AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts assistant professor of history Kevin Boyle has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach at University College in Dublin.
"I’m absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity and look forward to gaining a new perspective on the teaching and study of American history," Boyle says.
The nine-month appointment, which will begin this September, is part of a special Fulbright scholarship known as the Mary Ball Washington Chair in U.S. History. This special Fulbright funds chairs throughout Western Europe, and is the only one of its kind in Ireland.
In holding the Mary Ball Washington Chair, Boyle will focus primarily on teaching rather than research. A specialist in U.S. labor history, he will offer two classes in U.S. political history each semester.
In addition to his teaching duties, Boyle plans to pursue various research projects during his spare time. Since he is presently working on a biography about Robert Kennedy, he hopes to explore the Kennedy family’s origins in Ireland. He also hopes to travel to England to gain background material on the period during which Kennedy’s father Joseph served as U.S. ambassador there.
On a more personal note, Boyle also is interested in studying his own genealogy. The son of parents who immigrated from Ireland in the 1950s, he hopes to contact numerous relatives who still live in Ireland.
"My mother was from Cork in the south, and my father from Donegal in the north," Boyle says. "In fact, my father was a policeman, which makes me feel a little like an Irish stereotype."
Boyle is the author of "The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945-1968," a study of the rise of the labor movement which was published by Cornell University Press last year. An assistant professor in the history department, he has taught at the University since 1994.