Commemorating Partition and Civil Wars in Ireland, 2020-23

Commemorating Partition and Civil Wars in Ireland, 2020-23

How do you commemorate a civil war? How do we approach the next part of the ‘decade of centenaries’ on both sides of the Border.

Marie Coleman (Project PI)

Commemorating Partition and Civil Wars in Ireland, 2020-2023 is a project run by Dr Marie Coleman and Dr Dominic Bryan at Queen’s University Belfast. The project, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, examines approaches to the 2020-2023 period of the ‘decade of centenaries’, on both sides of the Irish border.

Since the project’s inception in 2017, four events have taken place in Queen’s University Belfast:

In her introductory comments at the project’s first event – Civil Wars and their Legacy – Dr Coleman, quoting Tom Hartley, former Lord Mayor of Belfast, remarked that: “1916 is the easy bit. The hard bit is going to come when we look at 1920-1923″.

Upcoming commemorations include centenaries of the partition of Ireland, the creation of Northern Ireland, and the Irish Civil War, events which represent complex challenges in the context of commemoration, specially in Northern Ireland.

Engaging the public with contested history is one of History Hub’s core objectives and we have partnered with the project to produce freely accessible podcasts from project events. These podcasts, produced by Real Smart Media, are now available on History Hub, as well as on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Civil Wars and their Legacy

Civil Wars and their Legacy brought together a number of leading historians to Queen’s on 10 March 2017, to explore these, and other issues related to the Irish Civil War, the Finnish Civil War and the history of civil wars generally.

All four papers at the conference were recorded for podcasting by Real Smart Media and are now available on History Hub. The speakers were:

Keynote: David Armitage (Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard University)
Civil Wars: A History in Ideas.

Dr Bill Kissane (London School of Economics)
State formation, contested legitimacy and civil war in independent Ireland 1922-23.

Dr Gemma Clark (University of Exeter)
The nature of communal violence in the Irish Civil war

Dr Tuomas Tepora (University of Helsinki)
The Finnish Civil War and its legacy, 1918

Listen to podcasts on Soundcloud or download from iTunes.

Civil Wars and their Legacy was organised by the AHRC-funded project Commemorating Partition and Civil Wars in Ireland, 2020-2023, in conjunction with Queen’s University’s School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy & Politics, the Institute of Irish Studies and the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.


Commemoration and Conflict in Ireland, 1920-1922

Commemoration and Conflict in Ireland, 1920-1922 took place in Queen’s University Belfast on 12 June 2017.

Commemorating Partition and Civil Wars in Ireland, 2020-23

The speakers at the conference were:

Dr Matthew Lewis
Northern experiences of the Civil War’s aftermath.

Dr Anne Dolan (Trinity College Dublin)
Divisions after the Irish Civil War

Dr Gavin Foster (Concordia University)
Local and Family Memory of the Irish Civil War

Annual Irish Studies Lecture - Prof. Richard Kearney (Boston College)
Commemoration: Trauma and Recovery
With a response by Prof. Maurice Manning, Chancellor of the National University of Ireland

Listen to podcasts on Soundcloud or download from iTunes.


Toward an Environmental History of the Irish Revolution

Justin Dolan Stover is Assistant Professor of transnational European history at Idaho State University. Dr. Stover’s current work considers the environmental impact of the Irish Revolution, which provides contrasting guerrilla and counter-insurgency examples to larger-scale war damage, displacement, and environmental nationalism in modern Europe.

Stover visited Queen’s University Belfast in October 2017 to give a paper at an event jointly hosted by the Institute for Irish Studies and ‘Commemorating Partition and Civil Wars in Ireland, 2020-23′. The paper – ‘Toward an Environmental History of the Irish Revolution’ – was recorded by Real Smart Media and is now available as a podcast on History Hub.

Conference photos by Real Smart Media.