Nicholas Canny#


Professor Nicholas Canny, a historian, is President of the Royal Academy, and also Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at National University of Ireland, Galway, where he held the Established Chair of History, 1979-2009 and served as Vice President for Research, 2005-8. A Galway graduate, he took his Ph.D. degree at the University of Pennsylvania supported by a Ford Foundation Fellowship, and studied also at the Institute for Historical Research of the University of London. He had held post-doctoral appointments at Harvard and Yale universities. at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, at the National Humanities Center, and at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies. He served in Spring 2005 as professeur invité at the École des Hautes Études, Paris and in 2005-6 Parnell Senior Research Fellow at Magdalene College Cambridge. He was in 1995, elected member of the Academia Europaea, in 2005 as a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and in 2007 as a Member of the American Philosophical Society.

Present Position:

Professor of History, and Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change at National University of Ireland, Galway (formerly University College, Galway).

Previous Position:
  • Assistant and then Lecturer in History University College, Galway, 1972-9
  • Professor 1979 - present
  • Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University College, Galway, 1982-5 and again served in a temporary capacity for the Spring Term of 1994

University Education:
  • BA (1964) and MA (1967) from the National University of Ireland
  • Ph.D (1971) from the University of Pennsylvania
  • 1969-70 :conducted research in London and attended Joel Hurstfield's seminar in Tudor history at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Honours and Awards:
  • 1967-71: Holder of a Ford Foundation fellowship to support four years of study towards the Ph.D. degree in History at the University of Pennsylvania
  • 1974-5: Fulbright-Hayes fellowship to support post- doctoral study at Harvard and Yale universities
  • 1976: awarded the Irish Historical Research prize of the National University of Ireland for The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland
  • 1979: fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • 1979-80: member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and holder of the Herodotus fellowship in the School of Historical Studies
  • May 1980: visiting fellowship at the Huntington Library, California
  • 1981: elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy
  • April 1985: delivered the Atlantic Lectures at the Johns Hopkins University
  • 1986-7: Fellow of the National Humanities Center, North Carolina
  • 1990-94, and 1996-9: served on the Council of the Royal Irish Academy, and as Vice- President of the Academy for 1991 and 1999
  • 1994 invited to edit the first volume of a five volume Oxford History of the British Empire
  • 1995: first Distinguished Visiting Professor in Irish Studies, January- March 1995, at Glucksman Ireland House, New York University
  • 1995: elected as Member of the Academia Europaea
  • 1998: first Jefferson Smurfit Corporation Distinguished Lecturer in Irish Studies at the University of Missouri, St Louis.
  • 2001-2 Fellow in Residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study
  • 2002 Delivered, by invitation, the Commonwealth Fund Lecture for 2002 at University College, London.
  • 2003 Awarded the Irish Historical Research prize of the National University of Ireland for Making Ireland British

Professional Activities:

Professional Societies

  • Irish Committee of Historical Sciences: served as chair 1990 - 1997; committee member 1982 - 1990, 1997-9.
  • Irish Manuscripts Commission: member 1982 - present
  • National Archives Advisory Council: member 1986 - 1997
  • Royal Irish Academy: served on the committee dealing with the Dictionary of Irish Biography, 1986 - present
  • Royal Irish Academy: member of the working committee appointed in 1997 to propose the establishment of a National Endowment for the Humanities for Ireland
  • European Science Foundation, 1989-94: member of the steering committee of the Network devoted to the History of European e Expansion
  • European Science Foundation: 1990, organizer of Dublin colloquium on 'European overseas migration, 1500-1800'
  • National University of Ireland: Member of the Senate of the University, 1987-92
  • Economic & Social History of Ireland: committee member 1976-82; assistant secretary 1977-8; joint conference organizer 1980
  • Irish Association for American Studies: committee member 1977-82; vice-chair 1977-8; conference organizer 1978; 1988
  • Organization of American Historians: invited, April 1997, to act as a consultant on the Internationalization of American History, and to attend their 1997 conference in San Francisco in that capacity. Appointed 1998 to serve for three years on the editorial board of the Journal of American History
  • Faculty of History, University of Cambridge: invited to serve on the Advisory Board of The Historical Journal, 2000-5
  • European Science Foundation: 2003 Appointed to the Steering Committee and the Executive Committee of the new Scientific Programme entitled ‘National Histories in Europe: The Writing of National Histories in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Europe’

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