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Dr. David Coughlan


Dr David Coughlan studied for his BA in English and Philosophy at University College Cork. He completed his MPhil in English Literature at UCC also before gaining his PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London. He was a Lecturer in English at Chuo University, Tokyo, a Teaching Assistant at the University of Limerick, and an IRC Government of Ireland Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCC before joining the School of English, Irish, and Communication at UL as a Lecturer in English in 2008. He was Associate Head of School (Quality in Teaching, Learning and Research) from 2009 to 2011 and Head of English from 2016 to 2019. He was Chair of the Irish Association for American Studies from 2017 to 2019 and is Executive Editor of the association's official journal, Irish Journal of American Studies IJAS Online.

He has published on contemporary American fiction and graphic narrative in the journals ImageTexT, College Literature, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, and Modern Fiction Studies, in a number of edited collections, and in the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction and The Literary Encyclopedia. He has been a contributing co-editor on two special journal issues: Where Ghosts Live for Derrida Today in 2012 and Survival of the Death Sentence for Parallax in 2016. He is the author of Ghost Writing in Contemporary American Fiction, published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2016.

Research Interests

Dr Coughlan's research interests are in 20th and 21st-century literature, particularly American fiction; popular culture and graphic narrative; and literary and cultural theory. He has supervised PhDs on post-9/11 literature and on genre cinema and the digital. He has supervised MA theses on topics including the representation of trauma, time, and memory in post-9/11 fiction; terrorism and crime in contemporary American fiction; American utopian literature; and the poetry of Li Qingzhao and Emily Dickinson.

Professional Activities


  • 2017 Former Chair, Irish Association for American Studies (IAAS)
  • 2011 Founder and administrator , Graphic Narrative Research
  • 2010 Member, International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA)
  • Member, Association for Philosophy and Literature (APL)
  • Member, European Association for American Studies (EAAS)
  • Member, Modern Language Assocation (MLA)
  • Member, American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)


  • 2016 - UL First Seven Weeks Teaching Award, AHSS Winner
  • 2013 - UL Award for Excellence in Large Group Teaching, Joint Winner
  • 2010 - UL First Seven Weeks Teaching/Advising Award, Overall Winner
  • 2007 - IRCHSS Government of Ireland Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • 1995 - UCC Title of College Scholar


  • 2012 IAAS Irish Association for American Studies Executive Committee (2012- ),
  • 2011 UL First Seven Weeks Committee (2011-12),
  • 2010 UL Student Experience Committee (2010-11),
  • 2010 AHSS Faculty Teaching Board (2010-11),
  • 2009 UL Languages Week Committee (2009-10),
  • 2009 LLCC Student Status Committee (2009-11),


  • 2002 Goldsmiths College, University of London - Ph.D.
  • 1997 University College Cork - M.Phil.
  • 1995 University College Cork - B.A.