Dr MICHAEL BROWN The University of Aberdeen CASS Miscellaneous Dr MICHAEL BROWN Senior Lecturer work +44 (0)1224 273685 work +44 (0)1224 272472 work fax +44 (0) 1224-272203 pref School of Divinity, History and Philosophy,
Room: 110 (History) or HMA4 (Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies)
Meston Walk,
King's College,
University of Aberdeen,
Old Aberdeen,
AB24 3FX. Tel: +44 (0) 1224-272472 (History) or + 44 (0) 1224-273685 (RIISS)

Senior Lecturer


Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0)1224 273685
+44 (0)1224 272472
Fax: +44 (0) 1224-272203


Address: School of Divinity, History and Philosophy,
Room: 110 (History) or HMA4 (Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies)
Meston Walk,
King's College,
University of Aberdeen,
Old Aberdeen,
AB24 3FX.
Tel: +44 (0) 1224-272472 (History) or + 44 (0) 1224-273685 (RIISS)


Awarded a personal chair in Irish, Scottish and Enlightenment History in 2014, Professor Brown was appointed to a lectureship at Aberdeen in 2006 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2011. The acting Director of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, and co-founder of the Aberdeen Humanities Fund, he is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where he studied history for his BA (Mod) and PhD. He subsequently worked at the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies and the Department of Modern History at Trinity and in the Combined Departments of History at University College Dublin. He lectures regularly in Britain, Ireland, and North America.


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Research Interests

Professor Brown's work concerns the Irish and Scottish Enlightenments. He is interested in the interaction between religious, political and ethical ideas in the eighteenth century.This work is enhanced by the study of the political cultures of Britain and Ireland. 

Alongside contributions to intellectual history, Professor Brown has edited collections on religious, legal and literary history. His approach is often comparative and interdisciplinary, with a focus on imaginative and philosophical writings.

He is also interested in current and historical debates concerning the place and value of the Humanities in the University and wider society. 


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Current Research

Professor Brown is finalising a study of The Irish Enlightenment, 1688-1798. He is also writing a textbook entitled A Cultural History of Europe, 1688-1914: The Birth of Modernity. Further research concerns the impact of the French Revolution on the Scottish Enlightenment.

His most recent monograph is A Political Biography of John Toland (London; Pickering & Chatto, 2012). He has a long track record in collaborative work, which includes The Law and Other Legalities of Ireland, 1689-1850 (Farnham; Ashgate Press, 2011), edited with Seán Patrick Donlan and Converts and Conversion in Ireland, 1650-1850 (Dublin; Four Courts Press, 2005) with Charles Ivar MacGrath and Thomas Power. 

He also has experience in editing scholarly journals. He spent five years as the general editor of the interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal, Eighteenth-Century Ireland (2001-2005) and is currently an editor of the biannual interdisciplinary peer-reviewed Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies (2006 to the present).

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Professor Brown is a commissioning editor of the book series Poetry and Song in the Age of Revolution with Pickering & Chatto Press (2011 ongoing, 4 volumes to date). Both United Islands? The Languages of Resistance (London; Pickering & Chatto, 2012) and The Cultures of Radicalism in Britian and Ireland (London; Pickering & Chatto, 2013), are edited with John Kirk and Andrew Noble as part of this sequence. 

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Research Grants

Professor Brown is a co-founder (with Dr Jackson Armstrong) of the Aberdeen Humanities Fund, and serves on its academic board. It was created in 2012 to seek philanthropic support for research conducted on the university collections.

In 2008 he was a successful co-applicant to the AHRC for a Network Grant entitled 'United Islands? Multi-Lingual Radical Poetry and Folksong in Britain and Ireland, 1770-1820'.

He was the principal investigator in the AHRC sponsored project 'Irish and Scottish Diasporas since 1600' from 2006 to 2010. This resulted in the publication of four collections of essays, which he edited as special issues of the Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies: After the Homecoming, 5.2 (2012), 213pp; Migrating Minds (with Paul Shanks), 5.1 (2011), 180pp; Frontiers of the Irish and Scottish Diasporas (with Rosalyn Trigger), 2.2 (2009), 241pp; and Gallic Connections: Irish and Scottish Encounters with France (with Rosalyn Trigger), 2.1 (2008), 192pp.

