Global history is sometimes criticized for a kind of vague superficiality: reducing detailed and complex events to a whirlwind blur of mobility, connection, or convergence, either overemphasizing the coherence of its theses around a diverse, complicated world or else forced to make them so general as to generate little meaningful argument. As David Bell put it in his 2014 review of the edited volume A World Connecting, even the best global historians “f[i]nd it difficult to bring whole continents and oceans together into a coherent story.” But even the approach’s harshest critics often admit global history can have considerable value when it provides new perspectives on local events whose interpretation has been dominated by limited national or regional horizons.
Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Edinburgh are now providing the opportunity to shed just such light on the Irish Revolution – from the Easter Rising to the end of the Irish Civil War – with an invitation to a workshop focusing on the movement’s global context between 1916 and 1923. The organizers hope to provoke engagement on such questions as the role of the Irish diaspora in the events of that period, the ties between the Irish Revolution and broader questions about colonialism and empire, and how Erez Manela’s concept of a “Wilsonian moment” impacted the Irish Question.
Interested participants should send a 250 word abstract and short bio to convenor Dr. Darragh Gannon (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 1 March 2018. The workshop will take place over one day on 23 June; travel funding may be available for those in need. The broader “Global Irish Revolution” research project between the two universities, of which the workshop is part, have also set up a twitter feed – @globalirishrev – where there are sure to be updates.