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Prof. Margaret Harper

Biography

A native of the US South, my degrees are from Florida State University (BA in Classics and English, summa cum laude, 1978) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MA and PhD in English, 1981 and 1986).

My first academic position was as Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University in Marion (1986-89), after which I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where I served as Assistant, Associate, and then Full Professor in English and Women's Studies at Georgia State University (1989-2010).

In 2010, I moved to Ireland to take up the post of Glucksman Professor in Contemporary Writing in English at UL. From January to June 2015, I served as an Adjunct Visiting Professor at the Université de Lille 3, Lille, France.

I've served as the Director of the Yeats International Summer School and the President of the International Yeats Society.

In addition to my passion for literature and language, I have abiding interests in classical and traditional music.

Research Interests

My research focuses on modern and contemporary Irish, US, and world literature in English, especially poetry. I am a specialist on W. B. Yeats, especially his occult life and work.

My book The Aristocracy of Art looks at the rhetoric of autobiographical fiction and its relationship to the issue of class in James Joyce and Thomas Wolfe. Wisdom of Two, my second book, analyses the spiritual and literary collaboration of W. B. and his wife George (Hyde Lees), especially their experiments with automatic writing. I have also been part of teams that have produced scholarly editions of the Yeatses' automatic writing and other occult experiments (Yeats's 'Vision' Papers) and the two versions of Yeats's book of esoteric philosophy, A Vision (1925 and 1937).

I'm interested in the relation between abstract form and felt experience, and I have an abiding interest in what escapes the patterns humans make in the world. My work gravitates towards issues of gender, race, class, and culture, particularly religious experiences and traditions.

I have served as Director of the Yeats International Summer School (2013-15) and as President of the International Yeats Society (2013-17).

Teaching Interests

I believe that good teaching is opening a space in which learning can occur. It requires listening as well as talking, stillness and silence as well as activity and communication. Although I talk a lot in the classroom, my goal is not necessarily to insert myself into the teaching and learning space but to notice what is needed and provide that.

I'm also of the opinion that teachers are obsolete as sources of knowledge. In the digital age, teachers are guides through thickets of information rather than yet another source of raw data. As a teacher of literature and writing, I am most valuable when I can show how important these things are to thinking deeply and well. I'm convinced that society and the individual people in it rarely thrive when such thinking is rare.

My courses are mostly in the areas of poetry and modern/contemporary literature in English, but basically I am fascinated by language and its arrangement into art, in literary and theoretical texts that range widely in the times and spaces of their composition.

Publications

Books

2015

A Vision (1937), Volume 14 of The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats
Harper Margaret Mills and Catherine Paul
(2015) A Vision (1937), Volume 14 of The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats
Harper Margaret Mills and Paul Catherine(Ed.) New York : Scribner

2008

A Vision (1925), Volume 13 of The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats
Harper Margaret Mills and Catherine Paul
(2008) A Vision (1925), Volume 13 of The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats
Harper Margaret Mills and Catherine Paul(Ed.) New York : Scribner

2006

Wisdom of Two: The Spiritual and Literary Collaboration of George and W. B. Yeats
Harper Margaret Mills
(2006) Wisdom of Two: The Spiritual and Literary Collaboration of George and W. B. Yeats
Oxford : Oxford University Press

2001

Yeats's 'Vision' Papers, Volume 4
Harper Margaret Mills, Harper George Mills
(2001) Yeats's 'Vision' Papers, Volume 4
London : Palgrave Macmillan

1990

The Aristocracy of Art: James Joyce and Thomas Wolfe
Harper Margaret Mills
(1990) The Aristocracy of Art: James Joyce and Thomas Wolfe
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press

Book Chapters

2014

‘The clock has run down and must be wound up again': A Vision in Time
Harper Margaret Mills
(2014) ‘The clock has run down and must be wound up again': A Vision in Time
In Yeats and Afterwords; South Bend, Indiana : Notre Dame University Press

