Dealing with Northern Ireland's contested past: 1968 and agonistic remembering
In this guest lecture, Dr Chris Reynolds will explore the agonistic approach to remembering Europe's past.
Just as the European project finds itself at a crossroads with an uncertain future, so does Northern Ireland. In both instances, the difficulties in dealing with contested pasts are crucial considerations in helping us make sense of the current impasses.
This research paper will explore the agonistic approach to remembering Europe's past as advanced by Cento Bull and Hansen and explored in the UNREST project as a potentially effective solution for the case of the 'troubled province'.
Drawing on the case-study of a collaborative venture between Chris Reynolds and Belfast's Ulster Museum on the recalibration of the memory of Northern Ireland's 1968, it will be argued that the methodological and theoretical blueprint of this project offers a pertinent and positive test-case for the theory of agonistic remembering. As such, the paper will propose that the approach underpinning this collaboration provides valuable lessons for the broader challenge of dealing with the difficult legacy of Northern Ireland's past as part of the ongoing (and stalled) peace process.