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Professor Irene Morra

Professor

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Email:
morrai@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5662
Location:
2.20, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision

Current book project: Wagnerism and British Culture: Myth, Modernity, and the Art-Work of the Future.

Books:

  • Twentieth-Century British Authors and the Rise of Opera in Britain (Ashgate, 2007)
  • Britishness, Popular Music and National Identity: The Making of Modern Britain (Routledge, 2014)
  • The New Elizabethan Age: Culture, Society, and National Identity after World War II, ed. with Rob Gossedge (I.B. Tauris, 2016)
  • Verse Drama in England, 1900-2015: Art, Modernity, and the National Stage (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2016)

Please click on  'Publications' profile for a list of peer-reviewed articles and essays.

Primary research and teaching/supervisory interests :

  • drama (including music-drama), especially early modern, Victorian, and modern/contemporary
  • literature and music: 
    • intermediality and aesthetics
    • ideas of musicality in prose, fiction, and drama
  • opera studies
  • English cultural nationalism and cultural politics
  • cultural afterlives, especially Renaissance and medieval
  • Victorian intertextuality and cultural exchange
  • popular music and music culture
  • the modern and contemporary novel, especially American and British
  • film and television studies (adaptation, film musical, dramatists writing for film)

Education and Qualifications

  • B.A. (English Literature, Musicology, and French Literature, University of Toronto)
  • M.A. (Queen's University)
  • PhD (University of Toronto)

Visiting Fellowships

  • 2014-2015: Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • 2015: Department of English, University of Toronto

Professional memberships

British Shakespeare Association (BSA)

British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS)

Modern Language Association of America (MLA)

Modernist Studies Association (MSA)

North American Conference for British Studies (NACBS)

Shakespeare Association of America (SAA)

2017

  • Morra, I. 2017. Opera libretti in translation. In: Venuti, L. ed. Oxford History of Literary Translation in English Vol. 5.. Oxford: Oxford University Press

2016

2015

2014

2013

2010

2009

2007

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

  • Morra, I. 2001. Mansfield Park [Film Review]. Scope: An Online Refereed Journal of Film Studies 2001(August)
  • Morra, I. 2001. Muriel Spark. In: Reichhardt, M. ed. Catholic Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook.. Greenwood, pp. 357-361.
  • Morra, I. 2001. Dorothy L. Sayers. In: Reichardt, M. ed. Catholic Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook.. Greenwood Press, pp. 338-343.
  • Morra, I. 2001. Elizabeth Cary. In: Reichardt, M. ed. Catholic Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook.. Greenwood, pp. 24-28.
  • Morra, I. 2001. Musical biography. In: Jolly, M. ed. Encyclopedia of Life Writing: Autobiographical and Biographical Forms.. Fitzroy Dearborn, pp. 362.
  • Morra, I. 2001. Georg Philip Telemann. 18th Century Online Encyclopedia: Enlightenment and Revolution
  • Morra, I. 2001. Ludwig van Beethoven. 18th Century Online Encyclopedia: Enlightenment and Revolution
  • Morra, I. 2001. Domenico Scarlatti. 18th Century Online Encyclopedia: Enlightenment and Revolution
  • Morra, I. 2001. Composers of the Nazi era: eight portraits by Michael H. Kater [Book Review]. University of Toronto Quarterly 71(1), pp. 330-332.

I have designed and taught the following modules at Cardiff University:

  • Critical Reading and Critical Writing (team-taught module)
  • Drama: Page and Stage
  • Shakespeare’s Comedies
  • John Donne
  • The Victorian Novel (with Dr. Becky Munford)
  • Social Politics and National Style: American Fiction and Form, 1920-1940
  • The American South in Literature and Film
  • Literature and the London Blitz
  • Modern Drama I
  • Modern Drama II
  • Modern Drama: Page, Stage, Screen
  • The Film Musical
  • Music and Nation
  • Literature into Film
  • Modern and Contemporary American Drama

I have supervised postgraduate dissertations on Renaissance drama, the Victorian novel, twentieth-century American fiction, 1920s experimental theatre, British interwar fiction, opera, and modern British theatre.

I welcome enquiries about supervision in any of the areas above or in the research areas listed on the 'Overview' and 'Research' pages.

My research is often interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary, and has ranged across literary periods and genres.

My current book project is Wagnerism and British Culture: Myth, Modernism, and the Art-Work of the Future.

Individual articles have explored the figure of the isolated musician in the Victorian novel; Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, and nineteenth-century opera; and the intertextual presence of Shakespeare, Milton, and Tennyson in the novels of Dickens and Twain. Essays on modern and contemporary culture have analysed the Edwardian enthusiasms of David Mamet on film; the Anglophilia of Lerner and Lowe; the anti-theatricality of the contemporary English stage; and the relationship between artistic expression, social empowerment, and cultural nationalism in the reception of the London Olympics Opening ceremony. Others have explored the New Elizabethan status of Hilary Mantel, the signifying theatricality of Greek drama in the work of Tennessee Williams, and the dynamic, pervasive resonance of Shakespearean theatre in modern and contemporary politics, pageantry, and drama.

My books have focussed primarily on literature, the arts, and cultural nationalism in modern and contemporary Britain, from a variety of perspectives and methodologies.

Twentieth-Century British Authors and the Rise of Opera in Britain analyses the ‘rise’ of opera in mid twentieth-century Britain in relation to the uncharacteristically influential role of the literary librettist.

Britishness, Popular Music, and National Identity: The Making of Modern Britain identifies the social and cultural importance of popular music to contemporary English constructions of Britishness. The book contextualizes its readings of British popular music from the 1950s to the present day within a larger examination of modern debates about English folk identity, race, class, and imperial history.

Verse Drama in England, 1900-2015: Art, Modernity, and the National Stage traces the development of a diffuse but consistently alternative, self-consciously resistant tradition. Through a close analysis of the work and writings of dramatists including Stephen Phillips, W. B. Yeats, John Masefield, Anne Ridler,  T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, Christopher Fry, John Arden, Steven Berkoff, Caryl Churchill, Tony Harrison, and Mike Bartlett, it encourages a re-visitation of the prevailing historiography of modern British drama – and a renewed attention to the cultural and national assumptions that have shaped contemporary perceptions.

Research interests

Drama: modern and contemporary; medieval and Renaissance, particularly its afterlife in literature, theatre, film, and contemporary culture

Intermediality, adaptation, and intertextuality: Victorian intertexualities; modernist aesthetics (esp. Auden, Eliot, Woolf, Forster); music and literature; film and theatre; film and literature; popular music studies; the novel and the 'other arts'

Nationalism and national aesthetics, particularly in British literature, music, theatre, political discourse, and historiography

Trans-Atlanticism: Dickens and Twain, Southern Gothic and the Victorian novel, Britain and Canada (esp post-WWII)