Aarhus University Seal

Events and news

Upcoming events hosted by CISA and affiliates

No events found.

Past events


The 1916 Revolution: Context and Consequences. Lecture by Prof. Jane Ohlmeyer


April 28th 4-6 pm 

Venue: Building 1441, room 112

Nobelparken, 8000 Aarhus C

Arranged by CISA, and introduced by Cliona Managhan, ambassador of Ireland.

Abstract: The Easter Rising of 1916 was a failure militarily but it changed utterly the face of Irish History.  It set in train an unstoppable process, which led to the separation of Ireland from Great Britain and accelerated the demise of the British Empire, which by 1914 traversed the globe.  This talk sets the 1916 Rising in a wider chronological context, looking at the rise of nationalism in Ireland from the seventeenth century.  It also explores the long-term consequences of the Rising for Ireland, Britain and the British Empire.  

Brief Bio: Jane Ohlmeyer is Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute and the Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Modern History at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin. She is currently Chair of the Irish Research Council and was the founding Vice President for Global Relations at Trinity (2011-14).  She is an expert on Ireland and empire in the early modern period.  Yale University Presss published her most recent book, Making Ireland English: The Irish Aristocracy in the seventeenth ccentury and she is currently working on another called ‘Colonial Ireland, Colonial India’.http://cc.au.dk/en/news-and-events/event/artikel/guest-lecture-by-professor-jane-ohlmeyer/

Authors in Aarhus presents Donal Ryan and Oona Frawley from Ireland


Wednesday, april 20th,

19:00 til 21:00

Venue: Hovedbiblioteket

In cooperation with CISA.

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of Ireland’s most important historical event; the 1916 Easter Rising, during which the country proclaimed its independence. For the occasion, two great Irish voices will be present at Dokk1, and will lead the audience through a fascinating take on Irish identity, culture and history over the past hundred years, with an important focus on Ireland today.

Donal Ryan’s debut novel, The Spinning Heart (Danish title:  Rust), was a number one bestseller in Ireland and a Boston Globe bestseller in the US. Set in Ireland around the time of the economic crash of 2008, the novel digs deep into man’s heart and into human relationships at the time of financial crisis. It won the 2013 Guardian First Book Award in the UK, and was long-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. He is also the author of The Thing About December and A Slanting of the Sun, which will be released in Danish early April.

Oona Frawley is a celebrated Irish academic and novelist. She has taught in many renowned universities, and she in 2014 published her highly-acclaimed first novel, Flight, a beautiful tale of migration. It was nominated for an Irish Book Award in the 'newcomer' category. Oona's research interests lie in Irish Studies, particularly of the late 19th and 20th centuries, in memory and trauma studies, and in ecocriticism.

The event will be in English.


Lunch lecture: Parading Memory and Remembering Conflict. Collective memory in transition in Ireland

By Sara Dybris McQuaid

Wednesday, March 16th, 1215-13.00

Location: Nobelparken, building 1481, room 366

In Northern Ireland, parades have long been important carriers of politico-cultural identities and collective memories, as well as arenas of struggle and conflict. Taking as its starting point that these contests over meaning are always framed by their contexts of articulation both in temporal and spatial terms, this article examines the role of parades in the current ‘post-conflict’ phase of the peace process as it plays out in a particular location, namely North Belfast. Using theories of cultural and collective memory and examples from republican and loyalist parades in North Belfast, it is argued that there is fear of memory and identity collapse in particular communities on the margins of the peace process, leading to a conscious doubling of efforts to (re)articulate the hidden recesses of memory in the current transition. In this, the patterns of ‘competitive commemoration’ in parades should be understood both horizontally: as majority memory traditions move to minority memory positions; and vertically: in relation to the increasing dissonance between vernacular practices of conflict and the official post-conflict discourses in Northern Ireland. Central to these arguments is the recognition that parading traditions are at once presentist, competitive instruments and also emotional and embodied practices to ensure the continuity of identity. It follows, that both dimensions must be recognised together, if cognitive and visceral templates of conflict are to be explained and shifted. This article applies a wide-angle memory studies lens to capture the two together and explore the changing parade-scape.

Memoir-writing and the peace process in Northern Ireland: New Labour and the politics of self-justification.

