Helen Burke

18th-century Irish and English literature and drama, colonial and postcolonial theory

HELEN BURKE, Professor, Ph.D. Southern Mississippi (1990), M.A. and B.A. National University of Ireland, University College Cork (1973, 1971). Her areas of specialization include eighteenth-century Irish and English theater and literature, postcolonial theory, performance theory. Her prize-winning book, Riotous Performances (2003), is a study of the generative political effects of riots and other unorthodox performances in the eighteenth-century Dublin playhouse. She is presently writing a book on eighteenth-century Irish playwrights and the Irish diaspora.

Books and Editions

  • Riotous Performances: The Struggle for Hegemony in the Irish Theater, 1714-1784, University of Notre Dame Press, 2003. (Winner of the Michael J. Durkan Prize for Books on Language or Culture for 2003 from the American Conference for Irish Studies).
  • Edition of George Farquhar's The Beaux' Stratagem in The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama, ed. J. Douglas Canfield, Broadview Press, 2001.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Crossing Acts: Irish Drama from George Farquhar to Charles Macklin," ed. Julia M. Wright, Blackwell Companion to Irish Literature (forthcoming).
  • "Acting in the Periphery: The Irish Theatre," in The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre, 1730-1830, ed. Jane Moody and Danny O'Quinn, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • "Country Matters: Irish Waggery and the Irish and British Theatrical Traditions" in Players, Playwrights, Playhouses: Investigating Performance, 1660-1800. ed. Michael Cordner and Peter Holland, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
  • "Speaking from Behind the Scenes: Edmund Burke and the Lucasians, 1748-49," in Edmund Burkes Irish Identities, ed. Sean Patrick Donlan, Irish Academic Press, 2007.
  • "Jacobin Revolutionary Theatre and the Early Circus: Astley's Dublin Amphitheatre in the 1790s," Theatre Research International 31:1(2006): 1-16.
  • "Teague and the Ethnicization of Labor in Early Modern British Culture," in Eighteenth-Century Theory and Interpretation 46: 3 (2005): 237-44.
  • "Eighteenth-Century Theatrical Touring and Irish Popular Culture," in Irish Theatre on Tour. ed. Nicholas Grene. Irish Theatrical Diaspora Series. Carysfort Press, Dublin. 2005. 119-38.
  • "The Cavalier Myth in The Rover," in The Cambridge Companion to Aphra Behn, ed. Derek Hughes and Janet Todd. Cambridge University Press, 2004. 118-34.
  • "Putting on Irish 'Stuff': The Politics of Anglo-Irish Cross-Dressing," in The Clothes that Wear Us: Essays on Dressing and Transgressing in Eighteenth-Century Culture, ed. Jessica Munns. Delaware University Press. 1999. 217-32.
  • "The Revolutionary Prelude: The Dublin Stage in the late 1770s and Early 1780s," Eighteenth-Century Life 22 (1998): 7-18.
  • "'Law-suits, 'Love-suits,' and the Family Property" in Wycherley's The Plain Dealer," in Cultural Readings of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century English Theater, ed. J. Douglas Canfield and Deborah C. Payne. U. of Georgia Press, 1995: 89-113.
  • "Lillo's The London Merchant and Eighteenth-Century British Law," Philological Quarterly. (1995): 347-366.
  • "Problematizing American Dissent: The Subject of Phillis Wheatley" in Cohesion and Dissent in America, ed. Carol Colatrella and Joseph Alkana, SUNY Press, 1994: 193-209.
  • "The Rhetoric and Politics of Marginality: The Subject of Phillis Wheatley," Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 10 (Spring 1991): 31-45.
  • "Roxana, Corruption, and the Progressive Myth," Genre 23 (Summer-Fall 1990): 103-120.
  • "Annus Mirabilis and the Ideology of the New Science," ELH 57 (Summer 1990): 307-34.
  • "Wycherley's 'Tendentious Joke': The Discourse of Alterity in The Country Wife," The Eighteenth-Century Theory and Interpretation 29 (Fall 1988): 227-241.


  • Winner of the Michael J. Durkan Prize for Books on Language or Culture for 2003 from the American Conference for Irish Studies for Riotous Performances, 2003.
  • Council on Research and Creativity Grant, FSU, 2003.
  • Folger Institute/American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies research fellowship (co-winner), 2002.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2000.
  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Irish-American Travel Research Fellowship, 1999.
  • Teaching Incentive Program (TIP), FSU, 1995.
  • American Council of Learned Societies Travel to International Meetings Abroad Grant, 1995.
  • Council on Research and Creativity Grant, FSU, 1994.
  • Council on Research and Creativity Grant, FSU, 1991.

Publications By This Author