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James Smith

english department

photo of James Smith

Associate Professor

B.A., English & History, University College Dublin, Ireland
M.A., English, Clark University
M.A., Anglo-Irish Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland
Ph.D., English, Boston College

Stokes Hall S489
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: 617-552-1596
Fax: 617-552-4220

Irish Studies Program

Academic Profile

Specializes in Irish literature and culture, especially contemporary narrative, and cultural studies. His graduate seminars include "Contemporary Irish Fiction," "Twentieth Century Irish Fiction," and "Ireland: The Colonial Context." His undergraduate electives include "American Literary History II," "Contemporary Fiction: Britain and Ireland," "Major Irish Writers," and both 19th and 20th century surveys of Irish literature. His recent book, Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment, focusing on representations of institutional care in post-independence Ireland, won the Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book awarded by the American Conference for Irish Studies in 2007.  He is currently engaged in a project examining the place of the child in Irish society and how the meaning of childhood in Ireland has changed over time.  He continues to be interested in recent scandals in the Irish Catholic Church and the manner in which these affect relations between Church, state and society.




Journal Articles


  • “Re-Imagining Ireland, Britain and Europe.” Traversing the Imaginary. Eds. Peter Gratton and John P. Manoussakis. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2007.
  • “Sexual Abuse and the Irish Church: Crisis and Responses” (with Robert Savage). Occasional Papers, 2003. The Church in the 21st Century. Boston College Online Publication.
  • “Retelling Stories: Exposing Mother Ireland in Kathy Prendergast’s Body Map Series and Mary Leland’s The Killeen.” Re/Dressing Cathleen: Contemporary Works From Irish Women Artists. Ed. Jennifer Grinnell and Alston Conley. Boston: McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 1997. 42-51.


  • “Irish Society Colluded in Betrayal of Magdalen Women.” Opinion-Editorial. The Irish Times 1 Sept. 2003: 12.
  • The Magdalene Sisters in America.” Commentary. The Alliance for the Study of Adoption, Identity & Kinship Newsletter 5 (Fall, 2003): 1 & 3-4.
  • “Re-Imagining Ireland, Britain and Europe.”  Rev. of Postnationalist Ireland: Politics, Culture, Philosophy by Richard Kearney.  The Irish Literary Supplement 16, 2 (1997): 23-4.

Additional Professional Information

For further information regarding Irish Studies at Boston College, including information regarding graduate programs, faculty listings, and calendar of events, view: /centers/irish/studies/.