News Archive

International Summer Schools 20 July – 7 August 2015

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Picture courtesy of NITB

Now in its fifteenth year, the Institute of Irish Studies International Summer School is proving just as popular as ever with participants of all ages coming from all over the world to attend the three-week programme. This is an exciting time for Irish Studies at Queen’s University as we celebrate the founding of the Irish Studies Institute fifty years ago. 

The Irish Studies summer school offers an introduction to Irish Studies and to the city of Belfast.  Lectures from world leading scholars, meetings with musicians, poets and politicians, and fieldtrips across visually stunning Northern Ireland promises an unforgettable and inspiring experience. The Irish Studies International Summer School attracts participants of all ages (18 - 60+) and from a variety of backgrounds. Many students are administrators, teachers, professors, undergraduates and postgraduates, as well as those who simply have a passion for Irish history and culture.

Queen’s University Belfast offers two exciting interdisciplinary Summer Schools, one in Irish Studies and one in Conflict Transformation. These academic courses are delivered by world leading scholars across a range of disciplines and you will be visiting a University recognised for its world class research and teaching, for a unique and challenging opportunity to think, learn and discuss. 

Click here to learn more about the Irish Studies Summer School.

Click here to view our brochure.

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International Summer School affiliated to Fulbright



The Institute of Irish Studies is delighted to continue its links with the Fulbright Commission at the International Summer School.

We look forward to welcoming more American students who will have the opportunity to experience life at one of the UK’s top universities. The Queen’s University Belfast Summer Institute will offer a Fulbright exchange programme to include a challenging academic component, a rich and multifaceted cultural experience and an enthusiastic and welcoming host.

Details regarding the Summer Institute can be found on Fulbright's website.

For information about applying directly to the Irish Studies International Summer School, please visit the Institute of Irish Studies Summer School Web pages.

Closing date for applications for the Fulbright Scholarships is Friday 5 March 2015, 5.00pm (UK time).

Valerie Schreiner
Programme Coordinator (Summer Institutes)

+44 (0) 20 7498 4029


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Irish Studies Seminar Programme

Seminars are normally held 1.00 - 2.00pm.   Everyone welcome.   Booking not required.

More information on the current/past programmes available in our 'Research' section.

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Irish Studies International Lecture
Professor Rob Savage (Boston College), '"The Troubles" in London in the 1970s'
15/05/2014 at 17:00, Elmwood Lecture Theatre, ELTC

Margret Thatcher and the BBC’s Irish Troubles

Margaret Thatcher was one of the most dominant yet divisive political figures in post-war Britain. As Prime Minister she introduced massive cuts in public spending, challenged then crushed the powerful coal miners union, led a successful military campaign to win back the Falkland Islands and confronted the IRA during the 1981 Hunger Strikes. Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister her relationship with the BBC was fractious and marred by seemingly endless controversy. Margaret Thatcher was determined to win the ‘propaganda war’ unfolding in Northern Ireland and was convinced the BBC was undermining her efforts to defeat terrorism by providing its supporters the ‘oxygen of publicity’. As violence continued to bedevil the province she grew increasingly upset with her government’s inability to control the contested narrative of ‘the Troubles’. This lecture will consider how a number of broadcasting controversies led a frustrated Thatcher Government to introduce formal political censorship in 1988.


Robert Savage is Associate Professor of the Practice of History at Boston College. He is the author of A Loss of Innocence? Television and Irish Society 1960-1972, (winner of the 2010 James S. Donnelly, Sr. Prizefor Best Book in History and Social Sciences from the American Conference for Irish Studies). His other books include Sean Lemass: a biography (1999), Irish Television: the Political and Social Origins (1996) and Ireland in the New Century, Politics, Identity and Culture (editor and contributing author, 2003).


Manchester University Press will publish his new monograph The BBC’s Irish Troubles later this year.

Dr Dominic Bryan, Keavy Gilbert, Erin Hinson, Brittany Breslin
Dr Dominic Bryan with Keavy Gilbert, Erin Hinson, Brittany Breslin
Dr Eamonn Hughes with Irish Studies graduands
Dr Eamonn Hughes with Irish Studies graduands
Keavy, Brittany and Erin
Keavy, Brittany and Erin
Institute of Irish Studies Winter Graduation 2012
Dr Dominic Bryan, Keavy Gilbert, Erin Hinson, Brittany Breslin
Dr Dominic Bryan, Keavy Gilbert, Erin Hinson, Brittany Breslin
Institute of Irish Studies students with Dr Eamonn Hughes
Institute of Irish Studies students with Dr Eamonn Hughes
Congratulations to all our students who graduated with a Masters in Irish Studies on Thursday 13th December 2012. We wish them all continued success in their chosen studies and careers.

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Flags survey confirms territory still being marked out in Northern Ireland (full report in PDF format)

A survey of flags being flown on main roads in Northern Ireland conducted by Queen's University, confirms that flags are still being used to mark out territory but progress on the flags and emblems issue has been made.

