My research since completing my PhD on 'The French Symbolist Sonnet' (UEA,1974) focuses on four main areas - French Literature, Art History, Word & Image Studies, and Semiotics - across which my publications are evenly distributed. I set out below a brief account of my interest in these areas and the logic of my research into their interaction.

  • French Literature (21 publications) My early research focussed on the formal and generical aspects of literature and soon broadened into a structuralist approach to literary analysis, especially in the early modern period, whose literature created new demands on theory and criticism. As well as fixed forms, in the late 1970s I explored generically problematic forms such as the prose poem and art criticism, publishing in the early 1980s papers in such reviews as Poétique and Romantisme and editing in 1987 the GF edition of Baudelaire's Le Spleen de Paris.
  • Art History (especially Modern Art) (30 publications) An early interest in design meant that visual expression was always an area of interest to me. Soon after coming to Dublin in 1975, I was appointed curator of the Trinity's prestigious modern picture collection, involving cataloguing, exhibiting and purchase of important works of modern art. In addition, from its opening in 1979 I was made a director of the Douglas Hyde Gallery and organised many exhibitions. Key publications include my catalogue Edward Kienholz: tableaux (1981) and my book Paul Delvaux (1992). I also organised TCD's major quatercentenary exhibition Treasures of the Mind in 1992. Visual arts research strengthened my perception of the importance of studying links between art and literature, between visual phenomena and writing. The Art and Aesthetics of Boxing (2009), reflects my interest in the theory of sport as well as of art.
  • Word & Image Studies (35 publications) My literary and art projects in the 1980s increasingly focussed on the interaction between writing and visual expression, which led to a research focus on word and image studies. This was strengthened by teaching from 1987 in a new international masters course in Textual & Visual Studies and the founding of the International Association of Word & Image Studies (IAWIS/AIERTI). Major contributions to this field include my book Pictorialist Poetics(CUP 1988), the organisation of the triennial IAWIS conference in TCD (1996), secretaryship (1993-99) and presidency (1999-2002) of IAWIS/AIERTI.
  • Semiotics (34 publications) With the aim of introducing greater theoretical rigour into interdisciplinary teaching and research, I developed from the 1980s a more systematic interest in semiotics, especially the work of C. S Peirce. This has had a major impact on later projects and publications, including an international exhibition on the Semiotics of the Stamp (Design Museum, London, 1995-96; also Paris 1996), my book European Stamp Design (1995). From 1996-2000 I was annual visiting professor at the School of Semiotics and Communications at PUC São Paulo and lectured all over Brazil. I am a director of the IASS. I edited a special number of the Canadian semiotics journal Protée in 2002 and my book Semiologies of Travel: from Gautier to Baudrillard (CUP) appeared in 2004.

Sonnet Theory and Practice in 19th-Century France: Sonnets on the Sonnet Publications of the University of Hull, 1977; 97pp

Baudelaire: 'La Fanfarlo' and 'Le Spleen de Paris'
London: Grant & Cutler, 1984; 92 pp. (with Barbara Wright)

Mallarmé Sonnets Translated by David Scott with an Introduction and Notes by Mark Raftery-Skehan and David Scott, Exeter: Shearsman Books, 2008, 126 pp.

Baudelaire: 'Le Spleen de Paris' et 'La Fanfarlo'
Paris: GF Flammarion, 1987; 224 pp. (with Barbara Wright)

'Epigraphic Structure in the 19th-Century French Prose Poem: Bertrand, Rimbaud, Mallarmé',Word and Image Interactions: a selection of papers given at the Second International Conference of Word and Image , Basel: Wiese, 1993, 53-60

'Baudelaire, le sonnet et la poétique symboliste' in L'Année Baudelaire: Postérités de Baudelaire (ed. John Jackson), 4 (1999), 45-59

'Rediscovering a stretch of the Burgundy Canal' in Exploring French Text Analysis. Interpretations of National Identity (ed. Robert Crawshaw & Karin Tusting), London: Routledge, 2000, 65-75

'Signs in the text: the role of epigraphs and footnotes in Stendhal's Le Rouge et le noir' in Ma[r]king the Text, (ed. Joe Bray, Anne Henry, Miriam Fraser), Cambridge: Scolar Press, 2000, 26-34

