A few words about me…
I am an author, a teacher and a researcher. Which comes first depends on the day and the tasks at hand.
I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. Currently, I live in Vancouver, Canada, where I teach in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia. For a partial list of classes I have taught or will be teaching, see here.
To date, I have published four books, the covers of which are shown above: Imagining Joyce and Derrida: Between Finnegans Wake and Glas (U of Toronto P, 2007); Joyce: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum, 2009); Violence, Politics and Textual Interventions in Northern Ireland (Palgrave, 2010); Posthumanism: A Guide for the Perplexed (Bloomsbury, 2017).
Several of my essays have appeared in prestigious academic journals such as ELH, James Joyce Quarterly, Irish University Review, Partial Answers, while others have appeared in various edited academic collections.
I have also been a peer-reviewer for SSHRC and many academic journals and university presses.
I am a firm believer in the strong interrelationship between teaching, writing and research. Teaching is unfortunately viewed by many (but not all, obviously) academics as an inconvenience; and, as a result, research is often conducted with no thought for teaching (for more on this topic, see here). This, to me, is a great shame, which is why I have tried to practice what I preach throughout my career to date: all of my research publications, with the exception of my first book, have come directly out of the various courses I have taught over the years at UBC.
I am also a firm believer in academic and individual freedom and freedom of speech, which sometimes means having the freedom to challenge the cherished beliefs and entrenched ideas of others. Without such freedoms, teaching and learning are fundamentally impossible.
Of late, I have preferred to publish with trade-academic publishers, because I think it is important that whatever research one conducts should be communicated to an audience beyond the academic community, a community that grows more insular by the day.
My research interests are always evolving and cross-pollinating each other in ways that often surprise me. My earliest research interests were the crossovers of modernism–especially the works of James Joyce–and continental philosophy–in particular the work of Jacques Derrida, Martin Heidegger, Giambattista Vico and Immanuel Kant. Some of my other earlier research interests were focused on the Northern Irish Troubles in conjunction with the work of Jacques Lacan and René Girard. My most recent research interests are reflected in my latest book, Posthumanism: A Guide for the Perplexed, and include technology and posthumanism/transhumanism, reason and unreason, digital humanities and informatics, as well as the crossovers of the humanities and the sciences.
I have several exciting writing and research projects currently on the go: I have begun working on a book on reason, unreason and the degradation of critical thinking in the humanities; I am also writing up and researching a project on posthumanism in James Joyce and Jacques Derrida; lastly, I am in the early stages of a digital humanities research project on digital reading, which is part of a larger project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
All material published here is the product of my own personal opinion and academic freedom. I make no claim that any views expressed here reflect the views of UBC or any of its units.
Update, June 2017: I will be starting my blog in the very near future. In it, I plan to cover issues pertaining to advances in technology and medicine, the topics of posthumanism and transhumanism, reason and unreason and the current sorry state of academia in the humanities. I will also be changing around a few things on this site over the coming weeks as I transfer material across from my old UBC site, so please excuse any rough edges, typos or broken links you’ll find across the pages here; I’ll get to them as soon as I can. I am also toying with putting some of my lecture materials on a Youtube channel, but I’ll have to see how preparation for that goes… Best, Peter.
I do not use Twitter or Facebook, so students wishing to contact me should do so at: pmahon[at]mail.ubc.ca
Anyone else wishing to contact me can do so at: petermahon[at]protonmail.com