The Flags Monitoring Project 2006 undertaken by the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's and funded by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister, set out to see how much people took responsibility for flags and other emblems displayed over the summer months and how many flags were then left.

Two significant surveys were undertaken in 2006, one at the start of July, the second in mid-September during the period covering the Loyal Order marching season and the 25th Anniversary of the Hunger Strikes. Results show that when displays were placed in areas people took responsibility for, such as on private houses or on Orange Halls and around Orange Arches, then the flags and bunting were nearly always taken down. However, there were large numbers of flags left flying at the end of September on major road routes all over Northern Ireland. By far the greatest number of flags was displayed on lampposts and at the end of the summer 2499 flags and emblems remained on display.

Dr Dominic Bryan at the Institute of Irish Studies said: "We are aware that there has been much work undertaken in communities to try and reduce the flying of flags to periods in which commemorations and celebrations are taking place. These surveys demonstrate that a large number of flags are being left on lampposts to apparently mark territories. At the same time there is increasing evidence that such marking of territories is economically detrimental to the affected area.

"There is also evidence of a reduction in the flying of paramilitary flags in recent years. The initial survey in July 2006 recorded only 194 flags at main roads but just 17% of these came down by mid September".

For further information please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office Tel: 028 9097 5320 or Dominic Bryan 028 9097 3386.

Notes for Editors:

Interviews with Dr Bryan can be arranged through the Communications Office.

The Government's policy of a Shared Future sets as one of its major aims 'freeing the public realm from threat, aggression and intimidation while allowing for legitimate expression of cultural expression, creating safe and shared space for meeting, sharing, playing, working and living'.

Since 2005 the PSNI have led a multi-agency joint-protocol in relation to the display of flags which calls for the removal of flags and emblems from arterial routes, town centres and areas such as interfaces, schools, hospitals and places of worship. This is to be done, as much as possible, with the support of communities.

The full report in PDF format can be viewed at


'Flags and Emblems' report published

Click here for the full text of the report.

A new report, from the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's University Belfast explores controversies surrounding flags and emblems in Northern Ireland. It puts forward as its key finding that by far the best way of resolving controversy surrounding the flying of flags is to examine the context within which conflicts arise and, if necessary, to transform that context..

In the document the report authors, Dr Dominic Bryan, Director of the Institute of Irish Studies and Research Fellow Dr Gordon Gillespie, recognise the legitimacy of the need to express cultural identity through the display of flags in celebration and commemoration, but also warn that intimidation and the marking of territory is a significant problem in Northern Ireland.

Dr Bryan said: “The report, Transforming Conflict: Flags and Emblems, highlights imaginative projects where local communities have worked with agencies to clean up their environments and transform the context in which displays of flags take place. Removal of flags is best undertaken as a collaborative project involving local representatives and agencies.”

The report also points to evidence that the majority of people in Northern Ireland believe paramilitary flags should be removed.

“There remain frequent examples of displays of flags and emblems that are intimidating and require effective policing. The existence of sectarian territory costs money since it frequently demands duplication of services and makes economic development more problematic,” Dr Bryan added.

The report offers a range of policy options including:

  • the need for improved co-ordination in multi-agency work;
  • the need for continued funding for organisations engaged in transforming the environment and encouraging affirmative, non-threatening, displays of identity;
  • the use of dedicated fieldworkers to co-ordinate conflict transformation;
  • greater enforcement of existing legislation by the PSNI.

The authors also suggest that agreed protocols are useful developments in managing displays of flags. A protocol might indicate whether particular areas should be kept free from flags and whether the flying of flags should be restricted to designated times of the year.

If new legislation was to be considered it would need to address the role of specific agencies.

Dr Bryan commented: “While it can be difficult to distinguish an act of celebration and commemoration from one of intimidation and territory marking it should be possible to develop a broadly agreed set of principles through which displays of flags might take place.

“By improving the environment in local areas the economic regeneration of that area can also be progressed.

“In particular there is a need for agencies such as the Roads Service, the NI Housing Executive, District Councils and the PSNI to develop clear policies, improve co-ordination with each other and develop protocols for dealing with contentious displays of flags as well as other displays of emblems.”

Dr Bryan also points out that there remain numerous examples of displays of flags used to ntimidate as well as flags left on lampposts to deteriorate.

The report also highlights continuing debate surrounding the flying of flags on local council buildings. It lays out the current policy in all Northern Irelands District Councils and compares them with councils in the Republic and the rest of the UK. It also explores recent legal advice on the issue.

The research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council under the Devolution Programme ( and the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister ( as part of the new Shared Future strategy.

Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall Centenary Publication, 2006

Dr Gillian McIntosh, Research Fellow of the Institute of Irish Studies was commissioned by Belfast City Council in 2004 to write a history of Belfast City Hall to commemorate its centenary in 2006. The book, 'Belfast City Hall. One hundred years’ (Blackstaff Press, 2006), will be launched in March 2006.

Dr McIntosh researches aspects of culture, politics and literature in Northern Ireland in the twentieth century. She has a particular interest in theories of ritual, symbolism, and commemoration.


