Spring Lecture Series 2019
THE DECADE OF CENTENARIES: IRELAND IN 1919
ALL LECTURES START AT 7pm – £5 PER LECTURE
£20 FOR ALL FIVE LECTURES IF BOOKED IN ADVANCE
Link here for 1st lecture and Series ticket.
The latest in our annual series of lectures examining the rapidly changing political landscape in Ireland between 1912 and 1922 commemorates events in Ireland a century ago in 1919.
Emerging from the political upheaval of the First World War, Ireland was now a totally different country from that which had entered the war only four years earlier. The constitutional nationalism of the Home Rulers had been dealt a mortal blow by the rise of militant separatism first of all by the Easter Rising in 1916 and then followed by Sinn Féin’s landslide election victory in 1918. This is turn led to an acceleration of the north-south divide which was to result in the partition of the island.
Ireland in 1919 saw the establishment of a parliamentary assembly (Dáil Éireann) pledging allegiance to an independent Irish Republic while the start of the guerilla war war against the British in the War of Independence launched the country into two years of turbulent political change which ultimately led to (partial) independence, partition and civil war and undoubtedly changed Ireland forever.
WEDNESDAY 1 MAY “Revolution within the Revolution? 1919 and the generation of 1916”. ROY FOSTER
In his book “Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland 1890-1923”, Roy Foster examined the backgrounds, personalities and ideas of the young Irish radicals who helped bring about the great sea-change in Irish political life instigated by the 1916 Rising. In this lecture he considers the subsequent shift to violent confrontation which initiated the Anglo-Irish War in 1919, and the extent to which this represented a further change in personal and political priorities, eventually bringing about an outcome rather different to the ideas and ideologies of the original “revolutionary generation”.
Roy Foster is professor of Irish history and literature at Queen Mary, University of London and emeritus professor of Irish history at the University of Oxford.
WEDNESDAY 8 MAY “Now We Can Talk Openly About Men”.
Poet MARTINA EVANS in conversation with journalist Dorothy Allen.
Martina Evans reads from and talks about her critically acclaimed recent work, “Now We Can Talk Openly About Men”. These contrasting dramatic monologues bring vividly to life the War of Independence and the Civil War through the experiences of two generations of working class women. Set against the background of the burning of Mallow, Co Cork during the “Troubles” the poetry gives a voice to usually overlooked “insignificant” women as they recall the passion, excitement and terror of the times. Martina will discuss the reasons she was drawn to this particular period and the challenges of recasting history as poetry.
Martina Evans is the award – winning author of eleven books of poetry and prose. “Now We Can Talk Openly About Men” was shortlisted for the 2019 Irish Times Poetry Now Award.
Dorothy Allen is a former BBC journalist now writing for the German and Swiss Press.
WEDNESDAY 15 MAY “Ireland in a Revolutionary World 1918-1923”. MAURICE WALSH
“Bitter Freedom: Ireland in a Revolutionary World 1918-1923” is Maurice Walsh’s widely acclaimed history of the Irish revolution, placing Ireland within the global disorder born of the First World War.
For too long, the story of Irish independence and it’s aftermath has been told within an Anglo-Irish context. However, Ireland was also part of a wider civilisation in turmoil and in this era of Bolshevism and jazz, developments in Europe and America had a profound effect on Ireland in the immediate post-war years.
“Bitter Freedom” was described by historian Joseph Lee as “the most ambitious attempt yet to capture the essence of the Irish revolution…. a remarkable achievement- perceptive, beautifully composed and wide-ranging- a contribution of enduring importance to our understanding of Irish history”.
Maurice Walsh teaches history at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. He has worked for the Irish Times and as a foreign correspondent and documentary maker for the BBC across the world. He writes for the Guardian Weekend magazine, the London Review of Books, the Dublin Review and the New Statesman amongst others. His previous book was “The News from Ireland: Foreign Correspondents and the Irish Revolution”.
WEDNESDAY 22 MAY “The Start of the Irish Revolution”. JIM O’HARA
The 1916 Easter Rising is traditionally regarded as the seminal event in modern Irish history. However, 1919 is perhaps a more accurate date for the effective beginning of the Irish Revolution. In this lecture Jim O’Hara traces how, following their success in the previous month’s general election, Sinn Fein members who refused to take their seats at Westminster in founded Dáil Éireann, the first parliament of the Irish Republic In January 1919. At the same time the first shots of the Irish War of Independence resulted in the deaths of two RIC policemen in Co Tipperary. Both events meant that politics in Ireland had been changed for ever.
Jim O’Hara was founder and former Director of Irish Studies at St Mary’s University College and is Chair of Hammersmith Irish Cultural Centre.
WEDNESDAY 29 MAY “ A Terrible Beauty Televised: The Irish Revolution in Film” . LANCE PETTITT
This lecture explores the way in which RTE’s “Insurrection” (1966) portrayed the inaugural moment of a seminal period in Irish history (1916-1921). Scripted in London by Hugh Leonard, its newsroom style and location shooting in Dublin was directed by Louis Lentin. With RTE archives at its heart, the lecture explores the planning and production difficulties of this eight-part mini-series and uses viewers letters to gauge its reception in Ireland, London and further afield. A clip from Episode 2 will be shown and “Insurrection” will be set in the context of other film representations of the Anglo-Irish War, including those screened in 2016, such as Aille an Uafais.
Lance Pettitt is an Associate Research Fellow and tutor at Birkbeck, University of London and Chair of the Irish Film Festival, London. Details at www.lancepettitt.com