This two-day conference will examine the role of ‘activism’ in Irish history. It aims to draw together both historians and contemporary activists in a dialogue about the historical contexts and parallels of recent campaigns, as well as examining the political and ‘activist’ role of historical scholarship itself.
The repeal of the constitutional ban on abortion in 2018, alongside the successful campaign for marriage equality three years earlier, have been seen as watershed moments in modern Irish history, ostensibly signalling the remarkable transformation of a socially conservative and highly patriarchal country. Both of these historic votes represented a victory for concerted and long term campaigns by activists stretching back decades.Yet the broad-based grass-roots campaigns that drove them also echoed a much longer history of Irish activism, both at home and abroad, that has often belied this familiar story of Irish conservatism.
The keynote talk at the event will be given by Ailbhe Smyth, feminist academic, founding convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth, and co-director of Together for Yes.
The programme can be found here: irishactivisthistories.home.blog/programme