Dr Nicholas Taylor-Collins

​​nick taylor collins.jpg ​Position:
Senior Lecturer in English
​School:​ Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy
​E- mail: ntaylor-collins@cardiffmet.ac.uk
​Telephone:​02920 205202
​Room No:​B114


Research Interests:

  • Modern and contemporary Irish literature
  • Literary and cultural theory
  • Death studies
  • Irish studies
  • William Shakespeare


  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Societ
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Treasurer, British Association of Irish Studies
  • Executive Council of the International Association of Studies in Irish Literatures (2022–4)
  • British Shakespeare Association
  • British Association for Contemporary Literature Studie
  • European Shakespeare Research Association
  • Council for the Defence of British Universities


Authored books

Taylor-Collins, Nicholas, Shakespeare, memory, and modern Irish literature (Manchester University Press, 2022)
___, Judge for Yourself: Reading Hyper-contemporary literature and book prize shortlists (London: Routledge, 2020)

Edited volumes

Taylor-Collins, Nicholas and Radley, Bryan (eds), John Banville in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, under contract)

Zuntini de Izarra, Laura P., Hedwig Schwall, and Nicholas Taylor-Collins (eds), Word upon world: half a century of John Banville’s universes (= Brazilian Journal of Irish Studies (ABEI), 22.1 (2020))

Taylor-Collins, Nicholas and van der Ziel, Stanley (eds), Shakespeare and Contemporary Irish Literature (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

Journal articles

Taylor-Collins, Nicholas, ‘Ireland, Influence, Idealism: Eavan Boland and the Nobel Prize in Literature’, ed. by S. Rogers, Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (= Yearbook of English Studies, 51 (2021), 183–204
___, ‘Body and Memory in Coriolanus’, Notes and Queries, 67.4 (2021), 119–21

___, ‘Ageing John Banville: from Einstein to Bergson’, in Laura P. Zuntini de Izarra, Hedwig Schwall and Nicholas Taylor-Collins (eds), Word upon world: half a century of John Banville’s universes (= Brazilian Journal of Irish Studies (ABEI), 22.1 (2020)), 159–72

___, ‘The City’s Hostile Bodies: Coriolanus’ Rome and Carson’s Belfast’, Modern Language Review, 115.1 (2020), 17–45

___, ‘The Duke’s Hospitable Return in Measure for Measure’, Notes and Queries, 65.4 (2018), 538–9

___, ‘“Remember me”: Hamlet, memory and Bloom’s poiesis’, Irish Studies Review, 25.2 (2017), 241–58

Collins, Nicholas, ‘“This prison where I live”: Ireland takes Centre Stage’, Cahiers Elisabéthains, 88.1 (2015), 125–38

Chapters in books

Taylor-Collins, Nicholas, ‘Agnes in Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet as (early) modern husbander’, in Elaine Canning (ed.), Maggie O’Farrell: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2024)

Taylor-Collins, Nicholas and van der Ziel, Stanley, ‘Introduction: Shakespeare, Ireland and the Contemporary’, in Shakespeare and Contemporary Irish Literature (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 1–25

Taylor-Collins, Nicholas, ‘Moving the Statue: Myths of Motherhood in Eavan Boland, Shakespeare, and Early Modern Culture’, in Shakespeare and Contemporary Irish Literature (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 71–97

___, ‘“[L]ike a shoal of fish moving within a net”: King Lear and McGahern’s Family in Amongst Women’, in John McGahern: Critical Essays, ed. by Raymond Mullen, Adam Bargroff and Jennifer Mullen (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2014), pp. 113–36

Public engagement

Taylor-Collins, Nicholas, ‘Why Trainspotting’s Danny Boyle is the right man to help James Bond save Brexit Britain’, theconversation.com (23 July 2018)

___, ‘Christmas nostalgia is something to be wary of, according to literary greats’, theconversation.com (20 December 2017)

Collins, Nicholas, ‘Heartache in Remembering 1916’, theirishrevolution.ie (March 2016)

Reviews and other

Taylor-Collins, Nicholas (academic advisor), ‘Coriolanus’, Shakespearean Criticism (forthcoming, 2023)

___, ‘James Joyce and Samaritan Hospitality: Postcritical and Postsecular Reading in “Dubliners” and “Ulysses”’ (Richard Rankin Russell), Irish Studies Review (forthcoming, 2023)

___, ‘The Historians by Eavan Boland’, The New Critique (2020)

___, ‘The Restless Ciaran Carson’, Irish Literary Supplement, 39.2 (2020), 10–12

___, ‘Poets and the Peacock Dinner: The Literary History of a Meal(Lucy McDiarmid)’, Notes and Queries, 64.3 (2017), 514–15