'Mallarmé and the Octosyllabic Sonnet', French Studies, XXXI(1977), 149-63

'Valéry and the Sonnet: A Critical Re-examination of his Theory and Practice', Australian Journal of French Studies, XIV (1977), 264-78
- Reprinted in Poetry Criticism. Exerpts from Criticism of the Works of the most significant and widely studied poets of world literature, IX (1994), 385-90

'Rousseau and Flowers: the Poetry of Botany', Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 182 (1979), 73-86

'Maurice de Guérin's Le Centaure: an Allegory of the Operations of Poetic Prose', French Studies Bulletin, II ( Spring, 1982), 3-6

'Le poème en prose comme symtôme de crise littéraire: hétérogénéité et déconstruction dans Le Spleen de Paris de Baudelaire' in L'Esprit créateur (special number, ed. Stamos Metzidakis), XXXIX no. 1(1999), 5-13

'Similaridade e differençia: poesia, pintura e interextualidade à época de Baudelaire', Concinnitas (Rio de Janeiro), 2002

'Cycling', 'Fashion', 'Gallic Cock', 'Marianne', 'Switzerland', 'Tourism and Travel' in French Culture and Society: a Glossary (ed. Michael Kelly), London: Arnold, 2001, 71-2, 101-2, 55, 158-9, 251-2, 262

Paul Delvaux: Surrealizing the Nude London: Reaktion Books, 1992; 136 pp

The Art and Aesthetics of Boxing The University of Nebraska Press: 2009, 165pp

The College Gallery 21st Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition
Dublin: Publications of the Douglas Hyde Gallery, 1980; 34 pp.

Edward Kienholz: Tableaux 1961-1979
Dublin: Publications of the Douglas Hyde Gallery, 1981; 35 pp.

George Dawson's Collection
Publications of the Douglas Hyde Gallery, 1983; 16 pp. (with Luke Dodd)

Trinity College Dublin: The Modern Art Collection (365 entries, 140 biographies)
Dublin: Trinity College Dublin Press, 1989; 104 pp.

Michael Mulcahy: figuring matter Dublin: Taylor Galleries, 1991

Trinity College Dublin: The Modern Art Collection: Supplement 1992
Dublin: Town House and Country House, 1992; 10 pp.

Ana Aly e Rossana di Munno: Organicismo e Geometrismo: a aranha e teia, São Paulo: Alliance française, 1999, 8pp

Brian Henderson: Like this and like that Dublin: Taylor Galleries, 2009

'Robert Ballagh and Irish Stamp design' in Robert Ballagh: the Complete Works Dublin, 1992, 27-32

'Painting Literature: the Impact of Delacroix's Painting on Art Criticism, Aesthetics and Poetics in mid-19th-century France' in The Cambridge Companion to Delacroix (ed. Beth Wright), Cambridge University Press, 2000, 170-86 and 224-6

'Robert Ballagh and Irish Stamp Design',Irish Stamp News , II(1991), 20-25
'Surrealist Academicism: Paul Delvaux's L'Eloge de la mélancolie ',
French Cultural Studies , II (1991), 51-69

'Infinite Beginnings: Michael Mulcahy's drawings from India, 1990', Irish Arts Review Yearbook , 1991, 218-225

'The Art of Design: the stamps of Michael and Sylvia Goaman' Gibbons Stamp Monthly, September 1992, 30-33

'Loving Perspectives: eroticism and the vanishing point in the art of Paul Delvaux', Irish Arts Review Yearbook, 1993, 189-94

'Philately & the avant-garde: Dutch Postage Stamp Design from the 1920s to the 1940s',The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, 20(1994), 59-77

'Les Mots dans la peinture de Paul Delvaux', Textyles, 17-18 (2000), 30-41

'Words in the Painting of Paul Delvaux', Image[&]d Narrative. Online Magazine of the Visual Narrative, no. 13 (2006), 15pp


'Paul Delvaux: Sleeping Venus' in The International Dictionary of Art and Artists (London: St James Press, 1990), 231-4

'Edward Kienholz: The State Hospital ', in The International Dictionary of Art and Artists (London: St James Press, 1990), 429-30

