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Rethinking The Historiography Of Civil Rights In Derry: Memory As Resistance In Northern Ireland 1922-1969
New England ACIS Meeting (2014)
  • Margo Shea, Salem State University
Understanding the civil rights movement and the passions it aroused as an extension of Catholic community life in Derry city, instead of a break from it, suggests that the events of the late 1960s have a long and diverse historic lineage.  The motivation to call for political, social and economic change stemmed from something more than frustration, a newfound sense of entitlement, inspiration gleaned from television sets broadcasting global civil rights’ struggles or the agitation of young bucks of the baby boomer generation keen on upending the status quo.  

From before Partition to the onset of the Troubles and beyond, Derry Catholics’ community identity – its sensibilities and aspirations – consistently sought nourishment from acts and expressions of memory.  Memory animated and articulated a distinct and explicit Irish Catholic nationalism in the city in a variety of ways from a diverse set of Derry voices with striking continuity until and through the period of political conflict we know as the Troubles. This paper examines the ways in which memorial expressions articulated and created space for alternative visions of the present and the future in Derry City and suggests how understanding performances of memory as resistance invites a rethinking of the genesis of civil rights and the Troubles.
  • Irish Studies,
  • Historiography,
  • Irish History,
  • Memory Studies,
  • Cultural Memory
Publication Date
November 22, 2014
Citation Information
Margo Shea. "Rethinking The Historiography Of Civil Rights In Derry: Memory As Resistance In Northern Ireland 1922-1969" New England ACIS Meeting (2014)
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