About Us

Department of English and Linguistics - Lachlan Whalen


Lachlan Whalen

Associate Professor & Director of International Studies 



Arriving in Fort Wayne in 2011 after leaving a tenured position at the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, I first began at IPFW in the Department of International Language and Cultural Studies before moving to the Department of English and Linguistics in Fall 2015. I have served as the Director of International Studies since Fall 2012.

Most of my spare time is devoted to the playing of Irish traditional music: I took up the uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes) while living in Belfast in the mid-1990s, but these days I largely am found playing fiddle. In fact, my “side hustle” is as a frequent contributor to the internationally-known magazine Fiddler. In Fiddler’s pages, I have interviewed the award-winning Irish bowmaker Gary Leahy and have published articles on my other passion: 19th-century American violinmakers such as William A. Conant and H. H. Heskett.



University of North Dakota

Ph.D., English (2001)

Villanova University

M.A., English (1994)

University of Ulster, Coleraine

Dip. H.E., Irish Gaelic (1997)

University of Connecticut, Storrs

B.A., English; Minor: History (1991)


Areas of Expertise

Growing out of my broad background in postcolonial studies, the bulk of my research focuses on political incarceration in contemporary Northern Ireland. For example, my monograph Contemporary Irish Republican Prison Writing examines both extant and previously unpublished works by Irish political prisoners such as Gerry Adams and Bobby Sands, with special attention paid to texts by women like Roseleen Walsh and Mairead Farrell. Exploring the postcolonial concerns intrinsic to prison writing, in particular issues of hegemony, resistance, canonicity, and spatial theory, this book contests poststructuralist dismissals of agency by demonstrating the manner in which political detainees resist prison regimes through discourse.

 My teaching and my research are both deeply interdisciplinary in nature and informed by my passion for social justice, as evident in my involvement in International Studies as well as with the Peace and Conflict Studies certificate, in which I have taught numerous classes. Additionally, minority languages are another related interest of mine: I have studied Lakota (Sioux) in classrooms and on reservations in the Dakotas and Minnesota, and have studied Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic) in Northern Ireland as part of the Diploma in Higher Education (Dip. H.E.) at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.



  • ENG L101 Ancient & Medieval Literature
  • ENG L202 Literary Interpretation
  • ENG L335/B644 Victorian Literature
  • ENG L346/B649 20th-Century British Fiction
  • ENG L371 Critical Practices (capstone in literary theory)
  • ENG L381 Recent Writing (Ireland at War)
  • ENG L388 Studies in Irish Literature and Culture
  • ILCS I350 International Communication 
  • INTL I200 to International Studies
  • INTL I208 International Cinema  
  • PACS P200 to Peace & Conflict Studies