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Course founder, Prof Darryl Jones, with  course lecturer, Sir Terry Pratchett.

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Graduation Day for the MPhil Class of 2014-15

“I got my first job with a publisher in Dublin just as I was starting my M.Phil dissertation and moved to London soon after. Since graduating I’ve worked on everything from thrillers to cookbooks to subscription romance. I currently work for Penguin Random House as a Digital Executive with their children’s brands, Puffin and Ladybird, and my day involves everything from Roald Dahl to Phillip Pullman to Little Women. My Popular Literature degree genuinely helps me navigate commercial publishing. It’s a fast paced industry and things often drop on my desk that need an opinion or I’ll get pulled into a wider team meeting to discuss a horror or women’s fiction title. Because we studied a range of genres in the degree, examining books not only through theory but how they’re placed in the modern world, I’m able to confidently approach any book or brand and immediately have an idea of comparative titles, an understanding of its potential audience and their connection to the wider marketplace”. Bronagh McDermott, class of 2013/14.

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“I completed the M.Phil in Popular Literature in 2014-2015 and am currently in the first year of my doctoral studies at TCD. My M.Phil thesis, ‘Women Get Consumed: Exploring the Dynamics of Female Victimhood and Villainy in the Fiction of Gillian Flynn’ inspired me to undertake a PhD in domestic suspense fiction under the supervision of Dr. Clare Clarke. I have had the opportunity to publish some of my M.Phil work, including an essay on Victorian detective fiction which was shortlisted for the FWSA essay prize and a chapter of my thesis which will be included in an edited collection on ‘domestic noir’ fiction in the coming year”. Eva Burke, class of 2014/15.

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“The M. Phil in Popular Literature isn’t just an extraordinary educational experience that opened up a wider world to me; it is the introduction to a community of like-minded scholars. The connections I made through Popular Literature are both colleagues and lifelong friends, and it remains one of the best experiences of my life”. Jenny Harwood-Smith, class of 2008/9.

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“The course was excellently organized, varied, challenging; and yet it was most interesting, highly relevant and topical (no doubt it has adapted yearly to accommodate new popular trends and publications). The staff / students / general atmosphere was additionally very friendly and welcoming and there was a sense of group effort / shared pride and responsibility, something that is a great experience and will stand to the student when they go on to the workplace.” 2011-12 Graduate

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The M.Phil in Popular Literature was instrumental in teaching me new perspectives on literary and genre fiction, deepening my understanding and appreciation for all types of writing. For me, exploring the history of popular forms, how they have grown and proliferated, has expanded the scope of what contemporary Irish writing can be, and in my own work, the M.Phil showed what was possible in marrying themes of Irish identity with traditionally genre sensibilities’. Graham Tugwell, class of 2008/9, creator of Down Below the Reservoir, Ireland’s first horror audiodrama podcast – http://www.downbelowthereservoir.com

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 “After the M.Phil in Popular Literature I went on to do a PhD in Popular Literature in Trinity. I’m currently researching and teaching and, most recently, working on a new literary and cultural podcast, which can be found at wttepodcast.com.” Conor Reid, class of 2008/9.

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“The approach of the Popular Literature course guided me from being the writer of humorous murder mysteries to being a writer of humorous murder mysteries that deal with crimes reflective of the events, mores, and conflicts of other times. I never would have gotten to add Award-winning author to the front of my name without my time at Trinity”. Jane Kelly, class of 2006/7.

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 “When opting to continue my studies in English, I was amazed by the possibility that there existed a course so tailored to the interests of post graduate students with a passion for studying Popular Literature.  From historical analysis of genre origins right up to probing the latest literary controversy, the M.Phil afforded me the opportunity to pursue my love of Popular Literature within the confines of a prestigious university and paved the road towards my PhD research, which in turn led to my latest venture, ‘Horror Expo Ireland’.  Sarah Cleary, class of 2008/9.

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“The quality, enthusiasm, and range of knowledge of the lecturers is exceptional and the learning environment is superb” 2008-2009 Graduate

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“The course was a fantastic experience. It broadened my interest in a wide range of literature, it was consistently challenging and thought-provoking, and it was great fun – the social dimension hugely added to the experience and meant that it was so much more than simply meeting weekly for a few hours of seminars.” 2006-7 Graduate

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“I loved every minute of my time at Trinity. I loved the staff, the library facilities, and my classmates. The standard of teaching was very high.” 2008-9 Graduate.

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“The course inspired me to pursue a career in academia and I followed it by completing a PhD in Popular Literature in Trinity.” 2006-7 Graduate

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Trinity lights up for New Year’s Eve

“The course content caught my eye because of its diverse and exciting texts.The members of the School of English involved in the MPhil are wonderful educators and mentors. The literature covered in the course opens up the opportunity to specialise in a range of genres.” 2005-6 Graduate

“Hope the course has a long future ahead of it. It is no doubt a breath of fresh air to the Irish / worldwide study of English Literature, in that it is extending academic status to a whole host of new, post Shakespeare, post Chaucer, etc etc works; alongside the sacred bastions of poetry and drama, this course examines how the novel now emerges as a crucial component of contemporary cultural consumption. Even though it is in its 10th year?Still an exciting young course.” 2011-12 Graduate

 

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At the MPhil Ten Year Celebration event

 

“The course was wonderful. The lecturers provided such depth and enthusiasm in their areas of study. Loved the course and loved getting to know everyone in it!” 2008-9 Graduate

“I now teach English full time and write part time and I believe that this course gave me the confidence and the interest to pursue alternative topics and reading that I may not have ever encountered otherwise. The teachers Darryl Jones, Brenda Silver, Bernice Murphy and Jarlath Killeen are all immensely knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects, and this is something that I have tried to pass on in my own teaching.” 2008-9 Graduate

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