Phone: 613-533-6000, ext: 74378
Rankin studies Irish immigration and emigration. His M.A. thesis (University of Mississippi, Dec ‘05) tested common assumptions about Irish immigrants in the United States by closely examining a sample of the 1850 U.S. census, the first U.S. census to ask a nativity question. By using Mississippi as a test case, Rankin demonstrated that the Irish in Mississippi, at least in 1850, did not follow the traditional template laid out by many historians of the Irish in the U.S.: namely, that the best chance of success for Irish immigrants to the U.S. in the nineteenth century was in urban areas. His results suggested that the opposite was the case. This is significant because, assuming that Mississippi was not radically different from other antebellum Deep South states, one can then loosely apply these findings to much, if not all, of the antebellum Deep South.
In the fall of 2006, Rankin moved to Kingston, Ontario and Queen's University to work with Donald Harman Akenson, considered the world's foremost authority on the Irish Diaspora. From June to August 2007, Rankin studied Irish Gaelic at Oideas Gael in Glencolmcille, a small town on the Atlantic coast in the Donegal Gaeltacht. After completing his course work and other requirements at Queen's, Canada, in the Spring of 2008, Rankin was "Visiting Researcher" from June to December at the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. During his time in Belfast he continued his study of the Irish language, attending classes at Cluain Ard on the Falls Road in West Belfast. His current work looks to shed some light on Irish Presbyterian immigrants, their influence on American life and how they fit into the wider story of Irish immigration in North America by studying their distinctive religious doctrines, habits and history.
"Selective Remembrance: Scottish Sensibilities and Forgotten Irish Contributions to Reformed Presbyterianism in America," Journal of Transatlantic Studies, (forthcoming) vol. 10, issue 2, 2013.
Review:In Search of Ulster-Scots Land: The Birth and Geotheological Imagings of a Transatlantic People, 1603-1703 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2008) in Journal of Mississippi History; (forthcoming)
"Nineteenth-Century Irish Protestant Immigration to the United States" in Immigrants in America, 4 vols., ed. Elliott Barkan (ABC-CLIO); (under contract, forthcoming).
Review:Redeeming the Southern Family: Evangelical Women and Domestic Devotion in the Antebellum South, by Scott Stephan (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2008) in Journal of Mississippi History; (forthcoming).
"Scotch-Irish" in Mississippi Encyclopedia, Charles Reagan Wilson, Ted Ownby and Ann Abadie, eds. (Jackson, Ms: University Press of Mississippi, 2009); (accepted; forthcoming).
"Southern Rock" in The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Music, vol. 12, Bill C. Malone, volume editor, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008).
Review: All According to God's Plan: Southern Baptist Missions and Race, 1945-1970, by Alan Scot Willis (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004) in The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 104, No. 4, Spring 2006
"Written on the Wall: The Story of Ventress Hall," in The Southern Register: The Newsletter of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, Fall 2004, University of Mississippi