© 2016

The Body in Pain in Irish Literature and Culture

  • Fionnuala Dillane
  • Naomi McAreavey
  • Emilie Pine
  • Unique contribution to trauma studies due to Irish focus and conceptual rather than chronological approach

  • Touches on aspects of affect studies and memory studies

  • Examines work by a variety of canonical and contemporary writers, artists and political figures


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Fionnuala Dillane, Naomi McAreavey, Emilie Pine
    Pages 1-19
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 253-283

About this book


This book elucidates the ways the pained and suffering body has been registered and mobilized in specifically Irish contexts across more than four hundred years of literature and culture. There is no singular approach to what pain means: the material addressed in this collection covers diverse cultural forms, from reports of battles and executions to stage and screen representations of sexual violence, produced in response to different historical circumstances in terms that confirm our understanding of how pain – whether endured or inflicted, witnessed or remediated – is culturally coded. 

Pain is as open to ongoing redefinition as the Ireland that features in all of the essays gathered here. This collection offers new paradigms for understanding Ireland’s literary and cultural history.


Modern literature Memory studies Trauma studies Affect studies Belfast Agreement

Editors and affiliations

  • Fionnuala Dillane
    • 1
  • Naomi McAreavey
    • 2
  • Emilie Pine
    • 3
  1. 1.School of English, Drama and FilmUniversity College DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.School of English, Drama and FilmUniversity College Dublin DublinIreland
  3. 3.School of English, Drama and FilmUniversity College DublinDublinIreland

About the editors

Fionnuala Dillane is Lecturer in Victorian Literature at University College Dublin, Ireland. She is author of Before George Eliot: Marian Evans in the Periodical Press, joint winner of the 2014 Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize.

Naomi McAreavey is Lecturer in Renaissance Literature at University College Dublin, Ireland. She has published widely on the 1641 rebellion, and her edition of The Letters of the First Duchess of Ormonde is forthcoming.

Emilie Pine is Lecturer in Modern Drama at University College Dublin, Ireland. She is the author of The Politics of Irish Memory (Palgrave, 2011), incoming Editor of the Irish University Review, and founding Director of the Irish Memory Studies Network.

Bibliographic information


“It provides novel approaches to the study of the relationship between body, pain and historical memory. … It is undisputable that this book provides a valuable and interdisciplinary variety of theoretical and methodological approaches that fill a gap in bibliography about Irish cultural history.” (Shadia Abdel-Rahman Téllez, Review of Irish Studies in Europe – RISE, Vol. 2 (1-2), March, 2018)

“Each essay offers significant insight into representations of pain in a specific historical context … . Scholars and students of any period of Irish history, culture, and literature will certainly find fodder for further exploration here as will those concerned with violence and its legacy in other regions.” (Valerie McGowan-Doyle, Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 71 (1), 2018)​