James McNaughton

James McNaughton

Associate Professor
Director, Graduate Studies


  • PhD, English, University of Michigan

Research Areas

  • 20th-Century British Literature
  • Critical Theory


Associate Professor McNaughton joined the UA English faculty in 2007. Indebted to archival research, McNaughton’s work examines the intersections among history, politics, and modernist aesthetics. His areas of specialty include 20th-century Irish writing, British and Irish poetry, Anglo-European modernism, and critical theory.

McNaughton is a winner of the University of Alabama’s Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award, 2013.

McNaughton directs “UA in Ireland,” a study abroad program run in conjunction with the National University of Ireland, Galway.



  • Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Aftermath. (Forthcoming from Oxford University Press)

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Samuel Beckett’s ‘Echo’s Bones’: Politics and Entailment in the Irish Free-State.” Modern Fiction Studies 60.2 (Summer 2014), 320-344.
  • “Thomas MacGreevy’s Poetics of Loss: War, Sexuality, and Archive.” Journal of Modern Literature 35.4 (2012), 130-150.
  • “The Politics of Aftermath: Beckett, Modernism, and the Free State.” Beckett and Ireland: New Perspectives.Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010, 56-77.
  • “Beckett’s ‘Brilliant Obscurantics’: Watt and the Problem of Propaganda.” Samuel Beckett: History, Memory, Archive. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 47-69.
  • “Beckett, German Fascism, and History: The Futility of Protest.” Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui 15 (2005), 101-116.


  • “A Marvellous Gun Unshot.” Southern Cultures, (Summer 2016), 105-112.
  • “The Impoverishment of Commonsense: Memorials and Ghosts in Tuscaloosa” The Alabama Humanities Review. Winner of 1st Runner up for the Seaman/ Whetsone award, granted by the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

Book and Theater Reviews

  • Operating Theater in Galway: Review of Beckett’s Lessness presented by Olwen Fouéré, Galway International Arts Festival, 2015.” Journal of Beckett Studies, 25.2 (2016), 294-299.
  • “Biography, Aesthetics, and Beckett’s Inauthentic Self”: Samuel Beckett’s German Diaries (Continuum, 2012) by Mark Nixon. Journal of Beckett Studies, 22.2 (2013), 235-240.
  • Samuel Beckett in the Literary Marketplace (Syracuse 2011). Cercles October 2011. Web.
  • Samuel Beckett and the Problem of Irishness (Palgrave 2009). Modernism/ modernity 17.3 (2010), 704-706. Print.
  • The Letters of Samuel Beckett. Volume 1: 1929-1940 (Cambridge 2009). Modernism/ modernity 17.2 (2010), 454-456. Print.