2012

Reflected Voices, Double Visions
Harper Margaret Mills
(2012) Reflected Voices, Double Visions
In Yeats's A Vision: Explications and Contexts; Clemson, South Carolina : Clemson University Digital Press

2011

‘The Real Thing': Ní Chuilleanáin and Mattering Bodies
Harper Margaret Mills
(2011) ‘The Real Thing': Ní Chuilleanáin and Mattering Bodies
In Irish Women Writers: New Critical Perspectives; Bern : Peter Lang

2010

George Yeats
Harper Margaret Mills
(2010) George Yeats
In W. B. Yeats in Context; Cambridge : Cambridge University Press

2005

Yeats and the Occult
Harper Margaret Mills
(2005) Yeats and the Occult
In The Cambridge Companion to W. B. Yeats; Cambridge : Cambridge University Press pp. 144-166

2003

Our Lives with Yeats's Ghosts: The Writing and the Editing of the Automatic Script
Harper Margaret Mills, Barbara J. Frieling and Sandra L. Sprayberry
(2003) Our Lives with Yeats's Ghosts: The Writing and the Editing of the Automatic Script
In Yeats: An Annual of Critical and Textual Studies; Ann Arbor, MI : UMI Research Press pp. 19-34

2002

Celestial Bodies: Sexual Cosmologies and a Collaborative Vision
Harper Margaret Mills
(2002) Celestial Bodies: Sexual Cosmologies and a Collaborative Vision
In Yeats Annual; London : Palgrave pp. 102-119

1997

Yeats's Religion
Harper Margaret Mills
(1997) Yeats's Religion
In Yeats: An Annual of Critical and Textual Studies; Ann Arbor, MI : UMI Research Press pp. 48-71

1997

Sisters, Outsiders, Histories: First Principles and Last Things in Boland and Lorde
Harper Margaret Mills
(1997) Sisters, Outsiders, Histories: First Principles and Last Things in Boland and Lorde
In Representing Ireland; Gainesville : University Press of Florida pp. 181-193

1997

Fabric and Fame in the Odyssey and ‘Penelope'
Harper Margaret Mills
(1997) Fabric and Fame in the Odyssey and ‘Penelope'
In Gender in Joyce; Gainesville : University Press of Florida pp. 170-188

1996

Bread and Wine, Coke and Peanuts: Teaching Sacramental Feasts
Harper Margaret Mills
(1996) Bread and Wine, Coke and Peanuts: Teaching Sacramental Feasts
In Pedagogy, Praxis, Ulysses; Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press pp. 63-76

1994

‘Taken in Drapery': Dressing the Narrative in the Odyssey and ‘Penelope'
Harper Margaret Mills
(1994) ‘Taken in Drapery': Dressing the Narrative in the Odyssey and ‘Penelope'
In Molly Blooms: A Polylogue on 'Penelope' and Cultural Studies; Madison : University of Wisconsin Press pp. 237-263

1994

Twilight to Vision: Yeats's Collaborative Modernity
Harper Margaret Mills
(1994) Twilight to Vision: Yeats's Collaborative Modernity
In Irishness and (Post)Modernism; Lewisburg, PA : Bucknell University Press pp. 61-83

1991

The Message is the Medium: Identity in the Automatic Script
Harper Margaret Mills
(1991) The Message is the Medium: Identity in the Automatic Script
In Yeats: An Annual of Critical and Textual Studies; Ann Arbor, MI : UMI Research Press pp. 35-54

1988

The Medium as Creator: George Yeats's Role in the Automatic Script
Harper Margaret Mills
(1988) The Medium as Creator: George Yeats's Role in the Automatic Script
In Yeats: An Annual of Critical and Textual Studies; Ann Arbor, MI : UMI Research Press pp. 49-71

1983

Versions of History and Brother to Dragons
Harper Margaret Mills
(1983) Versions of History and Brother to Dragons
In Robert Penn Warren's 'Brother to Dragons': A Discussion; Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press pp. 226-243

