Dr Josie O'Donoghue, Homerton




Biographical Information

I am a Fellow and Undergraduate Tutor at Homerton College. I first came to Cambridge as an undergraduate in 2004, to read English at Christ's College. After a number of years working in publishing and charity communications in London, I returned to Christ's in 2013 for my doctoral studies, which I completed in 2017. From 2017-2021 I was a Junior Research Fellow at Clare College.

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in connections between the disciplines of linguistics and literary criticism, with a particular emphasis on cognitive linguistics and pragmatics, in relation to metaphor and other forms of figurative language. My doctoral thesis explored ways in which relevance theory (a theory of communication currently influential in the field of pragmatics) might shed light on the interpretation of metaphor in Shakespeare's plays, the poetry and letters of Emily Dickinson, and Seamus Heaney's poetry and critical writings. My first book, The Relevance of Metaphor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) considers metaphor as a communicative phenomenon in the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop and Seamus Heaney.

My next project will look at metaphor in translation in contemporary Irish poetry, examining the work of bilingual poets who write in Irish but have been translated into English, often by poets concurrently publishing their own work in English.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I would be delighted to supervise work on topics related to any of the research interests outlined above.

Selected Publications

The Relevance of Metaphor: Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop and Seamus Heaney (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

'The Politics of Metaphor in Heaney's Sweeney Astray', Irish University Review, 47:3 (2017), 450-469

'"A Breather Before We Must Go On?" A Review of Seamus Heaney and the Adequacy of Poetry, by John Dennison', Cambridge Quarterly, 45:3 (2016), 281-291

'Rhythmic Rightness: A Review of Seamus Heaney: New Selected Poems 1988-2013', Cambridge Humanities Review, 9 (2015)

'"A Fling of Freedom": A Review of Metaphor, by Denis Donoghue', Cambridge Quarterly, 44:1 (2015), 69-77

'Is a Metaphor (Like) a Simile? Differences in Meaning, Effects and Processing', UCL Working Papers in Linguistics, 21 (2009), 125-149