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Vicki Mahaffey

Clayton and Thelma Kirkpatrick Professor


Taught for 27 years at the University of Pennsylvania. Retired as a full professor in line for a named chair (everything had been awarded but the name).

Held Chair of Modern Literature at the University of York, UK, for two years before moving to Illinois.

Research Interests

Gender/Sexuality Studies, Irish Studies, Modern British, Theory & Criticism, Women's Literature


University of Texas at Austin, with highest honors and Phi Beta Kappa.

Princeton University, M.A. and Ph.D.



Awards and Honors

Guggenheim Fellowship


Courses Taught

Modernist literature; Irish literature; fairy tales and gender formation; Beckett; Eliot; Homer; Joyce; Wilde; Woolf; Yeats; literary authority and the Holocaust

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Gender and Women's Studies

Highlighted Publications

My forthcoming book, The Joyce of Everyday Life, will be published by Bucknell University Press in the spring of 2024. lt celebrates the power of language to preserve and multiply lived experiences across time and space, with chapters such as these: On Beds, On Dirty Sheets, On Salmon, On Fat, On Writing by Hand, On Letters, On Glass, On Closing and Opening.

My essay on "Penelope," "Who Resembles Molly Bloom?", was published in July of 2023 in the Joyce Studies Annual celebration of the centenary of Ulysses, ed. by Moshe Gold and Keri Walsh.

In December of 2022, a collection that I edited with Joseph Valente and Kezia Whiting was published: Joycean Possibilities: a Margot Norris Legacy (Anthem Press).

Also in 2022 I published the essay on the "Nausicaa" episode of Ulysses for The Cambridge Centenary Ulyssesed. Catherine Flynn.


In press is an essay for Joyce and Race, ed. Malcolm Sen and Julie Weng (Cambridge University Press, 2024).


Recent Publications

Ellmann, M., White, S., & Mahaffey, V. (2021). The Edinburgh Companion to Irish Modernism. (Edinburgh Companions to Literature and the Humanities). Edinburgh University Press.

Mahaffey, V. (2021). Irish Christian Comedy: Heresy or Reform? In M. Ellmann, S. White, & V. Mahaffey (Eds.), The Edinburgh Companion to Irish Modernism (Edinburgh Companions to Literature and the Humanities). Edinburgh University Press.

Mahaffey, V., & Truran, W. J. (2020). Feeling Ulysses: An Address to the Cyclopean Reader. In P. Kitcher (Ed.), Joyce's Ulysses: Philosophical Perspectives (pp. 100-131). Oxford University Press.

Mahaffey, V. (2017). Darkening Freedom: Yeats, Joyce, Beckett. In V. Sherry (Ed.), The Cambridge History of Modernism (pp. 646-662). Cambridge University Press.

Mahaffey, V. (2015). “Ricorso”: The Flaming Door of IV. In K. J. Devlin, & C. Smedley (Eds.), Joyce's Allmaziful Plurabilities: Polyvocal Explorations of Finnegans Wake (pp. 290-306). (The Florida James Joyce Series). University Press of Florida.

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