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James Hanrahan BCL (Cork), PhD (Edinburgh) Associate Professor, Fellow of Trinity College

Contact: Dr. James Hanrahan


Dr James Hanrahan is a graduate of University College Cork (BCL, Law and French, 1998-2002) and the University of Edinburgh (PhD, 2003-2007). His doctoral study was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and included one year as a pensionnaire étranger at the Ecole normale supérieure (rue d'Ulm). He worked as a Lecturer in French at NUI Galway (2006-2008) and NUI Maynooth (2008-2010) before taking up the post of Ussher Assistant Professor in Eighteenth-Century French Studies at Trinity, where he is now an Associate Professor in Eighteenth-Century French Studies. He was a Voltaire Foundation Visiting Fellow at Linacre College, Oxford, in January-February 2008 and was awarded a three-year IRCHSS CARA Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 2010. He was previously a member of the Advisory Board of The Complete Works of Voltaire and is now a member of the Digital Voltaire Advisory Group. He was a member of the executive committee of ADEFFI from 2009 to 2019, holding the positions of Secretary (2013-2015), Vice-President (2016) and President (2017-2019) of the Association. He has been a Trustee on the Board of Directors of Alliance française Dublin Ltd. since 2017 and is currently its Vice-President. Dr Hanrahan was awarded Fellowship of Trinity College in 2023.

Research Interests

Dr Hanrahan’s research focuses on the literature, history, politics and culture of Enlightenment France. His doctoral research focused on Voltaire’s relationship with the supreme courts of ancien régime France. He has contributed as an external editor to The Complete Works of Voltaire, published by the Voltaire Foundation, Oxford and has written critical introductions to a range of Voltaire's shorter works. He has worked as part of a team of academics annotating the critical editions of the Essai sur les mœurs and Questions sur l'Encyclopédie. He has recently co-edited a critical edition of Voltaire's Précis du siècle de Louis XV and Histoire de la guerre de 1741. He is interested in and has published on the concept of public opinion and its impact on politics and society and is currently researching the concept of origins in Enlightenment thought. He welcomes expressions of interest from graduate students working in areas related to his research.

Administrative Roles

Head of French Department (2019-2022)

Director, MPhil in Identities and Cultures of Europe (2018-2020)

Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning, SLLCS (2014-16)

Research Profile