Rating: 30 credits
Prerequisites: GEG5103, GEG5110
Lectures: one per week, semester B
Seminars: one per week, semester B
Fieldwork: 7 day residential field course in Dublin and Belfast
Assessment: Coursework paper (2500 words): 30%
Group presentation: 10%
Fieldcourse report (6000 words): 60%
Module convener: Prof. Catherine Nash
Lecturer: Prof. Catherine Nash
The module aims to explore cultural geographies of identity and belonging through a focus on Ireland and Northern Ireland; to address the nature and implications of ideas of national identity and multiculturalism; to consider practical and creative approaches to problems of division and conflict through fieldwork in Dublin and Belfast.
This module explores contemporary geographies of identity and belonging in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It centres on a residential fieldcourse in Dublin and Belfast through which the key themes addressed in lectures and class discussions in preparation for our research will be further explored through our visit to both cities. The fieldcourse will involve our work as a whole group visiting key sites and participating in meetings with representatives of a wide range of organisations, and small group research tasks that feed into our collective knowledge and understanding. Our work will address the cities’ the material geographies – their key symbolic sites, public spaces, institutions, monuments and redevelopments – in relation to commemoration, urban change, inequality, conflict and exclusion, and the ways in which different organisations and groups are creatively and constructively engaging with issues of identity, diversity, inclusion and division.
In this module we consider the idea of belonging both in terms of people’s sense of cultural location, inclusion and shared identity, and in the sense of cultural ownership, property or heritage, and address the intersections between the cultural politics of belonging and identity and other social and economic processes. Though our reading, discussions and fieldwork we will explore the ways in which these intersecting questions of belonging are central to political conflict and accommodation, to anxieties about social and cultural change, to tensions between different versions of collective identity and to efforts to re-imagine the geographies of belonging in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Our focus will be on Ireland and Northern Ireland but the conceptual framing and empirical material of module provides a way engaging with these issues in public debate and social and cultural policy in other contexts.
- Acquire and extend knowledge about current academic and public debates surrounding concepts of national identity and multiculturalism in relation to the social, cultural and political geographies of Ireland and Northern Ireland and more widely.
- Develop and apply skills in the critical analysis of competing approaches to national and other forms of collective identity, though enhanced conceptual understandings and abilities to contextualise and interpret of a range of empirical source materials.
- Further develop attributes including: the capacity to interpret, discuss and present information and ideas; the ability to work independently and in groups.
General background reading
- Longley, E. and Kiberd, D. 2000, Multi-Culturalism The View from the Two Irelands, Cork: Cork University Press.
- Nash, C. (2005) ‘Equity, Diversity and Interdependence: Cultural Policy in Northern Ireland’ Antipode, 37(2) 272–300
- Nic Craith, M. (2003), Culture and Identity Politics in Northern Ireland, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.