Invited Lecture for Irish Studies Seminar Series at the Institute for Irish Studies, Queen's University, Belfast. Autumn 2019: ‘Remembering the 1916 Easter Rising and the end of empire: transnational templates of Irish and Indian freedom struggles’

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Sara Dybris McQuaid - Foredragsholder

Remembering the 1916 Easter Rising and the End of Empire: transnational templates of Irish and Indian freedom struggles.

The centenary commemoration of the Easter Rising has seen new transnational narratives emerge alongside tried and tested mythologies. In this paper I explore the role of the Rising in inspiring other anti-colonial struggles around the British Empire, which has reverberated in a number of commemorative forms and products inspired by increased immigration to Ireland and changing Irish-British relations. Specifically, I am examining narratives of how revolutionary ideas, people and strategies were exchanged between Ireland and India in the RTE documentary ‘An Easter Re-rising’ by Pranjali Bhave, about the 1930 Chittagong Rising by the Indian Republican Army.

Conceived as an event with importance beyond the nation, commemorations of the Easter Rising in 2016 present the possibility of exploring not just a new form of transnational framework for remembrance and narratives in Ireland, but also an opportunity to heed Michael Rothberg’s call for a deeper engagement between memory studies and postcolonial studies: Particularly, in terms of considering how violence gives shape to the temporality of memory, but also the ways in which social actors bring multiple traumatic pasts into a heterogeneous and changing present to resist violence and create unexpected solidarities (Rothberg 2009, Rothberg 2013). Beyond discussing these new transnational templates for narrating the Easter Rising, this paper argues changing relations between the UK and Ireland (for the better) means that the glorification of violence and anglo-phobia is being replaced by (or returned to) a much less controversial critique of Empire, as a vehicle for reasserting nationhood and negotiating Ireland’s place in the world. Bringing the two strands together, the paper argues that the transnational template for narrating the rising, allows celebrations of violent struggle to continue, by displacement (From Ireland to India), and furthermore, allows Ireland to become a place of plural narratives and identities, while making Chittagong an exclusive site for Hindu nationalism.
28 okt. 2019

Ekstern organisation (Universitet)

NavnSchool of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen's University Belfast

ID: 174249407