27 May 2016
Venue: Room 3.20, Arts 2 Building, QMUL
The rebellion of Easter 1916 was a transformative event in modern Irish history, a decisive moment which ultimately led to the collapse of British authority, paving the way for the creation of the Irish Free State, and ultimately to the declaration of a republic. On the one hand the Irish experience fits into a wider European pattern brought on by the crisis of 1914–1918, in which the rights of self-determination were pitted against an assortment of imperial regimes. But on the other hand the legitimacy of the Rising has always been subject to serious doubt on the grounds that it was an elitist insurgency without any ascertainable mandate. For this reason the justification of 1916 has tended to be retrospective, conducted in terms of its medium or even long-term implications. This half-day symposium will take a fresh look at the event itself, and at the history of its reception, raising in the process wider questions about revolution, state formation, and the creation of political traditions.