Salford academic to organise conference marking 20th anniversary of Good Friday Agreement
Jun 14, 2017
Dr Caroline Magennis from the School of Arts and Media, together with academics from King’s College London, is co-ordinating a major academic project next year to deconstruct the legacy of the Good Friday Agreement. Following the Brexit vote and the RHI Scandal, the protections and institutions of the Agreement were under scrutiny but last week’s General Election result means this project will lead to vital, timely debate on the constitutional future of the United Kingdom. The Agreement has proven strangely resilient. It has suffered many challenges, from inside and out, for the last 20 years but at the time of writing remains enshrined in UK and Irish law. Dr Caroline Magennis, Lecturer in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature, is an expert on contemporary Northern Irish literature and culture and how this responds to peacebuilding and ‘post’-conflict society. She has previously organised a Being Human Event on the Manchester bomb and is on the executive of the interdisciplinary organisation the British Association for Irish Studies, which is committed to community work and pedagogy.
This project will involve two central strands: an Open Access Special Issue and a major international academic conference, to be held at the Irish World Heritage Centre on the 20th Anniversary of the Agreement. We understand that the perspectives of our contributors will change as the current political situation develops and look forward to lively debate on the state of play in April 2018. With leaders such as the outgoing Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny urging caution over the coalition with the DUP on the basis of the threat to the Agreement, the results of the election have led to a surge of interest in this Salford-organised event. In Greater Manchester, with its strong Irish community but also experience of the violence of the 1996 IRA bomb, the organisers seek to engage the community in a thorough consideration of what this means for British and Irish relations in our present moment.