Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 6) – Enhancing understanding in NI civil society – concluding plenary

The last of six posts shared by the organisers of a symposium exploring the “Northern Ireland Culture Wars” on Friday 22 November at the University of Ulster, Belfast. – – – The symposium was brought to a close with a lively and passionate plenary provided by some of the leading actors shaping debates about culture and identity in Northern Ireland. The session was chaired by Dr. Cathy Gormley-Heenan, Director of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences at the University … Read more

Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 5) – Youth, Education & Social Change panel with Siobhán McAlister & John Peto

The fifth of six posts shared by the organisers of a symposium exploring the “Northern Ireland Culture Wars” on Friday 22 November at the University of Ulster, Belfast. – – – This year President Obama addressed an audience of young people in Belfast in a positive upbeat speech, telling them that, “you are the first generation in this land to inherit more than just the hardened attitudes and the bitter prejudices of the past… you now live in a thoroughly … Read more

Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 4) – Culture, Politics & Society panel with Jon Tonge, Marisa McGlinchey, Catherine McGlynn & Gavin Hart

The fourth of six posts shared by the organisers of a symposium exploring the “Northern Ireland Culture Wars” on Friday 22 November at the University of Ulster, Belfast. – – – Cultural contestation has been the inevitable outworking of the parking of the constitutional question in Northern Ireland. This has significant implications for how political parties use culture as a means of pursuing their ideological aims and placating their support bases. listen to ‘.@JonTonge (Univ Liverpool) The unionist party politics … Read more

Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 3) – Memory and Cuture with Dom Bryan, Orla Muldoon & Jim McAuley

The third of six posts shared by the organisers of a symposium exploring the “Northern Ireland Culture Wars” on Friday 22 November at the University of Ulster, Belfast. – – – History, memory and commemoration play a central cultural role in societies throughout the world. Acts of collective remembrance are often important for nation building and the generation of shared senses of identity. However, in post-conflict or transitional societies, the role of history, memory and commemoration is often hotly contested. … Read more

Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 2) – Social Change and the Culture Wars panel with Fiona Bloomer & John O’Doherty

The second of six posts shared by the organisers of a symposium exploring the “Northern Ireland Culture Wars” on Friday 22 November at the University of Ulster, Belfast. – – – ‘Culture wars’ have been a persistent feature of public debate in many Western states since the 1960s including the US and the UK. The ‘frontlines’ for the culture wars have usually been defined by groups and individuals promoting both traditionalist/conservative or progressive/liberal values and ideals. Debates between these groups … Read more

Northern Ireland Culture Wars (part 1) – Paul Burgess on the battleground in contemporary NI

Back on Friday 22 November, a symposium exploring the “Northern Ireland Culture Wars” was held at the University of Ulster, Belfast. The organisers are sharing the day’s talks on Slugger, and there’ll be a post each day covering the programme. – – – The theme of culture wars was chosen because of the on-going (sometimes violent) role which debates about culture often play in contemporary Northern Ireland society, evidenced by sporadic outbursts of violence centred on flag protests, parades and … Read more

Nesbitt recommends politics over further street protests; McCallister disses talk of “culture wars” in speech to Ulster GAA

In other non-SDLP news, the Belfast Telegraph report that Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has told party colleagues via an internal bulletin that the tactic of flag protests should cease. The tactics used to protest over the flag have alienated many who instinctively supported the cause … He warned against disrupting Belfast city centre and its traders for a second Christmas. I hear talk of rallies, parades and protests. As ever, I understand and support the right for lawful and … Read more