Arts & Media Graduate Programme: Beyond the Past: Theoretical approaches to ‘post’-conflict culture
Dr Magennis is a Lecturer in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature at the University of Salford. She is a specialist in modern and contemporary literature, with particular intellectual interests in contemporary fiction, Irish literature, Northern Irish cultural production and critical theory. She is the author of Sons of Ulster: Masculinities and the Contemporary Northern Irish Novel. She sits on the Executive Council for the British Association for Irish Studies and on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Irish Studies Review.
This paper seeks to complicate the ways in which trauma theory has been readily applied to post-conflict literature and culture, with a focus on Northern Ireland. It will examine the ways in which discourses of conflict resolution can be complicated by attitudes to narrative and memory in contemporary fiction and the ways in which theoretical work on grief, affect and hope can be productively used to discuss these texts. The aim is to explain the broad theoretical basis for my current work on the Northern Irish novel, so as to start conversations with colleagues and post-graduate students engaged in work around memory, history and culture.