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Heritage Ireland

Professor: Jane Ohlmeyer ‘Making Empire’



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Farmleigh House and Gardens

Did Ireland have an empire?

This lecture looks at how empire shaped Ireland and how people – Catholic and Protestant – from Ireland then made – and unmade – empires. Professor Ohlmeyer will explore four interconnected themes, that underpin their book, Making Empire: Ireland, Imperialism and the early modern world. First, Ireland was England’s oldest colony and formed an integral part of the English imperial system. Second, Ireland served as laboratory for empire in the Atlantic world and in India. Third, as well as being colonised the Irish operated as active imperialists in the English and other European empires; they were trans imperial. Finally, I want reflect on what this all meant for senses of Irishness and how engagement with empires shaped early modern Ireland.


Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, MRIA, FBA, FTCD, FRHistS, is Erasmus Smith's Professor of Modern History (1762) at Trinity College Dublin. She was a driving force behind the 1641 Depositions Project and the development of the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute. In 2023 received an Advanced ERC for VOICES, a project on the lived experiences of women in early modern Ireland. She is the author or editor of numerous articles and 11 books. Her latest Making IrelandIreland, Imperialism and the Early Modern World (Oxford, 2023) is based on the 2021 Ford Lectures in Oxford. In 2023 she was awarded the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in the Humanities.


This talk is presented by the OPW as part of the 2024 cultural programme at Farmleigh House.


Phoenix Park
Dublin 15
D15 TD50

01 815 5914

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