For Dr. Peter Hart, the announcement of a new Canada Research Chair position for Memorial University in Irish studies meant a prestigious appointment and the opportunity to return home. Dr. Hart was born in St. John's and is an alumni and former faculty member of Memorial. "I am absolutely delighted to be able to come back to Newfoundland and to Memorial University. It's a wonderful opportunity to carry on with my own work, and also to help make Memorial an international centre for Irish studies."
Dr. Hart's research will examine Irish identity and politics in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on nationalism, ethnicity and the relationship between Protestants and Catholics. As part of the project, he will also be looking at transatlantic networks linking Ireland with North America.
"My work is aimed at reconstructing how people saw themselves and others in religious, social and political terms," said Dr. Hart. "Fundamentally, I want to understand why people killed and were killed on account of these identities."
He is writing a biography of Michael Collins, hero of the Irish Revolution. He is also the author of The IRA and Its Enemies, which won three awards, including the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize (1998); British Intelligence in Ireland 1920-21: The Final Reports (2002) and Guerrilla Days in the U.K.: Revolution in Ireland and Britain (forthcoming). Dr. Hart was most recently a lecturer at Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
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