Annual Nicholas Canny lecture - Tuesday, 14 May 2024 at 4pm

Apr 12 2024 Posted: 21:30 IST

Professor Emma Hart (University of Pennsylvania) will deliver this year’s Nicholas Canny lecture. The talk will take place at 4.00pm on Tuesday, 14 May 2024. This is a hybrid event. The paper will be delivered in-person, in Room G010, Hardiman Research Building, University of Galway (ground floor) and livestreamed simultaneously on Zoom: It will not be recorded.

Professor Emma Hart (University of Pennsylvania)

From England to Ireland to America and Back Again:

Empire and the Early Modern British Isles



Recently fêted in the William and Mary Quarterly with a forum of essays, Nicholas Canny’s work on Ireland and early Virginia laid the foundations for generations of historians to explore the complex entanglements of the British Isles with its overseas colonies. Originally a topic that attracted mainly intellectual historians, it is one now populated by scholars investigating these connections from a wide variety of perspectives; material, social, cultural, and political. In this lecture I try to make sense of what the increasing variety of approaches means for writing the early modern history of the British Isles in the twenty-first century. As it expanded, the empire seemed to seep into every corner of the British Isles; from the clothing its inhabitants wore to the news they read. What impact did this have on the Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh people who inhabited this archipelago? More especially, what role did it play in their relationship to one another as Britons?



Emma Hart is the Richard S. Dunn Director, The McNeil Center for Early American Studies and the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Chair of American History at the University of Pennsylvania. She previously taught at the University of St Andrews, where she was on the faculty for twenty years following the completion of her PhD at the Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of three books: Building Charleston: Town and Society in the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World (2010), Trading Spaces: The Colonial American Marketplace and the Foundations of American Capitalism (2019) and, with Mariana Dantas, Early Modern Atlantic Cities (2024). She is currently working on a biography of the Scottish novelist and historian, Tobias Smollett.


If you have any questions about the lecture, you can contact Dr Róisín Healy at