Headshot of Cian T. McMahon, Ph.D.

Cian T. McMahon, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department(s): History
Office: WRI-A 308
Mail Code: 5020
Phone: 702-895-4025
Email: cian.mcmahon@unlv.edu


Cian T. McMahon holds a joint appointment in the Department of History and Honors College at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University (2010), his MA from University College Dublin (2002), and his BA from the University of Manitoba (2000).

McMahon is the author of two books and over half a dozen scholarly articles on Irish and American immigration history. In The Coffin Ship: Life and Death at Sea during the Great Irish Famine (NYU Press, 2021), he uses the emigrants’ own letters and diaries to show how, at every step of the journey—including the treacherous weeks at sea—migrants created new threads in the worldwide web of the Irish diaspora. In The Global Dimensions of Irish Identity: Race, Nation, and the Popular Press, 1840-1880 (UNC Press, 2015), he argues that the international dispersal of millions of people during and after the Great Famine radically altered how the Irish thought about nations and nationalism. His articles have appeared in a range of journals including the Journal of American Ethnic History and Irish Historical Studies and he has a new essay forthcoming in the American Historical Review.

At UNLV, McMahon’s transatlantic interests allow him to teach a range of courses in Irish, European, and American history. He also teaches seminars of his own design including “Great Migrations in Modern Human History” and “Soccer and the Making of the Modern World.”

Expert Areas

  • Ireland and the Irish Abroad
  • American Immigration
  • National and Ethnic Identities
  • Print Culture and the Popular Press
  • Maritime Social History

Additional Information

Honors Courses taught:

  • HON 410: Reading and Writing Historical Fiction
  • HON 430: Soccer and the Making of the Modern World
  • HON 440: Country Music in American History