Gillian Moore, Darwin

Degree: PhD
Course: AmLit
Supervisor: Dr Kasia Boddy
Dissertation Title:

Cultures of self-help and contemporary U.S. fiction


Biographical Information

I completed my BA in English Literature and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin, spent a scholarship year at the University of Berkeley, California, and completed an MPhil in Literature of the Americas at Trinity College, Dublin, before coming to Cambridge to begin my PhD. In between, I spent three years in Barcelona learning Spanish and Catalan, and I am also passionate about literature in these languages.

Research Interests

My PhD project deals with intersections between contemporary U.S. writing and cultures of advice, self-help and/or popular psychology. I work on a broad selection of contemporary writers, including Sheila Heti, Deb Olin Unferth, Paul Beatty, Ben Lerner, Maggie Nelson, Miranda July, Myriam Gurba, Alexandra Kleeman, Tao Lin, Dave Eggers and more.

My current work focuses on different forms of time management within both narrative organisation and life organisation practices. I am also undertaking a study of writers' commencement speeches at different institutions as a form of guidance practice. 

I have given papers on Sheila Heti and narrative timekeeping; Alexandra Kleeman and aestheticized self-improvement; George Saunders and democracy; Flannery O’ Connor and circus cultures.

Areas of Supervision

Contemporary Writing in English; American Literature: Texts and Contexts Since 1865; Practical Criticism.

I have given classes on specific topics including Satire; Latinx and Chicanx Writing; Sincerity and Belief in U.S. Fiction; Advice and Self-Help Writing; Theories of Reading; and American Autobiography.

I have supervised Undergraduate dissertations on U.S. autofiction, the Harlem Renaissance, New York poetry, and contemporary British novels.

I am interested in supervising these topics and any others relevant to my areas of interest.

Selected Publications

“American Exceptionalism and Hopes for Resistance in Two Stories by George Saunders” in George Saunders: Critical Essays Ed. Philip Coleman and Steve Ellerhoff, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

 “[Un]covering Joyce: Dubliners 100 and Intertextual Practice in the Contemporary Irish Short Story” Canadian Journal of Irish Studies Vol. 42, 2019. 

“Digitally Underwhelmed”, Critical Quarterly, Vol. 61, 2019. Review article.

 “Sally Rooney: Confessional Writing and Female Consciousness” in The Irish Times, Nov 22, 2017 (Available Online).

Literary Editor at Totally Dublin magazine, 2014-2018.

  • Interviews include Eimear McBride, Paul Murray, John Boyne and Evelyn Conlon.
  • Review articles on authors including Ben Marcus, Lydia Davis, Lorrie Moore, Jonathan Franzen, Edwidge Danticat, Ottessa Moshfegh, J.M. Coetzee.