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The Australian National University

“A Peace of Sorts”: A Cultural History of the Belfast Agreement, 1998-2007

Date and time

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 16:15 - 17:30


McDonald Room, Menzies Library, ANU

Eamonn McNamara will present his MPhil thesis on the 1998 Belfast or Good Friday Agreement (GFA), a political agreement in Northern Ireland which offered the chance to end the thirty year conflict in Northern Ireland known as ‘the Troubles.’ While many scholars have studied the political, economic and social impacts of the GFA, few have focused on how the Agreement meant to non-political actors, especially ‘victims’ of the Troubles. The GFA not only attempted to confine violence to the past. It shaped the ways in victims, journalists and the ‘public’ could reflect on the fresh start the Agreement promised and facilitated a shift in Northern Ireland’s public discourse which began to favour victims, rather than paramilitaries. The GFA shaped new ways in which ideas of peace, justice, reconciliation and victimhood were debated in Northern Ireland’s public discourse and how the public (especially victims of violence) reflected on their own changing identities in the process.


Eamonn McNamara is an MPhil candidate at the ANU School of History whose research focuses on constructing a ‘Cultural History of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, 1998-2007’. After graduating as a Dean’s Scholar from the University of Wollongong, Eamonn completed honours at the ANU in 2014 where he currently tutors history. Eamonn has presented academic papers in Ireland and Australia and is currently the Postgraduate Representative for the Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (ISAANZ). When not studying he plays Gaelic football (badly) and plays guitar for a funk band (not as badly).


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