Dr Ellen McWilliams (Exeter): ”Forgetful Remembrance”: The Dunmanway Massacre of April 1922’
Ellen McWilliams will speak on ”Forgetful Remembrance”: The Dunmanway Massacre of April 1922’, with a reading from her new book, Resting Places: On Wounds, War and the Irish Revolution (Beyond the Pale 2023).
The book reflects on her Catholic upbringing in West Cork in the 1980s and 1990s, and on relations with her Protestant neighbours. She is haunted by the killings in the period of Ireland’s War of Independence and Civil War, and in particular by the ‘Dunmanway massacre’ of April 1922 which marked the area where she grew up. Her great grandmother was active in Cumann na mBan and her granduncle fought for independence as well as in the anti-Treaty IRA. The book reveals why the events of those days remain deeply personal and how they shape her adult life as she moves to England, marries an expert on Cromwell and the English Civil War, teaches Irish literature at an English university, experiences pregnancy and childbirth, and nurtures her son in his early years.
Ellen McWilliams is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Exeter, with interests are in the fields of 20th-century women's fiction, anti-colonial history and the aftershocks of colonial violence, intergenerational memory/postmemory, literary responses to the pain of revolution and civil war, political violence and literary form, and migration and diasporic identity. She is a member of the Routes: Migraton, Mobility, Displacement Network and the Centre for Histories of Violence and Conflict, and has previously published Margaret Atwood and the Female Bildungsroman (2009), Women and Exile in Contemporary Irish Fiction (2013), and Irishness in North American Women's Writing: Transatlantic Affinities (2021).
This is a hybrid event, taking place in-person in 27 University Square, 01/003 and online via MS Teams. Please indicate your preferred mode of joining when registering.
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