FESTIVAL 2021

Irish & British historians on the imperial past: Panel Discussion

Sun, Aug 8 2021 4pm Panel Discussion: Selective memories – Irish and British historians on the imperial past with Dr Aoife Bhreatnach, Dr Margaret O’Callaghan, Professor Eunan O’Halpin and Professor David Reynolds

[Image courtesy of British Library, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Dr Aoife Bhreatnach is an independent scholar and contract researcher with strong research expertise in Irish social and cultural history. A graduate of University College Cork, she has an MPhil in Irish History on the subject of Frank Aiken as Minister for External Affairs. Her Phd was awarded by DeMontfort University in 2003 and the subsequent book, Becoming Conspicuous: Irish Travellers, Society and the State was published in 2006 by UCD Press. From 2003-04, she held the Irish Government Senior Scholarship at Hertford College, Oxford and taught at the University of Warwick. A recipient of an Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Post-Doctoral Fellowship from 2004-06, she worked in NUI Maynooth developing a theory of class in nineteenth-century Ireland. From this research emerged her interest in the role played by the British military in Irish social history.

Dr Margaret O’Callaghan graduated with a First Class Honours BA in History and English and an  MA from University College Dublin. Her MA thesis ‘Language and Religion; the Quest for Identity in the Irish Free State, 1922-32’ was prizewinning and she won a Laski Research Studentship to St John’s College Cambridge where she did her Ph.D under the supervision of Professor Peter Clarke.  Her doctoral thesis ‘ Crime, Nationality and the Law; the Politics of Land in Late-Victorian Ireland’. A former Research Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge she has taught at the University of Cambridge and at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.Her interests are in Irish political thought, the politics of Irish literature, British high politics, the politics of commemoration and memory, and modern Irish cultural and political history. She has published widely in all of these areas and has supervised over forty MA dissertations and seventeen doctoral dissertations. 

Professor Eunan O’Halpin retired in 2020 from the Bank of Ireland Chair of Contemporary Irish History and as Director of the Trinity Research Centre for Contemporary Irish History. He was previously Professor of Government at Dublin City University (1998-2000). Educated at UCD and Cambridge, where he researched the interwar British Treasury, he has written widely on aspects of 20th Irish and British history and politics. His most recent books are ‘Kevin Barry: an Irish Rebel in Life and Death’ (Dublin, 2020),’The Dead of the Irish Revolution’ (New Haven and London, 2020) (with Daithi O Corrain), and ‘Spying on Ireland: British Intelligence and Irish Neutrality during the Second World War’ (Oxford, 2008). His current research interests include Afghanistan and the belligerents during the Second World War, Ireland’s civil wars, 1921-23, and Anglo-Irish relations and the Northern Ireland Troubles. He is a Member (2003) of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow (2003) of Trinity College Dublin. In 2012 he was Visiting Fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Institute of Advanced Studies in Delhi, carrying out research in the National Archives of India and in the Nehru Memorial Library.

Professor David Reynolds is Professor of International History (Emeritus) at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Christ’s College. He was educated at Cambridge and Harvard, and held a Faculty position at Cambridge from 1984 until his retirement from university teaching in 2019. He served as Chair of History Faculty in 2013-15. He has also held visiting appointments at various foreign universities including Harvard, Sciences Po in Paris, and Nihon University in Tokyo.