About the Project

Designed to coincide with the centenary of his birth, this project seeks to critically appraise, and thus revive scholarly and public interest in, the work of neglected and important Belfast-born writer, Brian Moore (1921- 1999). The author of twenty-six novels in diverse genres and a transnational subject who lived most of his adult life in Canada and the U.S., Moore’s literary career invites re-examination in the context of the emergence of a number of scholarly trends in the two decades since his death: the rise and rise of migration and diaspora studies, particularly in an Irish Studies context; democratising trends that would now regard Moore’s “pulp” novels as an essential (rather than an anomalous) part of his oeuvre; adaptation studies (several of Moore’s works were adapted for the screen); the “material turn” in literary studies which places greater emphasis on unpublished writings and archival materials; the increasing emphasis on the importance of coteries and networks in the production of literary texts, rather than the individual “genius” of a given writer; the politics of prize-giving and the literary marketplace.

The Small Research Grant will be used to fund a collaborative programme of research, culminating in a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies devoted to Moore’s work. Public-facing events will take place in liaison with a number of Belfast-based partners. An international academic conference, from which will be drawn papers for the special issue on Moore, will take place in Belfast in 2021.

The project runs from 3 August 2020 to 2 August 2022 thanks to the award of a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant.