Seamus Deane

Seamus Deane (born 9 February 1940) is an Irish poet, novelist, critic and intellectual historian.

Seamus Deane
Alma materQueen's University Belfast
Pembroke College, Cambridge
Scientific career
FieldsLiterary criticism, Poetry, Fiction, Postcolonialism


Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, Deane was brought up as part of a Catholic nationalist family. He attended St. Columb's College in Derry, where he befriended fellow-student Seamus Heaney. He then attended Queen's University Belfast (BA and MA) and Pembroke College, Cambridge (PhD).

Until 1993, he was Professor of Modern English and American Literature at University College Dublin. In the late 70s and 80s, he taught American college juniors part-time at the School of Irish Studies in the Ballsbridge section of Dublin. In 1992, he moved to the University of Notre Dame, Indiana as the Donald and Marilyn Keough Chair of Irish Studies from which he retired as professor emeritus.[1]

He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a founding director of the Field Day Theatre Company.[2]

He was co-editor of Field Day Review, an annual journal of Irish studies.[citation needed]


Deane's first novel, Reading in the Dark (published in 1996) won the 1996 Guardian Fiction Prize and the 1996 South Bank Show Annual Award for Literature, is a New York Times Notable Book, won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and the Irish Literature Prize in 1997, besides being shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1996.[3] The novel has been translated into more than 20 languages. He was also the general editor of the monumental Field Day Anthology Of Irish Writing and of the Penguin Joyce.[4]

In his criticism, Deane brings a postcolonialist interpretation to historical and literary works from the Irish, British and French traditions in particular. His critical writings include:

His poetry includes:

  • Gradual Wars (1972)
  • Rumours (1977)
  • History Lessons (1983)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies". Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit

Seamus Deane Papers at Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library