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EL40UU: AMNESTY, AMNESIA, ARCHIVE (2017-2018)

Last modified: 12 Apr 2017 16:47


Course Overview

From 1968-1994, Northern Irish writers and visual artists found themselves addressing key questions: what is the role of the artist in a divided society, and must s/he engage with political events? This course considers how the artists framed these dilemmas and how they have been framed by them. Following the outbreak of peace in the province, the role of artists changed: their work now focused on the victims of violence and to demand justice. This course examines the different approaches taken to remembrance by writers/artists and explores the ways in which memory and trauma are framed in their work.

 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Shane Alcobia-Murphy

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Programme Level 4
  • English (EL) (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

Yes

One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.


Course Description

Does Northern Ireland's history interweave with or overwhelm the artistic imagination? From 1968-1994, Northern Irish writers and artists found themselves addressing key questions in their attempt to 'tell their story': what is the role of the artist in a divided society, and must s/he engage with political events? The creation of art in a time of violence brought about anxieties concerning partisanship and exploitation. Situated within a particular community, the artist often found themselves within 'narrow ground' and thus attempted to forego a subjective response in favour of either cold objectivity or maddening obliquity; however, with so many pressures on Northern Irish writers, photographers and film-makers to respond to the violence, the aesthetic and critical grounds seemed to become narrower and narrower. This course considers how some of the artists framed these dilemmas and how they have been framed by them. Following the Belfast Agreement (1998) and the outbreak of peace in the province, a pronounced tension has emerged in Northern Irish society between the urge to remember and the desire to forget the atrocities carried out during the period of the so-called 'Troubles', with politicians time and again walking the fine line between amnesty and amnesia, whether willingly or not. In the effort to maintain existing ceasefires, and to seek a political solution, it has been deemed expedient for 'Justice' to remain blind (or rather, to turn a blind eye) to certain past crimes. However, a significant trend has emerged within Northern Irish cultural responses to the Belfast Agreement and the ensuing peace process, one which indicates a determined resistance to amnesia and which promotes an ethical approach towards the act of remembrance. This course examines the different approaches taken to remembrance by writers/artists and explores the ways in which memory and trauma are framed in literature, film and the visual arts.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

None.

Contact Teaching Time

22 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


Assessment

None.

Formative Assessment

None.

Feedback

None.

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