On 21-22 October 2021, the IHR in partnership with the Centre for Public History, Queen’s University Belfast held an online conference exploring 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 examined 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. The conference ended with an ECR lightning talk round, with 8 ECRs presenting on the theme 'Memory and Commemoration’.

Catch up on Day 1

Session 1: Troubling Anniversaries- panel discussion

  • Steven Franklin (Royal Holloway University of London) — Magna Carta
  • Caterina Loriggio (Anniversary Director, Mayflower 400, Southampton) —Mayflower 400
  • Keith Lilley (Director, Living Legacies Centre, QUB) — WW1 Living Legacies
  • Ciarán Wallace (TCD) and Zoë Reid (National Archives of Ireland) — Beyond 2022

Session 2: Curating Conflict- The Troubles and Beyond

  • William Blair (Head of Collections, National Museums NI)
  • Hannah Crowdy (Head of Curatorial, National Museums NI)
  • Karen Logan (Senior Curator of History, National Museums NI)

Session 3: Remembering Partitions- panel discussion

  • Pippa Virdee (de Montfort University)
  • Arie M Dubnov (George Washington University)
  • Peter Leary (Oxford Brookes University)

Catch up on Day 2

Session 4: Remembering Trauma- Oral History Workshop

  • Sean O’Connell (QUB Mother and Baby Homes – Oral History Team)
  • Olivia Dee (QUB Mother and Baby Homes – Oral History Team)

Session 5: Keynote Lecture

‘Nuclear Memory Effects: Remembering Hiroshima and Forgetting Fukushima’- Robert Jacobs (Hiroshima City University/Hiroshima Peace Institute)

Respondent: Maurizio Cinquegrani (University of Kent)

Session 6: Nuclear Memories – An International Comparison

  • Grace Halden (Birkbeck, University of London)
  • Jonathan Hogg (University of Liverpool)
  • Egle Rindzeviciute (Kingston University London)
  • Anna Veronika Wendland (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Centra Europe)

Session 7: Memory and Commemoration- ECR Lightning Talks

Laura del Alisal (BBK)
The Invisible Empire Does Not Exist

Alison Martin (Queen’s University Belfast)
Commemorating the centenary of the Easter Rising in Belfast in 2016

Caitlin White (Trinity College Dublin)
Memory, Commemoration and ‘Fake News’: The potential of public history in the 21st Century

Joshua Dight (Edge Hill University)
Making a meal out of remembrance: Chartist banquets and newspaper representations of radical memory

Daniel Frost (University of Reading)
‘Racism is not an isolated incident’: Croydon’s 1981, Croydon’s 2011, and troubling memories in the ‘multicultural suburb’

Julia Volkmar (Queen’s University Belfast)
‘Erste Buergerpflicht Erinnerungskultur’: How contemporary witnesses struggle to maintain the burden of dealing with the past in Germany

Matthew Rowley (University of Leicester)
Colonial History and Belonging to America: Reflections on the 400th Anniversary of Thanksgiving

Not in the recording:
Giulia Garbagni (University of Cambridge)
Wakaizumi Kei and the Nationalist Remembrance of Okinawa: One Man’s Mission against Japan’s ‘Postwar Amnesia’