The International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL) Conference

IASIL Sydney - Thursday 20 July to Sunday 23 July 2006 inclusive

IASIL 2006 - First Call for Papers. Reply to

Proposals are warmly invited on the general conference theme: exploring 'intertextuality' in all its forms in Irish literature and culture. Please submit a title and 200 word abstract to by 15th December, 2005. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes duration.

Anyone delivering a paper at the 2006 IASIL conference must be an IASIL member for 2006.

Further information is available on the IASIL website.


AHRC sponsored Crosscurrents Conference, 7-9 April 2006

The 5th Crosscurrents conference for postgraduate students and doctoral fellows takes place at The Institute of Irish Studies, Queen's University Belfast from 7th-9th April, 2006. The keynote speaker will be Cairns Craig giving an address entitled 'Another "Other": The Significance of Irish-Scottish Studies'. If any Queen's staff or students wish to attend please contact Caroline Magennis:

This conference is fully sponsored by the AHRC and selected essays are published every two years.

The disciplines covered in this conference are Literature, Linguistics, History, Film Studies and the Visual Arts, and Celtic Studies. Papers will be given on a range of topics, including: Identities - The Politics of the Diaspora - Spatial Tensions - The Literatures of Ireland and Scotland - Irish/Scottish Studies in the New Millennium - Ireland/Scotland in Theory - The Postmodern Construction of the Nation.

There is no conference fee and delegates will have accommodation in Belfast for the duration of the conference.

Proceedings of the first two conferences are available from Cló Ollscoil na Banríona (Queen's University Press). The proceedings for the last two conferences is also forthcoming from this press.


St Patrick’s Day Conference - 24-25 March, 2006

Paraders, Performers and Promoters

  • “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day” – or are they?
  • What do you do on March 17th?
  • Is Irish identity something which can be adopted, brokered and consumed?
  • How is St. Patrick’s Day celebrated, commemorated, contested?

This unique event is a subsidized Conference (£6), an exhibition and a debate about St. Patrick’s Day. We seek to examine and consider the varieties and complexities of St. Patrick’s Day in a modern world. We therefore welcome proposals from academics studying St. Patrick’s Day, its history and its evolution; policy makers shaping St. Patrick’s Day; promoters engaging with the organization of public events such as St. Patrick’s Day; and paraders and protesters on the streets, at the pickets and in the pubs on St. Patrick’s Day.

Guest speaker – Dr Michael Cronin, Boston College
Guest debate – ‘Imagining an ideal St. Patrick’s Day’ featuring parade organizers and politicians
Special Exhibition – ‘Consuming St. Patrick’s Day’
Special Meeting – Annual General Meeting of the Anthropology Association of Ireland

Attendance at Conference:
Please e-mail Catherine Boone if you would like to attend at: The venue will be Queen's University Belfast and the room number will be confirmed nearer the date.

Call for papers:
Please send abstracts of not more than 300 words to the conference organizers by 15th January 2006. Inquiries and sponsorship welcome to the following contacts:

Dr Jonathan Skinner, Dr. Dominic Bryan & Dr John Nagle
School of History and Anthropology
The Queen’s University Belfast
+44 (0) 28 9197 3700


Museums in their Place - Annual Conference, 24-26 Feb, 2006

This is the premier event in the Irish museum calendar, bringing together an outstanding collection of international and Irish speakers to address themes of crucial importance to everyone involved in museums and heritage. Early booking is recommended.

Further details available from:
Irish Museums Association
Pearse Museum
St. Enda's Park
Dublin 16
Tel: 00 353 (0) 87-2790518.   ROI 087 2790518.


Seminar and Book launch - 02/02/2006

5-6 pm Seminar Professor R.J. Morris, Civil Society and the history of 19th century Belfast

6 pm Book launch "Ireland and Scotland Order and Disorder, 1600-2000" R.J. Morris and Liam Kennedy (Editors).

Everyone is welcome to attend the above events which take place at the Institute of Irish Studies, 53-67 University Road, Belfast, BT7 1NF. Tel the Secretary for further details at: 028 9097 3386.

Background Information on "Ireland and Scotland Order and Disorder, 1600-2000"

Two countries whose histories were deeply influenced by relationships with a neighbouring metropolitan power are compared along their economic, social and cultural dimensions. Contrasting attitudes to discipline and order were evident in matters of demography (why did Scottish tenants leave quietly when the Irish did not?). Some of the most innovative chapters involve the relationship of historical understanding to the present, as exemplified in the minds of Unionist politicians searching for a new identity or in the minds of of the creators of the wall murals in nationalist and unionist areas of Belfast.


