Department of English
205 Roy Cullen Building
Phone: (713) 743-3004
Fax: (713) 743-3215
- Phone: (713) 743-2970
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office: 236 A Roy Cullen Building
Margot Backus completed her graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin with an emphasis on British, Irish and ethnic and Third World studies with a specialization in gender studies and queer theory. Her first job was at Saint John Fisher College, a small liberal arts college in Rochester, New York. She has published numerous articles on gender and sexuality in twentieth century British, Irish, and North American literature and film, and her book,The Gothic Family Romance: Heterosexuality and Child Sacrifice in the Anglo-Irish Colonial Order, was published in 1999 by Duke University Press. The Gothic Family Romance won the American Conference for Irish Studies' 2001 prize for a distinguished first book. She is currently completing work on a book on Irish and Northern Irish cultures of scandal.
- Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, English Literature
- M.A., University of Texas at Austin, English Literature
- B.A., University of Massachusetts/Boston, English Literature, summa cum laude
For several years, Dr. Backus has been conducting research on the Kincora Scandal, which confronted early 1980's Belfast with a tangled web of political and sexual intrigue centering on the abuse of working-age (13-18 year old) boys at east Belfast's Kincora Boys' Home. This research has informed a series of articles and talks on sex scandals, depictions of sexual initiation, and pedophilia and homosexuality. In 2007-8, Dr. Backus plans to finish work on her current book project, Irish Scandal Culture and the Coming-of-Age Narrative.
Current Book Project
Irish Scandal Culture and the Coming-of-Age Narrative (in preparation).
- Odd Jobs: James Joyce’s Scandal Work. Forthcoming, University of Notre Dame
- The Gothic Family Romance: Heterosexuality, Child Sacrifice and the Anglo-Irish Colonial Order. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.
- “’An Iridescence Difficult to Account For’: Sexual Initiation in Joyce’s
Fiction of Development” (with Joseph Valente). ELH: Journal of English
Literary History, 76:2 (2009), 523-545.
- “The Children of the Nation?”: Representations of Poor Children in
Mainstream Nationalist Journalism, 1882 and 1913. Eire/Ireland 44: 1 & 2
(2009). Special issue on children, childhood and Irish society, eds. Maria
Luddy and James Smith, 118-146.
- “’Odd Jobs’: James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and the Scandal Fragment.” Joyce
Studies Annual 2008, 105-145.
- “’More Useful Washed and Dead’: James Connolly, W.B. Yeats, and the Sexual Politics of Easter 1916.” Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, special issue on Under Which Flag: Revisiting James Connolly, 10:1 (2008), 67-85.
- 'The children of the nation’: Representations of children in mainstream
nationalist journalism, 1882 and 1913,” in Children, Childhood and Irish
Society, ed. Maria Luddy and James Smith. Forthcoming, University of
Notre Dame Press.
- “The Queer Old Josser’s Storm-Tossed Heart: James Joyce’s Humiliation
Nation” (with Joseph Valente), in Collaborative Dubliners: Joyce in
Dialogue, ed. Vicki Mahaffey. Forthcoming, Syracuse University Press.
- “’Things That Have the Potential to Go Terribly Wrong’: Homosexuality,
Pedophelia, and the Kincora Boys Home Scandal.” In The Ashgate Research
Companion to Queer Theory, eds. Noreen Giffney and Michael
O'Rourke. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009, pp. 237-256.
- “’Everybody Knew, Nobody Said’: Transnational Laundries and Transnational
Trauma across the Irish/Northern Irish Border.” In Irish Studies:
Geographies and Genders, ed. Marta Lee and Ed Madden. Cambridge
Scholars Publishing, 2008, pp. 21-37.
- “Transnational laundries, transnational trauma, transnational feminisms.” In Irish Genders and Geographies, Ed. Marti Lee and Ed Madden. Cambridge Press (forthcoming).
- “’Things that have the Potential to go Terribly Wrong’: Homosexuality, Pedophelia, and the Kincora Boys Home Scandal.” In Critical InQueery: An Interdisciplinary Queer Studies Reader, Ed. Noreen Giffney and Michael O’Rourke. Black Swan Press (forthcoming).
Upper Division Courses
- ENGL 3301: Introduction to Literary Studies: Joyce and Discourse
- ENGL 3322: Contemporary Novel
- ENGL 3365: Postcolonial Literature
- ENGL 3370: Modern Irish Literature
- ENGL 3371: Contemporary Irish Literature
- ENGL 7396: Ulysses
- ENGL 7396: Queer Closures: The Sexual Politics of Literary Form
- ENGL 7366: Preseminar in British Modernism
- ENGL 7396: The British Women's Novel
- ENGL 7396: Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Irish Literature and Culture
- ENGL 7366: Literary Modernism: The Aesthetics and Politics of Empire
- Modern Language Association
- American Conference for Irish Studies
- Democratic Socialists of America
- Association for Economic and Social Analysis
- It's Not Philadelphia, Is It?: An Interview with Eamonn McCann
- "Afterthoughts" by Margot (Fitzgerald) Backus, Cincinnati Country Day School Connections, Spring 2006
- How Teaching at a Catholic Liberal Arts College Turned Me Queer, presented at the 1997 MLA Panel, "Voices in the Wilderness: Teaching Queer Theory in Strange Places."