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James O'Sullivan (academic)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

James O'Sullivan
James Christopher O'Sullivan

May 1986 (age 34–35)
Cork, Ireland
OccupationWriter, publisher, editor, academic

James Christopher O'Sullivan (born May 1986)[citation needed] is an Irish writer, publisher, editor, and academic from Cork city. He is a university lecturer, the founding editor of New Binary Press, and the writer of three collections of poetry.



O'Sullivan is involved in the study of Digital Humanities, and has an interest in computer-assisted text analysis and new media studies.[1][2] He has held faculty positions at institutions such as Pennsylvania State University and the University of Sheffield.[3][4][5] As of 2017, he was a lecturer at University College Cork, part of the National University of Ireland.[6]

In 2019 he published Towards a Digital Poetics: Electronic Literature & Literary Games (Palgrave Macmillan 2019).[7] He has edited several academic volumes, including Reading Modernism with Machines (Palgrave Macmillan 2016).[8]

He contributed to The Bloomsbury Handbook of Electronic Literature edited by Joseph Tabbi which received the 2018 N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism from the Electronic Literature Organization.[9] He was shortlisted for the Fortier Prize for Digital Humanities research in 2014.[1]

O'Sullivan has published scholarly papers and essays in a number of peer-reviewed academic journals and books, including Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (Oxford University Press), Leonardo (The MIT Press), Digital Humanities Quarterly, the International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing (Edinburgh University Press), Digital Studies/Le Champ Numérique, and Literary Studies in the Digital Age (Modern Language Association).

His various uses of stylometry to analyse the work of James Patterson[10][11][12] have garnered media attention, including being cited by Anthony Lane in The New Yorker.[13][14] O'Sullivan has contributed to a number of digital resources, including Zebrapedia, a project seeking to transcribe the entirety of Philip K. Dick's Exegesis.[15] He chaired the 2019 Electronic Literature Organization Conference & Media Arts Festival, the first time the annual gathering of new media scholars and practitioners was hosted in Ireland.[16][17]

He is former Associate Director of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.[18]

In 2018, O'Sullivan publicly criticised Irish universities for focusing too much on commercially oriented "skills" to the detriment of critical thinking.[19] He has also claimed that many Irish academics are working class.[20]


O'Sullivan founded New Binary Press in 2012,[21][22] a publishing house dedicated to the publication of both print and electronic literature. New Binary Press has published the works of authors such as Nick Montfort and Karl Parkinson. Successes for the publishing house have include Graham Allen's The One That Got Away which was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award 2015,[23] while Unexplained Fevers by Jeannine Hall Gailey came second in the 2014 Science Fiction Poetry Association's Elgin Award.[24]

In early 2017, in an interview with Books Ireland magazine, O'Sullivan said that New Binary Press was operating at a loss, though he seemed confident of the press' future, claiming that "the value of dissonance outweighs that of cents".[25] He has been vocal on the economic realities facing independent publishing houses, as well as an advocate of the role they play in the development of literary communities.[22] In the same article, O'Sullivan outlined his belief that Irish writing can come from many perspectives, and is simply "literature that is embedded in the very soul of our island".[25]

Despite his profile as a digital publisher and scholar, O'Sullivan believes that print books have far greater "material and cultural importance" than digital formats, describing Kindle and iTunes as a "dangerous axis of power".[25]

As a publisher, O'Sullivan has been critical of major literary competitions, particularly those which he deems to be under the influence of their commercial sponsors. He has called for "improved transparency" and "the removal of commercial influences" from literary competitions, arguing that "small publishers can't take risks on large entry fees if there is any doubt in their mind over how decisions are being made".[26]


O'Sullivan's first collection of poetry, Kneeling on the Redwood Floor, was released by Lapwing Publications in 2011,[27][28] a work which the author himself did not rate very highly.[28][29][30] In 2014, Alba Publishing released his second collection, Groundwork, followed in 2017 by Courting Katie, published by Salmon Poetry.[31][32] Reviewing Courting Katie, Dedalus poet Matthew Geden describes O'Sullivan as a "vibrant voice" that offers "timely reminders to look closer at the world around us".[33] Writing in Poetry Ireland Review, Jessica Traynor likens O'Sullivan to a "latter-day Kavanagh" who "breathes life into deserted streets and grey city corners".[34]

O'Sullivan's poetry has been published in a number of journals, magazines and periodicals, including The SHOp, Cyphers, Southword, and Crannóg.

In 2016, O'Sullivan was placed third in the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize.[35] He has twice been shortlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize,[36][37] as well as the Fish Short Story Prize.[38] He received a High Commendation in Munster Literature Centre Fool for Poetry 2014 International Chapbook Competition[39] and 2013 Charles Macklin Poetry Prize.

O'Sullivan has contributed features and opinion pieces to a number of regional and national periodicals in Ireland and internationally, including The Guardian, the LA Review of Books, The Irish Times, and Cork Evening Echo.


