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Professor David Dickson

Professor David Dickson

Professor of Modern History

Research Interests

My research interests lie along three lines: Irish urbanization over the long run; the agrarian history of Ireland and its regions between 1650 and 1850; and the emigration of human capital from Ireland to the English-speaking world, specifically the global dispersal of Irish merchants, graduates and missionaries between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries to Africa and India. Reflecting these three sets of interest, I have published extensively on Dublin and Cork and am currently writing a comparative study of Irish cities in the long eighteenth century; I continue to publish on Irish rural history over the same period; and reflecting my 'Ireland and empire' interests I co-edited a IRCHSS-funded volume, Irish classrooms and British empire: Imperial contexts in the origins of modern education (2012).

Select Publications

  • Dublin: The making of a capital city (London and Cambridge, MA: Profile and Belknap, 2014), pp xviii + 718
  • Irish and Scottish mercantile networks in Europe and overseas in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries [ed. with Jane Ohlmeyer and Jan Parmentier] (Gent: Academia, 2007), pp 319
  • Old World Colony: Cork and south Munster, 1630-1830 (Cork and Madison: Cork UP & Wisconsin UP, 2005), pp 760
  • Refiguring Ireland: Essays in honour of L.M. Cullen [ed. with Cormac Ó Gráda], (Dublin: Lilliput, 2003), pp 392
  • 1798: A bicentenary perspective [ed. with Thomas Bartlett, Daire Keogh & Kevin Whelan], (Dublin: Four Courts, 2003), pp. xii + 756.
  • New foundations: Ireland 1660-1800 (2nd rev. edn, Dublin: Irish Academic, 2000), pp. xvi + 248.


  • 'Town and city', in The Cambridge social history of modern Ireland, eds. Eugenio F. Biagini & Mary E. Daly (Cambridge, 2017), 112-28 [in press]
  • 'Seven sisters? The seaport cities of mid-eighteenth century Ireland', in Ireland, France and the Atlantic in a time of war, ed. Thomas M. Truxes (Abington,2017), 93-107
  • 'Novel spectacle? The birth of the Whiteboys, 1761-2', in Ourselves alone - religion, society and politics in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Ireland: Essays presented to S.J. Connolly, eds, D.W. Hayton & Andrew R. Holmes (Dublin, 2016), 61-83.
  • 'Charles O'Hara's observations on County Sligo, 1752-73' in Analecta Hibernica, 46 (2015), 85-119 [with David Fleming]
  • 'Famine and economic change in eighteenth-century Ireland' in Alvin Jackson (ed.), The Oxford handbook of modern Irish history (Oxford: U.P., 2014), pp 422-38
  • 'Two moments in the transformation of Irish universities' in David Dickson, Justyna Pyz and Christopher Shepard (eds.), Irish classrooms and British empire... (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012), pp 184-205.

Teaching and Supervision

My Freshman (level 1) teaching focuses on Ireland and the wider world in the eighteenth century, and I offer a Sophister List II [Honors] module on Eighteenth-century Dublin. My List I module is on Sub-Saharan Africa 1875-2000. I also contribute to modules on the M.Phil. programmes on Modern Irish History and on Public History & Cultural Heritage. I have supervised some 30 doctoral dissertations on a variety of issues in Irish social, cultural and/or economic history.

Professor Dickson on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Room 3112
Department of History
Trinity College
Dublin 2.

Telephone: +353 1 896 1884
Fax: +353 1 896 3995