Sean Hewitt

witter: @seanehewitt

Previous education

  • BA (Hons) First Class, English, at Girton College, University of Cambridge
  • MA (Distinction) Irish Studies, University of Liverpool

Thesis title

J.M. Synge, Modernisation, and the “Congested Districts” of Ireland.


Dr. Lauren Arrington and Dr. Frank Shovlin.

Research summary

My research focuses on the works of J.M. Synge, and explores his relationship to early modernisms and to schemes of systematic modernisation. Employing a chronological approach, my thesis documents and explores the development, and even “modernisation”, of Synge’s works after his encounters with the transitional, modernising communities subject to the Congested Districts Board for Ireland (1891-1923).

Research interests

  • Modernism
  • Modernisation
  • The Irish Revival
  • Contemporary Poetry
  • Ecopoetry
  • Travel Literature
  • Theatre History


‘‘An Intitiated Mystic’: Modernisation and Occultism in J.M. Synge’s The Aran Islands’, New Hibernia Review / Iris Éireannach Nua (2015).


Seán Ó Riordáin, Selected Poems, ed. Frank Sewell, in Modern Poetry in Translation, no. 1, 2015.

Frank Orsmby, Goats Milk, in Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies, 2015.

Pilar Villar-Argáiz, ed., Literary Visions of Multicultural Ireland: The Immigrant in Contemporary Irish Literature (Manchester University Press, 2015), in Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language, vol. VII (2015).

Cindy Weinstein, Time, Tense, and American Literature: When is Now? (Cambridge University Press, 2015), in U.S. Studies Online (2015).