Friday, November 27th. 2015


Nobelparken, Building 1483, room 251

Stephen Hopkins is the author of the book The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict (Liverpool University Press, 2013), which examines memoir-writing by many of the key political actors in the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’ (1969–1998), and argues that memoir has been a neglected dimension of the study of the legacies of the violent conflict. It investigates these sources in the context of ongoing disputes over how to interpret Northern Ireland’s recent past. A careful reading of these memoirs can provide insights into the lived experience and retrospective judgments of some of the main protagonists of the conflict. The period of relative peace rests upon an uneasy calm in Northern Ireland. Many people continue to inhabit contested ideological territories, and in their strategies for shaping the narrative ‘telling’ of the conflict, key individuals within the Protestant Unionist and Catholic Irish Nationalist communities can appear locked into exclusive and self-justifying discourses. In such circumstances, while some memoirists have been genuinely self-critical, many others have utilised a post-conflict language of societal reconciliation in order to mask a strategy that actually seeks to score rhetorical victories and to discomfort traditional enemies. Memoir-writing is only one dimension of the current ad hoc approach to ‘dealing with the past’ in Northern Ireland, but in the absence of any consensus regarding an overarching ‘truth and reconciliation’ process, this is likely to be the pattern for the foreseeable future. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of a major resource for understanding the conflict.


The Irish Republican movement and contested memories of the 1980-81 hunger strike

Thursday, November 26th. 2015

4-6 p.m.

Building 1481. room 341


This lecture will analyse the politics of contested memory in relation to the contemporary trajectory of the Irish Provisional Republican Movement (Sinn Féin and the IRA).

For more information, please see the poster.

Stephen Hopkins is Lecturer in Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester, and author of the book The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict (Liverpool University Press, 2013).


CISA twins with CLIC

From October 2021, PI of the ERC project Classical Influences and Irish Culture (CLIC), Isabelle Torrance takes over from Sara Dybris McQuaid as Director of CISA.

Taking a break

The Centre for Irish Studies is temporarily shutting down most of our activities over the year 2020-21.

The Reimagining Ireland Podcast is still available

Events and information relating to the ERC-funded project "Classical Influences and Irish Culture" (CLIC) can be found here.   

All previously planned events and lectures hosted by CISA and affiliates will still be held, if Covid-19 allows.

CPH:DOX movies now available

Because of Covid-19, the CPH:DOX movie festival sadly had to be cancelled. However, it's now possible to buy access to the movies on their website. Among these are the movies "Lost Lives" and "Trouble" about the Troubles in Ireland.  

Lost Lives: 

A look back at the bloody conflict in Northern Ireland, which lasted for more than 30 years, but has roots that are several hundred years old.

For over three decades, Northern Irish Catholics and Protestants have been fighting each other for the destiny of Northern Ireland. Nationalists against Unionists, Republicans against Loyalists. Both sides are convinced that theirs is the true path. ‘Lost Lives’ is based on the book of the same name, which tells the story of each of the 3,700 men, women and children, who lost their lives in a conflict that lasted for more than three decades, but whose roots go back several hundred years. Liam Neeson, Kenneth Branagh and Michelle Fairley are among the Irish voices who speak about ‘the Troubles’, accompanied by historical archive material and a score by The Ulster Orchestra.


A northern Irish Romeo & Juliet story from the troubled 1970s, reconstructed with a female artist playing the role of her own father.

As her Irish father doesn’t want to take part in her films, the artist Mariah Garnett must appear in his place. She cuts her hair, dresses like a man and lip synchs her interviews with him in the places in Belfast where she reconstructs scenes from their shared life, in order to understand him – and herself. Her father was a ragged young Protestant with messy hair and a cotton coat in the troubled 70s, when the conflict with the Catholics was still bitter and bloody. Like a Northern Irish Romeo with his Catholic girlfriend Maura as his Julie, her father was involved in the old conflict in more ways than one, and this has completely unpredictable consequences in an equally unpredictable film, which blends archive footage from a proud and wrecked Belfast with androgynous re-enactments. ‘Trouble’ is a film with three main characters: the teenager, who tries to find his identity in the Northern Irish civil rights movement. The young woman who tries to understand her father. And last, but not least, Belfast itself in all its poverty and rich history.

