John Harrington was educated at Columbia University, University College, Dublin, and he earned his PhD in literature from Rutgers University. He has written extensively on Irish literature and culture, including The Irish Beckett (1991), The Irish Play on the New York Stage (1997), and The Life of the Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand Street (2007). He edited W. W. Norton's anthology Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama (1991; new edition 2008) and Irish Theater in America (2009). While continuing to teach and to attend academic conferences, Harrington also lectures frequently on theater and Irish culture in non-academic settings such as the Guggenheim Museum, Lincoln Center Festival, New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Manhattan Theatre Club, and others. He is a former Chairman of the Board of the PBS stations WMHT Educational Telecommunications; currently, he is a member of the Board of the Mint Theater, a professional off-Broadway company, and also a member of the Board and the Executive Council of the American Irish Historical Society of New York.