Sean Moore '91
Moore was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts and attended the Attleboro public schools. He went in-state to the UMass Amherst Honors Program in 1987, receiving a B.A. with a double major in English and History as a Commonwealth Scholar in 1991. Along the way, he studied abroad at UMass's exchange program at Trinity College Dublin, which gave him a lifelong interest in Irish literature and history, and he took courses through the Five-College consortium at Smith College.
Having worked in Democratic political campaigns in high school and college, he immediately went to work on the Newton, Massachusetts staff of Congressman Barney Frank upon graduation. In 1993, interested in teaching writing, he left Frank's office to attend the Georgetown University Writing Program, receiving an M.A. in 1995. He then worked for a year as the Writing Center Director at Mt. Ida College in Newton, and was admitted to the Ph.D. program in English literature at Duke University in 1996.
In 1999, he took a break from graduate school to accept a job as a communications writer at Georgetown University Law Center's Office of Alumni and University Relations (OAUR) in Washington, D.C. There, he wrote digests of legal scholarship, interviewed faculty and alumni for the Law Center's alumni magazine and other publications, handled calls and emails from the press, participated in the planning and staffing of fundraisers, and arranged for photography and filming of student, faculty, and alumni events.
In 2001, he returned to his doctoral studies under the auspices of a Fulbright Scholarship to Ireland, for which work he was hosted by the University of Notre Dame's Keough Centre for Irish Studies in Dublin. He returned to Washington in 2002 to accept fellowships from the Folger Library and other sources, finishing his Ph.D. in 2003. He accepted a tenure-track job as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) that year.
In 2005, Moore married Jessica Angell Moore, an English teacher at the Pingree School, moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts, and had two children.
Moore published his first book with Johns Hopkins University Press in 2010, was awarded the Murphy Prize for distinguished First Book for it from the American Conference for Irish Studies, and received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor that year. He then accepted an administrative position as Director of the UNH Honors Program in 2011, serving a three-year term and returning to the faculty in 2014 to accept research fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society/National Endowment for the Humanities and Newport Mansions for the 2014-2015 academic year for a book project on the colonial slave and book trades. He received another National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for 2015-2016 to finish the book. Slavery and the Making of Early American Libraries: British Literature, Political Thought, and the Transatlantic Book Trade, 1731-1814, was published by Oxford University Press in 2019. Moore was promoted to Full Professor in 2020.