Eagleton returns to Notre Dame as distinguished visitor

by Marie Blakey

Terry Eagleton

Literary scholar and cultural theorist Terry Eagleton has been appointed Excellence in English Distinguished Visitor in the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame.

A former visiting professor at Notre Dame, Eagleton most recently presented the lecture “The Death of Criticism?” last year at the University’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies.

The new appointment will bring Eagleton to campus for three weeks each semester for the next five years to conduct graduate seminars and present a series of lectures open to the campus community and public. His first graduate seminar, scheduled for this fall, is titled “Problems of Interpretation.”

John Sitter, chair of the English Department, noted that Eagleton brings to the College of Arts and Letters an impressive breadth of scholarship, ranging from Shakespeare to contemporary literature and poetry.

“Terry Eagleton’s recurring visits over the next five years will provide extraordinary opportunities for Notre Dame students and faculty to interact with someone widely regarded as the most influential contemporary literary critic and theorist in the English-speaking world,” Sitter said.

While perhaps most recognized for literary criticism, Eagleton also is known for his work in cultural theory, Catholicism, politics and history. He is the author of numerous academic books and also has written plays, film and television scripts, a memoir, and the novel “Saints and Scholars.” His most recent book is “Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate,” published last month by Yale University Press.

Eagleton is a chaired professor in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University and an adjunct professor of cultural theory at the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at National University of Ireland, Galway. Previously, he was John Edward Taylor Professor of English Literature at the University of Manchester and Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. He also is a fellow of the British Academy and the English Association, and has held visiting appointments at a number of universities around the world.