I hold an Honours degree from the University of Wales, and an M.Litt and D.Phil from Oxford, where I studied with Richard Ellmann and John Kelly.
I research Irish and Australian modernism, particularly 1880–1930. I have recently retired as an Emeritus Professor from the University of Otago, New Zealand, where I was the inaugural Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies. I have held posts at the University of Newcastle, Australia; Université de Caen, France; and the University of New South Wales, Australia; and I have been a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University; an Anthony Mason Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin; and a Visiting Fellow at the Keogh Naughton Institute at Notre Dame (USA).
I am currently engaged in writing a cultural history of the performance of Irish theatre in New Zealand and Australia 1789–1920, and I am the representative for those countries on the international organising committee of the Irish Theatrical Diaspora Project. My most recent book, Irish Divorce/Joyce's Ulysses (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), has been downloaded over 1.3K times. In all, I have published more than 60 refereed articles, book chapters and books on Yeats, Joyce, Eliot, Irish theatre, Irish literature, Irish and Australian film, literary theory, Australian literature, and Irish/Australian history and presented conference papers and given lectures in over 30 countries. I am a commissioning editor for the Irish Studies Review (Routledge) and am on the Editorial Board of several journals.