Conflict, Violence and Memory | Embodiment NUBS 4.08
Jul 06, 2023 09:00 - 10:30(Europe/London)
20230706T0900 20230706T1030 Europe/London 5.18. Memories of war and gendered violence NUBS 4.08 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
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'I was justly punished': Language, Epistemic Disadvantages, and the culture of Impunity during the Irish revolutionary period, 1919 – 1923.
Individual paperConflict, Violence and Memory 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 08:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 09:30:00 UTC
In the aftermath of the Irish War of Independence and Civil War, 1919 – 1923, the newly founded Irish Free State was shrouded in a cloak of silence. This silence reflects the widely held notion that especially traumatic events are followed by a protracted period of silence and memory suppression. However, one can argue that the silence which followed the period of revolution was not necessarily due to the reluctance of revolutionaries to speak but an unwillingness of those who had the power to create official memory to listen. This silence, in essence, removed some of the more traumatic aspects of the revolutionary period, such as gendered and sexual violence, from popular memory. Irish women, who were already epistemically and hermeneutically disadvantaged by being assaulted during a period of war - and with some having their violence framed as a justifiable assault - faced existing with that trauma within a state that was beginning to become more conservative and sexually repressive. This meant it was nearly impossible to discuss their revolutionary experiences without facing reputational damage. Therefore, the silencing of women's experiences during the revolutionary period erased their trauma from official memory.
By relying upon the wealth of primary materials within the Irish Military Archives, this paper will peel back the layers of silence during the revolutionary period. This paper explores where gendered and sexual violence fit into the intersection of gender, conflict, and memory within the Irish revolution. It questions to what extent hermeneutical marginalisation interacted with the wider collective memory of 1919 – 1923 and its impact on the post-memory generation and their historical consciousness. Through the lens of multidirectional memory, this paper seeks to analyse the complex interplay between personal and collective memory, historical consciousness, and hermeneutical marginalisation in shaping our understanding of this period.
Presenters Hayley Brabazon
PhD Candidate , Dublin City University
Investigating the relationship between taboo and historical denial: towards a comparative perspective
Individual paperBeyond Disciplinary Communities 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 08:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 09:30:00 UTC
This presentation investigates the role of taboo in the moral, legal, and political regulation of memory from a comparative perspective, with reference to memory discourses in East Asia. This paper identifies two faces of historical denial which are regulated by the imposition of taboos, the transgressions of which can result in severe legal, social, and political sanctions. Firstly, the 'discursive taboo' ('you must not talk about it') prevents one from discussing that a historical event has occurred. Secondly, the 'denial taboo' proscribes the denial of a historical event ('you must not deny that it happened'). In both cases, breaking the taboo is seen as uncivil, evil, and profane, and a danger to the collective moral order. This presentation explores two historical events perpetrated by Japan – the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and the forced recruitment of Korean women as military prostitutes known as 'comfort women' – both of which underwent a gradual transformation from a 'discursive taboo' to a 'denial taboo' in China and South Korea respectively. Civic debates about Nanjing and comfort women were muted for decades after the end of World War Two, and only began in earnest in the 1990s amidst the global 'memory boom'. Although public discussions about these events have successfully introduced feminist and postcolonial perspectives into the so-called East Asian "History Problem" debates, the state co-option and regulation of these events in national memory dicsourses has meant that deviations from these official narratives potentially come at a price. As both Nanjing and Comfort Women have become sacralised cultural traumas for China and South Korea, the prevalent 'denial taboo' around these events means that heterodox voices now risk state censorship and criminal prosecution. By contrast, the absence of similar taboos in Japan has meant that historical denial by the far-right in Japan remains popular and rampant. 
Rin Ushiyama
Lecturer In Sociology, Queen's University Belfast
Conflict in Colours
Individual paperConflict, Violence and Memory 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 08:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 09:30:00 UTC
Conflict in Colours is about the role of cultural violence in maintaining and transferring conflict situations by investigating republican and loyalist murals in Belfast during the Troubles and the Northern Irish peace process. It is the first study to compare republican and loyalist murals over time and space. Drawing on theories on cultural violence, historical narratives, visual culture and symbolic landscapes, it provides insight into how the cultural violence in the narratives has continuously presented the Northern Irish conflict as ongoing and the identity as the victim of the adversary. It also shows how cultural violence has, and continues to, impede the efforts to build a shared Northern Ireland.
By juxtaposing the presentation of victimhood in loyalist and republican murals, the study shows how the narratives of the murals portray their victimhood seductively and persuasively through symbols with established meanings of victimhood and visual techniques, which influences whom the outside world understands as the victim. Therefore, one of the main findings of the thesis is how the narratives of victimhood are not only a source of security to the identity in question; they are also weapons to use in the second phase of the conflict, regarding whose violence was legitimate, which affects how the parties understand the Troubles and the perception of the outside world of whose violence was legitimate.
Fredrika Larsson
Post Doc, Department Of Global Studies, University Of Gothenburg
‘Mixing Memory and Desire’: Tracing the Beforemath of World War I Memory
Individual paperEmbodiment 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
This paper uses the notion of "mixing memory and desire" (Eliot, lines 2-3) as the theoretical framework to argue how memory is used as a tool to create a desire to serve the country by appealing to the sentiments of the masses. I explore this using the World War I poems "Dreamers" (1918) by Siegfried Sassoon and "Dulce et Decorum Est" (1920) by Wilfred Owen. World War I memory studies is a field vastly focused on highlighting the aftereffects of the War primarily through post-traumatic stress disorder. However, my paper highlights how memory and desire mix, and precede the War. This is to say that, I examine the impact of memory and desire in carving a narrative of serving one's country and how they play a significant role in the instigation and initiation of the same.
I do this to bring out the significance and role of memory in encouraging the working class to participate in the War. In other words, I discuss how memory is used as a tool for safeguarding the seemingly utopian past in the form of serving the country and seeing the country's honour as one's own. I posit that through the mixing of memory and desire, choices of the working class–whether to participate in the War or not–are reduced, manipulated and imposed.
Harshita Pandey
PhD Scholar, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Dwarka, New Delhi
PhD Scholar
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Dwarka, New Delhi
Post doc
Department of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg
PhD Candidate
Dublin City University
Lecturer in Sociology
Queen's University Belfast
 Mary McCarthy
Drake University
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