René Magritte: Time transfixed ' in The International Dictionary of Art and Artists (London: St James Press, 1990), 493-95

'Paul Delvaux', in The International Dictionary of Art and Artists (London: St James Press, 1990), 830-31

'Edward Kienholz', in The International Dictionary of Art and Artists (London: St James Press, 1990), 974-75

'René Magritte' in The International Dictionary of Art and Artists (London: St James Press, 1990), 870-71

'Edmond & Jules de Goncourt' in The Dictionary of Art (ed. Jane Turner) London: Macmillan, 1996, vol. 12, 896-97

'Abstract Painting', Art - painting', 'Futurism' in French Culture and Society. The Essential Glossary (London: Arnold, 2001), 2, 195-6, 113-4

Pictorialist Poetics: Poetry and the Visual Arts in 19th-Century France
Cambridge University Press, 1988; 210 pp.
Reviewed in Times Literary Supplement 18-25 March 1988; Times Higher Education Supplement 19 February 1988; British Journal of Aesthetics, 29 no. 3(1989); Rapports, 59 (1989), 38-9; Philosophy and Literature, 14 (no 1 1990); Gazette des Beaux-Arts 1990; Revue de littérature comparée, no 1. 1990; Comparative Literature, 44 no 1 (1992), 103-105

Word & image Interactions III Amsterdam: Rodopi 1999; 321pp (with Michele Hannoosh, Martin Heusser, Leo Hoek, Charlotte-Schoell-Glass)

Word & image Interactions IV Amsterdam: Rodopi 2005, 256pp (with Eric Haskell, Martin Heusser, Leo Hoek)

Treasures of the Mind. A Trinity College Dublin Quatercentenary Exhibition, London: Sotheby's, 1992

'Pour une prosodie de l'espace: le sonnet et les arts visuels au dix-neuvième siècle français' in Écritures II (ed. Anne-Marie Christin; Paris: Le Sycomore, 1985), 227-54

'La Genèse du livre de peintre: Sonnets et eaux-fortes ' (with Ségolène Le Men), inIconotextes (ed A. Montandon; éds CRCD-OPHRYS,1990) 39-58

'Pictorialist Poetics: Aspects of Parnassian Prosodic Theory and Practice from Sainte-Beuve to Banville', in Patterns of Evolution in 19h- Century French Poetry (ed. L. Watson & R. Lloyd; Oxford: Tallents Press,1991), 85-97

'La structure picturale du sonnet parnassien et symboliste' in Ecrire la peinture (Ed. Ph. Delaveau; Paris: Editions Universitaires, 1991), 35-46

'Towards the Materiality of the Sign: Aesthetics and Poetics in nineteenth- century France' in A Material World : Essays in honour of Donald Charlton
London: Macmillan, 1992, 128-47

'Writing the Arts: aesthetic theory, art criticism and literary practice' in Artistic Relations: Literature and the Visual Arts in 19th-Century France (ed. Peter Collier & Robert Lethbridge), Yale University Press, 1994, 61-75

'Rhétorique et image typographique: l'exemple du timbre-poste hollandais des années 50 aux années 90' in Rhétorique et image. Hommage à A. Kibédi Varga , Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1995, 51-64

'Matter for Reflexion: 19th-century French art critics' quest for modernity in sculpture' in Impressions of French Modernity: Art and Literature in France, 1850-1900 (ed. R. Hobbs), Manchester University Press, 1998, 99-117

'Text as image in 19th-century French literature: images of Watteau into texts by Banville and Verlaine' in Text into Image: Image into Text (ed. Jeff Morrison & Florian Krobb), Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1997, pp. 47-56

'Visual Culture: minding the gap' in Interactions IV. Visual Cultures (eds. Peter de Voogd, Eric Haskell, Martin Heusser, Leo Hoek and David Scott), Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005, 251-56

'Tensions dynamiques: le rapport poésie/sculpture en France, 1829-1859' in Sculpture et poétique 1789-1859 (ed. L. C. Hamrick & S. Nash), Nineteenth-Century French Studies , 35 no. 1(2006), 32-50

'Generical Intersections in 19th-century French painting and literature: Manet's Musique aux Tuileries and Baudelaire's Petits poèmes en prose ' inTextual Intersections (ed. R. Langford), Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009

