REMEMBERING THE TROUBLES: COMMEMORATING, CONSTRUCTING AND CONTESTING THE RECENT PAST IN NORTHERN IRELAND – LECTURE TOMORROW TCD January 29, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.
Prof Jim Smyth of the University of Notre Dame will give a lecture in the Long Room Hub on Wed 30th
January at 12.30pm.
The title of his lecture is:
REMEMBERING THE TROUBLES: COMMEMORATING, CONSTRUCTING AND CONTESTING THE RECENT
PAST IN NORTHERN IRELAND
Since the signing of the Good Friday accords in 1998, and the winding down of the conflict in Northern Ireland, ‘The Troubles’ have been conducted through other means. The politics of remembrance prevail: victims groups, the police service Historical Enquiry Teams, judicial inquiries – and demands for more – including the longest, most expensive inquiry in history, which produced the Saville Report on Bloody Sunday; memoirs, memorials, murals, marches, plaques, anniversaries and television documentaries, all focused intensely on the recent, turbulent and traumatic past, have proliferated, proliferate and seem set to continue. The many different versions of the recent past Loyalist,Republican, ‘Official’, are competing and contested.
At one level Irish scholarly engagement with historical memory is no more exceptional than that of, say, Australian or American historians. At other levels, however, social memory, remembrance, commemoration and forgetting are here charged with an urgency and topicality rarely found elsewhere.
First, how ‘The Troubles’, a recent, protracted, conflict, are interpreted and presented, and by who, is a politically raw issue in a still deeply‐divided society. And second, we are just now at the outset of the socalled decade of centenaries, beginning with the signing of the Ulster Covenant, 1912/2012 and concluding with the end of the civil war 1923/2023.
Jim Smyth, Professor of History, holds a B.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. Before coming to Notre Dame, he taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He has written extensively on seventeenth‐ and eighteenth‐century Ireland and is the author of The Men of No Property: Irish Radicals and Popular Politics in the Late Eighteenth Century (1992, 1998). He is editor of a collection of essays, Revolution, Counter‐Revolution and Union, Ireland in the 1790s (2000), and author of The Making of the United Kingdom, 1660‐1800: Religion, Identity and State in Britain and Ireland (2001). He was Mellon Visiting Fellow, Folger Institute, Washington, DC in 2002‐2003.