Call for Papers

Éire-Ireland: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies and guest editors Sara Dybris McQuaid (Aarhus University) and Ferghal McGarry (Queen’s University, Belfast) welcome submissions for a Spring/Summer 2022 special issue on Politics and Narrative in Ireland’s Decade of Commemorations. The CFP is extended to January 31st 

How do you remember difficult histories in democratic societies? Workshop with Svendborg Welfare Museum

This was the main question at a workshop organised in december '19 by the Centre for Irish Studies affiliate Laura McAtackney and the Welfare Museum in Svendborg.
In Dublin the initiative Justice for Magdalenes is trying to make a former Magdalene Laundry into a museum; archive and a space for remembrance.
The Irish working group has been very inspired by how the former poor house (totally intact!) in Svendborg is co-creating exhibitions and practices with former care leavers, survivors and people who are marginalised in contemporary society. In both the Danish and Irish contexts apologies have been given by the state, but that is only ever one step of historical - and ongoing - recognition and reckoning.

The workshop was made possible through a grant from the Irish Embassy.

To learn more about Justice for Magdalenes Research and the process of turning a place of pain into a museum-space for remembering and healing, listen to episodes 3 and 4 of our podcast "Reimagining Ireland" here

Presenting "Reimagining Ireland" an Irish Studies Podcast

CISA proudly presents our podcast "Reimagining Ireland". A podcast featuring brilliant Ireland-experts visiting Aarhus University and giving you access to some of the key-issues in Ireland research. Listen, for example, as Laura McAtackney delves into the issue of remembering and dealing with an uncomfortable past. Or Katherine O'Donnell talking about the notorious Magdalene laundries and getting into the discussion of which stories are told, which are buried and who decides? The series is available in both an English and Danish version. You can find Reimagining Ireland on Spotify, iTunes, Spreaker or here on the website.

Growing pains! "Classical Influences and Irish Culture"

CISA is about to experience some serious growing pains, as Isabelle has been awarded an ERC consolidator grant for her project 'Classical Influences and Irish Culture', which will be hosted at the School of Communication and Culture/Centre for Irish Studies. We really look forward to welcoming her to Nobelparken- and to have some sort of joint affiliates celebration in the new year! 


‘Voices & Votes – Women’s Place in Parliament’

You can now visit our ‘Voices & Votes – Women’s Place in Parliament’ exhibition in Vandrehallen (building 1413) until November 30!
The exhibition tells the hidden ‘her-story’ in the history of the UK Parliament, marking the 100 year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act. Leading us through the suffragette campaigning, protests, and achievements, the exhibition explores the history of the suffrage, with an emphasis on the struggle for women’s representation in UK politics.    

‘Politics and Narrative in Ireland’s Decade of Commemorations’

The Centre for Irish Studies and AIAS are proud to present Emilie Pine as our keynote speaker for the two-day international and multidisciplinary conference Politics and Narrative in Ireland’s Decade of Commemorations’.

Emilie Pine is currently very active in the media with her new publication ‘Notes to Self’, a ground-breaking collection of taboo-shattering essays on topics such as fertility issues, feminism, and sexual abuse. She will open the conference with a talk on 'The Memory Marketplace: Gender, Witnessing and Performance’.    

The Dictionary of Irish Biography

The Dictionary of Irish Biography is now open to students at Aarhus University, with funding from AIAS and the Embassy of Ireland! It can be found through the State Library's data base and here

The Dictionary of Irish Biography, a collaborative project between Cambridge University Press and the Royal Irish Academy, is the most comprehensive and authoritative biographical dictionary yet published for Ireland. It contains over 9,000 signed biographical articles which describe and assess the careers of subjects in all fields of endeavour, including politics, law, religion, literature, journalism, architecture, painting, music, the stage, science, medicine, engineering, entertainment and sport.    

’Rule, Britannia! Great Britain before and after Brexit’

In the spring and autumn of 2017, we ran a seminar on Brexit and nationalism(s) as part of the seminar series ’Rule, Britannia! Great Britain before and after Brexit’. We are pleased to announce that the seminar series will run again in the spring 2019 in both Aarhus and Emdrup, with two seminars on English identity and Ireland after Brexit, respectively, presented by Sara Dybris McQuaid. NB: The seminars will be in Danish    

Sara Dybris McQuaid is congratulated by Nobel Laureate John Hume

Sara Dybris McQuaid is congratulated by Nobel Laureate John Hume in 2013 after participating in a peace training programme on ‘culture and peace building’ at the International Conflict Research Institute in Northern Ireland (INCORE). INCORE brings together practitioners and academics, creating links between practice, theory and policy.

