Borders in Flux: Identities and Conflict in Ireland

a hostel atop a cliff on the Irish coast
Program Description

“Borders in Flux: Identities and Conflict in Ireland” is a Signature Seminar designed for students as part of their semester abroad with Syracuse London. Students will consider the relationship between politics and religion in Ireland, what constructs a ‘national identity’, and how the violent past of Ireland impacts the present day.

Traveling as a group to the island of Ireland, students will explore themes of religious conflict and peace-making within Ireland; the concepts of ‘Irishness’ and ‘Britishness’, and new tensions wrought by international migration and regional politics. Students will explore these topics during their travels to Dublin, Derry, and Belfast.


Field Studies Dates and Highlights

For the Fall 2020 semester, this seminar will run during the London Program mid-semester break, from Monday-Sunday, November 9-15. The group will spend time exploring how aspects of Irish history impact contemporary issues like Brexit, the eighth amendment referendum on abortion, and the current economic crisis. Activities will include:

The themes examined in this course include concepts of Irishness and Britishness; religious conflict and peacemaking attempts within Ireland; and new tensions wrought by international migration and regional politics. In each of our destinations, you will engage with aspects of Irish history to explore its impact on contemporary reactions to issues like Brexit, the eighth amendment referendum on abortion, and the current economic and housing crisis. Activities will include:

students on the Borders Seminar cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Northern Ireland-cycling around Dublin’s iconic city centre,

-hiking around scenery featured in shows like Game of Thrones, and

-examining ‘phoenix tourism’ at the Titanic Belfast.


Course Information

This seminar carries three credits in one of three disciplines: HST 300.4, REL 300.4, or PSC 400.4. You can learn more about the class through London’s Virtual Classroom, the “Questioning Borders” Symposium,  or this mock newspaper article covering the 1916 Easter Uprising.


Faculty

portrait image of Dr Maggie ScullDr Maggie Scull is a modern historian whose work explores religious institutions, secularization, political violence, sectarianism, and peace. As an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Dr. Scull focuses on the Northern Ireland Troubles and the role of society, religion, and politics in daily lives as well as international relations. After graduating from Boston University, she earned a Master’s and PhD at King’s College London while beginning her teaching career, which has included work with American students abroad.


Eligibility & Admissions

All students accepted for a semester at the London Center, including Special Programs, can apply for this seminar. Previous knowledge of Irish history or politics is not required, though space is limited and some preference may be given to students whose curricular interests best align with course themes.

For more information about this Fall 2020 Signature Seminar, see the flyer.