visiting scholar, lecturer in history at the University of Limerick
Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft der Universität Tübingen
Seminar für Neuere Geschichte
Visit Dr Kirwan’s personal webpage at the University of Limerick
Richard Kirwan specialises in early modern European history with a focus on the German-speaking lands of the Holy Roman Empire. His research interests include the social and cultural history of early modern universities, early modern print culture, early modern elites, and the culture and politics of religious conversion in confessional Germany. Prior to his employment at the University of Limerick, Dr Kirwan held posts at the University of St Andrews; European University Institute, Florence; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; and Trinity College Dublin.
- Early-modern Germany
- history of universities
- early-modern print culture
- history of the Reformation
Dr Kirwan’s current project examines the phenomena of religious conversion and religious exile in the world of learning in the Holy Roman Empire in the period between the Peace of Augsburg and the Peace of Westphalia. In this time of heightened confessional antagonism the regulation of orthodoxy became especially important. As the guardians of knowledge and truth, universities were obliged to ensure orthodoxy of belief among scholars. This project will explore the experiences of scholars who did not conform to such impositions. The project will determine patterns of conversion and exile through the examination of a range of individual cases from prominent converts and refugees to minor and forgotten figures. It will also examine responses to conversion and exile from the perspectives of the communities, institutions and political authorities affected. This project will thus offer a comparative understanding of the interwoven political, social and religious complexities of the phenomena of learned conversion and exile. This research project is sponsored and funded by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung.
- R. Kirwan, Empowerment and Representation at the University in Early Modern Germany: Helmstedt and Würzburg, 1576-1634 (Wolfenbütteler Arbeiten zur Barockforschung, 46; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2009).
- R. Kirwan, ‘Akademische Repräsentationspraktiken und der Umgang mit dem Öffentlichkeitsbild der Institution’, in Jens Bruning and Ulrike Gleixner (eds.), Das Athen der Welfen: Die Reformuniversität Helmstedt 1576-1810 (Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 2010).
- R. Kirwan, ‘Scholarly Reputations and Institutional Prestige: The Fashioning of the Public Image of the University of Helmstedt, 1576-1680’, History of Universities XXV/2 (2011).
- R. Kirwan, ‘The Paper Monument: University Histories and the Fashioning of Institutional Prestige in Early Modern Germany’, in Anthony McElligott, Ciara Breathnach, Liam Chambers & Catherine Lawless (eds.), Power in History: From the Medieval to the Post-Modern World (Dublin, Irish Academic Press, 2011).
- R. Kirwan and H. Robinson-Hammerstein, ‘University Ritual and the Construction of the Scholar’, in Helle Vogt (ed.), Liber Amicorum Ditlev Tamm: Law, History and Culture (Copenhagen, DJOF, 2011).
- R. Kirwan, ‘From Individual to Archetype: Occasional Texts and the Performance of Scholarly Identity in Early Modern Germany’, in R. Kirwan (ed.), Scholarly Self-Fashioning and Community in the Early Modern University (Farnham, Ashgate, 2013).
- R. Kirwan (ed.), Scholarly Self-Fashioning and Community in the Early Modern University (Farnham, Ashgate, 2013).
- R. Kirwan, ‘Urban Space and Academic Identity in Early Modern Germany’, in Karin Friedrich, assisted by Patrice Veit (eds.), Die Erschließung des Raumes: Konstruktion, Imagination und Darstellung von Räumen und Grenzen im Barockzeitalter (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2014).
- R. Kirwan and S. Mullins (eds.), Specialist Markets in the Early Modern Book World (Leiden, Brill, 2015).
- R. Kirwan, ‘It’s Who You Know: Scholarly Networks in Liddel’s Helmstedt’, in: Pietro Daniel Omodeo (ed.), in collaboration with Karin Friedrich, Duncan Liddel (1561-1613). Networks of Polymathy and the Northern European Renaissance (Leiden: Brill, 2016), pp. 151-168.