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Marilynn Richtarik


D.Phil., Oxford University, 1992


20th-Century British Literature, Irish Literature


Dr. Richtarik teaches courses on 20th-century British, Irish, and world literature and modern drama. She was educated at Harvard (where she earned an undergraduate honors degree in American History and Literature) and at Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar. Her research interests center on Northern Irish literature and theatre, where politics and artistic production are intimately related. Her research has been supported by the Rhodes Trust, the Killam Trust, the American Philosophical Society, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Hambidge Center, and the US-UK Fulbright Commission.

Her first book, published by Oxford University Press, focused on the Field Day Theatre Company, founded by playwright Brian Friel and actor Stephen Rea in 1980. Author of numerous articles on dramatist Stewart Parker, she has also written program notes for productions of his plays in London, Dublin, Belfast, and Washington, DC. Her critical biography of Parker, which presents the career of this important writer in the context of a discussion of his personal history and of the turbulent times through which he lived in his native Belfast, was published by OUP in the fall of 2012. It won the 2012 Robert Rhodes Prize for Books on Literature from the American Conference for Irish Studies and the 2013 SAMLA Studies Book Award from the South Atlantic Modern Language Association. It was also one of six titles published in 2011 and 2012 to be short-listed for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, instituted in memory of the British Ambassador to Ireland assassinated in 1976 and awarded to works that “promote and encourage peace and reconciliation in Ireland.”

In 2017, Dr. Richtarik taught for a semester at Queen’s University Belfast as a US Fulbright Scholar. That spring, Dublin’s Lilliput Press published her edition of Stewart Parker’s autobiographical novel Hopdance, about the amputation of his left leg when he was a university student. She is currently writing a book called Getting to Good Friday: Literature and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, about literary contributions to progress toward peace during the fifteen years preceding the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that officially ended thirty years of political and sectarian violence there.

Dr. Richtarik has brought to Atlanta distinguished scholars and artists such as Elizabeth Butler Cullingford, Seamus Deane, Bernard MacLaverty, Lucy McDiarmid, Paul Fussell, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Glenn Patterson, and Roy Foster, who have lectured and performed both at the university and at venues including the Margaret Mitchell House and the Atlanta Celtic Festival. She serves GSU’s Honors College as a postgraduate scholarships adviser and coordinates the Atlanta Irish Studies Group, an Irish-themed book club. Since 2015, she has also worked closely with the Consulate General of Ireland in Atlanta to present public programs dealing with Irish subjects.


On 16 October 2012, Dr. Richtarik spoke with Marie-Louise Muir, host of the BBC Northern Ireland (Radio Ulster) program Arts Extra.Listen Here

Marilynn Richtarik reads from Stewart Parker’s novel Hopdance. Listen Here
Recorded at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast on 4 May 2017, at an event sponsored by the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast to showcase the work of US Fulbright Scholars in residence during the Spring 2017 semester.


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Scholarly edition of Stewart Parker’s novel Hopdance (Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 2017).

Stewart Parker: A Life (Oxford University Press, 2012). Reprinted December 2012; paperback October 2014.

Acting Between the Lines: The Field Day Theatre Company and Irish Cultural Politics 1980-1984 (Oxford University Press, 1994; reprinted 1997). Paperback published by The Catholic University of America Press in 2001.


“Forging a Usable Past: Brian Friel’s Making History,” ELH 86.4 (Winter 2019): 1089-1123.

“Reality and Justice: Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy.” Estudios Irlandeses 13 (2018): 98-112.

This article was awarded the Philadelphia Constantinidis Essay in Critical Theory Award, administered by the Comparative Drama Conference and given to “the best comparative essay on any aspect and period of Greek drama or theatre that was published in English in any journal or anthology in any country” during the prior year.

“Intimations of Mortality: Stewart Parker’s Hopdance.” Études Irlandaises 42.1 (Spring/Summer 2017): 93-103.

“Brian Friel and Field Day.” The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Theatre, ed. Nicholas Grene and Chris Morash (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 357-71.

“The Personal is Political: Bernard MacLaverty’s Grace Notes as a Peace Process Novel.” Bernard MacLaverty: New Critical Readings, ed. Richard Rankin Russell (Bloomsbury, 2014), 101-16.

“Stewart Parker, Belfast Playwright.” Princeton University Library Chronicle 68.1 and 2 (Autumn 2006-Winter 2007): 526-59.

“The Field Day Theatre Company.” The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Irish Drama, ed. Shaun Richards (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 191-203.

“Stewart Parker’s Heavenly Bodies: Dion Boucicault, Show Business, and Ireland.” Modern Drama 43.3 (Fall 2000): 404-20.

“‘Ireland, the Continuous Past’: Stewart Parker’s Belfast History Plays.” A Century of Irish Drama: Widening the Stage, ed. Stephen Watt, Eileen Morgan, and Shakir Mustafa (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000), 256-74.

“Living in Interesting Times: Stewart Parker’s Northern Star.Politics and Performance in Contemporary Northern Ireland, ed. John P. Harrington and Elizabeth J. Mitchell (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999), 7-28.

“Counterparts: James Joyce and Stewart Parker.” Bullán 3.2 (Winter 1997/Spring 1998): 71-86.