Irene Whelan

Irene Whelan

Professor, Director of Irish Studies, History

Founders Hall, Room G23
Monday and Thursday 12:00p.m-1:30p.m
1 (914) 323-5145

About Me

Irene Whelan has taught at Manhattanville since 1990. A native of County Galway on Ireland’s west coast, she was educated at Galway University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied with James S. Donnelly Jr., a leading historian of modern Ireland. Her dissertation on the evangelical movement in Ireland was published as The Bible War in Ireland. The ‘Second Reformation’ and the Polarization of Protestant-Catholic Relations, 1780-1840 in 2005. She has also contributed to scholarly collections including The Oxford Handbook of the Sermon In Britain (2012), Making the Irish American (2006) and The Great Irish Famine (1995). Prof. Whelan is an active scholar and keeps a consistent foothold on both sides of the Atlantic; she spent part of her recent sabbatical as a visiting scholar at Maynooth University in Ireland. Her scholarly focus is on the intersection of religious and political history at the local as well as the global level. She is currently engaged in co-editing a volume of essays, Landscape of Promise and Ruin: Culture, Identity and Reality in the Irish West, 1830-1930 as well a book-length study of the concept of an Irish ‘spiritual empire’ in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Current Courses
World History
Modern Europe Since 1648
20th Century Europe
The French Revolution and Napoleon
Ireland and its Diaspora
George Orwell and the 20th Century
Modern Ireland Since 1601
The Great War, 1914-18
Atlantic Revolutions, 1780-1820
The Third Reich
Senior Honors Colloquium
Topics in Modern Irish History
Professional History
Visiting Professor
Purchase College, SUNY
Teaching Assistant
University of Wisconsin
Open University/Belfast
Queens University/Belfast
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Master of Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Higher Diploma in Education, University College Galway
Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), University College Galway
Feature Publications


“The Church of Ireland and Gaelic Culture in West Kerry”

Ceiliuradh and Blascaoid. No. 15” [Blasket Island Conference Publication 15. Matters of Faith on the Great Blasket], Dublin, 2013

“The Sermon and Political Controversy in Ireland, 1800-1850”

The Oxford Handbook of the Sermon in Britain, 1689-1901. Edited by Keith A Francis, John Morgan Guy, and Bob Tennent. Oxford U.P., October 2012


“‘The Bible Gentry’: Evangelical religion, aristocracy, and the new moral order in the early nineteenth century”

Crawford Gribben and Andrew Holmes, eds., Protestant Millennialism and Irish Society, 1790-2000, Manchester University Press, 2007


"Religion and Irish-American Identity"

Joe Lee and Marion Casey eds., Making the Irish American, New York University Press, 2006


"The Bible War in Ireland. The Second Reformation and the Polarization of Protestant-Catholic Relations, 1800-40"

Lilliput Press (Dublin) and the University of Wisconsin Press (Madison,WI), September 2005


"The Stigma of Souperism"

Cathal Poirteir, ed., The Great Irish Famine, 1845-52. Thomas Davis Lecture Series, RTE/Mercier Press, Cork, 1995