Gregory Baker's Headshot

Department

  • English
  • School

  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Expertise

  • 20th-century Irish and British literature
  • Modernism
  • Reception theory and translation studies
  • History of classical languages on the British Isles
  • Literary multilingualism and comparative literature
  • Profile

    Gregory Baker is Associate Professor of English and Director of Irish Studies at Catholic University. He specializes in modern Irish and British literature, and publishes in the fields of classical reception and comparative modernism. His research is especially invested in documenting the prominent 'afterlives' of Greek and Roman antiquity within the literary avant-garde of the twentieth century.

    His book, Classics and Celtic Literary Modernism: Yeats, Joyce, MacDiarmid and Jones, recently appeared with Cambridge University Press. It examines the work of W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, David Jones and Hugh MacDiarmid at length, showing how new forms of modernist literary expression emerged in their creative work, just as the evolution of classical education, the insurgent power of cultural nationalisms and the desire for artistic transformation converged across Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In addition to this study, other recent publications include work on the Scottish nationalist, classicist and translator, Douglas Young, as well as the annotated bibliography for volume 5 of The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English LiteratureDr. Baker's current book project, Antiquity and the Literatures of Devolution, explores the key roles played by adaptations, translations and allusions to classical antiquity in postwar Irish, African, Caribbean and Antipodean poetry. It stresses the different institutional and artistic receptions given to classical learning as various forms of 'literary devolution' took hold during the twentieth century—a time of immense social, political and linguistic change due to the vast decolonization of the British imperial state.

    Dr. Baker directs the interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Irish Studies while teaching a regular rotation of courses in twentieth-century Irish and British literature. In semesters past, he has taught classes on the history of drama, and on the history of the novel, on the work of Geoffrey Hill and of Seamus Heaney, on the poetry of the world war, and on the major writings of W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and James Joyce.

    He earned his doctorate in Comparative Literature at Brown University. His undergraduate degree was in Classical Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago.

    Publications