OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

David T. Gleeson

Portrait of David T. Gleeson

David T. Gleeson is a professor of American history at Northumbria University Newcastle upon Tyne. He is the author or editor of numerous books and articles, including most recently The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America (2013). He is a coinvestigator for the Arts and Humanities Research Council–funded Major Research Project "Locating the Hidden Diaspora: The English in North America in Transatlantic Perspective, 1760–1950". He formerly taught at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where he also directed the Program in the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World. He teaches courses in nineteenth-century U.S. history and is an expert on American immigration, ethnicity, and race. He is also interested in the transnational elements of U.S. history.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

Based on his recent book, the first scholarly study of the subject, Gleeson explains the role of Irish immigrants in the Confederate armed forces and on the homefront. He explains why a largely non-slaveholding population decided to support the Confederacy and continued to do so after its demise through the "Lost Cause."
This lecture assesses the place of the Irish in the field of "Whiteness Studies." Traditionally scholars in this area have accepted a priori that the Irish had to "become white" in the United States. Gleeson's research into the Irish immigrant experience and the role of racial identity in Ireland challenges this view.