April 2006 Newsletter

Mary Ball Washington Chair in American History, at UCD

Carmel Coyle


The Mary Ball Washington Chair in American History was established as a full-time professorship in the School of History and Archives, University College Dublin in 1979. It is an endowed Chair for which funding was initially provided by the Alfred I Du Pont Foundation, the American Ireland Foundation and by American and Irish business interests through the good offices of the then American Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Ambassador John Moore.

The creation of the Chair has enabled UCD to bring distinguished professors in the field of American History to the college each year, thereby firmly establishing the field as a core academic discipline in the School of History and in the wider academic life of the college.

Since 1986 the chair has been filled each year by a US academic under the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Programme. This makes the MBW Chair one of the oldest Chairs in the international Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Programme. Over the years the post has been filled by very eminent scholars of American History and Foreign Policy from a wide range of US states and colleges, many of whom have retained on-going links with UCD.


This award has previously been advertised under the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program. Going forward it has been decided to fill the position through the Fulbright Traditional Scholars Program. The main reason for this change is to open the award up to a wider pool of applicants. The School of History in UCD is particularly interested in received applications from scholars in the field of US foreign policy. The recipient of the award will continue to retain the title of Mary Ball Washington Chair in American Studies. However, applications are welcomed from mid-careeer faculty members as well as distinguished senior scholars.


The award is for a full academic year and the stipend will be €50,000, inclusive of travel and accommodation. This is a higher level of grant that for other US scholar awards (€37,000) to reflect the fact that the recipient will hold a Chair position in UCD. The Chair will teach three courses at advanced undergraduate and/or postgraduate level, supervise postgraduate research students and assist with tutorials.


The School of History & Archives in UCD is a long-established and very dynamic center of excellence in teaching and research. With almost 30 full-time academic staff, the School offers a wide range of undergraduate modules — in Irish and European history from the fifth century to the present day, and in American, Australian and Asian history from the eighteenth century onward. There are 1,000 students enrolled in undergraduate programmes. Teaching is carried out in an environment that encourages discussion and debate in small tutorial and seminar groups, and that involves regular contact with staff. At postgraduate level the School has over 130 diploma, masters and doctoral students, and offer the only professional education of archivists in Ireland.


Further information on the School, and the research interests of staff, is available at http://www.ucd.ie/historyarchives/. The contract person for the Mary Ball Washington Chair is the Head of School, Professor Michael Laffan, email Mlaffan@ucd.ie


The Irish-US Fulbright Commission will be happy to assist potential applicants with any enquiries about the award, or about any aspect of living in Ireland. Please contact admin@fulbright.ie. The Commission’s website is www.fulbright.ie



Holders of the Mary Ball Washington Chair in American History at University College Dublin which have been appointed through the Fulbright Programme


Glenda Riley l986/87

Department of History

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls , IA 506l4


Lawrence E. Gelfand 1987/88

Department of History

University of Iowa

Iowa City , IA 52242


Merrill Peterson 1988/89

Department of History

University of Virginia

Charlottesville , VA 22903


Peter S. Onuf 1989/90

Department of History

Southern Methodist University

Dallas , TX 75275


Stephen G. Rabe 1990/91

Department of Arts and Humanities

University of Texas‑‑Dallas

Richardson , TX 75083


Walter Nugent 1991/92

Department of History

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN 46556


Joan Hoff 1992/93

Department of History

Indiana University

Bloomington , IN 47405


Thomas McCormick 1993/94

Department of History

University of Wisconsin‑‑


Madison , WI 53706

Ingrid Winther Scobie 1994/95

Department of History and Government

Texas Woman's University

Denton , TX 76204

Theodore A. Wilson 1995/96

Department of History

University of Kansas

Lawrence , KS 66045‑2130


Elaine Tyler May 1996/97

Program in American Studies

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis , MN 55455‑0225


Kevin G. Boyle 1997/98

Department of History

University of Massachusetts

Amherst, MA 01003‑3930


Harvard I. Sitkoff 1998/99

Department of History

University of New Hampshire

Durham, NH 03824


Robert J. McMahon 1999/00

Department of History

University of Florida

Gainesville , FL 32611


Mark Hamilton Lytle 2000/01

Department of History

Bard College

Annandale-on-Hudson , NY 12504


Terry Anderson 2001/02

Department of History

Texas A&M University

College Station , TX 77843-4236


Not filled through the Fulbright Programme 2002/03


Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman 2003/04

Department of History

San Diego State University

San Diego , CA 92182-8147


Not filled through the Fulbright Programme 2004/05


Mitch Lerner 2004/05

Department of History

Ohio State University

Newark , OH 43055

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