Novel Institutions: a conversation and celebration with Mary Mullen, Amy Martin, and Patrick O’Malley

P19 warmly invites you to join us for a conversation about Mary Mullen’s new book Novel Institutions : Anachronism, Irish Novels and Nineteenth-Century Realism 

Novel Institutions examines anachronisms in realist writing from the colonial periphery to redefine British realism and rethink the politics of institutions. Paying unprecedented attention to nineteenth-century Irish novels, it demonstrates how institutions constrain social relationships in the present and limit our sense of political possibilities in the future. It argues that we cannot escape institutions, but we can refuse the narrow political future that they work to secure.


Mary Mullen is an Assistant Professor of English and faculty member in the Irish studies program at Villanova University. She is the author of Novel Institutions: Anachronism, Irish Novels, and Nineteenth-Century Realism (Edinburgh, 2019), as well as articles on settler colonialism, the politics of time, public humanities, and nineteenth-century Irish and English literature. She is currently working on a new book project on the colonial politics of public interest.

Amy Martin is Professor of English on the Emma B. Kennedy Foundation and Director of the Weissman Center for Leadership at Mt. Holyoke College. She is the author of Alter-nations: Nationalisms, Terror, and the State in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Ireland (Ohio State University Press, 2012). She has published essays in journals such as Victorian Literature and Culture, the Field Day Review, Victorian Review, and several edited collections. Martin is currently working on a book project that examines internationalism and critiques of empire in nineteenth century Ireland.  

Patrick R. O’Malley is Professor of English at Georgetown University, where he teaches nineteenth-century British and Irish literature and culture. He is the author of two books: Catholicism, Sexual Deviance, and Victorian Gothic Culture, and Liffey and Lethe: Paramnesiac History in Nineteenth-Century Anglo-Ireland. He is also the author of a number of articles and essays on writers including Ann Radcliffe, Sydney Owenson, Maria Edgeworth, John Henry Newman, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Grand, Thomas Hardy, and James Joyce.  


Questions? Contact Rachel Sagner Buurma at rbuurma1 at or Talissa Ford at talissa at


P19 is made possible by the support of a Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford College Mellon Foundation grant, by the Center for the Humanities at Temple University. 

Event date: 
Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Event address: