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Reimagining Ireland podcast

'Reimagining Ireland' is a podcast recorded in 2019 which brings events and research from the Centre for Irish Studies at Aarhus University into a wider transnational community. The series is available in both Danish and English from Spreaker, Spotify and Itunes. If you missed these events live on campus, you can now become part of the conversation and get access to some of the key issues raised here!

Ep. 06 – Walking Wounded: Brexit & Nordirland

Episode 6 introduces the research of CISA affiliate Sara Dybris McQuaid. Sara Dybris McQuaid is an associate professor at Aarhus University and director of the Centre for Irish Studies in Aarhus (CISA).

For more than 20 years, she has researched the peace process in Northern Ireland. When she recently had to find a metaphor that illustrates the Northern Irish peace process she suddenly thought of an old pop song by Everything But The Girl...


Ep. 05 – Greek Tragedies and Irish Politics: Classical Influences & Irish Culture

Episode 5 introduces the research of CISA affiliate Isabelle Torrance. Isabelle Torrance is Professor at the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University and the Principal Investigator of an ERC project on Classical Influences and Irish Culture.

Ireland has a very special relationship with Classics that goes back more than 1000 years. During the bloody conflict in Northern Ireland, a number of authors - including Seamus Heaney - interpreted Greek tragedies in modern theater settings and were thus able to express strong attitudes to the conflict under the cover of classic tales written 2500 years earlier.


Ep. 04 – Magdalene Laundries and the Maze Prison: Digging in the Uncomfortable Past

Episode 4 introduces the research of CISA affiliate Laura McAtackney. Laura McAtackney is Associate Professor in Sustainable Heritage Development at Aarhus University. Unlike most other archaeologists, she does not dig in the past - but in the present.

What becomes heritage? What can we remember and what do we tend to forget? Laura McAtckney's research has brought her to Irish prisons and institutions such as a Magdalene Laundry in Ireland and the Long Kesh Maze prison in Northern Ireland.


Ep. 03 – The Catholic Church and the women from the Magdalene Laundries

This 3rd episode of the podcast series ‘Reimagining Ireland’ presents Katherine O’Donnell, who is associate professor of philosophy at University College Dublin. On March 14, O’Donnell was a guest lecturer at Aarhus University as part of the ‘Engaging Conflict and Culture’ course on the MA programme in Intercultural Studies. Her contribution to the course was to discuss the ethics of intervention and how academics can become activists, as well as exploring the Magdalene Laundries as a specific case of transitional justice.

In 2013 the Irish government issued a formal apology to the thousands of women who had been abused by the religious orders at the Magdalene Laundries. In this episode, Katherine O’Donnell discusses why – and how – the Catholic Church succeeded in making a fortune on systematic exploitation of vulnerable women, without public and official interference. Katherine O’Donnell is the principal investigator of the Magdalene Oral History Project and in this podcast, she talks about her work with the Magdalenes in recognizing what they were put through and transforming political and national responsibility.


Ep. 02 – How are political conflicts portrayed in documentaries? Father and son offer different perspectives

This second episode of ‘Reimagining Ireland’ builds on a visit to Aarhus by documentary film maker Donal Foreman. On April 23-24 his film ‘The Image you Missed’ was screened as part of a workshop and talk, in co-operation with DocLounge, Centre for Irish Studies and the research programme ‘Uses of the Past’. The workshop focused on the role of images in dealing with conflict in Northern Ireland and it was a unique opportunity to discuss how we may use found footage and archival images to explore transnational, intergenerational memories of conflict and struggle.

For over 30 years, Arthur MacCaig, documented the Northern Irish conflict. Meanwhile, his son Donal Foreman grew up in Dublin. After MacCaig's death, the idea for the documentary film "The Image You Missed" began to be formed, weaving together the story of a son's attempt to get to know his late father, with the history of the conflict in Northern Ireland. The respective recordings of Father and son show two very different approaches to Irish nationalism, the role of images in a political struggle, and the competing claims of personal and political responsibility of film makers. In this way, an exciting cinematic exploration of how documentary film director position themselves in relation to political conflict emerge: Which stories do you tell about the conflict - and which stories do you avoid telling? In this podcast, these are the issues, which documentary maker Donal Foreman explore.


Ep. 01 – How do we commemorate the past? The continuing politico-cultural impact of the 1916 Easter Rising

This first podcast from the Centre for Irish Studies Aarhus presents Lance Pettitt, associate lecturer in English and Film at Birkbick, University of London. On March 6, Pettitt visited Aarhus University to talk about ‘A Terrible Beauty Televised: Screening 1916’, and how the impact of social and cultural change shapes production and reception in film. The talk was given in conjunction with the BA course ‘Pluck of the Irish – A politico-cultural history from independence to Brexit’ offered by the English degree programme at AU.

Lance Pettitt, has done extensive research on how the Easter Rising was commemorated by the Irish national broadcaster RTÈ in 1966. In this episode, Pettitt discusses why it is worth taking a closer look at how a nation chooses to commemorate significant, historical events at different distances. In what is officially called a 'decade of centenaries' 2012-2022, Ireland is commemorating events that led to political independence from Britain a hundred years ago, but also to civil war and the partition of Ireland. The centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising took place in 2016, the same year the UK voted to leave the European Union and in this podcast Lance Pettitt also discusses the relevance of historical events for contemporary politics.