'Rimbaud and Boucher: Fête d'hiver ', Journal of European Studies , IX (1979), 185-95

'Baudelaire's Transposition d'art Poetry', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy , 80, C, 13 (1980), 251-62

'La Structure spatiale du poème en prose: d'Aloysius Bertrand à Rimbaud'
Poétique , 59(1984), 295-308

'Pictorialist Poetics: the Nineteenth-Century French Re-reading of ut pictura poesis' Word and Image , IV(1988), 364-71

'Academicism and Modernity in 19th-Century French Poetry and Art', New Comparison , V (1988), 75-88

'Ecrire le nu: la transposition de l'image érotique (picturale ou sculpturale) dans la poésie française au 19e siècle', Romantisme , 63(1989), 87-101

'Schwester-Künste: Französische Malerei und Dichtung im 19. Jahrhundert', Neue Zürcher Zeitung , (Special No.) 25-26 Aug.1990, 65-6

'The Problem of Illustratability: the case of Sonnets et eaux-fortes ', Word and Image VI no. 3 (1990), 241-58

'La Structure picturale du sonnet parnassien et symboliste: Heredia et Baudelaire', Bulletin d'études parnassiennes et symbolistes , V(1990),47-6

'Trinity College Dublin Quatercentenary: the Treasures of the Mind exhibition', Irish Arts Review Yearbook , 1992, 79-83

'La Ville illustrée dans les Illuminations de Rimbaud', Revue d'Histoire littéraire de la France 1992 (no. 6), 967-81

'The Poetics of the Rebus: word, image and the dynamics of reading in the poster of the 1920s and 1930s' Word & Image, XIII no.3 (1997), 270-8

'The text/image problem in the context of Blake's 'Infant Sorrow' as analysed by Roman Jakobson in L'Art verbal des peintres-poètes Blake, Rousseau et Klee', Word & Image , XVII no. 3 (2001), 208-218

'Same Difference: word and image in the contemporary arts', CIRCA, 104 (Summer 2003), 31-34

'Figures de l'affiche: la rhétorique de l'image/texte dans l'affiche française', Image et narrative. Online Magazine of the Visual Narrative, 21 (2008)


'Postage Stamp' and 'Posters' inFrench Culture and Society: a Glossary (ed. Michael Kelly), London: Arnold, 2000, 206-7, 207

Preface to Reading Images, Seeing Words Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004, ix-x

European Stamp Design: A Semiotic Approach to Designing Messages London: Academy Editions, 1995, 144 pp
Reviewed in Semiotica 123 (1999) 367-75; Communications et langage 108 (1996), 125; Interactions, 16 (1996); Rapports 66 (1996), 158; Livros e artes 4 (1996); RSA Journal, November 1995, 68-70

Semiologies of Travel: from Gautier to Baudrillard (Cambridge University Press, 2004), 235pp
Reviewed in Times Literary Supplement, 12 November 2004, 30; Studies in Travel Writing (2005); European Review, 13 no. 3 (2005), 495-500; Journal of European Studies, 36 no. 2 (2006), 225-27; The Modern Langage Review, 101 Part 3 (July 2006),860-61, French StudiesLXII no. 3 (2008), 366-67

Sémiologie et herméneutique du timbre-poste, Protée, 30 no. 2 (2002) 114 pp.

Cultural Icons (with Keyan Tomaselli), Hojbjerg: Intervention Press, San Franciso: LeftCoast Press, 2009, 167 pp.

'Semiotics and Ideology in mixed messages: the example of the stamp', in Word & Image: Interactions II, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1997, 301-313

'Stamp Semiotics: reading ideological messages in philatelic signs' in Semiotics around the World: Synthesis in Diversity. Proceedings of the 5th Congress of IASS, Berkeley 1994 , New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1997, 735-38

'Indexical/Iconic Tensions: the Semiotics of the Postage Stamp' in Semiotics of the Media (ed. Winfried Nöth), Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1997, 191-201

'Representing chaos: Peircian triads and three-sided football' in Caos e ordem. Filosofia e Ciências, Face. Review of Semiotics and Communications /COS-PUC-SP, August 1999

