British and Irish Literary Studies
Irish Literature; Modern and Contemporary British and Anglophone Literature; Postcolonial and World Literary Studies; Fiction; Drama
Sarah L. Townsend (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley; B.A. University of Michigan) is a scholar of modern and contemporary Irish fiction and drama with a secondary emphasis in 20th and 21st-century British and Anglophone literature. Her research explores the relationship between economic development and literary form, focusing on issues of globalization, immigration, genre evolution, and world literary circulation. Her published and forthcoming scholarship appears in New Literary History, Journal of Modern Literature, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, and edited collections from Palgrave and Cambridge, Cork, and Edinburgh University Presses. She is completing a monograph on modern Irish drama’s radical transformation of the Bildungsroman, and her next project focuses on the geopolitics of the European Union in Irish and British literature.
The recipient of a 2014-15 Visiting Fellowship at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Townsend has also been awarded funding from UNM’s Research Allocations Committee, Feminist Research Institute, and other sources. She has delivered invited lectures at the Galway International Arts Festival, the Irish Literary and Historical Society of San Francisco, Villanova University, the University of South Dakota, and several local organizations.
She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Irish literature and culture, British modernism, contemporary world literature, critical theory, graduate professionalization, and special topics like the Postcolonial Bildungsroman and World Literature and Hunger. She also supervises Ph.D. and M.A. students, co-directs the UNM summer study abroad program in Ireland, sits on several professional award committees, and currently serves as President of the American Conference for Irish Studies-West.