Andrew Newby

Office: Atalpa 225
Tel.: +358 (0)50 437 7555

ORCID: 0000-0001-5757-6885

Instagram: @finnishfaminememorials


Research interests

My research interests lie predominantly in the history and society of Europe during the “Long Nineteenth Century”. Most recently I have been working on themes relating famine – especially the Great Finnish Famine of the 1860s and its commemoration, poor relief, comparisons with other catastrophes (notably the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s), and the phenomenon of international aid (both from the donor and recipient perspective). More generally, I have been working on a wider project examining comparisons and contrasts in Irish and Finnish history – something that kept me particularly busy during 2016-17, when both countries commemorated significant centenaries.

Although I am Irish, I was educated in Scotland (St. Andrews, MA Hons 1996; Edinburgh, PhD, 2001) and my PhD investigated links between Irish and Scottish land reformers and labour activists in the 1880s-90s. I have held academic positions at the University of Edinburgh (lecturer), University of Aberdeen (senior lecturer), and have enjoyed two previous spells in Institutes of Advanced Study (Helsinki, 2010-12; Aarhus, 2017-18). From 2012 to 2017 I was the Principal Investigator on the Academy of Finland project, “‘The Terrible Visitation’: Famine in Finland and Ireland, c. 1845-1868”, which compared elements of the history, and historiography, of the Great Famines in Ireland (1840s) and Finland (1860s). Since 2008, I have been Docent in European Area and Cultural Studies at the University of Helsinki.

While at TIASR I will work on the project “Psychological proximity” and overseas aid during Finland’s Great Hunger Years, c. 1856-68. This project examines the aid which flowed in to Finland from overseas during the 1860s in response to the “Great Hunger Years”. It analyses the motivations for such charitable interventions, particularly the idea of “psychological proximity” whereby donor individuals or states imagine an affinity with the recipients of the donations. It demonstrates the interconnectedness of nineteenth-century Europe, the flexibility of externally-imposed identities, and important continuities with twenty-first century aid campaigns.

Selected Publications & Academic Engagement


Éire na Rúise: An Fhionlainn agus Éire ar thóir na saoirse [The Ireland of Russia: Finland and Ireland in search of freedom] (Coiscéim, 2016). ISBN: 660012160457.

Ireland, Radicalism and the Scottish Highlands, 1870-1912 (Edinburgh University Press, 2007). ISBN: 0748623752.

The Life and Times of Edward McHugh, 1853-1915: Land Reformer, Trade Unionist and Labour Activist (Edwin Mellen Press, 2004). IBSN: 0773462910.

Edited Books & Special Editions of Journals

Ireland and Finland, 1850-1930: Comparisons and Transnational Perspectives. Special Edition of Irish Historical Studies. (Cambridge University Press, Dec. 2017) Co-edited with Richard Mc Mahon. ISSN 0021-1214.

“The Enormous Failure of Nature”: Famine in Nineteenth Century Europe. (COLLeGIUM; Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2017). ISSN 1796-2986.

Famines in European Economic History: The Last Great European Famines Reconsidered (Routledge, 2015). ISBN: 9780415656818. Co-edited with Declan Curran & Lubomir Luciuk.

Urban Symbolic Landscapes: Power, Language, Memory (COLLeGIUM; Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2012). ISSN 1796-2986. Co-edited with Jani Vuolteenaho, Maggie Scott & Lieven Ameel.

Michael Davitt: New Perspectives (Irish Academic Press, 2009). ISBN: 0716530428. Co-edited with Fintan Lane.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles

‘Overcoming Amnesia? Memorializing Finland’s “Great Hunger Years”’, in E. Mark Fitzgerald, O. Frawley & M. Corporaal (eds), The Great Famine: Visual and Material Culture (Liverpool UP, 2018). Pp. 229-258.

‘“The Same Thing Could Happen in Finland”: The Anti-Imperial Moment in Ireland and Finland, 1916-1917’ in E. Dal Lago, R. Healy & G. Barry (eds), 1916 in Global Context: An Anti-Imperial Moment (Routledge, 2018). Pp. 188-207.

‘“Black Spots on the Map of Europe”: Ireland and Finland as Oppressed Nationalities, c. 1860-1910’, Irish Historical Studies Vol. XLI, No. 160 (Dec. 2017). Pp. 180-99.

‘John Hampden Jackson, “Finland and Ireland: Assorted Comparisons”: Select Document’, Irish Historical Studies Vol. XLI, No. 160 (Dec. 2017). Co-written with Richard Mc Mahon. Pp. 256-70.

‘Finland’s “Great Hunger Years” Memorials: A Sesquicentennial Report’, in Andrew G. Newby (ed.), “The Enormous Failure of Nature”: Famine in Nineteenth Century Europe. (COLLeGIUM; Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2017). Pp. 173-214.

‘“Os Selve Alene”: A Norwegian Account of the Easter Rising’, Studia Celtica Fennica XIII (2016), Pp. 17-30.

