Distinguished Scholar to Join English Department as Target of Excellence Hire


David Lloyd is a major voice in the fields of Irish Studies, postcolonial theory and criticism, and literary modernism in general. Starting in the summer of 2012, he will also be a member of the UC Davis faculty. Lloyd will join Department of English as a Distinguished Professor. Hired under the “Target of Excellence” program, which aims to attract top scholars to the campus, Lloyd will augment the department’s strengths in postcolonial studies, Irish studies, and critical theory.

“He is a scholar of extraordinary distinction,” said English Department Chair Scott Simmon, “and a major voice in more than one field of contemporary literary scholarship, including Irish studies, modern British literature in general, and postcolonial and critical theory.”

Lloyd’s extensive body of work includes seminal books that have opened new chapters in Irish studies. Nationalism and Minor Literature (1987) was perhaps the first book to bring the insights of contemporary critical theory to bear upon Irish studies, and Lloyd’s work has proven to be among the most influential in the field for the last twenty-five years. He has also published Anomalous States (1993); Ireland After History (1999) and Irish Times: Temporalities of Irish Modernity (2008). His most recent book is Irish Culture and Colonial Modernity, 1800-2000, published in November 2011 by Cambridge University Press. He is currently at work on three further books: Beckett Among the Painters, a study of Samuel Beckett’s visual aesthetics; Under Representation, on aesthetics and race; and Poetry and Violence, on Yeats, Vallejo, Césaire and Celan).

Lloyd’s criticism extends far beyond Irish Studies. Another major thread of his work focuses on the interconnection of minority writing, Enlightenment aesthetics, and the process of state-formation. Culture and the State (Routledge, 1998), co‑written with Paul Thomas, traces the manner in which the concept of culture during the Victorian period, so crucial to the discipline of Cultural Studies, was deeply imbricated with the modernizing qualities of the bourgeois state, and vice-versa.

In several other publications—including The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse (co‑edited with Abdul JanMohamed, 1991), “Race Under Representation” (1991), and “Ethnic Cultures, Minority Discourse, and the State” (1994)—Lloyd makes important contributions to the field of race and ethnicity studies. He has co-published books, including The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse (1991), with Abdul JanMohamed; The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital (1997), with Lisa Lowe; and The Black and Green Atlantic: Cross-Currents of the African and Irish Diasporas, edited with Peter D. O’Neill.

In addition to his extensive critical oeuvre, Lloyd’s has written plays and several volumes of poetry. Currently teaching at the University of Southern California, Lloyd has taught at six other colleges and universities, including Cambridge University; the University of California, Berkeley; University College, Galway; Scripps College, Claremont; and the University of Southern California.  His courses include topics such as Irish Literature, Romantic poetry and theory, Modern poetry, Victorian literature, U.S. minority literature, comparative literature, colonialism, critical theory, and poetics.  

Simmon has high praise for Lloyd: “His scholarship is astonishing in its richness, its breadth of interests, and its critical rigor.”

Lloyd will be in excellent company here at UC Davis. In the English department, he will join scholars such as Parama Roy and John Marx in postcolonial literature, Gregory Dobbins in Irish Studies, and David Simpson, Nathan Brown, Scott Shershow, and Evan Watkins in critical theory.

“It is wonderful to bring such a distinguished faculty member to UC Davis,” said Jessie Ann Owens, Dean of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies. “I know that he will make a major contribution to the entire division.”

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