/2016.
2016 Catherine Gander (2016) Special Relationships: American Artists and their Collaborators ‘“Twenty-six things at once”: Pragmatic perspectives on Frank O’Hara and Norman Bluhm’s Poem-Paintings’ Tate Britain museum, .
2016 Catherine Gander (2016) EAAS Biennial conference ‘SAMOesthetics? Basquiat, the integrated body, and the extended mind’. Panel organiser and presenter: Negotiating the Seen and the Felt: where American Art meets American Writing Constanta, Romania, 22/04/2016-25/04/2016.
2014 Catherine Gander (2014) Muriel Rukeyser and Other Writers Panel at American Literature Assoc. conference ALA, Washington DC, USA, 22/05/2014-.
2013 Catherine Gander (2013) Aesthetics and Naturalism ‘“The physiology of the nervous system and the processes of the imagination”: ekphrasis and artful language in William Carlos Williams’ Spring and All’ UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico, 21/08/2013-23/08/2013.
2012 Catherine Gander (2012) BAAS Annual conference ‘The still life and death of images: the ethical aesthetic in Don DeLillo’s Falling Man’ University of Manchester, 12/04/2012-15/04/2012.

Article

Year Publication
2015 Catherine Gander (2015) ‘Michael Hanna: Short Films about Learning’. [Article] [Link]

Book Review

Year Publication
2021 Catherine Gander (2021) Her Living Voice: On The Essential Muriel Rukeyser. Los Angeles: [Book Review] [Link]
2020 Catherine Gander (2020) The Silence by Don DeLillo: Review in the Irish Times. [Book Review]

Film or Broadcast

Year Publication
2021 Catherine Gander (2021) #Poetrytown Naas: Interview with poet laureate Mary O'Donnell. [Film or Broadcast] [Link]

Invited papers

Year Publication
2021 Catherine Gander (2021) Post45 conference, University of Edinburgh. [Invited papers]
2016 Catherine Gander (2016) ‘Using a public-facing blog for formative and summative assessment’: Presentation at ‘Teaching and Learning Conference: Harnessing Change to Improve Student Learning’, Queen's University Belfast. [Invited papers]
2016 Catherine Gander (2016) Post45 annual conference, University of York. [Invited papers]
2015 Catherine Gander (2015) Post45 Annual Conference, University of Kent. [Invited papers]

Invited Seminars

Year Publication
2022 Catherine Gander (2022) Poetry reviewing and race. [Invited Seminars]

Seminar

Year Publication
2019 Organiser and discussant: Catherine Gander (2019) Poetry in Times of Crisis: A reading and discussion with Erika Meitner and Wayne Miller. Boston College, Dublin: [Seminar]

Poetry

Year Publication
2023 Catherine Gander (2023) 30+ poems in journals across UK, Ireland, US, Canada. 2020-to present. [Poetry]

Media

Year Publication
2019 Catherine Gander (2019) An Aesthetics of Displacement. [Media] [Link]

Blog

Year Publication
2023 Catherine Gander (2023) The Edinburgh Companion to Don DeLillo and the Arts: Q&A with the Author. UK: [Blog] [Link]
2014 Catherine Gander (2014) Muriel Rukeyser and Other Writers. USA: [Blog] [Link]
2013 Catherine Gander (2013) Crisis, hope, and the life of poetry. USA: [Blog] [Link]
2013 Catherine Gander (2013) On the centenary of Muriel Rukeyser’s birth: the lives of a poet. USA: [Blog] [Link]

