Guy Beiner on "Ulster’s Sounds of Silence: Excavating Gaps in Collective Memory to Uncover Pockets of Social Forgetting"


Location: Room 1050 Jenkins Nanovic Halls

Guy Beiner Medium2

Guy Beiner is Professor of Modern History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His specialty is the study of history and memory in modern Ireland. In recent years, his focus has been the study of social forgetting.

Professor Beiner is author of the award-winning Remembering the Year of the French: Irish Folk History and Social Memory (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007), which was the subject of his research while a National Endowment for the Humanities-Keough Fellow at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies during the 2006-2007 academic year.

His newest book, Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster (Oxford University Press, 2018), is also the winner of several awards, including the American Historical Association George L. Mosse Prize for “an outstanding major work of extraordinary scholarly distinction, creativity, and originality” in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since 1500; the Katharine Briggs Award for a distinguished contribution to folklore studies; and the National University of Ireland Irish Historical Research Prize, which recognizes the best new work of Irish historical research.

Professor Beiner's talk at Notre Dame builds on his research for Forgetful Remembrance.

He will discuss how an appreciation of traditions of vernacular historiography proves useful in penetrating Northern Ireland’s culture of reticence and discovering the dynamics of social forgetting, through which recollections of discomfiting historical events were shrouded in silence, while obliquely recalled in more private and local settings. HIs case study will be one that spans more than two centuries, since the United Irish Rebellion of 1798.

This academic year, Professor Beiner is a Visiting Burns Scholar at Boston College.

Read more about Professor Beiner's scholarship and fellowship year at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies