Development & Alumni Relations Office 


26 July 2016

At its Annual General Meeting earlier this month (14.07.16), the British Academy elected 42 distinguished UK academics, including Queen’s Professor of Irish History, Sean Connolly, into Fellowship in recognition of their outstanding contribution to research.

The occasion also saw recently installed Queen’s Honorary Graduate, Sir Paul Nurse, elected an Honorary Fellow of the Academy. The former President of the Royal Society, now Chief Executive and Director of the Francis Crick Institute, takes over as Chancellor of the University of Bristol in January 2017.

Originally from Dublin, Professor Connolly has been at Queen’s since 1996. His research focuses on the often dramatic changes that have taken place in Irish culture, politics and social life during the past four hundred years.

In 2007-8, he summarised 30 years of research in two volumes, Contested island: Ireland 1460-1630 and Divided Kingdom: Ireland 1630-1800, published as part of the Oxford History of Early Modern Europe. Since then, Professor Connolly has edited Belfast 400, a comprehensive overview of new research on the city published to mark the four hundredth anniversary of its charter.

His current research is on the Irish diaspora and the role of the migrant Irish in the creation of our modern globalised world.

Welcoming the announcement, the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston, said: “Queen’s is recognised for its world-leading research in the humanities and social sciences which is addressing major societal challenges. I wish to congratulate Professor Connolly on his election as a Fellow of the British Academy – it is testament to the impact and significance of his research.”

Professor Adrienne Scullion, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “History – and in particular the study of Irish history – is an area of huge strength at Queen's and we are proud of the work achieved by all our colleagues working in this field. Professor Connolly's election as a Fellow of the British Academy is a mark of his real and international distinction and the respect in which he is held by his peers. We are delighted to celebrate Professor Connolly's work, his leadership in the field and his ongoing inspiration as a colleague at Queen's.”

Commenting on the announcement Professor Connolly said: “Election to a British Academy Fellowship is the highest honour anyone working in the Humanities in the UK can aspire to. And for a historian working at Queen's, it is particularly gratifying to see the value and social importance of their research recognised in this public and authoritative manner.”

The British Academy is a fellowship of around 1,300 leading national and international academics elected for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences. Election is a mark of distinction, as only a very small number of scholars in any field are elected.

Media inquiries to Queen’s Communications Officer or tel: 028 9097 3091.



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