Brendan Kane is Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut and Assistant Director, Public Humanities, University of Connecticut Humanities Institute.
Dr. Kane received a B.A. in history from the University of Rochester, an M.Phil in Irish Studies from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. In addition to his teaching and work with the Humanities Institute, he currently serves as the University of Connecticut's representative to the Folger Shakespeare Library and as Vice-President of the Northeast Conference on British Studies.
In the Irish Studies community, Dr. Kane served two years on the Adele Dalsimer Prize for Distinguished Dissertation, and currently serves on the Duais Leabhar Taighde na Bliana/ACIS Irish Language Research Book Award.
When asked to reflect on the importance of the NEH Keough Fellowship to his life and career, Dr. Kane wrote:
"The NEH-Keough Fellowship was of fundamental importance in my start and subsequent development as a scholar of early modern Ireland.
"I applied for the NEH fellowship while finishing my dissertation at Princeton University, and was thrilled to have been selected for the honor, in part, as it provided the push to finish the project! The prospect of moving to Indiana was a bit intimidating as my wife and I had two small children and weren’t sure we should – or could afford to – uproot for one year. But Chris Fox and the faculty, staff and students at Keough-Naughton were as supportive of our family as they were of my academic work, and we were generously and warmly welcomed into the community. Our boys still recall their time there and we all keep in touch with families we met on the block and throughout the University.
"But, of course, the fellowship is a scholarly endeavor, and it was a transformative experience for me. During that year, I revised my dissertation into a book manuscript, The politics and culture of honour in Britain and Ireland, 1541-1641 (Cambridge University Press, 2010). I also worked closely with Prof. Breandán Ó Buachalla on Irish translation and paleography, one of the most profound and lasting intellectual experiences of my life.
"My time at Keough-Naughton was crucial to landing a tenure-track job at the University of Connecticut, where I had the great fortune to join another NEH-Keough alum, Dr. Mary Burke, and work together building interdisciplinary Irish studies. We are presently engaged in establishing an Irish Studies minor, a program of study that will have an Irish-language requirement, the classes for which will be taught courtesy of our ongoing relationship with the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program.
"Happily, my association with the world-class faculty and students at Notre Dame has continued, most notably through partnership on the project “Léamh: Learn Early Modern Irish,” a web-based tutorial and resource for learning how to read and translate Early Modern Irish verse and prose, in print and manuscript. The project’s inaugural Advisory Board meeting was held at Notre Dames’ center in Dublin – O’Connell House – in November 2015.
"It was a tremendous honor and joy to spend a year as the NEH-Keough Fellow at Notre Dame, and the experience continues to shape my career, my community and my understanding of interdisciplinary Irish Studies. Go raibh maith agaibh go léir!"