Allan Hepburn

 Allan Hepburn
Contact Information
514 398 4864
Email address: 
allan.hepburn [at]

McGill University
Department of English
853 Sherbrooke Street West
Arts Building
Montreal, QC H3A 0G5 CANADA

Faculty Members
James McGill Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature

B.A., M.A. (Western Ontario); Ph.D. (Princeton); Professor

Twentieth Century
Teaching areas: 

modernism; contemporary fiction; British and American novel; Irish literature; Canadian fiction; Elizabeth Bowen; mid-century fiction; Ivy Compton-Burnett; Muriel Spark; Graham Greene; James Joyce; Edith Wharton; John Le Carré; ideas of the future; faith and fiction; material culture; opera and literature; narrative theory; spy fiction; visual culture; objects and things; collectors and collections; aesthetics; history of the novel.

Taught previously at: 

University of Toronto.

Current research: 

A book on Elizabeth Bowen: Citizenship, Nation, and Modernism.

Selected publications: 

Book cover: "Diplomacy and the Modern Novel: France, Britain, and the Mission of Literature" Book cover: "A Grain of Faith: Religion in Mid-Century British Literature" Book cover: "The Weight of a World of Feeling: Reviews and Essays by Elizabeth Bowen" Book cover: "Around 1945: Literature, Citizenship, Rights" Book cover: "Enchanted Objects: Visual Art and Contemporary Fiction" Book cover: "Listening In: Broadcasts, Speeches, and Interviews by Elizabeth Bowen" Book cover: "Intrigue: Espionage and Culture" Book cover: "The Bazaar and Other Stories by Elizabeth Bowen" Book cover: "People, Places, Things: Essays by Elizabeth Bowen" Book cover: "Troubled Legacies: Narrative and Inheritance"


A Grain of Faith: Religion in Mid-Century British Literature, Oxford University Press, 2018.

Enchanted Objects: Visual Art and Contemporary Fiction. University of Toronto Press, 2010.

Intrigue: Espionage and Culture. Yale University Press, 2005.

Edited Books:

Diplomacy and the Modern Novel: France, Britain, and the Mission of Literature. Co-edited with Isabelle Daunais. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2020.

The Weight of a World of Feeling: Reviews and Essays by Elizabeth Bowen. Northwestern UP, 2017.

Around 1945: Literature, Citizenship, Rights. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016.

Listening In: Broadcasts, Speeches, and Interviews by Elizabeth Bowen. Edinburgh University Press, 2010.

The Bazaar and Other Stories by Elizabeth Bowen. Edinburgh University Press, 2008.

People, Places, Things: Essays by Elizabeth Bowen. Edinburgh University Press, 2008.

Troubled Legacies: Narrative and Inheritance. University of Toronto Press, 2007.

Selected Articles:

“Vanishing Worlds: Epic Disappearance in Manhattan Beach.” PMLA 134.2 (2019): 384-390.

“The Future and the End: Imagining Catastrophe in Mid-Century Fiction.” British Literature in Transition, 1940-1960. Ed. Gill Plain. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2018. 369-384.

Memento Mori and Gerontography.” Textual Practice 32.9 (2018): 1495-1511.

“Facing the Future: Children in Postwar British Fiction.” Long Shadows: The Second World War in British Literature and Film, 1943 to the Present. Ed. Petra Rau. Northwestern UP, 2016. 103-127.

“The Irish Way of Dying: Ulysses and Funeral Processions.” Canadian Journal of Irish Studies 38.1-2 (2015): 184-207.

“Righting Queer Rights: Angus Wilson and the Jurisdiction of the Novel.” Critical Quarterly 56.4 (2014): 83-96.

“A Young Writer Grown Old: Elizabeth Bowen’s Autobiographies.” Modern Autobiographies. Eds. Emily Wittman and Maria DiBattista. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2014. 98-112.

“Architectural London: Elizabeth Bowen in Regent’s Park.” Irish Writing London: Revival to the Second World War. Vol. 1. Ed. Tom Herron. London: Bloomsbury, 2013. 112-126.

“Acoustic Modernism: BBC Radio and The Little Girls.” Textual Practice 26.1 (2013): 143-162.

“Thrillers.” Cambridge History of the English Novel. Ed. Robert Caserio and Clement Hawes. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012. 693-708.

“Imposture in The Great Gatsby.” Modernism and Celebrity. Ed. Aaron Jaffe and Jonathan Friedman. Burlington: Ashgate, 2010. 55-70.

“The State of the Art: Novelists Thinking the Novel.” Co-authored with Isabelle Daunais. University of Toronto Quarterly 79.4 (2010):

“French Translations: Elizabeth Bowen and the Idea of Character.” University of Toronto Quarterly 79.4 (2010): 1054-1063.

“Trials and Errors: The Heat of the Day and Postwar Culpability.” Intermodernism: Literary Culture in Interwar and Wartime Britain. Ed. Kristin Bluemel. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2009. 131-149.

“A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Poverty.” James Joyce Quarterly 42-43.1-4 (2006): 197-218.

"Piano Miniatures: An Essay on Brevity.[.pdf]" Gettysburg Review. 19.1 (Spring 2006): 89-105. (Click title to download PDF version, 3.4MB)

"Peter Grimes and the Rumour of Homosexuality." University of Toronto Quarterly 74.2 (Spring 2005): 648-656.

"Tender is the Night: Thirteen Propositions on the Nature of Boredom." Journal X 7.2 (Spring 2003): 205-27.

"Monstrous Bodies: Freakish Forms and Strange Conceptions in McCormack’s First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women." Ariel 33.3-4 (July-October 2002): 133-157.

"‘Enough of a Wonder’: Landscape and Tourism in Thomas Wharton’s Icefields," in Essays in Canadian Writing 73 (Summer 2001): 72-92.

"Ulysses, Opera, Loss," in James Joyce Quarterly 38.1-2 (Fall 2000/Winter 2001).

"The Historical Novel," in The Literary Review of Canada 8.0 (January 2001): 11-14.

"Noise, Music, Voice, Dubliners," in Siren Songs: The Music of Joyce, ed. Sebastian Knowles (New York: Garland Press, 1999): 189-212.

"Playing Schumann," in Descant 107 (Winter 1999): 37-61.

"The Fate of the Modern Mistress: Nancy Mitford and the Comedy of Marriage," in Modern Fiction Studies 44.2 (Spring 1999): 340-368.

"A Passion for Things: Collectors, Cicerones and Taste in Edith Wharton’s Fiction," in Arizona Quarterly 54.4 (Winter 1998): 25-52.

"Driving: Fifteen Lessons in Destiny and Despair," in Journal X 3.1 (Fall 1998): 34-48.

"Perfectly Normal: Queer Opera in Canada," in Canadian Theatre Review 96 (Fall 1998): 34-38.

"True Confessions: Opera, Literature, History," co-authored with Caryl Clark, in University of Toronto Quarterly 67.4 (Fall 1998): 739-43.

"Lost Time: Trauma and Belatedness in The Man Who Was Late," in Contemporary Literature 39.3 (Fall 1998): 380-404.

"The Maid of Orleans," in Journal X 2.1 (Autumn 1997): 112-131.

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 
  • SSHRC Insight Grant, 2015-19
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant, 2011-14
  • Carrie M. Derick Award for Graduate Teaching and Supervision, McGill University, 2009
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant, 2007-10
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant, 2002-05
  • University of Toronto Teaching Award, 1998
  • SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 1990-92
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