John Hewitt International Summer School #JHISS

John Hewitt Summer School programme coverThe annual John Hewitt International Summer School runs next week in Armagh. While it’s possible to book a place and take in the full programme, individual events are also ticketed.

Readers of Slugger may be interested in some of the more overtly political and historical sessions, all of which take place in The Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Market Street, Armagh, BT61 7BW.

Monday 25 July at 11:15am – Diplomat in Moscow, Belfast, New York, Finland and Estonia, ambassador to London and the UN, Dáithí O’Ceallaigh will deliver the summer school’s opening address. Retiring from the Foreign Service in 2009, he is currently director general of the Institute of International & European Affairs in Dublin.

Tuesday 26 July at 9.45am – In her talk 1916 & Women: Unfinished Business Dr Linda Connolly will argue that women’s roles and rights in Irish society deserve much fuller attention, both in relation to the history of the 1916 Rising and its historical legacy.

Tuesday 26 July at 4.30pm – A panel discussion ‘Reflections on Remembrance’ will be chaired by CRC’s Peter Osborne who will be joined by

  • Jeffrey Donaldson MP (also chair of the Northern Ireland WWI Centenary Committee);
  • John Concannon (director Ireland 2016 and formerly Failte Ireland);
  • Tom Hartley (historian, former Sinn Féin councillor and former general secretary and national chairperson of the party);
  • Ruth Dudley Edwards (biographer of James Connolly and Patrick Pearse, commentator on Irish affairs).

Wednesday 27 July at 9.45am – Catriona Crowe asks How Have We Remembered 1916? She’s head of special projects at the National Archive of Ireland and manager of the Irish Census Online Project.

Wednesday 27 July at 4.30pm – Malachi O’Doherty will be in conversation with author Eimear O’Callaghan sharing his thoughts on Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Malachi’s biography of the politician will be published by Faber.

Thursday 28 July at 4.30pm – A panel will discuss Where were the women when history was made? Chaired by Ruth Taillon (director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies and author of When History Was Made: the Women of 1916, which identified 200 women who took part in the Easter Rising), the panel will include:

  • Catriona Crowe (head of special projects at the National Archive of Ireland and manager of the Irish Census Online Project);
  • Susan McKay (journalist and author).

Friday 29 July at 4.30pm – Poet Chris Agee is editor of Irish Pages and will deliver the publication’s 7th annual lecture. In Troubled Belfast Chris will distil 37 years as an immigrant in Belfast, focussing on the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement and drawing on pan-European parallels. He’ll reflect on the dynamics that continue to “trouble” Belfast and speculate that becoming multicultural may be the most momentous of all the changes in Belfast following the Troubles.

John Hewitt Summer School 2016 programme

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  • Thomas Barber

    Serious question Alan – What makes Tom Hartley a historian ?

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    In fairness Tom Hartley has written two fascinating histories of Milltown and the City Cemeteries in Belfast…..well worth a read and two scholarly works without a doubt.

  • Granni Trixie

    I have no problem with an enthusiast branding themselves “historian”. In cases such as TH however I think we also have to filter in that they see what they research through Republican lenses. This is consistent with views I have expressed elsewhere on Slugger where I was not supportive of it being left to academic historians to write up the history of the troubles. Multiple stories which does not privilege historians is what is required.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    I think if you take the time to read the two volumes I mentioned you will realise your presentation of it here doesn’t do it justice. If you don’t take the time, perhaps it’s your own lenses need clarity.

  • Granni Trixie

    Insofar as you are judging on the two works alone you are right ofcourse – But I think it’s reasonable to judge him as historian more broadly. (And I have read the Milltown book which I found v interesting and well researched).

  • Granni Trixie

    Sorry I/we got sidetracked from commenting on the programme which suggests to me at least that much thought has gone into coming up with an interesting programme to foster discussion.

    I thnk it is timely to compare the JH programme to WB Feile somethng I look forward to each year and manage to attend a fair few pieces of drama,debates and exhibitions. That said, I always have a sense that the WB programme
    is driven by organisers having to toe a certain party line despite the odd “outsider” included (for window dressing,presumably).

  • Thomas Barber

    I wasn’t being disrespectful to Tom Concubhar he’s an absolute gentlemen and he cannot be said not to be a learned man about past events and happenings in this part of the world but he’s no more a historian than Ruth Dudley Edwards is.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    A few time recently I’ve mentioned F.S.L. Lyons criticism in 1971 of the Constitutional Historians whose “revisionism” so informs modern Irish centrist politics. I quote from something I’d posted about month back:

    ” During the early flourishes of what we now call “Revisionism”, in November 1971 (at UCD), Lyons delivered a carefully constructed rebuke to the new “Constitutional historians”, many of whom had been his pupils. In defence the integrity of historical research, he called for them to not to so readily desert the all important pursuit of objectivity and balance. In Lyons’ opinion those motivated in their writing of history by political or patriotic considerations would select only evidence supporting their preferred cause. Such “historians” must inevitably write history in every way as flawed as the hagiographers of the 1916 Easter Rising whom they despised.”

    Lyons’ point is that history is about looking at the numerous possible interpretations and weighing them against each other. Tom Hartley and Ruth Dudley Edwards, who are both on the Panel Discussion on Tuesday are committed advocates for political interpretations which must, consciously or unconsciously, edit out any evidence which does not fully confirm their case, performing as a barrister must perform for a client. Neither can be seriously considered as an historian in the fullest sense as the primary concern of each is for advocacy rather than for the discipline of history. Like the discipline of medicine, history is not simply about reading and remembering a lot of stuff, it’s about how what is read is evaluated and applied to the human condition. And, respectfully Conchubar, the value of Tom’s work is about the information he has accumulated and re-articulated, not his evaluation of this material.