Though David Kilroy, associate professor in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, is originally from Ireland, his interest in teaching developed from his fascination with the United States.
Kilroy studied Irish and European history as an undergraduate history and politics double major at the University College Dublin, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degree. After taking an American politics course, he was quickly intrigued by America’s relations with other countries.
“What really interested me in the U.S. was how it functioned,” said Kilroy. “The other thing that interested me was that U.S. foreign policy has an immediate and direct impact on everyone who lives outside of the U.S. I wanted to know what the U.S. felt about the outside world and how these interactions took place.”
This led Kilroy to move to the U.S. where he earned his doctorate degree at the University of Iowa, and concentrated on U.S. foreign policy and 20th century U.S.
His wife’s family, who lived in Florida, and a job opening led him to NSU. Now, he teaches a classes in American history after 1865, historical methods, Irish history, contemporary U.S. history, U.S. foreign relations, and the honors seminar The U.S. at War.
During the winter semester, however, Kilroy will be teaching a seminar class about conspiracy theories for honors students. He also taught the class three years ago.
“I am not a conspiracy theory nut but what does fascinate me is the national security state and the emphasis on secrecy in the U.S., which has shaped American politics,” said Kilroy.
Apart from teaching standard and honors history courses, Kilroy also teaches a summer program in Ireland called “Transatlantic Currents,” which highlights interactions between Ireland and the United States.
Kilroy believes it’s important to have an international perspective. As the chair of the international studies major, he believes it is crucial for students to study abroad and would love to see study abroad be mandatory for undergraduate students.
“For an international studies student, it’s vital but I think every student should study overseas. It’s great that the school offers study abroad options but I think we need more. I would love to see more systematic and institutionalized study abroad integrated into our curriculum,” Kilroy said.
Kilroy is passionate about traveling, reading and watching the English Premier League, but his love for history and the world never falters.
“I think history is very important. It’s cliché but history is the foundation of everything,” Kilroy said. “I think you can’t really understand the present and you certainly have no sense of what lies in the future until you understand the past.”