BSc, MSc (NUI), PhD (York), FRHistS
Professor Emeritus of Economic & Social History
Liam Kennedy was born in rural Tipperary under the star sign of Leo (or was it Taurus?), well before the era of Radio Telefis Eireann and the Friesian cow. His undergraduate degree was in food science but he experienced a later Pauline conversion to history. His formative intellectual influences included Raymond Crotty (Irish agricultural production), Sir John Hicks (A theory of economic history), Edna O'Brien (The country girls) and the Tipperary Star. In 2005 he held a visiting professorship at the University of Toronto and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Liam Kennedy retired from the academic staff in September 2011, but remains an active member of the Queen's History community.
Themes of rural social change dominated his earlier research interests, and still retain an emotional charge. Increasingly, however, his interests have shifted towards the study of long-term social change in Ireland, extending from the 17th to the 20th century. Historical studies of wages, prices and living standards, as well as secular change in the political and religious demography of Ireland have come to the fore. Other interests include Belfast in 1911, and bastardy and the Irish. In his darker moments he contests the notion of the MOPE syndrome: that in the comparative historical stakes the Irish were the most oppressed people ever.
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