Dr Adrianne Janus

Dr Adrianne Janus

Ph.D., Stanford University (Comparative Literature), 2004
M.A., Queen’s University, Belfast (Irish Writing), 1997
B.A., Princeton University (Comparative Literature), 1995

Research Interests
The poetics of auditory phenomena (music, noise, murmurs and laughter) in 19th and 20th century Irish and French literature, with particular emphasis on contemporary Northern Irish poetry and the works of Samuel Beckett; how cultural habits of listening to song and music, and how auditory technology such as gramophone and radio, impacted literary forms and social formations; the negotiation between poetic acts of recollection and the writing of history; the undead in Irish literature and culture.

Current Research
Dr. Janus is currently working on a project entitled ‘Irish laughter, French Infections and German doctors,’ which examines the striking preponderance of laughter in Irish literature in terms of the conditions and effects that events of laughter produce in literary texts and in culture (the poetics of laughter), rather than in terms of the conditions or discourses that produce laughter (the poetics of humour). The project aims to diagnose different strains of Irish literary laughter, trace the transmission of these types of laughter across historical and linguistic boundaries, from medieval to modern Ireland, and between modern Ireland and France, and determine how these strains of laughter have impacted the forms and functions of the literary and cultural bodies they have infected. While offering a critique of primary scholarship in the poetics of humour, such as Vivian Mercier’s foundational ‘The Irish Comic Tradition,’ this project will define a poetics of laughter by taking account of attempts to diagnose the functions and effects of laughter in individual and cultural bodies such as evidenced in the works of German doctors from Sigmund Freud to Helmuth Plessner.

Selected Publications
“Beckett traduit Beckett.”
Review, Bryn Mawr Literary Review. February 2003.

“Mnemosyne and the Mislaid Pen: the poetics of memory in Heaney, Longley and McGuckian.”
Last Before America: Irish and American Writing. Ed. Brearton & Hughes. Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 2001.

“Song, murmurs and laughter in Irish Writing.”
Critical Ireland: New Essays in Literature and Culture. Ed. Kelly & Gillis. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001.

Contact Details
E-Mail: adrienne.janus@gmail.com