Laurence Shine attended University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin between 1966 and 1969. For the next four years he pursued a doctoral degree in Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia (MA Comparative Literature, 1975). In 1973 and ’74, he studied German Literature and Society, Egyptology, and Joyce at the Universtät zu Kȍln. In 1975, he entered another full doctoral program in Comparative Literature at the University of Buffalo (1975-1979), where he specialized in philosophy, historical morphology, modernism and post-modernism, sacrifical and mimetic theory, and systems analysis. Laurence first joined the faculty of the English Department in 1981 as a Lecturer.
Laurence likes to explore and map an ambiguous and sometimes ominous territory that you can discover beneath the everyday, the normal, the predictable. He intends to shine a steady light into depths where monsters lurk, where identities proliferate and merge, and where catharsis and violent purgation erupt. It’s a judicious compound of the entertaining and the frightening that we can extract from classical, religious, and literary sources to show the causes of conflict, psychological and social pathologies, and the intimite and secret connections between desire and violence. Inevitably, we encounter in the dark the eternal triangle and bondage of romance and of mimetic rivalry, where rivals imitate each other so closely that they become the monstrous double. In his lectures, Laurence views texts and materials through the lenses of mimetic rivalry, sacrificial theory, and monstrous doubling in literature, mythology, and the sciences. He uses the full range of biblical and classical sources, psychological and feminist theories, the history of imperialism and nationalism, and the historical morphologies of classical cylicism versus apocalyptic progessivism. He favors deep-structure analysis of the origins of violence in mimesis and frequently uses materials in British, Continental, American, and Irish Literature, especially in the work and influence of James Joyce.
For ten years he has been an enthusiastic participant in Buffalo State College’s Learning Communities and has guided numerous groups of students on literary and historical study tours of Ireland. For 15 years, he has been the host of Bloomsday Buffalo and has recently completed 20 years leading the Finnegans Wake Reading Group. His involvement with local literary,
Theatrical, and Irish cultural organizations has been constant and intense.
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