Dependents, delinquents, rebels, citizens, soldiers, suffragettes, lawmakers – women have historically occupied a variety of roles in relation to the law. The 2015 Women’s History Conference, in celebration of International Women’s Day, seeks to examine the multi-faceted nature of women’s relationship with the law from ancient to modern times. It will explore the ways in which governments and institutions have recognised, restricted and engaged their female citizens, as well as the ways that women have worked within, challenged and shaped the law.
More info and CFP at: http://iwd2015.wordpress.com/
1916 witnessed two events that would profoundly shape both politics and commemoration in Ireland over the course of the following century. Although the Easter Rising and the battle of the Somme were important historical events in their own right, their significance also lay in how they came to be understood as iconic moments in the emergence of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
The Easter Rising proved a source of legitimacy not only for the independent Irish state that emerged out of the War of Independence but for subsequent republican movements that sought to justify the continued use of violence for political ends. From the 1960s the Rising’s contested legacy became central to the emergence of acrimonious debates about the writing of Irish history that were further intensified and, unusually for historiographical disputes, given wide public purchase by the outbreak of the Troubles.
In Ulster the sacrifice of the 36th Division on the Western Front provided a key foundation myth for the Northern Irish state. As with the memory of the Rising for republicans, the Somme offered unionist and loyalist movements a potent source of political capital. Although long a contentious feature of the Irish commemorative landscape, as witnessed by its ubiquity in loyalist murals, the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement has also seen the appropriation of the memory of the First World War to fashion a more conciliatory narrative of the shared Catholic and Protestant experience of war.
Adopting an interdisciplinary approach drawing on history, politics, anthropology and cultural studies, this colloquium will explore how the memory of these two iconic events has been constructed, mythologised and revised over the course of the past century. The aim is not merely to understand how the Rising and Somme came to exert a central place in how the past is viewed in Ireland, but to address this subject as a means of exploring wider questions about the relationship between history and memory.
Topics of interest to those beyond scholars of Irish history will include: the construction of communal memory, the role of commemoration in shaping national and political identity, and the relationship between academic history and public memory. Specific papers will address: the politics of memory and commemoration; the memorialisation of history; the shaping of collective memory; the influence of the Troubles on the history and memory of 1916; the role of the historian in engaging with popular memory and commemoration; the international impact of 1916; and how theories of memory can inform our understanding of commemoration and popular history.
The Wiles Lectures for 2015 will be delivered by Professor Lyndal Roper, Fellow of Oriel College and Regius Professor of History at the University of Oxford, on 27-30 May 2015. Professor Roper's Wiles lectures will be given over four days at Queen's University Belfast, on the theme: 'Luther and the Reformation: A Cultural History'.