Brendan Kane


Ph.D., Princeton

Professor of Literatures, Cultures, & Languages

Areas of Specialty

Early modern Britain and Ireland; Reformation; early modern Atlantic World

Current Research Interests

Gaelic Irish views of England and the English; Gaelic political thought; knowledge and the legitimacy of power in early modern Ireland; gender and politics; reading and teaching of Early Modern Irish (c. 1200-1650); minoritized languages in the early modern Atlantic World


Brendan Kane is from Reading, Pennsylvania, and received a B.A. in history from the University of Rochester, an M.Phil in Irish Studies from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a PhD from Princeton. Prior to coming to the University of Connecticut in 2005, he spent a year as the NEH/Keough Fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough Institute of Irish Studies. Currently he serves as Vice-President/President-elect of the Celtic Studies Association of North America, elected Council Member of the North American Conference on British Studies, and co-director of the digital humanities project Lé

Selected Publications


Elizabeth I and Ireland (co-edited with Valerie McGowan-Doyle), Cambridge University Press (2014; paperback, 2017)

Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland (with Thomas Herron), Folger Shakespeare Library (2013)

The politics and culture of honour in Britain and Ireland, 1541-1641, Cambridge University Press, Studies in Early Modern British History (2010; paperback 2014)

Articles and Book Chapters

“Making early modern Irish studies Irish? Teaching, learning, and researching Early Modern Irish in a digital age,” in Sarah Covington, Valerie McGowan-Doyle and Vincent Carey (eds.), Early modern Ireland: new sources, methods, and perspectives (Routledge, 2019), pp. 79-95.

“Did the Tudors read Gerald of Wales? Gerald of Wales and early modern polemical historiography,” to appear in Georgia Henley and Joseph McMullen (eds.) New perspectives on Gerald of Wales (University of Wales Press, 2018), pp. 259-82.

“A world of honor: aristocratic mentalité,” in Jane Ohlmeyer (ed.) The Cambridge History of Ireland, 1550-1730, v. 2 (Cambridge UP; 2018), pp. 482-505.

“Popular politics and the legitimacy of power in early modern Ireland,” in Elizabeth Fitzpatrick and Audrey Horning (eds.) Becoming and belonging in Ireland, 1200-1600 (Cork UP; 2018), pp. 328-43, 413-18.

“The politics of race in Britain and Ireland,” (with Malcolm Smuts) in Smuts (ed.), The age of Shakespeare (Oxford; 2015), 346-66.

“Masculinity and political geographies in England, Ireland and North America,” European Review of History/révue d’histoire européenne, 22/4 (2015), pp. 595-619.

“Reading for Gender,” co-authored with Kenneth Gouwens and Laurie Nussdorfer, European Review of History/révue d’histoire européenne, 22/4 (2015), pp. 527­–35.

“Elizabeth I and Ireland: an introduction,” (with Valerie McGowan-Doyle), in Kane and McGowan-Doyle (eds.) Elizabeth I and Ireland (Cambridge UP, 2014), pp. 1-14.

“Elizabeth I and rebellion in England and Ireland: semper eadem?” in Kane and McGowan-Doyle (eds.) Elizabeth I and Ireland (Cambridge UP, 2014), pp. 261-285.

“Human rights and the history of violence in the early British empire,” History (July, 2014), pp. 383-402.

“Ordinary violence? Ireland as emergency in the Tudor state,” History (July, 2014), pp. 444-67.

“Being noble in Ireland before Henry VIII,” Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium (2012), pp. 180-97.

“Languages of legitimacy? an Ghaeilge, the earl of Thomond, and British politics in the Renaissance Pale, 1600-1624,” in Thomas Herron and Michael Potterton (eds.), Dublin and the Pale in the Renaissance, c.1494-1660 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011), pp. 267-79.

“Scandal, Wentworth’s deputyship, and the breakdown of ‘British’ honor politics,” in Brian Mac Cuarta, SJ (ed.), Reshaping Ireland 1550-1700: colonization and its consequences (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011), pp. 147-62.

“A dynastic nation? rethinking national consciousness in early seventeenth-century Ireland,” in David Finnegan, Marie-Claire Harrigan, and Eamonn Ó Ciardha (eds.) Imeacht na n-Iarlaí: The Flight of the Earls (Guildhall Press, Derry; 2010), pp. 124-31.

“Domesticating the Counter-Reformation: bridging the bardic and Catholic traditions in Geoffrey Keating’s The Three Shafts of Death,” Sixteenth Century Journal, xi (Winter, 2009), pp. 1029-1044. [Awarded the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference Literature Prize, 2010]

“From Irish eineach to British honor? Noble honor and high politics in early modern Ireland, 1500-1650,” History Compass, 7 (Winter, 2009), pp. 414-30.

“Making the Irish European: Gaelic honor politics and its continental contexts,” Renaissance Quarterly, 61/4 (Winter, 2008), pp. 1139-66.


Links of Interest

Celtic Studies Association of North America

UConn Human Rights Institute

Humility & Conviction in Public Life

Irish Script Onscreen


Northeast Conference on British Studies

Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Brendan Kane, Professor of History, University of Connecticut
Contact Information
Mailing Address241 Glenbrook Road, U-4103, Storrs CT 06269
Office LocationWood Hall, Rm 325
CampusCampus: Storrs
Office HoursOn Leave Spring 2024