Call for papers: ‘Moving Statues – Shifted Meanings: Contested Memorials in Ireland and the US South,’ Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland

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Call for Papers
March 7, 2018
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Public History, Political History / Studies

Call For Papers:

Moving Statues – Shifted Meanings:  Contested Memorials in Ireland and the US South’

A conference hosted by the Institute of Irish Studies and Centre for Public History, Queen’s University Belfast, 8-9 June 2018

This conference will compare debates and public controversies over contested historical monuments in Ireland and the Southern States of the USA, from the later 19th to the early 21st centuries. In both regions, the outcomes of intense and polarising conflicts associated with nation-building and/or separatist projects, has given rise to public memorial cultures that remain highly contested. In Ireland this has been associated with both decolonisation and its associated civil wars, and with a partition that created rival official memorial cultures in the two parts of the island. This memorial legacy has been contested and partially subverted in the North and remains problematic in some degree in the Republic. In the American South, the revival and maintenance of southern white political power in the wake of the Civil War was associated with a neo-Confederate memorial culture, public contestation of which has become particularly acute in recent years. This conference will juxtapose these cases and identify elements of comparison and divergence in the past and the public history of the present.

Proposals for 20-minute papers are invited on related topics, including:

·        Public monuments and the development of memorial cultures in Ireland and the American South

·        ‘Moving statues’ – campaigns for the destruction of contested heritage and their opponents in the US

·        The destruction of public monuments in modern Irish history

·        The ‘Peace Process’ and contested heritage in Northern Ireland

·        Forgetting histories: public memorials and the loss of meaning in Ireland and the US South

Proposals should be submitted to by 15 April 2018 (5pm UK time).

Contact Info: 
Prof Peter Gray
Professor of Modern Irish History
Director, Institute of Irish Studies
School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics
Contact Email: