Dr David Dwan

Fellow and Tutor in English

Associate Professor

Phone number: 
01865 279469

David Dwan joined Hertford in 2014.  Before this he held lectureships at Queen Mary (University of London), Queen’s University Belfast and the University of York.

Undergraduate teaching 

At Hertford David teaches the first year papers on literature from 1830 to 1910 and 1910 to the present.  He also lectures in these areas for the English Faculty.

Postgraduate teaching 

David contributes to the MSt on post-1900 literature and offers a course on the politics of Irish literature.


David's research addresses the relationship between literature and intellectual history (particularly moral and political philosophy) from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. He has a particular interest in Irish writing.  His first book – The Great Community (Field Day, 2008) – examined the evolution of cultural nationalism in Ireland.  W. B. Yeats was the central figure of the book, but he also considered some of his most important intellectual influences, from Edmund Burke to the Young Ireland movement of the 1840s.  Since then David has co-edited (with Christopher Insole) The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke and published articles on a variety of figures from Rousseau to Woolf.  His monograph Liberty, Equality and Humbug: Orwell's Political Ideals will be published by Oxford University Press in 2018.



  • The Great Community: Culture and Nationalism in Ireland (Dublin: Field Day/Notre Dame, 2008), 232 pages
  • Co-Editor (with Chris Insole), The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 253 pages

 Recent Articles and Chapters

  • ‘Young Ireland to Yeats', The Princeton History of Modern Ireland, ed. Richard Bourke and Ian McBride (Princeton, 2016), 217-35

  • 'Romantic Nationalism: History and Illusion in Ireland,' Modern Intellectual History (2015): 29 pages
  • ‘The Problem of Romanticism in Wyndham Lewis', Essays in Criticism, 65.2 (2015): pp. 163-86
  • ‘Modernism and Rousseau’, Textual Practice, 27.4 (2013): pp. 537-63
  •  ‘Orwell’s Paradox: Equality in Animal Farm’, ELH, 79.3(2012): pp. 655-83
  •  ‘Burke and Utility’ in The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 131-44
  •  (with Chris Insole) ‘Introduction: Philosophy in Action’ in The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 1-15
  • ‘Edmund Burke and the Emotions’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 72.4 (2011): pp. 571-93
  •  ‘Truth and Freedom in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four’, Philosophy and Literature, 34.2 (2010): pp. 381-93
  •  ‘Yeats’s Thought’ in Visions and Revisions: W. B. Yeats (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2010), pp. 109-26
  •  ‘Woolf, Scepticism and Manners’, Textual Practice, 22.2 (2008): pp. 249-68
  •  ‘Civic Virtue in the Modern World: The Politics of Young Ireland’, Irish Political Studies, 22.1 (2007): pp. 35-60
  •  ‘Abstract Hatred: Yeats and the Counter-Revolutionary Paradigm’, Literature and History, 15.1 (2006): pp. 18-36
  •  ‘Young Ireland and the Horde of Benthamy’ in Politics and Power in Victorian Ireland, ed. Roger Swift and Christine Kinealy (Dublin: Four Courts, 2006), pp. 109-18  
  • ‘Culture and Democracy in Ireland’, Irish Review, 32 (2004): pp. 23-38
  • ‘That Ancient Sect: Yeats, Hegel, and the Possibility of Epic in Ireland’, Irish Studies Review, 12.2 (2004): pp. 201-11
  •  ‘Idle Talk: Ontology and Mass Communications in Heidegger’, New Formations, 51 (2003): pp. 113-27
  •  ‘Yeats, Heidegger and the Problem of Modern Subjectivism’, Paragraph, 25.1 (2002): pp. 74-91