‘Language, Nationalism and the Concept of “Two Cultures”: Norway and Scotland in the Nineteenth Century’, Scandinavica: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Scandinavian Studies 55:2 (2016), Pp. 6-42. Co-written with Jens Johan Hyvik and Robert McColl Millar.

‘“Acting in their Appropriate and Wanted Sphere”: The Society of Friends and Famine in Ireland and Finland, c. 1845-68’, in C. Kinealy, P. Fitzgerald & G. Moran (eds), Irish Hunger & Emigration: Myth, Memory and Memorialization (Quinnipiac UP, 2015). Pp. 107-20, 190.

‘The Nordic Welfare Model in Norway and Scotland’, in J. Bryden, L. Riddoch & O. Brox (eds), Northern Neighbours: Scotland and Norway since the Middle Ages (EUP, 2015). Co-written with Mary Hilson. Pp. 211-29.

‘“The Terrible Visitation”: Famine in Ireland and Finland 1845-68‘, in D. Curran, L. Luciuk & A.G. Newby (eds), Famines in European Economic History: The Last Great European Famines Reconsidered (Routledge, 2015). Co-written with Timo Myllyntaus. Pp. 145-65.

‘“Rather Peculiar Claims on Our Sympathies”: Britain and Famine in Finland, 1856-68’, in M. Corporaal, C. Cusack, L. Janssen & R. van den Beuken (eds), Global Legacies of the Great Irish Famine: Transnational and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Peter Lang, 2014). Pp. 61-80.

‘“On Their Behalf No Agitator Raises His Voice”: The Irish Distressed Ladies Fund – Gender, Politics and Philanthropy in Victorian Ireland’, in Å. Karlsson Sjögren, N. Koefoed & K. Cowman (eds), Gender in Urban Europe: Sites of Political Activity and Citizenship, 1750-1900 (Routledge, 2014). Pp. 243-267.

‘“Neither Do These Tenants Or Their Children Emigrate!” Famine and Transatlantic Emigration from Finland in the Nineteenth Century’, Atlantic Studies 11/3 (2014), Pp. 383-402.

‘“One Valhalla of the Free!”: Scandinavia, Britain and Northern Identity in the Mid-Nineteenth Century’, in P. Stadius & J. Harvard (eds), Communicating the North: Media Structures and Images in the Making of the Nordic Region (Ashgate, 2013). Pp. 147-169.

‘“The Cold, Northern Land of Suomi”: Michael Davitt and Finnish Nationalism’, Journal of Irish & Scottish Studies VI (2013), Pp. 73-92.

‘The North Pole Mission: Scottish Anti-Catholicism in a Nordic Context’, in Y-M. Werner (ed.), Anti-Catholicism in a Comparative and Transnational Perspective, 1750-2000 (Rodopi, 2013). Pp. 237-251.

‘“A Mere Geographical Expression”? Scotland and Scottish Identity, c. 1890-1914’, in J. Augusteijn & H.J. Storm (eds), Nation Building, Regional Identities and Separatism in West- and Central-Europe, c. 1890-1914 (Palgrave, 2012). Pp. 149-168.

‘Rebuilding the Archdiocese of Nidaros: Etienne Djunkowsky and the North Pole Mission, 1855-1870’, Innes Review LXI (May 2010). Pp. 52-75.

‘Land and the Crofter Question in Nineteenth Century Scotland’, International Review of Scottish Studies, XXXV (2010). Pp. 7-36.

Recent Media Work

“The Finnish Famine Has Not Been Forgotten” (Academy of Finland Report and Video Presentation, October 2017).

“On The Trail of Famine Memorials in Finland” (YLE Areena News Feature, September 2017).

Selected Public Artistic and Design Activities

Nälkä! The Great Finnish Famine 150th Commemoration Exhibition: Sole curator for this major exhibition which runs from September 2017 to June 2018 in the Irish National Famine Museum, Strokestown Park, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, and July 2018 to October 2018 in the Hardiman Library, NUI Galway, Ireland. One of the key outputs from the 2012-17 Academy of Finland Research Project. Responsibilities included: negotiations with the host venue; loaning items e.g. from Vapriikki Museum, University of Helsinki, Alanko-Jokiniemi Farm Collection (Juupajoki); organizing the production of pettuleipä; translating and subtitling the audio from the 30-minute video documentary Nälän Tie; organizing permissions for images from, inter alia, Ateneum Art Museum, The National Archives (London), Hull Archives; collecting original rare books and newspapers for exhibit; hiring a graphic design team for the visual identity of the exhibition; writing texts for eight major thematic panels and several subsidiary panels; transporting the exhibits from Finland to Ireland; organizing an opening event (January 2018) with the Embassy of Finland in Dublin.


Irish Department of Foreign Affairs: Travelling 1916 Centenary Exhibition (2016 to date). Prepared two sets of texts for panel about the Finn and the Swede who fought for the Irish Rebels during the Easter Rising in Dublin.