David Nally

David Nally is a Professor and Historical Geographer in the Department of Geography, and a Fellow of Jesus College, at the University of Cambridge.

Dr Nally’s first monograph Human Encumbrances: Political Violence and the Great Irish Famine (University of Notre Dame Press 2011), broke new ground in stressing the importance of comparative historical analysis, arguing that there is much to learn by assessing famines across Empires.

Human Encumbrances was shortlisted for the prestigious Laura Shannon Prize. Reviews of the book include: ‘This book should be read by every human geographer, indeed it should be ready by anyone who cares at all about the reach of the colonial state, the cultivation of inhumanity or just about dedicated and painstaking scholarship’ (Environment and Planning D: Society and Space), while Professor David Lloyd described it as “A significant work both for Irish Studies and for the larger related field of colonial studies ... Human Encumbrances has the potential to be the most important interpretive history of the famine since Woodham-Smith’s The Great Hunger.' An excerpt of the book can be read here.

Dr Nally has since broadened the scope of his work making incisive contributions to debates on hunger and global food security; agribiotechnologies and techno-futures; and most recently, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and Leverhulme Trust, he has undertaken a major study of the emergence of American philanthropy as a moral and political force shaping global relations, including a re-thinking of the philanthropic contributions to the Green Revolution.

Nally is also a frequent commentator in the media with guest features on BBC radio plus commissioned articles for The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Conversation, The Chronicle of Higher Education and HistPhil (a pioneering web-based publication covering the history of the nonprofit sectors). Nally has also co-authored a substantial second monograph, Key Concepts in Historical Geography (Sage 2014)