Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Seamus Heaney and society, 1964-1994
Author: Lavan, Rosie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 8981
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
The contexts of Seamus Heaney's writing have been routinely noted but their critical interrogation has, to date, been limited. This thesis resituates Heaney's work to reassert the significance of his writing in its varied times and places. Its aim is to revive the web of connections within which Heaney's work was written, published, and received, and this accounts for the "society" of the title. While the idea of society as entity remains important, the word is employed primarily as a capacious guiding principle. Society's adjective, social, is always connected: to be "social" in any sense is always to be implicated in a wider context or contexts. A central ambition has been to reappraise Heaney's work in relation to the situation in Northern Ireland during the three decades under consideration. A trend in criticism has been to offer reductive contextual accounts which risk depreciating the value of a historicist approach. This thesis demonstrates instead how Heaney's work is implicated in textual, cultural, and institutional networks which were themselves conditioned by the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland. It considers: the London publishing scene on which his work emerged; his relationship to Belfast mediated through television documentary; his radio work for the BBC Northern Ireland Schools Service; his relationship to Derry mediated through photography; and ideas of audience, address, and redress in his Oxford lectures. Participating in the increasingly interdisciplinary treatment of literature within and beyond Irish Studies, the literary analysis at the heart of this project is undertaken within a broader framework of cultural criticism. The significance of this contribution lies not solely in its acts of historical recovery, but in the critical reorientation these permit. By locating Heaney as a respondent in varied public arenas we can understand the genesis not only of his work but of the international establishment literary figure he became.
Supervisor: O'Donoghue, Bernard Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Language and Literature ; Heaney ; poetry ; society ; Northern Ireland