Peer Reviewed Journals

2011

‘a form created by passion to unite us to ourselves': The Masks of Pizzorno and Yeats
Harper Margaret Mills
(2011) ‘a form created by passion to unite us to ourselves': The Masks of Pizzorno and Yeats
In International Political Anthropology; pp. 191-200

2010

Flesh and Bones: Anne Enright's The Gathering
Harper Margaret Mills
(2010) Flesh and Bones: Anne Enright's The Gathering
In South Carolina Review; pp. 74-87

2007

'how else could the god have come to us'?: Yeatsian Masks, Modernity, and the Sacred
Harper Margaret Mills
(2007) 'how else could the god have come to us'?: Yeatsian Masks, Modernity, and the Sacred
In Nordic Irish Studies; pp. 57-72

2004

An Interview with Michael Longley
Harper Margaret Mills and Michael Longley
(2004) An Interview with Michael Longley
In Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art; pp. 57-71

2004

Interview with Michael Longley
Harper Margaret Mills
(2004) Interview with Michael Longley
In Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art; pp. 57-71

2002

Nemo: George Yeats and Her Automatic Script
Harper Margaret Mills
(2002) Nemo: George Yeats and Her Automatic Script
In New Literary History; pp. 291-314

1997

An Interview with Eavan Boland
Harper Margaret Mills and Eavan Boland
(1997) An Interview with Eavan Boland
In Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art; pp. 87-105

1997

The Authoritative Image: Yeats's Singing School
Harper Margaret Mills
(1997) The Authoritative Image: Yeats's Singing School
In Studies in the Literary Imagination; pp. 105-118

Other Journals

1987

Of Time and the River: The Problem of Authority
Harper Margaret Mills
(1987) Of Time and the River: The Problem of Authority
In The Thomas Wolfe Review; pp. 1-6

Other Publications

2011

Irish Literature: Feminist Perspectives, ed. Patricia Coughlan and Tina O'Toole, and New Contexts: Re-Framing Nineteenth-Century Irish Women's Prose, ed. Heidi Hansson
Harper Margaret Mills
(2011) Irish Literature: Feminist Perspectives, ed. Patricia Coughlan and Tina O'Toole, and New Contexts: Re-Framing Nineteenth-Century Irish Women's Prose, ed. Heidi Hansson
In Irish Review; pp. 112-115

2007

Joyce and Reality: The Empirical Strikes Back, by John Gordon
Harper Margaret Mills
(2007) Joyce and Reality: The Empirical Strikes Back, by John Gordon
pp. 143-147

2000

Greek and Hellenic Culture in Joyce, by R. J. Schork
Harper Margaret Mills
(2000) Greek and Hellenic Culture in Joyce, by R. J. Schork
pp. 568-571

1999

A Yeats Dictionary: Persons and Places in the Poetry of William Butler Yeats, by Lester I. Conner
Harper Margaret Mills
(1999) A Yeats Dictionary: Persons and Places in the Poetry of William Butler Yeats, by Lester I. Conner

1997

Yeats's Worlds: Ireland, England and the Poetic Imagination, by David Pierce
Harper Margaret Mills
(1997) Yeats's Worlds: Ireland, England and the Poetic Imagination, by David Pierce
In James Joyce Literary Supplement ; pp. 3-

1997

The Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats, Vol. 3 (1901–1904), ed. John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard
Harper Margaret Mills
(1997) The Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats, Vol. 3 (1901–1904), ed. John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard
In Yeats: An Annual of Critical and Textual Studies; Richard J. Finneran(Ed.) Ann Arbor, MI : UMI Research Press pp. 351-363

1996

The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats, Volume XII: John Sherman and Dhoya, ed. Richard J. Finneran, and Volume VI: Prefaces and Introductions, ed. William H. O'Donnell
Harper Margaret Mills
(1996) The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats, Volume XII: John Sherman and Dhoya, ed. Richard J. Finneran, and Volume VI: Prefaces and Introductions, ed. William H. O'Donnell
In Text: Transactions of the Society for Textual Scholarship; pp. 438-442

