I am the Programme Leader for the English undergraduate degree courses. My research specialisms are in Irish literature and culture, 19th & 20th Century literature and drama and postcolonial writing and theory. I supervise dissertations and theses in these areas, and also teach at all levels of the undergraduate programme, on units including Approaches to Drama, Postwar to the Present, and Modern Drama.
My research looks particularly at the ideas of identity that are constructed by Irish migrant communities, especially the scattered second generation. I focus on the way these identities are expressed in culture -- in literature, drama, film, music, painting and photography. So, I interpret 'culture' very broadly and I have written about cultural events such as the spat between Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy at the 2002 football World Cup, which was partly about the right of McCarthy, a second-generation Irish Yorkshireman, to claim Irish identity. I have written for many leading academic journals, including Textual Practice and Irish University Review, and also for newspapers and magazines including The Guardian and The Observer. I am currently working on a project on performances of Irish identity in Manchester since 1900.
I spend my spare time riding mountain bikes, waving a wooden spoon frantically in my kitchen, reading crime fiction of varying quality, and obsessing over vintage selvage denim. I also kick a football around with my two sons and bribe them to accompany me to disappointing football matches (for reasons beyond our control we are obliged to support Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, meaning that disappointment is a more or less permanent fixture).
The study of art and culture is about engaging with some of the great ideas that have shaped our world. I am inspired by the fact that my job is about helping people from a huge variety of different backgrounds to become original and critical thinkers, to be able to form opinions about the world around them and to articulate those opinions with confidence. What drives me is the thought that I am enabling people to think in ways that might make their lives –and the world around us—better.
Studying a subject that you find interesting will make you a more interesting person! Good employers want candidates who are not only competent but who can also make a contribution - who are interesting and interested, who have ideas and opinions and who show a wide variety of abilities. English graduates are those people! English doesn't equip you to do one particular kind of work; it equips you to do anything you want to!
As a student, I gained degrees from Queen Mary, University of London, University of Wolverhampton and Staffordshire University. Research for my Masters focussed on the playwright Brian Friel, and my PhD thesis analysed 20th Century literature of the Irish diaspora.
BA English Programme Leader
I am currently External Examiner at:
Canterbury Christchurch University (BA English)
Edge Hill University (BA English)
Previous appointments as External Examiner include:
Northumbria University (BA English)
St. John's College, University of Oxford (D Phil)
Swansea University (PhD)
My research specialism lies in the field of Irish culture, especially the literature and cultures of diaspora; twentieth-century literature and drama, especially Irish and postcolonial; postcolonial and diaspora theory.
My research is on twentieth-century Irish culture, and focuses on the changing meaning of ‘Irishness' globally during the twentieth century, especially in relation to migrant memory and identity. I am author of various articles in this field, which have appeared in publications including Textual Practice, Irish University Review, Irish Studies Review, The International Journal of Cultural Studies, and The Observer, and which have covered topics ranging from theatre to photography to association football. I am currently completing a book, ‘Fantasy Ireland: Cultural Memory and the Literature of Diaspora', for Liverpool University Press, and am in the early stages of a project on performances of Irish identity in Manchester from 1900. I am a member of the editorial advisory board of ‘Irish Studies Review', and edited a special issue of the journal, entitled ‘Irishness in Britain'. My interest in memory, migrancy and visual culture is reflected in current research into migrant photo-texts from a range of cultural contexts.
A. Arrowsmith (2008). The complete works of J.M. Synge. Wordsworth Editions Limited.
A. Arrowsmith (2017). Angles on Aran: constructing connection in the work of J.M. Synge, Robert Flaherty and Sean Scully. Textual Practice.
A. Arrowsmith (2007). New Field Day Dawning. Irish Studies Review. 15(1), pp.83-88.
A. Arrowsmith (2006). The Significance of Irishness: Introduction. Irish Studies Review. 14(2), pp.163-168.
A. Arrowsmith (2005). Photographic memories: nostalgia and Irish diaspora writing. Textual Practice. 19(2), pp.297-322.
A. Arrowsmith (2004). Plastic paddies vs. master racers. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 7(4), pp.460-479.
A. Arrowsmith (2004). "To fly by those nets": violence and identity in Tom Murphy's "a whistle in the dark". Irish university review: a journal of Irish studies. 34(2), pp.315-331.
A. Arrowsmith (2003). Fantasy Ireland: the figure of the returnee in Irish culture. Moving worlds. 3(1), pp.101-114.
A. Arrowsmith (2000). Plastic Paddy: Negotiating Identity in Second-generation 'Irish-English' Writing. Irish Studies Review. 8(1), pp.35-43.
A. Arrowsmith (1999). Debating diasporic identity: nostalgia, (post) nationalism, ‘critical traditionalism‘. Irish Studies Review. 7(2), pp.173-181.
AM. Arrowsmith (2012). Imaginary Connections? Postmemory and Irish Diaspora Writing. O. Frawley. In: Memory Ireland: Volume II: Diaspora & Memory Practices. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press,
A. Arrowsmith (2010). Gender, Violence and Identity in Tom Murphy’s Drama. In: 'Alive in Time': The Enduring Drama of Tom Murphy: New Essays. Carysfort Press,
AM. Arrowsmith (2006). Genuinely Inauthentic: Martin McDonagh's Second Generation Irishness. L. Chambers, E. Jordan. In: The Theatre of Martin McDonagh: A World of Savage Stories. Dublin: Carysfort Press, pp.236-245.
AM. Arrowsmith (2002). M/Otherlands: Literature, Gender, Diasporic Identity. D. Alderson, F. Becket, S. Brewster, V. Crossman. In: Ireland in Proximity. Routledge, pp.129-144.
AM. Arrowsmith (2000). Inside/Out: Literature, Cultural Identity and Irish Migration to England. A. Bery, P. Murray. In: Comparing Postcolonial Literatures. Palgrave Macmillan, pp.59-69.
‘Ireland’s Drama in British Cities: Irish Theatrical Diaspora Conference 2010’, MMU
'Archiving Place & Time: Contemporary Art Practice in Northern Ireland Since the Belfast Agreement’, MMU 2009 (with Fionna Barber)
‘Irishness and Intertextuality: Re-reading the visual in Irish Culture’, as part of the Association of Art Historians Conference, MMU 2009.
‘Archiving Place & Time: Contemporary Art Practice in Northern Ireland Since the Belfast Agreement’ (2009), Holden Gallery, MMU; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and touring. With Fionna Barber and Megan Johnston.
Member of the Editorial Board of Irish Studies Review.
British Association for Irish Studies