Dr Eleanor Lybeck

Senior Lecturer in Literature Institute of Irish Studies


Personal Statement

I joined the Institute of Irish Studies in 2019. Before moving to the University of Liverpool, I completed postgraduate studies in literature at New York University as a Fulbright scholar and at the University of Cambridge with the support of the AHRC. After finishing my PhD in 2015, I worked as a stipendiary and departmental lecturer at the University of Oxford.

My research interests cover the period since 1800 and fall into two categories: theatre & performance history and Irish literature & culture. I published a book on the circus in Irish literature and culture, All on Show, with Cork University Press last year. I am now working on my second monograph, which explores how English comic opera became a colonial export in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. At the same time, I am working on an adaptation for live performance of Virginia Woolf's final novel Between the Acts and, with Dr Ataa Alsalloum of Liverpool's School of Architecture, an edited collection exploring aspects of intangible cultural heritage among migrant communities in the UK.

I teach on a wide range of both Irish studies and English modules, and convene modules on writing for radio, migrant writing, and twentieth-century and contemporary Irish writing. Like my research, my teaching tends to be interdisciplinary, combining my interests in literary criticism, theatre and performance studies, and history, and I encourage students to develop their own practical skills through creative critical assessment.

I am always on the look out for new ways to share my research with diverse audiences, both within and beyond the university. In 2008, I founded the production company Sidelong Glance: its mission is to turn academic research into widely accessible theatre, performance and documentary film. Sidelong Glance produced the short film series Whose History? for the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool in 2021; another of the company's productions, Wild Laughter, is a set text on undergraduate drama modules in English. In 2017, I was named an AHRC/BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker. Since then, I have written, presented and appeared on a number of BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 programmes. I have also written for various newspapers, magazines and blogs, including Vogue, the Irish Times and HuffPost UK.

Within Liverpool's School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, I am the Deputy Academic Lead for Admissions and Widening Participation.