Historian Patrick Griffin named honorary member of Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s highest academic honor

Author: Josh Weinhold

Patrick Griffin 1200
Patrick Griffin

Patrick Griffin, the Madden-Hennebry Professor of History and the Thomas Moore and Judy Livingston Director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, has been named an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy, considered the highest academic honor in Ireland.

Established in 1785, the RIA is an independent learned society of about 650 members selected for their contributions to research in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, and public service. 

Membership is limited to residents of Ireland, but a small number of honorary non-Irish members are elected each year, a distinction typically reserved for academics who have made a major international contribution in their discipline.

“I am honored and humbled to have been elected to one of the world’s great scholarly academies,” Griffin said. “Being an American and an American historian with close ties to Ireland makes my election that much more meaningful. It suggests that, maybe, my work has made some sort of mark.”

Griffin is the author of a number of books including The Townshend Moment: The Making of Empire and Revolution in the Eighteenth Century (Yale, 2017), America’s Revolution (Oxford, 2012), American Leviathan: Empire, Nation, and Revolutionary Frontier (Hill & Wang, 2007) and The People with No Name: Ireland’s Ulster Scots, America’s Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World (Princeton, 2001). 

His most recent book is Ireland and America: Empire, Revolution, and Sovereignty (University of Virginia Press, 2021), co-edited with Francis D. Cogliano of the University of Edinburgh. His next book, The Age of Atlantic Revolution: The Fall and Rise of a Connected World, will be published in May by Yale University Press.

He has won grants and fellowships from the American Council for Learned Societies, the Huntington Library, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He is also an honorary professor of the University of Edinburgh, and in 2021 was the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford.

Four Notre Dame faculty members have previously been named to the RIA — English and Irish studies professors Declan Kiberd and Seamus Deane, Irish professor Breandán Ó Buachalla, and philosophy professor Alasdair MacIntyre.

Originally published by Josh Weinhold at al.nd.edu on February 09, 2023. Minor edits by Julian Dean on Feburary 14, 2023.