Memory Day: memory and forgetting in Irish Culture

About Memory Day
On Thursday, May 19th, the Institute of Irish Studies will hold a unique collaborative research colloquy to examine the creative tensions between memory and forgetting within Irish culture.
Memory has been the fascination of many: philosophers, psychologists, historians, neurologists and poets. As mother to the muses, Mnemosyne made possible all else – the sacred, the historical, the scientific, the artistic; even the snaking river of forgetfulness, Lethe, lay within her land. The centrality of memory and its constant significance to human culture requires an interdisciplinary consideration rarely provided by contemporary academic institutions.
Memory allows us to construct and reconstruct the past, to represent it in endless ways; it also creates a space in which to contest appropriations, interpretations and mythologizing tendencies. If remembrance is a major device for the construction of culture, forgetting is an equally significant concept in a space in which the past is often a painful, too tangible presence. Memory and forgetting are informed by numerous conditions – what individuals remember or forget varies: from urban to rural settings, from region to region, from generation to generation. And these individual memories are subsumed into or struggle against larger, regional or national narratives that memory perpetually reconstructs. Ireland has struggled with questions of personal and national identity in the face of colonial occupation and its fallouts; in this context, memory has become an issue of powerful dimensions that determines the questions we ask, the research we do, the lessons we teach, and the policies we shape. However, while institutional boundaries remain in place, researchers rarely benefit from their colleagues’ insights. The gathering of senior researchers at Queen’s University as well as invited guests whose work touches on memory allows for departure from established patterns, and is long overdue. How are collective memories transmitted between generations? Does physiological and neurological evidence as to the function of individual memory have a place in the consideration of cultural, collective memory? Why do particular memory issues – nostalgia, amnesia and trauma, for example – appear more likely to occur in societies like those in Ireland that have been or perceive themselves to be under threat? How have the creative arts both critically engaged with the past and abandoned the constraints of tradition in response to present-day demands? What are the implications of scientific work on cognition for humanities work on memory? And what, in turn, can the work of historians and anthropologists contribute to science’s consideration of memory? That such questions are posed is important to a larger understanding of the ways in which memory functions in culture; that the attempts at answering them allow for the exchange of cutting edge research across disciplines is vital.
‘Memory Day’ thus aims to produce dialogue between leading researchers in many fields and disciplines whose work concerns memory in some capacity. Researchers will meet for a series of three round-table discussions, each chaired by an academic whose work represents a particular approach to memory studies. In order to ensure dialogue and productive discussion, invited speakers will present a summary of their work and then open the floor to questions, comments and exchanges.

A timetable of the day’s events is as follows:

9.30-10.00 Coffee / Tea
10.00-11.30 Session 1
Leader: Professor Harvey Whitehouse, Institute for Cognition and Culture, QUB
11.30-12.00 Coffee / Tea
12.00-1.30 Session 2
Leader: Professor John Wilson Foster, Leverhulme Visiting Professor, Academy for Irish Cultural Heritages, UU (Magee)
1.30-2.30 Lunch, Institute of Irish Studies, QUB
2.30-4.00 Session 3
Leader: Dr Ciarán O'Kelly, Assistant Director, Institute of Governance, QUB
4.30-5.30 Final Colloquy / Closing Discussion: The Future of Memory Studies
Leader: Dr Dominic Bryan, Director, Institute of Irish Studies, QUB
 6.00 Book Launch of The Yellow Nib, Reception
Reading: Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Ciaran Carson. See below for further details.

For those whose attendance is confirmed, we would encourage each of you to submit, via e-mail in advance of the colloquy, a one paragraph description of your work and its relation to issues of memory; these, and contact details for participants, will be distributed on Memory Day to encourage and facilitate future work and research.

Contact Details
If you would like to attend, please contact Dr Gillian McIntosh at


Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry and Institute of Irish Studies Book launch
Blackstaff Press in association with the Institute of Irish Studies and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry invite you to a reception to celebrate the publication of 'The Yellow Nib', the literary journal of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, edited by Ciaran Carson. Ciaran Carson, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill and friends will give readings at the launch which is to be held at 6pm on Thursday 19 May, 2005 at the Institute of Irish Studies, 53-67 University Road, Belfast BT7 1NN.

RSVP Abigail Vint, Blackstaff Press.
Tel: 028 9073 0113. E-mail:


Book Launch, 21 October 2005

The MacGeough Bond family of the Argory, Co. Armagh, is the subject of a new book due to be launched at Queen’s. The book, published by Four Courts Press as part of the Maynooth Local History Series, is based on research carried out for a Master’s degree at the Institute of Irish Studies here at Queen’s. The author, Olwen Purdue, took as her subject the challenges faced by this particular gentry family from 1880 through to the mid-twentieth century, placing it in the context of the wider challenge to the ‘big house’ in the north of Ireland. The Argory, now a National Trust property, was one of the few houses to survive in that part of Ulster.

Property Manager for the Argory, Derek Forshaw, will speak at the launch which will take place in the Bookshop at Queen’s at 5 pm on Friday 21st October. All welcome.


New book launched by Palgrave Macmillan: From Civil Rights to Armalites

This book traces and analyses the escalation of conflict in Northern Ireland from the first civil rights marches to the verge of full-scale civil war in 1972, focusing on the city of Derry. It explains how a peaceful civil rights campaign gave way to increasing violence, how the IRA became a major political force and how the British army became a major party to the conflict. It provides the essential context for understanding the events of Bloody Sunday and a new chapter brings significant new material to the public debate around the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. Published By Palgrave Macmillan priced at £18.99.

