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EL45UU: AMNESTY, AMNESIA, ARCHIVE: REPRESENTATIONS OF VIOLENCE, MEMORY AND TRAUMA IN CONTEMPORARY NORTHERN IRISH CULTURE (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07


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 Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Professor Shane Alcobia-Murphy

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

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

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • EL30UU Amnesty, Amnesia, Archive (Passed)

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

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.


Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers


Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 2500 word essay (30%), 3500 word essay (50%) Oral Presentation (10%) and Seminar Assessment Mark (10%)

 

Resit:not normally available

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Feedback

Written essay feedback will be provided to students within 3 weeks of submission (and at least 2 weeks prior to their next assignment). Oral and written feedback will be provided on their presentations. Oral feedback will provided regarding their ongoing class performance.

Course Learning Outcomes

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