The symbiosis of oral history and agonistic memory: Voices of 68 and the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland

by Chris Reynolds

22 Jun 2021
Digital Object Identifier
Number of pages
22 (pp. 73-94)

Abstract: This article offers a reflection on the potency of combining oral history and agonistic memory. Via the specific example of a recent collaboration between the author and National Museums NI on the subject of 1968, it will be argued that the symbiotic relationship between this methodological approach and theoretical underpinning provides a potentially effective response to the current and pressing challenge of managing the legacy of the Troubles as part of the Northern Irish peace process. The success of this approach in the particular and difficult context of Northern Ireland suggests that there are potential lessons for other post-conflict societies coming to terms with the challenges of their own difficult pasts.

Keywords: Oral history, agonistic memory, Northern Ireland, 1968, museums, post-conflict, difficult pasts.

Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 9, supplementary issue 3 (Memories from the Margins: Violence, Conflict and Counter-Narratives).

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