Fulbright Scholar studies at Queen's

Caleb Hamman
Caleb Hamman graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Butler University in 2011 with a degree in Political Science and Philosophy. There, he wrote an honours thesis about the peace building activities of Israeli and Palestinian youth. For this project he conducted fieldwork in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the summer of 2010. As a student, Caleb worked with Indianapolis youth in afterschool centres, volunteered with labour campaigns, participated in a dialogue group with Iraqi refugees, edited the campus newspaper and presided over student organisations in peace studies and philosophy. In 2009, he completed an internship at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Caleb will carry out research at Queen’s University Belfast concerning the political practices and the peace building activities of youth in Northern Ireland. Following his Fulbright year, he will pursue a PhD in Political Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame where he has received admission and a University Presidential Fellowship.

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St Patrick's Day and National Identity

St Patrick's Day and National Identity Survey
St Patrick's Day and National Identity Survey
As St Patrick’s Day approaches, the Institute of Irish Studies is asking people to take part in research to help understand how participation in collective national events, such as St Patrick’s Day parade, impacts on their sense of national identity. As part of the research we are conducting a survey before, after, and three months after the St Patrick's Day in Dublin and Belfast with individuals who do and do not plan on attending the parade.

This will be our second year collecting survey data, and from past experience we have come to realise how difficult it is to recruit participants. With this in mind, we would be grateful if you could pass on information about our project, or links to our surveys, to anyone you know who may be interested in participating (students, colleagues, etc.). We have attached recruitment flyers for potential participants in the Belfast and the Dublin area which contain links to the appropriate survey.

Our research is part of the Embodying Imagined Communities: The Role of Collective Participation in the Transformation of Irish Identities project. The project looks at St Patrick's Day and 1916 Easter Rising commemoration events in Belfast and Dublin - why people participate in these events and their potential to unite and divide. The research is a joint initiative between Queen's, the University of Limerick and St Andrew's University and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Irish Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University, in conjunction with the University of Limerick and the University of St. Andrews, is inviting  people to participate in a study examining the experience of collective events. We are looking for those who will be attending and those who will not be attending this year’s Belfast St Patrick’s Day parade. 
To do so, we would like you to complete a short survey a week before and after the parade, and three months after the parade. The survey takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and has received ethical approval from the relevant ethics committees. In exchange we will enter your name in a raffle to win a number of prizes.

Taking part in the survey is entirely voluntary. If you do choose to take part, you will not be asked for any identifying information and so your participation will be anonymous – your responses cannot be traced back to you.

If you have any questions feel free to email:

Dr. Danielle Blaylock

+44 (0) 28 9097 3861

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Institute of Irish Studies Graduates December 2009
Congratulations to all our students who graduated with a Masters in Irish Studies on Friday 11th December 2009. We wish them all continued success in their chosen studies and careers.

We are delighted that Elaine Ni Bhraonáin, Nicoletta Patri and Mary-Kathryn Rallings are continuing their studies as PhD students in the Institute of Irish Studies. Claudia Bossay, Martin McCleery and Timothy Watt are also continuing as PhD students at Queen's in Film Studies, Politics and History respectively.
Caoimhe Nic Dhábhéid graduated with a PhD and is now a Research Fellow in the Institute for 2009-2010.

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Elaine Ni Bhraonáin
Elaine Ni Bhraonáin
Mary-Kathryn Rallings
Mary-Kathryn Rallings
Mary-Kathryn Rallings & Timothy Watt
Mary-Kathryn Rallings & Timothy Watt
Mary-Kathryn Rallings & Nicoletta Patri
Mary-Kathryn Rallings & Nicoletta Patri

Irish Studies Raises Money for Children in Need

The Institute of Irish Studies and colleagues raised a staggering £901.50 for this worthy cause. If you would like to see Dominic Bryan and Eamonn Hughes, Director and Assistant Director of the Institute, before and after the Big Shave on Friday, 20th November …….. [download poster]

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Book Launch - John Wilson Foster

26 November 2009


Between Shadows, modern Irish writing and culture, by John Wilson Foster

Guest speaker: Professor Terence Brown

Venue: Queen's Welcome Centre, Queen's University Belfast, 6.30pm.

RSVP: Karen O'Donaghue

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Ethnic Conflict and European Integration

Institute of Irish Studies : Seminar Programme Autumn 2009

Monday 30 November 2009 

‘Ethnic Conflict and European Integration’


Edward Moxon-Browne, University of Limerick 


Seminar Room 1, Institute of Irish Studies, 53-67 University Road 

Full Seminar Programme can be found at:


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Dr. Eamonn Hughes
Dr. Eamonn Hughes
Dr. Dominic Bryan
Dr. Dominic Bryan
Dr. Dominic Bryan & Dr. Eamonn Hughes

BBC Children In Need

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the Institute of Irish Studies sponsored beard shaving event on Friday 20th November.  Thanks to the generosity of students and staff from the Institute, School of History and Anthropology and School of English, the Institute was able to raise £901 for a very worthy cause.  A very special thank you goes to Dr. Dominic Bryan and Dr. Eamonn Hughes for donating their facial hair (and dignity) to make the event a great success.

10 December 2009

Contemporary Irish Political History Research Cluster & Governance and Public Policy Cluster will be holding a Postgraduate Workshop.

Speakers: Robert Smyth, 'Why do journalists always get it wrong? The Misinterpretation of opinion polls in the Irish media', Jason Foy, 'Brian Faulkner: the challenges of researching and writing a political biography'.

5pm, Seminar Room 1, 53-67 University Road.

This joint workshop will be followed by a drinks reception to be held in Seminar Room 1, 53-67 University Road from 6.30pm.

All Welcome.

Belfast Festival at Queen's

Glenn Patterson

27 October 2009

'Big fat lies and fiction' a reading and discussion based on politics and the literature of Glenn Patterson.

Glenn Patterson is the author of many novels: Burning Your Own (1988), for which he was awarded the Rooney Prize and a Betty Trask first novel prize, Fat Lad (1992), Black Night at Big Thunder Mountain (1995), The International (1999), Number 5 (2003), That Which Was (2004), Lapsed Protestant (2006), The Third Party (2007), and Once Upon a Hill: Love in Troubled Times (2008). His short stories have been broadcast on Radio 3 and Radio 4 and articles and essays have appeared in the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Independent, Irish Times, Dublin Review. He has been Creative Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia, writer-in-residence at University College Cork and Queen's University. He has also presented numerous television documentaries and an arts review series for RTE.

Venue: Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, QUB

Time: 5.30pm

All Welcome

Dr Diarmuid Whelan

22 October 2009

Dr. Diarmuid Whelan (University College Cork) will give a lecture entitled 'Conor Cruise O'Brien: making politics out of the personal'.  The lecture will be based on his new book published by Irish Academic Press (Conor Cruise O'Brien: Violent Notions) and copies will be on sale at the lecture.  The discussant will be Dr. Richard Bourke (Queen Mary College, University of London).

Venue: Bell Lecure Theatre, Physics Building, QUB at 5pm.

This lecture is a joint venture between Irish Studies International Research Initiative and Irish Politics Research Cluster, QUB.

Professor Desmond Bell

August 2009

Congratulations to Professor Desmond Bell, School of Languages, Literature and Performing Arts, QUB, who will be taking part in the next QUB / Boston College Faculty Exchange in March 2010.  Professor Bell is Professor of Film Studies at QUB and his research interests include the political economy of the media, documentary film theory and practice, the history of visual culture, social history of photography in Ireland, practice-based research methodologies in film and the visual arts.  He is also an active documentary film maker, whose work has been regularly broadcast and screened at international film festivals.

The Irish Legal History Society has recently launched its new website: .The website features details of upcoming events and publications, information on scholarships and bursaries and information for those wishing to become members.

The Society's objective is to encourage the study and advance the knowledge of the history of Irish law, especially by the publication of original documents and scholarly works.

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in legal history. The annual subscription is £40, and this entitles members to receive on publication a copy of each book brought out by the Society. Members can also purchase books from our back catalogue.

If you would like any further information, please see our website or contact Dr Niamh Howlin ( ) , School of Law, QUB.

26-27 June 2009

Poverty and Welfare in Ireland, c.1833 - 1948

Institute of Irish Studies, 53-67 University Road, Queen's University Belfast

A conference sponsored by the ESRC and the Royal Historical Society and hosted by QUB and Oxford Brookes University

Closing date for registration 16 May 2009

Contact Dr Olwen Purdue & Professor Peter Gray, School of History, email:

For further details follow link to conference website:

1 June 2009

The Irish Studies International Research Initiaitive hosted a public lecture by Professor Adrian Little (University of Melbourne):

Disjunctured narratives: reconciliation and conflict transformation in Northern Ireland

Professor Adrian Little was educated at Nottingham Trent University and Queen's University Belfast where he was awarded his PhD in 1993. He taught at University College Northampton and Goldsmiths College, University of London where he specialized in political and social theory before joining the School as Lecturer in Political Theory in February 2004. In 2008 he became Associate Professor and Reader in Political Theory and the new Head of School.

Professor Little's research interests include: contemporary political and social theory, democratic theory and practice, Northern Irish politics and British politics.

His recent monographs include:

Democratic Piety: Complexity, Conflict and Violence (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008)

Democracy and Northern Ireland: Beyond the Liberal Paradigm? (London: Palgrave, 2004)

The Politics of Community: Theory and Practice (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2002)

Professor John Morison, Professor Richard English, Professor Keith Jeffery

15 May 2009

Congratulations to Professor Richard English, (School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy), Professor John Morison (School of Law) and Professor Keith Jeffery (School of History and Anthropology) who were recently elected as Members of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) at a ceremony in Dublin.  Membership of the Royal Irish Academy is awarded to scholars who who have attained international distinction in science or the humanities and social sciences.  Professors English, Morison and Jeffery have all made valuable contributions through their research in various aspects of Irish Studies at QUB.

