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Living with History: A Belfast Travelogue

Living with History: A Belfast Travelogue

Living with History: A Belfast Travelogue

Annie Tock Morrisette

I recently returned from a research trip to Ireland. My dissertation explores the relationship between historical memory and the perpetuation of collective violence within the context of Irish sectarian conflict. I’m particularly interested in the ways in which the conflict moved across the Atlantic from Ireland to eastern Canada during the first half of the 19th century and was expressed in riots on historically significant dates like July 12. One of my primary objectives for this trip was to scout out the primary sources held by the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin and to also begin to get a sense of the ways the long memory of sectarian violence continues to affect Irish culture. I think that I accomplished these goals and also recognized that I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of this incredibly complex and deeply rooted conflict.  I want to use this space in Khronikos to talk briefly about my visit to Belfast, a beautiful and raw place where it seems many people on both sides of the Protestant/Catholic divide (which is less about religion and more about hereditary social status and power sharing) are trying to come to grips with an Troubled past and talking honestly about the scars of the past, the open wounds of the present, and the challenges of the hoped for healing process of the future. Read More.


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