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Dr Diarmid Finnegan

<p>Dr. Diarmid A. Finnegan</p>

Dr. Diarmid A. Finnegan


BSc Hons (Geography) Glasgow 2000.
MRes Edinburgh 2001.
PhD Edinburgh 2005.
PGCHET Belfast 2006.

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography



Room 02 029, Elmwood Building
School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (GAP)
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN Northern Ireland, UK


+44 (0)28 9097 3981

Current Teaching:


GAP1011 Human Geographies of the Modern World
GAP1012 Spaces of Development
GAP2042 Contemporary Approaches to Geographical Enquiry
GAP3057 Dissertation


GAP7402 Critical Approaches to Human Geography
GAP7406 Methods and Research Design

PhD Candidates

Colm Lavery (first supervisor)
Harry McGeehan (second supervisor)

Current Administrative Roles:

Postgraduate Research Coordinator

Programme Director, MA in Society, Space and Culture


Current Research:

Society, Space and Culture

My research is concerned with science, space and culture in historical perspective. In previous work I examined the reception of glacial theory in early-Victorian Edinburgh, investigated the historical geographies of Scottish natural history societies in the period 1831-1900 and, with Charles Withers and Rebekah Higgitt, explored the role of geography in the work of the British Association for the Advancement of Science from 1831 – c.1933. My book on natural history societies in Victorian Scotland was published by Pickering & Chatto in 2009 and was awarded the Frank Watson Book Prize for Scottish History in 2011.  More recent work has centred on public speech as a situated mode of interaction between science and culture in the nineteenth century.  I have also produced a revisionist account of the Scottish geologist James Croll and a comparative study of two Irish ethnologists active in the mid-Victorian period.  I have recently completed a two year AHRC-funded project on science in nineteenth-century Belfast and published a paper on the reception of theories about human evolution in the context of religious debates about the creation of Eve. I am now embarking on a new project on 'spaces of the human,' which will work towards a historical geography of ideas about humanness from the early modern period to contemporary debates about post-human futures. 

If you are interested in pursuing PhD research in areas such as the history of geography or the historical geogrpahies of science and/or religion please do get in touch. To hear me talk about the history of science and religion at a recent public workshop organised by Dr David Glass and Dr Mark McCartney (University of Ulster), please click here.


Selected Publications


Finnegan, D. A., Natural History Societies and Civic Culture in Victorian Scotland (Pickering and Chatto, London, 2009). Winner of the Frank Watson Book Prize for Scottish History

Book Chapters

Finnegan, D. A.  ‘Religious polemics and scientific speech: a rhetorical geography of science and religion in mid-Victorian Britain and Ireland’ in Joe Kember, John, Plunkett and Jill A. Sullivan, (eds) Popular Exhibitions, Science and Showmanship 1840-1910 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2012), pp. 97-114. .

Finnegan, D. A. 'Geographies of scientific speech in mid-Victorian Edinburgh' in David N. Livingstone and Charles W. J. Withers (eds) Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science (Chicago: University of Chicagor Press, 2011), pp. 153-177.

Journal Articles

Finnegan, D. A. and Wright J. J. 'Catholics, science and civic culture in Victorian Belfast,' British Journal for the History of Science [FirstView Article] (2014) DOI:

Finnegan, D. A. 'Eve and evolution: Christian responses to the first woman question, 1860-1900', Journal of the History of Ideas, 75(2) (2014): 283-305.

Finnegan, D. A. 'James Croll, metaphysical geologist', Notes and Records of the Royal Society, 66(1) (2012) 69-88.

Finnegan, D. A. 'Exeter-Hall science and evangelical rhetoric in mid-Victorian Britain', Journal of Victorian Culture 16(1) (2011) 46-64.

Finnegan, D. A. 'The spatial turn: geographical approaches in the history of science', Journal of the History of Biology 41(2) (2008) 369-388.

Finnegan, D. A. 'The work of ice: glacial theory and scientific culture in early-Victorian Edinburgh', British Journal for the History of Science, 37 (2004) 29-52.

For a full listing, please click here.

External Grant Funding:

PI on 'Scientific metropolis: Belfast in an age of science, 1820-1914' Early Career AHRC Grant, 2012-2014, £160,343.