CISA in the media

13 January 2020

Sara Dybris McQuaid comments on recent developments in Northern Irish politics as a united Northern Irish government has been reinstated at Stormont after 3 years of stalemate. She points out how important this is for the otherwise disrupted peaceprocess in Northern Ireland in the aftermath of Brexit. In Danish. https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/udland/nordirland-faar-en-regering-efter-tre-aars-politisk-lammelse-ufatteligt-vigtigt-siger   

29 August 2019

As part of the interrelation-focused podcast Zetland, Sara Dybris McQuaid appeared on an episode on why the "Brexit nut" is hard to crack, with a focus on Northern Ireland and the Backstop. The format of the podcast is to deliver knowledge in a broader and more interrelated perspective rather than delivering sensation stories. In Danish. https://www.zetland.dk/historie/so4EXEzY-aejQ9Dar-35c06

4 August 2019

Sara Dybris McQuaid will in october be giving a lecture at folkeuniversitetet about Brexit and the history of the UK. Here, she gives an interview on the tensions between the individual nations within the UK and how Brexit affects especially Northern Ireland in which the conflict has gone from "finished to smoldering". In Danish. https://stiften.dk/artikel/brexit-handler-om-meget-mere-end-forholdet-til-eu

21 April 2019

On Thursday, the young journalist Lyra McKee was killed in Derry, Northern Ireland by dissident republicans. Today, Sara Dybris McQuaid discussed the implications on Danish radio. https://www.dr.dk/radio/p1/orientering/orientering-europa-75?fbclid=iwar3boqkals3om2v-voqpjg4flohksx3cotxd9o7ujfnkprnqho-lbpmumc8#!00:00:00

02 April 2019

Since entering into the Supply and Demand deal with the Conservative government in 2017, the Democratic Unionist Party has scuppered Theresa May's attempts at getting a Brexit deal over the line. Here Sara Dybris McQuaid discusses what their long game is. In Danish.

16 February 2019

Sara Dybris McQuaid is interviewed for DR P4 on the bomb in L'Derry. In Danish. https://www.dr.dk/radio/p4/p4-radioavis-radio/radioavisen-2019-02-16-12-00#!00:00:00

09 February 2019

Director, Sara Dybris McQuaid, wrote an opinion piece on how Brexit damages the broader foundation for the peace agreement in Northern Ireland, and how the damages go far beyond the border question. For Information, in Danish. https://www.information.dk/udland/2019/02/brexit-allerede-skadet-freden-irland?lst_cntrb

26 January 2019

Interview for Orientering on the nationalistic rhetorics and the border question in the Brexit debate. In Danish. https://www.dr.dk/radio/p1/orientering/orientering-weekend-2019-01-26#!00:29:17

18 December 2018

Sara Dybris McQuaid  adresses the idea of Citizens' Assemblies and deliberative democracy as ways out of the Brexit-maze and explains how they have worked in Ireland, after the same mechanism is proposed in relation to Brexit. In Danish. For P1 Morgen and for Datolinjen 24/7 

03 October 2018

CISA affiliate Annemarie Majlund interviewed film director Donal Foreman on his film The Image You Missed, which was screened at CPH:DOX film festival in the spring. The interview revolves around the questions of selection and omission in narrating memories and history, as well as generational differences. For Magasinet Europa, in Danish.

29 May 2018

Director for CISA, Sara Dybris McQuaid, discussed the external and internal forces in the 8th amendment referendum, the influence of the amendment on women, male voices in the debate, the role of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and Northern Ireland. For ’Verden Ifølge Gram’, in Danish.

27 May 2018

Radio interview with Sara Dybris McQuaid who reviews the intern and extern details of the referendum and the drafting of the law. For ’Europa i Flammer’ (at 00:33:40 ). In Danish. 

27 May 2018

Sara Dybris McQuaid discussed the consequences of the referendum on the 8th amendment, EU's role, and Northern Ireland. For ’Orientering Europa’ (at 00:01:24). In Danish.  

26 May 2018

With a resounding ’yes’ for repealing the 8th amendment, Sara Dybris McQuaid comments on how the referendum came about, the influence of women’s stories of abortion on the voting, and the possible change in Irish identity. For ‘DR2 Deadline’ (at 01:04). In Danish.

