Smurfit Director of the Keough-Naughton Notre Dame Study Centre, Ireland
One of Ireland’s best-known and most widely published scholars, Kevin Whelan was named the inaugural Smurfit Director in 1998. In this role, he has directed and taught well over 1,000 students studying in Dublin through programs facilitated by the Office of International Studies. He has authored or edited over 20 books and published over 100 articles on Ireland’s history, geography, literature, and culture. From 1999 to 2011, he directed Notre Dame’s annual Irish Seminar, the leading seminar in the field of Irish studies, whose faculty has included Edward Said, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Homi Bhabha, Fred Jameson, and Benedict Anderson.
Professor Whelan has lectured in over a dozen countries, and at the Sorbonne, Cambridge, Oxford, Torino, Berkeley, Yale, Dartmouth, and Louvain. He has been a visiting scholar at Boston College, New York University, Memorial University, and Concordia (Montreal). A native of County Wexford, he was educated at University College Dublin. He is a former Newman Scholar at University College Dublin and a Bicentennial Research Fellow at the Royal Irish Academy. From 1995 to 1998, he served as historical advisor to the Irish government on the Famine and the 1798 Rebellion.
The Smurfit Directorship was endowed by Michael W.J. Smurfit of County Kildare, Ireland. Chairman of an international paper-packaging company based in Dublin, Smurfit has been honored by the governments of France, Venezuela, and Colombia for his achievements in those countries.