O'Sullivan was born and raised in Cork city, Ireland, a place for which he has often expressed great affection,[30][40][41] and featured in his work.[33] He is the grandson of the performer Billa O'Connell.[28][41][30] O'Sullivan attended Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, though did not enjoy his time at school.[40] He is a graduate of Cork Institute of Technology, University College Cork, and University College Dublin.[30][28][42][43]

In 2016, O'Sullivan is a supporter of the Cork Film Festival.[44][45] He has been highly critical of the Catholic Church in Ireland.[46][47]


Title Publisher Year ISBN
Towards a Digital Poetics: Electronic Literature & Literary Games Palgrave Macmillan 2019 978-3-030-11310-0
Edited Books
Reading Modernism with Machines Palgrave Macmillan 2016 978-1137595683
Poetry Collections
Courting Katie Salmon Poetry 2017 978-1-910669-85-3
Groundwork Alba Publishing 2014 978-1-910185-03-2
Kneeling on the Redwood Floor Lapwing Publications 2011 978-1-907276-84-2


  1. ^ a b "Algorithmic Criticism as an Approach to Electronic Literature". Electronic Literature Lab. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  2. ^ ARCS. "Introducing Digital Literary Studies". Advancing Research Communication & Scholarship. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Libraries hire digital humanities research designer". Penn State University. 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  4. ^ Furlough, Mike (2014). "Our new Digital Humanities Research Designer". Humanities in a Digital Age, Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  5. ^ Sheffield (2016). "New Staff Appointments in the HRI Digital Team". Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Sheffield. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  6. ^ "UCC Research Profiles: James O'Sullivan". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  7. ^ O'Sullivan, James Christopher (2019). Towards a digital poetics: electronic literature & literary games. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-11310-0. ISBN 978-3-030-11310-0. OCLC 1114601592.
  8. ^ Ross, Shawna; O'Sullivan, James (2016). Reading Modernism with Machines: Digital Humanities and Modernist Literature. ISBN 9781137595683. OCLC 970815518.
  9. ^ "Announcing the Winners of the 2018 ELO Prize". Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  10. ^ Fuller, Simon; O'Sullivan, James (2017). "Structure over Style: Collaborative Authorship and the Revival of Literary Capitalism". Digital Humanities Quarterly. 11 (1).
  11. ^ O'Sullivan, James (2017). "Why you don't need to write much to be the world's bestselling author". The Conversation. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  12. ^ O'Sullivan, James (7 June 2018). "Bill Clinton and James Patterson are co-authors – but who did the writing?". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  13. ^ Lane, Anthony (18 June 2018). "Bill Clinton and James Patterson's Concussive Collaboration". The New Yorker. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  14. ^ Moncrieff, Seán (2017). "Does the worlds bestselling author write his own books?". Newstalk. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  15. ^ Doyle, Richard; O'Sullivan, James; Miffitt, Kate; Brumfield, Ben; Durity, Anthony (1 July 2015). "Zebrapedia: Collective Explication of Philip K. Dick's Exegesis". Digital Humanities.
  16. ^ "Dept of Digital Humanities recognised at Conference Ambassador Awards". University College Cork. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  17. ^ O'Sullivan, James (10 July 2019). "ELO2019: Electronic Literature Organization Conference & Media Arts Festival, Programme and Book of Abstracts". University College Cork – via Cork Open Research Archive. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ "Digital Humanities Summer Institute". Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  19. ^ O'Sullivan, James (7 February 2018). "Universities have become like Ikea – just follow the instructions". The Irish Times. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  20. ^ O'Sullivan, James. "Forget the ivory tower - lecturers are working class too". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  21. ^ "History of New Binary Press". Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  22. ^ a b O'Sullivan, James (9 June 2017). "The realities of independent publishing in Ireland". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  23. ^ "Poetry Award Nomination for Prof Graham Allen". School of English, University College Cork. 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  24. ^ "2014 Elgin Awards". Science Fiction Poetry Association. 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  25. ^ a b c Horgan, Joseph (2017). "Keep going despite the prophets of doom". Books Ireland. p. 20.
  26. ^ Kapila, Lois (23 August 2016). "To Win Some Book Awards, Publishers Have to Pay". Dublin Inquirer. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  27. ^ O'Sullivan, James (2011). Kneeling on the redwood floor. Belfast: Lapwing Publications. ISBN 9781907276842. OCLC 783585371.
  28. ^ a b c d Preston, Pierce (2011). "First Collection for Cork Poet". The Cork News. p. 46.
  29. ^ "Cork author finds inspiration in West Cork". The Southern Star. 2011. p. 14.
  30. ^ a b c d "James, modest to a fault about his poetry". Evening Echo (34, 389). 2011. p. 27.
  31. ^ O'Sullivan, James (2014). Groundwork. Uxbridge: Alba Publishing. ISBN 9781910185032. OCLC 883422802.
  32. ^ "Courting Katie by James O'Sullivan". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  33. ^ a b Geden, Matthew (2018). "On Bindweed, The Yellow House and Courting Katie: Matthew Geden reviews new collections by Mark Roper, William Wall and James O'Sullivan". Southword (33).
  34. ^ Traynor, Jessica (2018). "Things Being Various". Poetry Ireland Review. 126: 83–86.
  35. ^ "Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition". 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  36. ^ "Shortlist, Fish Poetry Prize 2015". Fish Publishing. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  37. ^ "Shortlist, Fish Poetry Prize 2016". Fish Publishing. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  38. ^ "Shortlist, Fish Short Story Prize 2014/15". Fish Publishing. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  39. ^ "Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition". Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  40. ^ a b O'Donoghue, Martina (2011). "Interview with James O'Sullivan". C103FM.
  41. ^ a b "Cork's James sees poems in print". Cork Independent (34). 2011. p. 14.
  42. ^ "First collection for former Spioraid Naoimh Student". Bishopstown News (20). 2011. p. 26.
  43. ^ "2011 CIT Societies & Activities Awards Announced". Bishopstown News (16). 2011. p. 33.
  44. ^ "96FM Podcast", Cork's 96FM, 17 May 2016
  45. ^ "The Cork Film Festival should never be about red carpets". 12 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  46. ^ O'Sullivan, James (24 March 2017). "We Are All Complicit in the Catholic Church's Corruption – HeadStuff". HeadStuff. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  47. ^ O'Sullivan, James (26 April 2018). "A time for honesty… here's what the church means to me". Evening Echo. p. 18.
This page was last edited on 9 May 2021, at 18:46
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