Michael Silvestri is Professor of History and Coordinator of the Undergraduate Program in History at Clemson University. His research in the field of Irish Studies has focused on the Irish experience within the British Empire. His first book Ireland and India: Nationalism, Empire and Memory (2009) examined three interrelated aspects of Ireland’s imperial history: relationships between Irish and Indian nationalists, the construction of Irishmen as imperial heroes, and the commemoration of an Irish regiment’s mutiny in India. He has also published on subjects such as the Royal Irish Constabulary and colonial policing, the reception of the Russian Revolution in Ireland and Eamon De Valera’s travels in the American South in 1920.
His current book project, “‘A Country that has Served the World Well with Police’: The Irish Policeman in the British Empire and Beyond,” explores the Irish role in policing the British Empire in locales ranging from North America to the British Caribbean to Southeast Asia to Australasia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It examines how Irishmen constructed careers in imperial service, the position of the Irish within the racial hierarchies of the British Empire, the contribution of communities of Irish men and women to the culture and society of the Empire and how the Irish experience as imperial policemen compared to their role as policemen beyond the Empire’s borders.