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English Faculty

Gregory Baker – Assistant Professor and Director of Irish Studies

Gregory Baker

Dr. Gregory Baker is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Irish Studies at Catholic University. He joined the faculty at CUA in 2013. Dr. Baker specializes in twentieth-century Irish and British literature, and is specifically interested in the literary, social and political Nachleben of classical languages and literatures in the twentieth century. 

In a book-in-progress entitled Half-read Wisdom: Classics, Modernism and the Celtic Fringe, Dr. Baker examines the relationship between nationalist ideology, antiquity and the emergence of modernist style in depth. The “half-read” or partial knowledge of classical and Celtic languages had a major impact, he argues, on the formation of political and linguistic nationalisms in early twentieth-century Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The broad reception of classics also exercised a dominant influence over major forms of modernist expression—forms which often arose as part of a complex response to Celtic ‘nation-building’ on the British Isles.

Dr. Baker directs the interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Irish studies while teaching a regular rotation of courses in twentieth-century Irish and British literature.  In semesters past, he has taught classes on the history of the novel, on the work of Geoffrey Hill and of Seamus Heaney, on English war poetry and on the major writing of W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and James Joyce.

Dr. Baker earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Comparative Literature at Brown University. His undergraduate degree was taken in Classics at the University of Chicago.

Baker teaching outside


Recent Work

“‘Straight Talk, Straight as the Greek!’: Ireland’s Oedipus and the Modernism of W. B. Yeats.” The Classics in Modernist Translation. Miranda Hickman and Lynn Kozak, eds. (Under review with Bloomsbury Academic).

 “Classical Reception in English Literature, After 1880: A Bibliography.” The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature: Volume 5 (1880–2000). Kenneth Haynes, ed. (forthcoming with Oxford University Press).

“Introduction” [contributing researcher with Kenneth Haynes]. The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature: Volume 5 (1880–2000) 
(forthcoming with Oxford University Press).

"'Attic Salt into an Undiluted Scots': Aristophanes and the Modernism of Douglas Young." Brill's Companion to the Reception of Aristophanes. Philip Walsh, ed. (Leiden, 2016) 307-30.

"An edition of Jones’s address to the University of Wales, on receiving the honorary degree of Litterarum Doctor, 15 July 1960." David Jones, Culture and ArtificeKathleen Henderson Staudt, ed. Flashpoint 18 (Summer 2016).

Half-read Wisdom: Classics, Modernism and the Celtic Fringe, book manuscript in progress.

“Tradition to Reception: Classics and the Long Twentieth Century” (in preparation).

“‘Aeschylus is Static, Hitler is Dynamic:’ MacNeice's Agamemnon and the Coming ‘Emergency’” (
in preparation).


Office: 234 Marist Annex 
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-5145



  • ENG 306: Dublin and the Invention of Ireland
  • ENG 368: Seamus Heaney and His Contexts
  • ENG 402: English Poetry and World War
  • ENG 405: Yeats, Eliot and Pound
  • ENG 431/2: Senior Seminar – Yeats and Joyce
  • ENG 808: Ulysses ENG
  • 894: Celtic Revivals
  • ENG 333 Intensive Readings: Narrative
  • ENG 721: Intro to the Profession of Letters


Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Brown University, 2013.

M.A., Comparative Literature, Brown University, 2009.

B.A., Classical Languages, University of Chicago, 2003.

Areas of Expertise

  • 20th-century Irish and British literature
  • Modernism
  • Reception theory and translation studies
  • Social and political history of classics on the British Isles
  • Literary multilingualism and comparative literature
  • The poetry and criticism of Geoffrey Hill