Maurice J. Bric was educated at University College Cork (B.A., M.A.) and The Johns Hopkins University, USA (M.A., PhD). In 2008, he was appointed Associate Professor of History at University College Dublin (UCD) where he had been Senior Lecturer since 2002. He has also held visiting fellowships in America. In 2001, he established the Clinton Institute for American Studies at UCD, of which he became Foundation Director. He now chairs its Board of Management.
Maurice Bric’s book on The Re-Invention of America, 1760-1800 was published in May 2008 and won the Historical Research Prize for 2009. In 2005, he co-edited (with John Coakley) a collection of essays on From Political Violence to Negotiated Settlement: The Winding Path to Peace in Twentieth-Century Ireland (Dublin) and more recently (with William Mulligan), A Global History of Anti-Slavery Politics in the Nineteenth Century (June 2013). He has published numerous articles on the histories of Ireland and the Irish Diaspora, the history and nature of popular protest in eighteenth century Ireland, the political career of Daniel O’Connell as well as on Irish emigration to America. The working titles of his current projects are The Wider Worlds of Daniel O’Connell and Ireland and Quebec: Comparisons and Contrasts, 1790-1840.
In October 2011, he was awarded a Senior Government of Ireland Fellowship to develop a major project on “Daniel O’Connell, Ireland and the Rhetoric of Empire, 1820-1845”. He was also awarded a Canadian Research Fellowship to develop a Canadian aspect to this project. These projects are on-going. He was also a member of an academic network of scholars from Ireland and Quebec (2010-12) which examined the role and character of memory in colonial and post-colonial settings.
In addition to his interests in academic history, Maurice Bric maintains a close interest in public policy in Ireland. In 1998, he was asked by the Minister for Education & Science to examine the feasability of setting up a system of research councils in Ireland. His report, The Humanities and Social Sciences: A Case for a Research Council was published in 1999 and led to the establishment of the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) in 2000 and a year later, of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET). A second report, Advancing Humanities and Social Sciences Research in Ireland, of which he was rapporteur on behalf of the Royal Irish Academy, was published in March 2007. In March 2011, he submitted his report on Foresight in the Humanities and Social Sciences which was later published by the Higher Education Authority.
He has also been a member of a number of national bodies which deal with higher education policy and research, notably the Higher Education Authority, the Irish Manuscripts Commission, and the National Archives Advisory Council. He was also Executive Secretary of the IRCHSS and later served as its Chairperson. He was elected as a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2001 and in 2005-6, served as its vice-president.
At European level, Maurice Bric has also had a number of involvements in the European Science Foundation (ESF), including its Governing Council, and the High Council of the European University, Florence. In November 2006, the EU Commissioner for Research asked him to chair the High Level Expert Committee on the Humanities and Social Sciences for Framework Seven. He has also served on a number of evaluation panels for research related activities both inside and outside Ireland.
Maurice Bric has also just completed a research theme exploring relationships between the United States and Northern Ireland over the last thirty years. This has involved three symposia at the United States Congress (29 April 2008) and two at the Clinton Institute for American Studies (September 2011 and November 2012). The proceedings of these conferences will be published in 2014 as will a collection of essays on the history and culture of his native County Kerry. This volume, entitled Kerry: History and Society will be published as a volume in the acclaimed county history series of Geography Publications.