Patrick Griffin

Patrick Griffin is the Thomas Moore and Judith Livingston Director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies as well as the Madden-Hennebry Professor of History.

Professor Griffin joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2008, coming from the University of Virginia. He explores the intersection of colonial American and early modern Irish and British history, focusing on Atlantic-wide themes and dynamics. He also examines the ways in which Ireland, Britain and America were linked during the 17th and 18th centuries. He has studied revolution and rebellion, movement and migration, and colonization and violence in each society.

Professor Griffin earned his bachelor’s degree in government and history from Notre Dame. He went on to earn a master’s degree in political science from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in American history from Northwestern University.

He is the author or editor of several books:

The Townshend Moment: The Making of Empire and Revolution in the Eighteenth Century (Yale University Press, 2017), a chronicle of two British brothers who helped incite revolution in America and insurgency and reform in Ireland.

America’s Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2012).

American Leviathan: Empire, Nation, and Revolutionary Frontier (Hill & Wang, 2007).

The People with No Name: Ireland’s Ulster Scots, America’s Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World (Princeton University Press, 2001).

Experiencing Empire: Power, People, and Revolution in Early America, Editor (University of Virginia Press, 2017).

Ireland and America: Empire, Revolution, and Sovereignty (University of Virginia Press, 2021), co-editor with Francis D. Cogliano, Professor of American History, University of Edinburgh.

He currently has a book nearing publication — The Ties that Bind: On the Age of Revolution (Yale University Press)

Professor Griffin has received several awards, including grants and fellowships from the American Council for Learned Societies, the Huntington Library, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Filson Historical Society. In 2018, The University of Edinburgh conferred on him the distinction of “Honorary Professor.”  

For the 2021-2022 academic year, he was named the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford.

The prestigious fellowship, created in 1922, is awarded to a distinguished American historian who then spends a year teaching, researching, and leading seminars at Oxford’s Queen’s College and Rothermere American Institute. 

At Oxford, Professor Griffin will begin work on a book on the 18th and 19th-century working-class inhabitants of New York, especially migrants from Ireland, who helped transform New York from a seaport into the most important city in the world. He will also deliver lectures at Oxford and at several European universities.

Professor Griffin chaired Notre Dame’s Department of History from 2011-2017 and was honored in 2017 with the James A. Burns C.S.C. Graduate School Award for his numerous contributions to graduate studies. Particularly cited in that award was the founding and organization of the Global Dome PhD Program with the University of Edinburgh’s Professor of History Frank Cogliano. Since its inaugural year in 2012, the Global Dome Program has been a highly successful, intensive seminar designed to accelerate dissertation progress and build international networks of young scholars in the humanities field.


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