Dr Tim Wilson (QUB), Professor Adrian Guelke (QUB), Dr Duncan Morrow (Community Relations Council), with a portrait of Professor Frank Wright (QUB)

15 May 2009  

The International Politics and Ethnic Conflict Cluster (IPEC), QUB,  hosted a one-day symposium:

‘No place apart?  Celebrating Frank Wright and Comparative Approaches to the Study of Ethnic Conflict’.  

This one day symposium was held in the Institute of Irish Studies, QUB. As the title indicates, the aim of the conference was both  to take general stock of the ways in which Northern Ireland does (or does not) resemble other deeply divided societies around the world, but also to remember the provocative comparative legacy left by Frank Wright who taught at QUB between 1973 and 1992. The day was therefore very much a celebration of both Frank Wright and his work: and to this end a photographic portrait has been made that will be hung in the main conference room in the School of Politics.

The event was organised by Dr Timothy Wilson, Research Fellow, Irish Studies International Research Initiative, QUB.  The keynote address was delivered by Professor Adrian Guelke (Queen's University Belfast).

No Place Apart? Schedule
No Place Apart? Poster

Dr Claire Connolly and Dr Eamonn Hughes

7 May 2009

Dr Eamonn Hughes (School of English, QUB) welcomed Dr Claire Connolly (Cardiff University) to the Institute of Irish Studies, QUB, to deliver a public lecture on 'Biopower and Bare Life in Irish Literature: Castle Rackrent; In the Shadow of the Glen; The Gathering'. 

Speakers arriving at the symposium
Speakers arriving at the symposium

4-5 April 2009

Moore Symposium: International Perspectives on Thomas Moore

The School of English, Queen's University Belfast, hosted a symposium on 4-5 April 2009

The two aims of this conference were to provide new multiple perspectives on the Irish writer and musician Thomas Moore (1779-1852) and to stimulate dialogue between fields of Moore criticism that currently operate exclusively. To these ends, keynote papers were presented by literary critics, musicologists and historians; and by eminent scholars of British Romanticism and from differing methodological schools within Irish Studies.

This event was part of the research network on 'United Islands? Multi-lingual radical poetry and folk song in Britain and Ireland, 1770-1820', led by John Kirk, Andrew Noble and Michael Brown, and was funded by an AHRC Research Networks / Workshop Grant.

The symposium organisers gratefully acknowledge the support of the Irish Studies International Research Initiative and the School of English, QUB.

Moore Symposium Information
Thomas Moore Symposium - Speaker Biographiess

Professor Ruth-Ann Harris

Professor Ruth-Ann Harris from Boston College spent a week at QUB as part of our first Queen's University Belfast & Boston College Faculty Exchange Programme, 2008-2009.

As well as researching archives at QUB Professor Harris delivered a seminar paper on 'The women of Carrickmacross: from petitions undermining patriarchy to immigrants in North America' to several members of QUB staff, graduate students and members of the public.  Professor Harris also conducted a graduate workshop on 'Researching and finding the voices of women: what are the specific aspects of female emigration?' to postgraduate students from a variety of Schools.

Professor Graham Walker
Professor Graham Walker

Professor Graham Walker, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, QUB, visited Boston College in April 2009 as part of the first Queen's University Belfast and Boston College faculty exchange programme. 

"I am delighted and honoured to have been chosen to spend time in Boston to further my research project and to establish links with scholars based in the College. I look forward, while I am there,  to promoting Queen’s in every possible way." Professor Graham Walker

The making of the Irish Poor Law, P Gray

2 April 2009

The Irish Studies Initiative, with Manchester University Press,  hosted a reception to celebrate the launch of two books by QUB academics.

Professor Peter Gray, School of History and Anthropology,  The Making of the Irish Poor Law, 1815 -43

Guest Speaker: Lord Bew of Donegore

Dr Katy Hayward, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work,  Irish Nationalism and European Integration: the official redefinition of the island of Ireland

Guest Speaker: Professor Liam O'Dowd, QUB

Many thanks to all who attended.

Professor Richard English, QUB, Professor Joep Leerssen, University of Amsterdam, Professor Ed Larrissy, QUB
Professor Richard English, QUB, Professor Joep Leerssen, University of Amsterdam, Professor Ed Larrissy, QUB

The QUB Annual Irish Studies Lecture 2009

4 March 2009

The Irish Studies International Research Initiative recently held the QUB Annual Irish Studies Lecture which was delivered by Professor Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam).

Joep Leerssen is Professor of Modern European Literature at the University of Amsterdam.  Professor Leerssen studied Comparative Literature and English at the University of Aachen and Anglo-Irish Studies at University College Dublin; he took his PhD in 1986 at the University of Utrecht. In that year he was appointed at the University of Amsterdam, where he obtained the chair in Modern European Literature in 1991.

He served as director of the Huizinga Institute (Dutch National Research Institute for Cultural Studies) from 1995 until 2006. He held the Erasmus Lecturership at Harvard University in 2003, and was awarded the Spinoza Prize in 2008.

