James Heaney completed his second-level education in 1983. Over the next two decades he worked in a range of different jobs and countries (as a barman, roofer, English-language teacher, and entrepreneur) as well as experiencing periods of unemployment. He returned to full-time education as a mature student in the 1990s, and graduated from Maynooth University with a BA (Hons) in English and Philosophy in 1996. In this year he was also awarded the prestigious Pierce Malone Scholarship in Mental and Moral Science by the National University of Ireland. James went on to complete an MA in Irish Writing at Maynooth, before undertaking his PhD at Trinity College, Dublin. Supported by a Government of Ireland Scholarship grant, this project involved a comparative analysis of revolutionary literature in Ireland and Spain in the period 1913-39. It was completed in 2004, under the joint supervision of Professor James Whiston (of the Hispanic Dept) and Professor Gerald Dawe (of the School of English) at Trinity.
Having taught in part-time or temporary capacities at the Mater Dei Institute of Education, Maynooth University, and at Trinity College, Dublin, Dr Heaney became a full-time lecturer in English and Irish Studies at Carlow College-St Patrick’s in 2003. He served as Academic Director of Humanities at the college from 2005 to 2010. He also worked as Irish Coordinator for the Mfa in Creative Writing Programme run by Carlow University, Pittsburgh, between 2005 and 2014. His teaching is concentrated in the areas of European & World Drama, Modern Irish Writing, and Creative Writing. He has supervised MA projects on the writings of Patrick Kavanagh, Oscar Wilde and, most recently, Jane Barlow.
James’ research interests include the literature of the Irish Revival, modern Irish women’s writings, and comparative literary studies with particular reference to Ireland and Spain. He has published essays on a wide range of Irish and Spanish writers including Mary Lavin, Kate O’Brien, Æ (George Russell), W.B. Yeats, Patrick Pearse, Antonio Machado, Manuel Azaña, and Rafael Alberti. He is currently completing a book on the subject of republicanism in the literature of the Irish and Spanish revolutions of the early-to-mid twentieth-century.
B.A., M.A. (Maynooth University); Ph.D. (Trinity College Dublin)