Colin Barr

Professor of Modern Irish History; Director, Clingen Family Center for the Study of Modern Ireland

Colin Barr

3123 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-2327

Colin Barr

Professor of Modern Irish History; Director, Clingen Family Center for the Study of Modern Ireland


Modern Ireland; Catholicism; British political history; migration history

At the Keough School

Colin Barr is professor of modern Irish history in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. He is director of the Clingen Family Center for the Study of Modern Ireland, which is housed at the Keough School’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies.


  • The Making of Modern Ireland (undergraduate course in Irish studies)
  • The Northern Ireland Troubles (undergraduate course in Irish studies)
  • Ireland’s Troubles: Politics, Violence, and History (university seminar)


Colin Barr was born in Canada and raised in the United States. He holds a BA from Stonehill College and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and has held academic appointments in Ireland, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Barr has been a visiting fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and the University of Newcastle, Australia. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Research and Publications

Barr’s work seeks to place the history of the island of Ireland and its peoples in the widest possible context, including that of the United Kingdom, the continent of Europe, the Roman Catholic Church, and the global Irish Diaspora. He is the author or editor of a number of books, including Ireland’s Empire: The Roman Catholic Church in the English-speaking World, 1829-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2020), The European Culture Wars in Ireland: The Callan Schools Affair, 1868-1881 (University College Dublin Press, 2010), Paul Cullen, John Henry Newman, and the Catholic University of Ireland, 1845-65 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2003), Nation/Nazione: Irish Nationalism and the Italian Risorgimento (co-edited with Michele Finelli and Anne O’Connor; University College Dublin Press, 2014), and Religion and Greater Ireland: Christianity and Irish Global Networks, 1750-1950 (co-edited with Hilary M. Carey; McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015).

Barr’s next book, The Irish Pope: Paul Cullen, 1803-1878, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2023. Future projects include “O’Connell’s Heirs,” a study of Irish Catholic democracy; and “Imperial Women: Nuns and the Making of Greater Ireland,” a global history of Irish women religious.

In the Media