___, ‘The Irish Dancing: Cultural Politics and Identities, 1900–2000 (Barbara O’Connor)’, Irish Studies Review, 25.1 (2017), 122–4

Collins, Nicholas, ‘The Celtic Revival in Shakespeare’s Wake: Appropriation and Cultural Politics, 1867–1922 (Adam Putz)’, Irish University Review, 45.1 (2015), 181–5

___, ‘W. B. Yeats’s A Vision: Explications and Contexts (ed. by Mann, Gibson and Nally)’, Irish Studies Review, 21.4 (2013), 488–90

___, ‘The Myth of Manliness in Irish National Culture, 1880–1922 (Joseph Valente)’, Irish Studies Review, 20.3 (2012), 338–40

___, ‘“This Earthly Stage”: World and Stage in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (ed. by Hirsch and Wortham)’, Shakespeare in Southern Africa, 24 (2012), 71–4


In Shakespeare, memory and modern Irish literature (Manchester UP, 2022) I propose ‘dismemory' as a new form of intertextual engagement with Shakespeare by modern and contemporary Irish writers. Through reflection on these canonical writers—J.M. Synge, James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett, Edna O’Brien, Seamus Heaney, and John Banville—and ranging across thirteen Shakespeare plays, I demonstrate how Irish writers who helped to fashion and critique the Irish nation state carry an indelible, if often subdued, mark of Shakespeare's early modern English influence.

In my next project, Guardian of Death: John Banville’s affirmation of life, I outline the importance of thanatology to Banville’s fifty-year career. Through ageing, inheritance, murder, illness, the death drive, and non-human death, I offer a new way of thinking about Banville’s writing as urgent and contemporary. I also break the critical mould by examining Banville’s fiction longitudinally, and not just through the thematic arrangements in which the author has written his novels.

In Judge for Yourself: How to Read Contemporary Literature and Book-Prize Shortlists Routledge, 2020) I explore the world of book prizes, and offer a guidebook for how to read hyper-contemporary literature—that is, writing that has not yet gathered a critical consensus—in light of pressing socio-political topics. These topics include fourth-wave feminism, postcolonialism, and queerness, as well as the problem of the canon, non-literary genres and the current political climate.


I joined Cardiff Metropolitan University in September 2019, having spent two years as a lecturer at Swansea University. I previously taught at the University of Warwick, where I was also a postdoctoral associate fellow. I completed my BA (Hons) at the University of Warwick, my MA at The University of Manchester (funded by the AHRC) and my PhD back at Warwick. My thesis, completed in 2015, examined the interconnections between the emergence of ‘English’ literature in and through Shakespeare’s drama—among other early modern writers—and the emergence of modern Irish literature in the twentieth century.

My monograph, Shakespeare, memory and modern Irish literature (Manchester University Press, 2022) builds on the thesis but narrows the focus to a particularly disruptive strain of memory (‘dismemory’) that conditions the connection between Shakespeare and twentieth-century Irish writers. Alongside Dr Stanley van der Ziel, I co-edited Shakespeare and Contemporary Irish Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) in which collected essays from esteemed academics across to Europe explored the Shakespeare-Irish literature connection. On the same topic, I have published articles in Irish Studies Review, Cahiers Elisabéthains, Notes and Queries and Modern Language Review.

I am now examining the representation of death in the fiction of Irish novelist John Banville. In 2018 I won a Santander Mobility Grant to travel to the W.B. Yeats Chair at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where I delivered a lecture on the topic of ageing in Banville’s fiction. This will be the first chapter of my next book, and an early version has been published in a special issue of the Brazilian Journal of Irish Studies (ABEI) on the topic of John Banville which I co-edited with Professor Laura Zuntini de Izarra and Professor Hedwig Schwall (2020). I am currently co-editing John Banville in Context (Cambridge UP) with Dr Bryan Radley (York).

In 2019 I won an Outstanding Contribution to Employability Award and an award for the Best New Module at Swansea University. Both were awarded for my work designing and convening the International Dylan Thomas Prize module at Swansea University.

I am currently supervising doctorates on Shakespeare and the offstage, the coeval development of songs alongside poetry, and on post-1997 children’s fantasy literature. I am interested in supervising PhD topics in any of my research specialisms, and more widely on modern/contemporary Irish writing and/or literary and cultural theory.

For more information, follow me on Twitter @n_taylorcollins, and check out my Wakelet portfolio.