1995

The Girl Image as Subtext in James Joyce's 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,' by Klára Weiss-Balla
Harper Margaret Mills
(1995) The Girl Image as Subtext in James Joyce's 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,' by Klára Weiss-Balla
In James Joyce Literary Supplement; pp. 15-15

1995

Aesthetic Autobiography: From Life to Art in Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Anaïs Nin, by Suzanne Nalbantian
Harper Margaret Mills
(1995) Aesthetic Autobiography: From Life to Art in Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Anaïs Nin, by Suzanne Nalbantian
In James Joyce Literary Supplement; pp. 9-9

1995

Gender and History in Yeats's Love Poetry, by Elizabeth Butler Cullingford
Harper Margaret Mills
(1995) Gender and History in Yeats's Love Poetry, by Elizabeth Butler Cullingford
In English Literature in Transition: 1880–1920; pp. 211-216

1994

Yeats and Artistic Power, by Phillip L. Marcus
Harper Margaret Mills
(1994) Yeats and Artistic Power, by Phillip L. Marcus
In English Literature in Transition: 1880–1920; pp. 1-4

1993

The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats, Volume XII: John Sherman and Dhoya, ed. Richard J. Finneran
Harper Margaret Mills
(1993) The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats, Volume XII: John Sherman and Dhoya, ed. Richard J. Finneran
In Studies in Short FIction; pp. 99-100

1993

Yeats and Postmodernism, ed. Leonard Orr
Harper Margaret Mills
(1993) Yeats and Postmodernism, ed. Leonard Orr
In Christianity and Literature; pp. 364-365

1993

Yeats and English Renaissance Literature, by Wayne K. Chapman
Harper Margaret Mills
(1993) Yeats and English Renaissance Literature, by Wayne K. Chapman
In South Carolina Review; pp. 185-187

1992

All Contraries Confounded: The Lyrical Fiction of Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes and Marguerite Duras, by Karen Kaivola
Harper Margaret Mills
(1992) All Contraries Confounded: The Lyrical Fiction of Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes and Marguerite Duras, by Karen Kaivola
In Christianity and Literature; pp. 365-367

1991

Abortion, Choice, and Contemporary Fiction: The Armageddon of the Maternal Instinct, by Judith Wilt
Harper Margaret Mills
(1991) Abortion, Choice, and Contemporary Fiction: The Armageddon of the Maternal Instinct, by Judith Wilt
In Christianity and Literature; pp. 320-322

1991

Swan and Shadow: Yeats's Dialogue with History, by Thomas R. Whitaker
Harper Margaret Mills
(1991) Swan and Shadow: Yeats's Dialogue with History, by Thomas R. Whitaker
In Christianity and Literature; pp. 93-95

1988

Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern Europe, ed. Margaret W. Ferguson, Maureen Quilligan, and Nancy J. Vickers
Harper Margaret Mills and Timothy J. McNiven
(1988) Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern Europe, ed. Margaret W. Ferguson, Maureen Quilligan, and Nancy J. Vickers
In Journal of Arts Education; pp. 25-28

1988

Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe, by David Herbert Donald
Harper Margaret Mills
(1988) Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe, by David Herbert Donald
In Southern Literary Journa; pp. 88-94

1987

Thomas Wolfe Interviewed: 1929–1938, ed. Aldo P. Magi and Richard Walser, and Mannerhouse: A Play in a Prologue and Four Acts, by Thomas Wolfe, ed. Louis D. Rubin, Jr., and John L. Idol, Jr.
Harper Margaret Mills
(1987) Thomas Wolfe Interviewed: 1929–1938, ed. Aldo P. Magi and Richard Walser, and Mannerhouse: A Play in a Prologue and Four Acts, by Thomas Wolfe, ed. Louis D. Rubin, Jr., and John L. Idol, Jr.
In South Atlantic Review; pp. 149-152