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A partnership between the Institute of Historical Research and the Centre for Public History, Queen’s University Belfast, this online conference explores the uses of anniversaries in historical research and public interpretation, thinking critically about the politics of commemoration, the wide variety of tools and approaches for public engagement, and the challenges of dealing with contested pasts. 

Speakers from academia and beyond will examine a wide range of case studies, from Magna Carta to WW1, with special sessions on ‘Nuclear Memory’ (from Hiroshima to Fukushima), ‘Remembering Partitions’ in Ireland, India and beyond, and a workshop on ‘Remembering Trauma’, using oral histories of Irish Mother and Baby homes as a case study. Other conference content includes a tour of the Ulster Museum Troubles Gallery, a 3D walk-through of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, and films exploring memory in Belfast produced by local early-career researchers. 

Early-career Lighting Talks and Prizes
The conference will conclude with 5-minute Lightning Talks on ‘Memory and Commemoration’ – broadly defined – from early-career researchers in history and related disciplines. Prizes will be awarded for the best presentations: £200 for the winner, plus three runner-up prizes of £100 each. Places in this session are limited: please submit a working title and 150-word proposal to by 31 August 2021, for consideration. Your proposal should include a declaration that you consider yourself to be an early-career researcher.

Multimedia / Asynchronous Content
The conference will include a range of multimedia content which can be viewed when you choose, from short films of locations in Belfast linked with themes of memory and commemoration, to a virtual tour of the Ulster Museum Troubles Gallery, and a link to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial 3D walk-through.

A provisional conference programme is now available.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Steven Franklin (Royal Holloway University of London) 
  • Caterina Loriggio (Anniversary Director, Mayflower 400, Southampton) 
  • Keith Lilley (Director, Living Legacies Centre, QUB) 
  • Ciarán Wallace (TCD) and Zoë Reid (National Archives of Ireland) 
  • William Blair (Head of Collections, National Museums NI)
  • Pippa Virdee (de Montfort University) 
  • Arie M Dubnov (George Washington University) 
  • Peter Leary (Oxford Brookes University) 
  • Sean O’Connell (QUB Mother and Baby Homes – Oral History Team) 
  • Olivia Dee (QUB Mother and Baby Homes – Oral History Team) 
  • Robert Jacobs (Hiroshima City University/Hiroshima Peace Institute) 
  • Maurizio Cinquegrani (University of Kent) 
  • Hiroki Shin (Queen’s University Belfast) 
  • Grace Halden (Birkbeck, University of London) 
  • Jonathan Hogg (University of Liverpool) 
  • Anna Veronika Wendland (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe) 
  • Olwen Purdue (Director, Centre for Public History, QUB) 
  • Catherine Clarke (Director, Centre for the History of People, Place and Community, IHR)

Image credit: Weeping Window: © National Museums NI

All welcome

This event is free to attend, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual event being circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance.