Dr Michael Mayo AB, MA, MSc, DPhil

Faculty of English
College office: 
Director of the Visiting Student Programme

My research focuses on the work of modernist writers and their engagement with religion, psychoanalysis, and ideology. My book, James Joyce and the Jesuits (2020, Cambridge UP) examines the ways James Joyce used The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola to produce a certain kind of labour for his readers, a labour that engages the psychoanalytic transference to unravel our understanding of what ‘believing’ means, especially when it comes to representation, language, and social relations. I've also published work on literature about the Sacco and Vanzetti case as well work on Arthur Conan Doyle and others.

I lead tutorials in Anglophone literature from 1830 to the present day, and I have supervised many undergraduate dissertations on subjects ranging from Working-Class Film in Scotland and Wales to Prison Literature of Northern Ireland to musical composers who use tweets as orchestral scores.

At the same time, I also run the college's Visiting Student Programme, which welcomes about twenty-eight students from around the world each term. I organize a reading group for undergraduates, graduates, staff, and guests to study Marx's Capital. I was the first person in my family to go to university; I started a free, state school for inner-city children back in my Boston (US) neighbourhood; and I am involved in a range of programmes to increase access to Oxford.