The issue of gender in representations of the Northern Irish Troubles had, until recently, been largely sidelined by scholars’ focus on difference in Northern Ireland in terms of religious and sectarian divisions. The recent consideration of the Troubles through the theoretical framework of gender has highlighted the difference between male and female experiences of the Troubles, as well as the roles played by men and women in the conflict. At the same time, it has also highlighted how narratives of national identity on both sides of the conflict have tended to reinforce conventional gender roles. Using different cultural representations of the Troubles ‒ films, novels, poetry and murals ‒ as a starting point for discussion, this course looks at the Troubles through a gendered perspective and considers how issues of gender and sexuality are framed within a context of religious and sectarian violence, and different visions of nationhood.

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This seminar aims at investigating the particular role and importance of London in both national and international narratives. Drawing, among others, on ideas and theories surrounding the formation of national, metropolitan, and cultural identities (Stuart Hall et al) as well as collective memory (Jan Assmann) and imagined communities (Benedict Anderson), we will examine and analyse whether and in how far Londons role and its perception has changed over the decades and which factors may be influential in this context.