Webinar

Year Publication
2021 Catherine Gander, Karl O'Hanlon (2021) Vahni Capildeo: A Poetry Reading and Discussion. [Webinar] [Link]
2021 Catherine Gander, Karl O'Hanlon (2021) Ishion Hutchinson: A Poetry Reading and Discussion. [Webinar] [Link]
2021 Catherine Gander, Karl O'Hanlon (2021) Sean Hewitt: A Poetry Reading and Discussion. [Webinar]
2020 Catherine Gander, Karl O'Hanlon (2020) Philip Metres: A Poetry Reading and Discussion. [Webinar] [Link]
2020 Catherine Gander, Karl O'Hanlon (2020) Carolyn Forché: A Poetry Reading and Discussion. [Webinar] [Link]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
Irish Association for American Studies Chair 13/04/2019 -
Muriel Rukeyser: A Living Archive Board of Directors -
Evental Aesthetics Editorial Board 01/08/2013 -
British Association of American Studies Member -
Modern Language Association Member -
American Literature Association Member -
Modernist Studies Association Member -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
09/09/2023 International Max Nänny Award for best article in word and image studies International Association for Word and Image Studies (IAWIS)
22/05/2023 Research Fellow, New York Public Library NYPL
01/08/2022 Irish Writers Centre National Mentoring Programme Award Arts Council & Irish Writers Centre
01/12/2021 IRC Research Ally Award Irish Research Council
01/03/2021 IRC New Foundations Award, €11,278.38. Diversifying Irish Poetry: Poetry Critics of Colour in Ireland Irish Research Council
01/01/2021 Impact Through Dissemination Funding Award MU
01/01/2021 Affiliate Professor (Visiting Professor) Franklin University Switzerland
01/11/2019 Conference fund: IAAS2020 Maynooth University research development
01/09/2015 AHRC and PaCCS Innovation Award, £98,000: co-investigator on 'LGBTQ Visions of Peace in a Society Emerging from Conflict' AHRC and PaCCS
01/04/2013 IAAS Book Prize Irish Association for American Studies

Committees

Committee Function From / To
English Department Teaching and Learning Committee Chair 01/09/2018 - 23/09/2019
Gender Action Plan Implementation Group Chair 01/04/2022 -
English Dept PhD/Postdoc working group Chair 01/09/2020 -
Gender Action Plan Implementation Group (Faculty) Chair 01/04/2022 -
Athena Swan SAT Co-chair 02/03/2020 - 31/01/2022
European Journal of American Studies Editorial board member 01/04/2021 - 30/04/2029
Faculty Research Committee Secretary 16/10/2019 -
IAAS 50th Anniversary conference Chair 01/03/2019 - 01/05/2020
English Dept PGT working group Member 01/09/2020 -
English Department Research Committee Member 23/09/2019 -
Leonard Cohen: An Interdisciplinary conference Member 01/09/2018 - 31/07/2020
IAAS Prizes committee Member 01/05/2013 - 30/04/2015
Academic Council Member 01/12/2023 - 31/08/2025

Employment

Employer Position From / To
Queen's University Belfast Lecturer 01/02/2013 - 01/09/2017

Education

Start date Institution Qualification Subject
Queen's University Belfast Postgraduate Cert. Higher Education Teaching
King's College London PhD English

Languages

Language Reading Writing Speaking
Italian Fluent Fluent Fluent

Consultancy

Client Description
Dublin Business School External examiner: Higher Certificate in Arts
Dublin Business School External examiner for BA (Hons) Arts

Editorial / Academic Reviews

Amount Role From / To
Mosaic Reviewer -
Textual Practice Reviewer -
Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature Reviewer -
Poetry Ireland Review Reviewer -
Modernism/Modernity Reviewer -
THE IRISH TIMES Reviewer -
European Journal of American Studies Member of the Editorial Board 30/04/2021 - 30/04/2029
Comparative Critical Studies Reviewer -
Journal of American Studies Reviewer -

Outreach Activities

Organisation Type Description
Poetry Ireland Civic Society Talks at events: Poetry Ireland. Diversity in poetry and criticism publishing: consulting and facilitating: Poetry Ireland
Irish Museum of Modern Art Civic Society Public talks alongside exhibitions: IMMA

Teaching Interests

I teach modern and contemporary American literature and culture. 

I convene the Stage 2 elective module: EN242: Introduction to American Literature

I convene the Stage 2 core module: EN204: Literatures of Place (2019-)

I convene the Stage 3 seminar: EN382: Picturing America: Shaping the States in Word and Image.

I convene the Stage 3 seminar: EN362: Research Seminar. Poetry, Witness, Resistance (2019-)

I co-convene the MA module 'The Political is Personal: Radical Contemporary Literatures' with Dr Íde Corley. (https://thepoliticalispersonalmaynooth.wordpress.com)