Jerusha Hull McCormack

Former Professor for English Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland

Jerusha Hull McCormack taught in the English Department of University College Dublin for thirty years, establishing there its first American Studies Program as well as initiating the foundation of what is now the Clinton Institute for American Studies. Since taking early retirement in 2004, she has served part of every year as foreign expert at Beijing Foreign Studies University, which named her Honorary Professor. In addition to lecturing with John Blair for comparing China and the West, Professor McCormack taught graduate seminars in American and British studies (including one of the first gender courses in the PRC). Drawing on her experience of Boston University's first study abroad program in Ireland. - which she founded and directed from 1998 to 2004 - she helped launch and then staff the first Interdisciplinary Center for Irish Studies in China. In seeking to forge links between these two very different nations, she also edited (as well as contributed to) a series of lectures for Irish national radio entitled China and the Irish: a series of wide-ranging talks published in honor of Ireland's 30 years of diplomatic relations with the PRC and later translated into Mandarin. Her early books focused on John Gray, the young decadent poet who served as an inspiration for Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. After the death of her Irish husband, Dara, she wrote Grieving: A Beginner's Guide, intended as a kind of phenomenology of loss, which shows how, in practical terms, loss can be turned around into life-enhancing experience. More recently, in 2015, Professor McCormack became the lead author for Thinking through China (Rowman and Littlefield, US), an interpretive study which approaches the Chinese world through ten of its native keywords/values. She has lectured widely in universities in both Ireland and China, as well as at conferences and libraries. In recent years she has concentrated on a series of essays exploring connections between such major Irish writers as Oscar Wilde, W B Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and G.B. Shaw and their Chinese counterparts. Her next book intends to consider how Chinese aesthetics might act as a promising an entry for Western readers into fresh perceptions of China. She served on the faculty of ISP 17, Global Citizenship: America and the World, in 2007.