From Wednesday, October 12, to Friday, October 14, the Department of History & Civilization and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute, collaborate with the Centre on Social Movement Studies at Scuola Normale Superiore and the University of Florence to host the conference “Irish Society, History, and Culture: 100 years after 1916.”
April 1916 saw the proclamation of the Irish Republic at the GPO in Dublin. Although, the uprising against British rule was defeated, the events marked a turning point in Irish history. We use the centenary of the 1916 Rising not only to look at the developments of Irish history and society in the past ten decades but also the state of the island of Ireland today.
The conference aims to bring together academics from various fields. It will feature keynote speeches from internationally-renowned scholars such as Kieran Allan, UCD; Seán Crosson, NUIG; and Peter Shirlow, University of Liverpool.
The conference starts on Wednesday, October 12, with a conversation with IRA former prisoner, hunger striker, academic, and play writer Laurence McKeown and Alexander Etkind and me. Laurence will speak about his years in the IRA, his imprisonment, the years of prison protests and his 70-days hunger strikes in the H-Blocks when Bobby Sands and nine of his comrades starved to death in 1981. The event starts at 11h30 at Badia Fiesolana.
In the evening, Irish Ambassador to Italy, Bobby McDonagh will open the conference at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Palazzo Strozzi. His opening address is followed by the inaugural lecture given by Jennifer Todd, Professor at UCD and former Ferdinand Braudel Fellow; the lecture is chaired by Brigid Laffan. After the lecture, we invite everyone to wine and snacks at Palazzo Strozzi.
On Thursday evening we screen the film “Bloody Sunday” about the civil rights movement in Ireland. The film screening is followed by conversation between Niall Ó Dochartaigh, NUIG, and Eamonn McCann from Derry. Eamon is a leader of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s who was recently elected to Northern Irish Parliament in Stormont, Belfast.
The third day, Friday, October 14, will be held at Villa Salviati. There will be keynote lectures, parallel panels, a presentation by Dieter Schenker on “Ireland and the HAEU,” as well as a round-table on the 1981-hunger-strikes.
Everyone is welcome to attend and I hope to see you all at the conference!