Sarah L. Townsend (PhD University of California, Berkeley; BA, University of Michigan) is a scholar of modern and contemporary Irish literature with additional research interests in British modernism and contemporary Anglophone literature. Her work centers on issues of postcolonial nationhood, literary and cultural development, and globalization. Her published and forthcoming essays appear in New Literary History, the Journal of Modern Literature, the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, and edited collections on animal studies and migrant communities in Ireland. She is currently completing her first monograph, which examines Irish literature's radical transformation of discourses of Bildung in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
She was the recipient of a 2014-15 Visiting Fellowship at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and she has delivered invited lectures at the Irish Literary and Historical Society of San Francisco, the Galway International Arts Festival, the University of South Dakota, and the University of Notre Dame.
Her teaching interests include Irish, British, and postcolonial literatures; genre studies; human rights; and theories of nationalism, worldliness, and literary influence and development. She offers a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in Irish studies, modernism and contemporary literature, postcolonial and world literature, critical theory, graduate professionalization, and special topics like the Postcolonial Bildungsroman and World Literature and Hunger. She co-directs the UNM summer study abroad program in Ireland and is Treasurer of the American Conference for Irish Studies, Western Region.