Assistant Professor, English
Twentieth-century British and Irish literature; diasporic Irish studies; transnational modernism; post-colonial studies; comparative film studies; postwar visual and popular culture; British cultural studies; youth subcultures; working-class studies...

A native New Yorker, Professor Jarrin graduated from Yale, studied Irish-Gaelic at the University of Ireland-Galway and UC-Berkeley, and received her Ph.D. from Duke before joining the Macalester faculty in 2007. She teaches courses on modern/postmodern British and Irish literature, postwar film and photography, queer modernisms, prison art/writing, and youth subcultures, with a focus on the ethics and aesthetics of representing violence (particularly responses to the world wars and conflicts in Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan).

Her first book, Deathwatch: Sadism, Empathy, and 20th-Century Spectacles of Violence (in progress), explores simultaneously voyeuristic and empathic responses to bodily trauma, wartime atrocity, and violent death. From prison memoirs, iconoclastic novels, and theatres of cruelty to iconic photographs, films, and war reenactments, Deathwatch examines the relation between the physiological experience of violence and its representation in narrative and visual art: memoir and prose “fiction” (Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, J.G. Ballard, Michael Herr); drama (Peter Weiss, Sarah Kane, Martin McDonagh); film (Stanley Kubrick, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Robert Bresson, Peter Greenaway, Steve McQueen, Juanita Wilson, Kathryn Bigelow, Gaspar Noe); painting and photography (Francis Bacon, Vija Celmins, Andy Warhol, An-My Le); conceptual and performance art (Hermann Nitsch, Sanja Ivekovic, Alice Maher). She has conducted research throughout the US, England, Ireland, and Germany, including an NEH Fellowship (Clark Library/Wilde Archive), prison research (Louisiana State Penitentiary/Angola, Alcatraz, Kilmainham Gaol, Gedenkstätte Berlin- Hohenschönhausen), and work in manuscript/art/film archives (Morgan Library, British Library, National Library of Ireland, Irish Film Archive, Beckett Archive/Trinity College Dublin, Francis Bacon Archive/Hugh Lane Gallery, Andy Warhol Museum). Recent creative projects include a novel (Incarnate), documentary photography project on urban landscapes of political violence (“Jumping the Fence”), and short films (The Hunt, Share).

Areas of Study

  • 20thC British and Irish literature/film; transatlantic and queer modernisms
  • British cultural studies and youth subcultures
  • Comparative film studies and genre theory (film noir, crime/gangster cinema, war film, horror genre, British/French New Wave)
  • Postwar visual and popular culture
  • Prison literature and art
  • Dystopian and apocalyptic literature
  • Cultures of violence

2014-2015 Courses

  • Literature and Sexuality: Studies in Sexuality: Wilde, Warhol, Waters (308-01) Fall
  • From Literature to Film: Studies in Adaptation: Vietnam: Text, Film, Culture (386-01) Fall
  • Novel: Art and Violence (137-02) Spring
  • Diasporic Irish and Modern Indian Modernisms: Magical Realms (394-03) Spring
  • Transatlantic Postmodernisms, The "Criminal" Novel (400-01) Spring   
  • MacDowell Fellowship (shortlist, Fiction Writing)
  • Wallace Grants / Ireland and Northern Ireland: research at Irish Film Archive, Irish Architectural Archive, National Library of Ireland, Kilmainham Gaol; documentary photography, Belfast and Derry
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship: UCLA, Clark Library/Wilde
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Grants, Irish-Gaelic language study: University of
    California-Berkeley; University of Ireland-Galway


  • "You Have the Right to Refuse Silence: Oscar Wilde's Prison Writings and Tom
    Clarke's Glimpses of an Irish Felon's Prison Life." Eire-Ireland: An
    Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies
    . 43: 3-4 (Fall/Winter 2008).
  • "Alice Maher's Cell: An Archaeology of the Prison Image." Eire-Ireland. 43: 3-4
    (Fall/Winter 2008).
  • "Prison As Art Gallery: Exhibit Collaboration Between Kilmainham Gaol and
    Alcatraz, 1991-2005." Geographies and Genders. Edited Ed Madden and Marti
    Lee. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008.

Selected Presentations

  • “Re-Imaging and Re-enacting Vietnam: Photographic Archives of Violence in War
    Films and An-My Le’s Small Wars” (American Comparative Literature
    Association/Annual Meeting, New Orleans, April 2010)
  • “Visual Encounters with the Irish Prison Body: Empathy, Embodiment, and Revisions
    of the Masculine in Wilde’s Ballad and McQueen’s Hunger” (“Irish
    Masculinities” Conference, Queen’s University Belfast, February 2010)
  • "Hearing Is Believing?: Audio Technologies of Confession and Surveillance in Death
    and the Maiden and In the Name of the Father
    " (Modernist Studies
    Association/Annual Meeting, Vanderbilt University, November 2008)
  • "Blood in the Cinematic Marketplace: Sacramental Violence and the Persistence of the
    Gangster Genre in the Films of Martin McDonagh" ("Visualising Ireland"
    Symposium, University College Dublin, July 2008)
  • "Transatlantic Irish Noir: John Ford, Jules Dassin, and Liam O'Flaherty's The
    ." (American Conference for Irish Studies/National Meeting, New York,
    April 2007)
  • "Gothic-Erotic in Breakfast on Pluto and The Crying Game" (SAMLA, University of
    South Carolina-Columbia, November 2006)
  • "Industrial Gothic: Landscapes of Labor in Conan Doyle's Valley of Fear" (Gothic
    Studies Association, University of Stirling, May 2004)

BA (English; Music): Yale University, 1998
PhD (English): Duke University, 2006