Many thanks to Professor Leerssen for a superb lecture, and to QUB staff and students from many different Schools who attended.

Professor Conor Gearty (London School of Economics)
Professor Conor Gearty (London School of Economics)
 Professor Eli Berman (University of California)
Professor Eli Berman (University of California)
Professor Richard English (QUB)
Delegates attending workshop
Seminar Room 1, Governance Building

On 16th and 17th January 2009 Queen's University Belfast held the Belfast International Terrorism Workshop

This workshop brought together some of the world’s most distinguished scholars in the field of terrorism and political violence, drawn from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and reflecting a wide range of intellectual approaches to the subject.  The aim was to hold two days of Workshop Sessions to engage systematically with a series of focused questions concerning the causes, explanations, sustenance, nature and ending of terrorism, as well as the best analytical and political responses to the phenomenon. 

Our thanks to all those who took part in, or attended, the workshop.


If you would like to submit a news item or event, please e-mail your suggestions to
QUB Annual Irish Studies Lecture

Professor Marianne Elliott, Director of the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool, will give the QUB Annual Irish Studies Lecture:

Wolfe Tone: The Making of a Republican 

Thursday 10 October 2013, 4.00pm

Elmwood Lecture Theatre, Elmwood Learning and Teaching Centre, Elmwood Avenue - adjacent to the Students' Union


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(Monday 14 June 2010)

Media Release

Who Respects their Flag?                                   (full report in PDF format)

One third of flags put up on main roads in Northern Ireland over the summer months are still flying at the end of September. That’s according to new research by Queen’s University.

Surveys conducted by the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s in July and September over the last four years show that, on average, over 4,000 flags are put up on lampposts and houses, in town centres and on arterial routes every July. The surveys found that those flying from lampposts were often not removed and left to become torn and tatty over the winter months.

Yet questions asked in the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey 2008 reveal that 83 per cent of people in Northern Ireland do not support the flying of flags from lampposts in their area.

The survey results are being published in Public Displays of Flags and Emblems in Northern Ireland. The study is funded by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, to evaluate the creation of shared space and the effectiveness of the multi-agency Flags Protocol, which was introduced in 2005.

The vast majority of the flags flying represent the unionist or loyalist tradition (over July 2006-09 the average number of unionist flags was 3868 compared 245 nationalist and for September the average number of unionist flags was 1411 compared with 505 nationalist). At Easter, two thirds of the flags on arterial routes are unionist.

The research shows a significant reduction in the number of paramilitary flags flown on arterial routes during July - down from 161 flags in 2006 to 73 in 2009. By far the largest proportion of those flying in July 2009 belonged to the UVF. The research also shows some reduction in how many people feel intimidated by such displays (in 2003 21% of people said they had felt intimidated by loyalist or republican murals and flags, in 2008 13% of people were intimidated by republican displays and 15 % by loyalist displays).

The Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey 2008, however, revealed that over half of those surveyed believe the Union flag and Tricolour were usually put on lampposts by paramilitary groups. And importantly, over a third of people said they were less likely to shop in neighbourhoods with loyalist and republican flags and murals.

Dr Dominic Bryan, Director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s said: “Over the last thirty years the Ulster tradition of flying flags on houses appears to have declined, while there has been an increase in hanging flags from lampposts.

“Instead of celebrating identity, tattered and torn flags are left to demarcate territory. In Northern Ireland, where national identity is so keenly felt, the national flags are treated with little respect.

“There is a difficult balance to be struck between legitimate expressions of identity and prolonged displays that lead to greater territorial divisions and potential community relations problems, which can ultimately have detrimental economic effects. Festivals and parades offer potential benefits to many communities, but it makes sense to take flags down after a couple of weeks.

“We hope this research contributes to an informed debate on how expressions of identity can be managed to foster greater respect between people in Northern Ireland.”

Public Displays of Flags and Emblems in Northern Ireland available online at:

on Monday 14 June 2010. Hard copies are available on request from the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University on 028 90973386 or  For more information about Irish Studies at Queen’s visit 


Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke on 028 9097 5320 or

Notes to editors:

1. Dr Dominic Bryan is available for interview.

2. The Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey is conducted annually by ARK at Queen’s University and the University of Ulster. The survey records the attitudes, values and beliefs of the people in Northern Ireland to a wide range of social policy issues. For more information visit


St Patrick's Day Report Published

An independent report on St Patrick's Day (Belfast 2006), undertaken by researchers the Institute of Irish Studies for Belfast City Council, has just been published. More details and a copy of the report ... 


Events at the Linen Hall Library

Information on news and events at the Linen Hall Library.

Linen Hall Library, 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT1 5GB
T: 028 9032 1707 F: 028 9043 8586 E: W:

Ireland & Modernity: An Interdisciplinary Conference

Ireland & Modernity: An Interdisciplinary Conference

11-13th November 2010

Institute of Irish Studies

Queen's University Belfast

Keynote Speakers: Professor Fintan Cullen, Professor Luke Gibbons, Professor Bonnie Kime Scott




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