Ire­land, Eu­ro­pe and Br­e­xit: Cul­tu­ral Dis­cour­ses on Eu­ro­pean Com­mu­ni­ty (EU-IRL-CULT)

Jean Monnet Module at the Department of English and American Studies

(co-funded by the European Union and Paderborn University)

"I have always believed that Europe would be built through crises, and that it would be the sum of their solutions." (Jean Monnet)

Brexit, with the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union as the first member state ever, can be seen as one of the EU's most serious crises to date. It not only has political, economic, social and cultural effects on the UK and the EU as a whole, but it particularly reshapes the role of the Republic of Ireland within the EU and the region of Northern Ireland within the UK. Creating a new EU-external border between Ireland and the UK, Brexit enforces divisionary lines between two countries that have historically been related by conflict as well as by cross-border connections and cooperation. Despite the "Northern Ireland Protocol" granting a special role to Northern Ireland to prevent an inner-Irish border, Brexit threatens the peace process there. After all, this region voted 55.8 % for remaining in the EU (Electoral Commission), as some citizens feel strong ties with the Republic of Ireland whereas others clearly identify as British-Northern Irish.

Against this background, the Jean Monnet module creates six seminars and three public events at Paderborn University that examine cultural discourses about Europe, Ireland and Brexit from a Cultural Studies perspective. Based on Monnet's belief that "Europe would be built through crises, and that it would be the sum of their solutions", the project addresses the challenges and opportunities Brexit poses for Europe as an imagined community and a shared sense of European cultural identity characterised by values of democracy, solidarity and cooperation. For this purpose, it analyses cultural representations of Ireland and Northern Ireland and their relations to Europe and Britain.

Jean Monnet modules are short teaching programmes in European Studies co-funded by the European Union. They bring innovative and interesting EU content to their learners. They also include specific research activities as well as events geared to the general public.

Se­mi­nars and events

Joint student conference with papers and poster presentations by students of the seminars Ireland, Europe and Brexit in Contemporary Cultural Discourse, Radio Drama and Video Game Adaptations

30 June 2023, 9:00-16:00, room J4.219. All those interested in the conference and individual presentations are very welcome to attend.

Cinematic Representations of Dublin as an Irish Music Capital

Guest lecture in the seminar Ireland, Europe and Brexit in Contemporary Cultural Discourse, 23 June 2023, 9:15-10:45, room C4.208. All those interested in the lecture are very welcome to attend.

(L.008.32390 Ireland, Europe and Brexit in Contemporary Cultural Discourse)

This seminar focuses on contemporary representations of Ireland and on cultural discourses about Brexit and its consequences for Britain, Ireland and the EU. As a member state of the European Union, the Republic of Ireland plays a significant role after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU in 2020. Both Ireland and Northern Ireland are now shaped by a new EU-external border, with the “Northern Ireland Protocol” granting a special role to this region of the United Kingdom. Continuing political, social and cultural debates about this protocol, however, show the need to focus more strongly on the situation of the people in Northern Ireland, Ireland and in the border region. For these purposes, we will analyse contemporary cultural representations of Ireland and Northern Ireland in literature, newspaper journalism, movies, etc., and spontaneously follow the ongoing discussion throughout the summer of 2023. In this respect we will also discuss European values, such as freedom, democracy and cultural diversity as represented in Irish literature and culture.

The Good Friday Agreement meets the Windsor Framework: Contemporary Perspectives on Northern Ireland

Guest lecture in the seminar Borders and National/European Identity: (Northern) Irish and British Perspectives, 1 March 2023, 13:00-16:30, room J4.219. All those interested in the lecture are very welcome to attend.

(L.008.32390 Borders and National / European Identity: (Northern) Irish and British Perspectives)

In this seminar, we will investigate the role of borders in the (trans)formation of regional and national identities on the Irish isle across various historical periods. Of special significance for our analysis are the time of British colonisation, the Partition of Ireland, the civil war in Northern Ireland known as “The Troubles”, the years of the “Celtic Tiger” boom as well as the current situation concerning Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol. Indeed, the result of the 2016 EU referendum impacts Ireland as much as Britain. To better understand this most recent development, we will consider (Northern) Irish as well as British perspectives on Brexit, border issues, and European identity. In this present context, another key focus for our discussion also lies on these imagined communities’ attitudes towards immigration. For our investigation of the aforementioned topics and periods, we will draw on a large variety of cultural products such as literary texts, films/TV series, political rhetoric as well as texts from traditional and social media.

"Shared Experiences and Grievable Lives: Engagements with Subjectivity and Community in Post-Celtic Tiger Migration Narratives"

Guest lecture in the seminar Ireland and Europe: Imagined Communities, 7 July, 11:15-12:45, room P1.2.21. All those interested in the lecture are very welcome to attend it.

“‘The Troubles’ in Recent Historical Fiction: Constructing History and National Identity.”

 Guest lecture in the seminar Ireland and Europe: Imagined Communities, 19 May, 11:15-12:45, room P1.2.21. All those interested in the lecture are very welcome to attend.

(L.008.32470 Ireland and Europe: Imagined Communities)

In this seminar we will concentrate on Ireland within Europe. As a member state of the European Union, the Republic of Ireland plays a significant role after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU in 2020. As a result of Brexit, both Ireland and Northern Ireland, their politics, societies, economies, and cultures are now shaped by a new EU-external border. In order to understand Ireland’s special role in this regard, we will investigate its colonial past under British rule, the partition of Ireland and the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1921 and 1922, and the time from its accession to the European Community in 1973 until today. A major focus will also be on Northern Ireland and “The Troubles”, i.e. the civil war in Northern Ireland from 1969-1998 and the present situation on the Irish Isle. In our analyses of literary texts and cultural products we will trace and discuss ideas of community: Irish, Northern Irish and European community and the values and ideas associated with Europe.

Virtual meeting organised by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency in Brussels

On 7 April the European Education and Culture Executive Agency invited the Jean Monnet coordinators to a virtual kick-off meeting. Scholars from the EU member states, the Ukraine, Turkey, Nigeria, South Africa, India, China, the US and several other countries attended the meeting as an official start to their projects in European Studies during the next three years. For further information please visit https://www.uni-paderborn.de/nachricht/97759

(L.008.32445 Ireland, Europe and Brexit: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives)

This seminar focuses on Ireland in a European context and considers its history, culture, economy and political developments in historical and contemporary perspective. Throughout its history Ireland has always been in close contact and exchange with other nations, may it be as the result of foreign invasion into Irish territories, for example by the Vikings and the English, as a result of migration when many thousands of Irish people left their country for Europe, the United States or Canada, for example during the Great Famine of 1845-1849, or as a result of economic practices within the EU. We will analyse cultural representations and memory practices of these and further instances in Irish history, like the partition of Ireland and the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922 as well as the armed conflict in Northern Ireland until 1998 known as “The Troubles”. We will use these examples to analyse the notion of Ireland as an “imagined community”, its position in Europe as well as its relations to Britain in order to understand contemporary issues that concern Ireland and Northern Ireland in the wake of Brexit.

 

EU-IRL-CULT: Ireland, Europe and Brexit,    Jean Monnet Module 2021-2024

 
 

The project team­­ ­Dr. Dennis Henneböhl and Dr. Sara Strauß

Kontakt

Dr. Sara Strauß

Project Coordinator EU-IRL-CULT

Department of English and American Studies

Phone +49 5251 60-3908

email: sara.strauss(at)upb(dot)de

twitter: @eu_irl_cult