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Memorial University welcomes new Canada Research Chair position in Irish Studies

Ref. No. 63

DATE:     Nov. 30, 2001
SUBJECT:     Memorial University welcomes new Canada Research Chair position in Irish Studies

A recent announcement made by federal Industry Minister, Brian Tobin, included the approval of a new Canada Research Chair position for Memorial University. The chair in Irish studies Tier 2 was awarded to Dr. Peter Hart. A research chair is a faculty position created to focus on research in a particular academic area. The chair includes $100,000 per annum for salary and research support.

"Universities are pivotal to Canada's new knowledge-driven economy because of their role in advancing the frontiers of knowledge and understanding," stated Minister Tobin. "By investing in our researchers through initiatives such as the Canada Research Chairs Program, the Government of Canada is promoting leading-edge research and innovation, providing exciting opportunities for Canadian researchers, and attracting the best research minds in the world to Canadian universities."

Dr. Hart's research chair will examine questions about Irish identity and mobilization in Britain in the 1910s and 1920s. His research will focus on nationalist activists and their relationships with their perceived homeland, the wider immigrant communities, and the British population and state as a whole. As part of this project, he will also look at transatlantic networks that linked Ireland and Britain to North America and Europe.

Dr. Hart's research will examine Irish identity and politics in the nineteenth and twentieth 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 currently writing a biography of Michael Collins, hero of the Irish Revolution.

Author of The I.R.A. and Its Enemies, which won three awards, including the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize (1998); Author of British Intelligence in Ireland 1920-21: the Final Reports (2002) and Guerrilla Days in the U.K.: Revolution in Ireland and Britain (forthcoming); internationally recognized scholar on the Irish Revolution. Dr. Hart was most recently a lecturer at Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Hart back to Memorial, his exceptional research will generate tremendously rich data applicable to a variety of research interests. He will help will enhance the university's standing as an international centre for the study of North Atlantic societies and a national centre for Irish studies," said Dr. Christopher Loomis, Memorial's acting vice-president, research and international relations.

The Canada Research Chairs program was established by the Government of Canada to enable Canadian universities to achieve the highest levels of research excellence. In its 2000 budget, the federal government provided $900 million to support the establishment of 2000 Canada Research Chairs in universities across the country by 2005. The program is designed to enable Canadian universities to create outstanding research opportunities that will attract researchers with international reputations. Memorial is currently searching for nine more Canada Research Chairs positions. It is expected that Memorial will be eligible for approximately twenty-one positions.

For more information on the Canada Research Chair Program, please consult the web site at: www.chairs.gc.ca.


For more information, contact: Deborah Inkpen, information officer (research), Memorial University, at 737-4073 or e-mail: inkpend@mun.ca


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