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Island Voices: Being Irish, Being British

Start Date: 20 September 2018

End Date: 20 September 2018

Time: 1pm- 2pm

Venue: Tower Museum

Address: Derry

Admission: Free

Being Irish, Being British: Difference, similarity, and the work of imagining group boundaries.

This talk will examine the construction of identities in our society. It will start from the premise that, broadly speaking, the peoples of our islands share the same culture. Nevertheless, particular differences in social identity come to dominate political processes. By examining group identities, the marking of ethno-national boundaries and the use of symbols and rituals, we can better understand how the work of imaging communities takes place. How is it that people with such similar life experiences come to view themselves as an ‘us’ and a ‘them’?  By looking at examples such as the attachment to symbols, the use of historical narratives, and the practices of ‘telling’ in everyday life the talk will explore similarity, difference, conflict and peace.

Dr. Dominic Bryan is a Reader in Social Anthropology at Queen’s University Belfast. From 2002-2014 he was Director of the Institute of Irish Studies. Research interests include political rituals, symbols, commemoration, public space and identity in Northern Ireland. He is author of ‘Orange Parades: The Politics of Ritual Tradition and Control’.  In 2014 he was co-author of ‘The Flag Dispute: Anatomy of a Protest’ and recently was co-author of ‘Flags: Towards a New Understanding’.  Dominic is also the Chair of Diversity Challenges and co-Chair of the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition.