Comment & reviews

‘Probably the most significant contribution to Irish criticism in the last decade has been Colin Graham’s Deconstructing Ireland. Graham is from Belfast, and by analysing in details the convoluted course of Irish criticism over the last 25 years, he has presented a persuasive critique of the foundational assumptions of the political conflict in Northern Ireland’

Daniel Jewesbury, ‘“I Wouldn’t Have Started from Here, or the end of ‘the History of Northern Irish Art”’, Third Text, 19:5 (2005), 525-534 (531)


‘Graham is a major figure in the domestication of postcolonial theory to Irish cultural studies’

The Irish Book Review, 2:4 (2007), 20


‘The inclusion of an essay by Colin Graham is a brilliant choice, as this is a critic from whom we will hear much more in years to come’

Christina Hunt Mahony, reviewing David Pierce;s anthology, irish Writing in the Twentieth Century: A Reader (Cork UP) in Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 28/29 (2002), 209


‘A handful of younger scholars, among whom Colin Graham, Richard Kirkland, and Gerry Smyth stand out for the intelligence and seriousness of their efforts, have in recent years begun to broach this topic.’

Conor McCarthy , ‘Seamus Deane: Between Burke and Adorno’, The Yearbook of English Studies, 35  (2005), 232-248  (232)


‘ground-breaking discussions of this critical debate’

Catriona Clutterbuck, ‘Eavan Boland and the Politics of Authority in Irish Poetry’, The Yearbook of English Studies, 35, (2005), 72-90


‘Since 1970, the academic field known as “Irish literary studies” has blossomed. Yet this healthy growth, with its range of focus, locus and approach, has been accompanied by an urge to codify: to get Irish literature – and Ireland – between canonical covers. The result is tension between systems of various kinds and texts or perspectives that spill over their boundaries’ […]

‘In volume two of The Cambridge History of Irish Literature , Colin Graham’s searching chapter on “Literary historiography” makes and exemplifies the point. Speaking from inside the whale, Graham queries the “mania for the encyclopaedic” that marks the intersection where unitary Irish impulses meet “the academy’s demand for ideological neatness and pedagogic standardisation”’ […]

‘Such language evokes the ecclesiastical roots of canon formation. It overlooks the lay reader outside the academy, let alone the ceaseless remaking of traditions by new work. Above all, it runs counter to Graham’s truer picture of Irish literary studies as an “ideological battleground” where postcolonial, revisionist, feminist and other paradigms jostle for position.’

‘ […] Graham’s theoretical savvy’

Edna Longley, ‘Troubled island that gave us carefree prose’, Time Higher Education Supplement, 13 April 2007

See individual Books for more reviews.

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