26 May 2018

News article on how the abortion stories shared on social media have been of great importance in the public opinion. From 'Jyllandsposten', in Danish. jyllands-posten.dk/international/europa/ECE10634890/lektor-irske-kvinders-aborthistorier-har-rykket-opinionen/ 

25 May 2018

Radio interview with Sara Dybris McQuaid for ‘P1 Orientering’ on why the Irish referendum is happening now, the change of the role of the Catholic Church and religion, and which society the Irish people are looking towards.

25 May 2018

Sara Dybris McQuaid comments on what has changed historically in Ireland since ‘92, such as the change in women’s status and the influence of the Catholic Church. For ‘DR2 Dagen’ (at 33:00, McQuaid is interviewed at 40:30). In Danish.

24 May 2018

Director for CISA, Sara Dybris McQuaid, discussed the impending referendum on repealing the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution, and the issues at stake. From Radio 24/7, at 00:22:20. In Danish. 

15 April 2018

Radio interview with Sara Dybris McQuaid for 'P1: Orientering Europa' about some of the issues that haven't been resolved by the peace agreement in Northern Ireland - particularly in relation to victims and survivors. In Danish.

10 April 2018

The day marks the 20th anniversary of the peace agreement in Northern Ireland, and director for CISA, Sara Dybris McQuaid, commented on the differences that it has made for Northern Ireland, and which consequences Brexit has on the agreement. From P1 Morgen, in Danish. 


20 February 2018

Sara Dybris McQuaid contributed to an article for TV2 on Jean Kennedy Smith and her crucial role in the peace-making process in Northern Ireland. In Danish. 

19 December 2017

Radio interview with Sara Dybris McQuaid on P1 'Verden ifølge Gram: Næste skridt mod skilsmisse' about whether Brexit threatens a return to the bad old days in Northern Ireland (at 15.50). In Danish. www.dr.dk/radio/p1/verden-ifoelge-gram/verden-ifoelge-gram-2017-12-19

12 December 2017

Radio interview with Sara Dybris McQuaid for 'Radio24syv' on the historical dimension of British-Irish relations in the ongoing Brexit negotiations (Discussion begins at 15.54, the interview at 18.30). In Danish. www.radio24syv.dk/programmer/datolinjen/20331537/kina-bygger-flygtningelejre-ny-amnesty-rapport

9 December 2017

Sara Dybris McQuaid comments on phase 1 of the Brexit negotiations for 'P1 Morgen' (the discussion begins at 01:01:28, and the interview with McQuaid at 01:03:00). In Danish. www.dr.dk/radio/p1/p1-morgen/p1-morgen-2017-12-09

6 December 2017

Radio interview with Sara Dybris McQuaid for 'Radio24syv - Europa i flammer' on the Brexit negotitations concerning Ireland (at 13.10). The programme aired Sunday, 10 December. In Danish. www.radio24syv.dk/programmer/europa-i-flammer/20298835/europa-i-flammer-10-12-2017

22 June 2017

Director for Centre for Irish Studies, Aarhus, Sara Dybris McQuaid, is interviewed by Altinget about Theresa May and her issues with the DUP in regards to Brexit. In Danish. www.altinget.dk/eu/artikel/theresa-may-fanget-mellem-brexit-og-en-nordirsk-mur

13 June 2017

Radio appearance by Sara Dybris McQuaid for 24/7 Datolinjen.

12 June 2017

Sara Dybris McQuaid appeared in a TV segment for Deadline. In Danish. 

21 March 2017

Radio interview with the director for Centre for Irish Studies, Sara Dybris McQuaid, on Martin McGuinness' death. For 24/7 Datolinjen, in Danish.

08 March 2017

Interview with Sara Dybris McQuaid on the voting in Northern Ireland. For Europa i Flammer, in Danish.

04 March 2017

Sara Dybris McQuaid appeared on Deadline. 

03 March 2017

Director for Centre for Irish Studies, Sara Dybris McQuaid, comments on the voting in Northern Ireland. For Europa i Flammer, in Danish.

01 March 2017

Radio interview with Sara Dybris McQuaid for DR PR1 - Orientering.

20 February 2017

Sara Dybris McQuaid made a podcast appearance for Ræson, episode Brexit May I Leave #4. On how the conflict in Northern Ireland could break out again as a result of Brexit.