World-renowned Irish Famine expert Christine Kinealy appointed to faculty

Kinealy speaking at QU
Christine Kinealy, a world-renowned authority on Ireland’s Great Hunger, has been appointed professor of history and Irish studies. She will also serve as director of the newly created Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac.

Aug. 9, 2013 - Christine Kinealy, a world-renowned authority on Ireland's Great Hunger, has been appointed professor of history and Irish studies at Quinnipiac University.

In addition, Kinealy will serve as director of the newly created Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac, which will serve as a scholarly resource for the study of the Great Hunger. Kinealy also will be responsible for developing an undergraduate Irish studies program at Quinnipiac.

"Having an internationally recognized Irish scholar like Christine Kinealy join the Quinnipiac faculty will further strengthen the already high quality academic experience provided to our students," said Quinnipiac University President John L. Lahey.

"In addition, as director of the Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac, Christine will perform scholarly research and organize academic conferences that, along with Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac, will enhance Quinnipiac's growing reputation as the preeminent authority on the Great Hunger."

Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Thompson agreed. "As an internationally known scholar, Christine brings substantial benefit to our intellectual community," he said. "In addition to the expertise she brings, her connections both here and abroad will provide new opportunities for members of our community for learning and scholarship."   

Kinealy is joining the full-time faculty after serving as a visiting scholar in residence at Quinnipiac during the 2012-2013 academic year.

"I am delighted to be joining President John Lahey and his wonderful team at Quinnipiac University," Kinealy said. "I am particularly excited about the creation of the Ireland's Great Hunger Institute. Ireland's Great Hunger was a famine of unprecedented longevity and severity. More than one million died, and an even higher number emigrated in a period of only six years. The Hunger changed not only Ireland, but the rest of the world as a result of mass emigration. Its legacy is still evident in Ireland today. The Institute will build upon the work already being carried out at Quinnipiac University and Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac, while providing a forum for developing new scholarship about, and new engagement with, this tragic period In Ireland's history."

The Great Hunger ranks among the worst tragedies in human history. Between 1845 and 1852, approximately 1.5 million Irish men, women and children died of starvation or related diseases. Blight, which virtually destroyed all of Ireland's potato crops for consecutive years, coupled with British governmental indifference to the plight of the Irish resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million Irish men, women and children and the emigration of more than 2 million to nations around the world.

Kinealy is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where she completed her doctorate on the introduction of the Poor Law to Ireland. She then worked in educational and research institutes in Dublin, Belfast and Liverpool. She has published extensively on the impact of the Great Irish Famine and has lectured on the relationship between poverty and famine in India, Spain, Canada, France, Finland and New Zealand. She also has spoken to invited audiences in the British Parliament and in the U.S. Congress.

Kinealy is a noted author of seven books on the Great Hunger, including "This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-52, which was named the "Irish Post" Book of Year in 1995.

Based in the United States since 2007, Kinealy was named one of the most influential Irish Americans in 2011 by "Irish America" Magazine. In 2013, she received the Holyoke, Mass. St. Patrick's Day Parade's Ambassador Award. In March 2014, Christine was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame.

Quinnipiac also is home to Ireland's Great Hunger Museum, which has the world's largest collection of visual art, artifacts and printed materials relating to the Irish Famine. The museum preserves, builds and presents its art collection in order to stimulate reflection, inspire imagination and advance awareness of Ireland's Great Hunger and its long aftermath on both sides of the Atlantic.

Works by noted contemporary Irish artists are featured at the museum including internationally known sculptors John Behan, Rowan Gillespie and Eamonn O'Doherty; as well as contemporary visual artists, Robert Ballagh, Alanna O'Kelly Brian Maguire and Hughie O'Donoghue. Featured paintings include several important 19th and 20th‐century works by artists such as James Brenan, Daniel MacDonald, James Arthur O'Connor and Jack B. Yeats.