'Affischen och frimärket' in Intermedialitet. Ord, bild och ton I samspel (ed. Hans Lund) Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2002, 43-54
'Semiologies of travel: nostalgies du symbole', in Cross-Cultural Travel: Papers from the Royal Irish Academy International Symposium on Literature and Travel, National University of Ireland, Galway,
November 2002 (ed. J. Conroy) New York: Peter Lang, 2003, 295-303

'Signs in the Desert: Semiology and French travel writing from Chateaubriand to Baudrillard' in Proceedings of 'Borders and Crossings/ Seuils et traverses 4 (ed. Arzu Ildem & Emin Ozcan), Ankara University Press, 2004, 31-47

'The Semiotics of Britannia' in Cultural Icons (ed. D. Scott & K. Tomaselli), Hojbjorg: Intervention Press/California: LeftCoast Press, 2008, 135-53

'Signs in the Jungle: Michaux in Amazonia' in Travel Writing, Form, and Empire. The Poetics and Politics of Mobility (ed. Julia Kuehn and Paul Smethurst), London: Routledge, 2008,123-31

'Irish Stamps 1922-1990: a semiotic approach to graphic design' in Irish Design and Material Culture (ed. Linda King), 2009

'Boxing and Masculine Identity' in Sport and Identity in France: practices, locations, and representations (ed. Philip Dine), 2009

'Une Révolution en miniature. Sémiotique du timbre-poste commémoratif du Bicentenaire de la Révolution Française' (with Leo HOEK, Amsterdam) Word & Image, IX no. 2 (1993), 97-113

'Air France's hippocampe and BOAC's Speedbird: the semiotic status of logos', French Cultural Studies , IV (1993), 109-27

'Designing Messages: Aspects of European Postage Stamp Design',
London: Design Museum, 1995 (exhibiton flier)

'Marianne et Britannia: la rencontre de deux icônes nationales: un projet franco-britannique de timbre-poste de 1940', L'Image, II (1996),140-56

'Métaphore et métonymie visuelles: l'exemple de l'affiche de boxe', Communication et langage 109 (1996), 85-97

'Accord réciproque: Peirce, Kandinsky et la dynamique du qualisigne', Protée (numéro spécial: Logique de l'icône), 26, no. 3 (1999), 17-23

'La Sémiotique du timbre-poste: une approche peircienne', Communication et langages, 120 (1999), 81-93

'A Poesia sonora: um antecedente do século 19. Homenagem a Philadelpho Menezes 1960-2000' in Interactions, 25 (2000), 7-11

'L'Image ethnographique: le timbre-poste colonial français africain de 1920 à 1950' in Protée, Sémiologie et herméneutique du timbre-poste, 30 no. 2 (2002), 45-54

'Jean-Michel Folon, sémioticien sans le savoir' in Protée, Sémiologie et herméneutique du timbre-poste, 30 no. 2 (2002), 55-60

'Lieux de mémoire: the postage stamp as site of cultural memory',
Semiotica, 142 (2002), 107-24

'La semiotica del francobollo' in 'Storie di Posta', XIX (May 2003) 4-13

'L'Etnografia formato francobollo. Il valore dell'immagine nei francobolli coloniali' Storie di Posta, XX (September-October 2003), 67-73

'Il francobollo come luogo della memoria', Storie di Posta, XXI (November-December 2003), 33-41

'The Smile of the Sign: semiotics and travel writing in Barthes, Baudrillard, Butor and Lévi-Strauss', Studies in Travel Writing, 7 (2003), 209-25

'La culture visuelle postmoderne: le visage de Marilyn et la sémiotique de l'icône d'après Charles S. Peirce et Jean Baudrillard', Contemporary French Civilization, special number Visual Culture (ed. Michael Garval, Andrea Goulet), XXVII (2004), 162-75

'La structure sémiotique de l'allégorie. Analyse peircienne d'une icône nationale: Britannia', Protée. Allégories textuelle et visuelle, 33 no 1 (2005), 39-48

'The Postage Stamp' in Encyclopedia of Semiotics (ed. Paul Bouissac), New York: Oxford University Press, 1998, 502-505

'Semiology' in French Culture and Society: a Glossary (ed. Michael Kelly), London: Arnold, 2001, 236-7