BA, NUI; MPhil, Dub; PhD, NUI
Declan William Kavanagh is Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Studies with research interests in eighteenth-century British literature and culture, masculinity, disability studies, Irish literature, and queer histories and cultures.
Declan completed his PhD at Maynooth University, where he was the recipient of an Irish Research Council doctoral award. He is Director of the Centre for Gender, Sexuality, and Writing at the Uni. of Kent and co-chair of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Lesbian and Gay Studies Caucus.
To date, Declan has published several essays, book chapters, and book reviews in publications such as the Irish University Review, Special Issue 2013: Queering the Issue, Eighteenth-Century Ireland / Iris an dá chultúr, BARS: Bulletin and Review and Heteronormativity in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture (Routledge 2016).
Effeminate Years skillfully traces the development of modern ideas of masculinity and the political subject back to the mid-eighteenth-century period in Britain to show how the emergence of political agency in Western modernity was shaped by anti-effeminate ideas and beliefs. This monograph is the first to consider how the discourse of effeminacy took shape across the domains of eighteenth-century political life, literary culture, and the aesthetic. It draws upon a vast range of sources, including Charles Churchill’s poetry, John Wilkes's satire, essay sheets by Tobias Smollett and Arthur Murphy, and Edmund Burke's early writings on aesthetics and politics.
This study queers our understanding of the development of the political subject during the Enlightenment. In showing how the history of effeminacy is also the history of democracy and its discontents, Effeminate Years illuminates those forces that have historically determined political agency. Importantly, the study questions the boundary of the political subject, which is still the basis for debate and argument in our own time.
In 2015, he was awarded the Hans Turley Prize for Queer Eighteenth-Century Studies by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
Office: RX NC34
School of English
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
Declan delivers undergraduate lectures and seminars on eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century literature and critical theory, while also delivering a special option on Contemporary Irish Writing. During the 2017/18 academic year, he will be teaching:
- EN681 Novelty, Enlightenment and Emancipation: Eighteenth-Century Literature (Stage 2)
- EN659 Contemporary Irish Writing (Stage 3)
- EN832 Hacks, Dunces and Scribblers: Authorship and the Marketplace in the Eighteenth-Century (postgraduate)
- EN868 Queer Enlightenments: Eighteenth-Century Narratives of Sex and Gender (postgraduate)
Interested in supervising doctoral projects in eighteenth-century literature and culture, Irish literature and Queer Studies.
Declan is a member of the following:
- IASIL: The International Association For the Study of Irish Literatures (Since 2011)
- ECLRNI: The Eighteenth-Century Literature Research Network in Ireland (Since 2011)
- BSECS: The British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (Since 2012)