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Teaching Responsibilities

HI 2013: The Birth of Modernity: Politics, Culture and Science in Europe, 1700-1870

HI 3593: The Making of Modern Ireland, 1800-2000

HI4015: Between the Unions: Political Culture in Ireland and Scotland, 1707-1800

HI5558: Enlightenment in Comparison

HI5565: The Invention of Irish Nationalism

EL5031: Reading History's Past

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External Responsibilities

Serving on the committee of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society, Professor Brown is on the editorial board of Studies in Burke and his Time and the Advisory Committee for the International Review of Scottish Studies

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Admin Responsibilities

Professor Brown is a member of the Council of the College of Arts and Social Sciences, as well as the College's Graduate Studies Committee and its Research Committee. As Discipline Research Leader for History and History of Art (2012-14), he played a central role in organising the REF 2014 submission for those disciplines. Convening the Research Seminar Series at the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, he is the instigator and organiser of a public lecture series, held in collaboration with Aberdeen City Council, entitled 'Great Aberdonians'.

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Contributions to Journals


  • Brown, MP. (2012). 'The Biter Bitten: Ireland and the Rude Enlightenment'. Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol 45, no. 3, pp. 393-407.
    [Online] DOI: 10.1353/ecs.2012.0038
    [Link] http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eighteenth-century_studies/v045/45.3.brown.html
  • Brown, MP. (2010). 'Creating Conspiracies: John Toland’s Art of Restoring and Hanoverian Paranoia'. Eighteenth Century Ireland Iris an da Chultur, vol 25, pp. 48-61.
  • Brown, MP. (2008). 'Was there an Irish Enlightenment?: The Case of the Anglicans'. Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, pp. 49-64.
  • Brown, MP. (2008). 'A Scottish Literati in France: The Case of Sir James Hall'. Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies, vol 2, no. 1, pp. 73-100.

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings


  • Brown, MP. (2013). 'Enlightenment and Revolution: A British Problematic'. in J Kirk, M Brown & A Noble (eds), Cultures of Radicalism in Britain and Ireland. Poetry and Song in the Age of Revolution, vol. 3, Pickering & Chatto, London, pp. 1-24.
  • Brown, MP. (2011). 'Outwith the Pale: Irish-Scottish Studies as an Act of Translation'. in P Mackay, E Longley & F Brearton (eds), Modern Irish and Scottish Poetry. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, pp. 313-327.
  • Brown, MP. (2011). 'Farmer and Fool: Henry Brooke and the late Irish Enlightenment'. in SP Donlan & MP Brown (eds), The Laws and Other Legalities of Ireland, 1689-1850. Ashgate, Farnham, United Kingdom, pp. 301-325.
  • Brown, MP. (2010). 'Configuring the Irish Enlightenment : Reading the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy'. in J Kelly & M Powell (eds), Clubs and Societies in Eighteenth-Century Ireland. Four Courts Press, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Brown, M. (2009). 'The Place of Learning in Eighteenth-Century Dublin'. in M McCarthy & A Simmons (eds), Marsh Library's: A Mirror on the World: Law, Learning and Libraries, 1650-1750. Four Courts Press, Dublin, Ireland, pp. 104-126.
  • Brown, MP. (2006). 'Teaching Irish Studies In Ireland: After the End'. in Ireland Beyond Boundaries, Pluto Press, London. Ireland Beyond Boundaries, Pluto Press, London, pp. 58-67.
  • Brown, MP. (2006). 'The National Identity of Edmund Burke'. in SP Donlan (ed.), Edmund Burke's Irish Identities. Irish Academic Press, Dublin, Ireland, pp. 201-225.
  • Brown, MP. (2003). 'The Injured lady and Her British Problem: The Union in Political Thought'. in The Irish Act of Union, 1800, Irish Academic Press, Dublin, eds M Brown, PM Geoghegan, J Kelly. The Irish Act of Union, 1800, Irish Academic Press, Dublin, eds M Brown, PM Geoghegan, J Kelly, pp. 37-49.

Books and Reports


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