15th Feb 2017 5:30pm-7:00pm
Grand Parade, G4
Memory, the afterlife of emotion, and ‘post-conflict’ temporalities in conflict transformation after the Irish Troubles.
Professor Graham Dawson (University of Brighton)
Emotion, feeling, affect are central to the ways in which ‘the past’ is thought to live on after violent political conflict; permeating ‘post-conflict’ memory, reproducing antagonism and hostility, and liable to erupt into the present in repetitions of intractable discord that subvert or complicate efforts towards reconciliation. This paper explores what I will call the temporal afterlife of emotion and its relation to memory in Northern Ireland. First, I draw on recent thinking on regimes of temporality and the politics of time to illuminate the complex temporalities of emotion, feeling and affect in a ‘post-conflict’ or ‘transitional’ society. I go on to explore the implications of this approach for understanding struggles over memory, truth and justice in Northern Ireland during and after the Troubles, focusing on the arrest of Gerry Adams in 2014 and the Kingsmills Justice Campaign.
Photo: Karen Armstrong of the Kingsmills Justice Campaign photographed beside a framed portrait of her brother, John McConville, who was killed by Irish Republican gunmen in the Kingsmills massacre of 1976, which awaits full investigation. By kind permission of Karen and Philip Armstrong.