Donal Manning

Postgraduate Research Student


I am in my third year of a part-time PhD in the Institute of Irish Studies. My thesis title is ‘Ulster and Unionism in Finnegans Wake’. I have presented two relevant papers at academic meetings: the American Conference for Irish Studies in Cork, June 2018, and the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures, Nijmegen, July 2108. I have one published paper, in the Australasian Journal of Irish Studies, 2016, and one in press with Irish Studies Review. I have led two Continuing Education courses on the works of James Joyce, one in 2016-7 and one in 2017-8.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"Ulster and Unionism in Finnegans Wake"

Donal's thesis explores James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, which contains many references and allusions to Ulster. Some relate to places (Belfast, Ballymacarrett, the Giant’s Causeway), some are ‘written’ in Ulster dialect or with a   Northern accent, and many suggest Ulster’s separateness from the rest of Ireland. Related to the latter, the text contains strong hints of North-South, orange-green conflict. The objectives of the project are to describe some of these allusions, to analyse them and to consider their significance. It is anticipated that this analysis will support the thought that Joyce bemoaned sectarianism and xenophobia of all shades and held pluralist aspirations for Ireland, though he was ultimately pessimistic about the prospect of these aspirations being attained.

Research Centre Memberships

American Conference for Irish Studies

International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures