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Beyond the Archive: Recovering Voices of Freedom and Partition in India

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Trinity Long Room Hub

Fellows Square

Trinity College Dublin

2 Dublin

Ireland

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This public lecture by Sucheta Mahajan, Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and author of Independence and Partition: The Erosion of Colonial Power in India (2000) is organised by Trinity Long Room Hub as part of the Out of the Ashes Lecture Series. The lecture will be followed by a conversation with Dr Anna Bryson (QUB).

This lecture extends the idea of ‘the archive’ beyond its traditional avatar to the creation of an archive of testimonies around the independence and partition of India. This involves a movement away from the confines of the written archives, to the domain of oral history and to recovery of the voices of ordinary people. The lecture considers the nature of memory of the marginalized and memory work among those who have been historically silenced. The process of remembering and reinterpreting their pastends up being one of empowering the oppressed.In the case of remembered histories of violence and trauma, the challenge for the historian is to ensure that memory work is not divisive, but can transcend the divide between communities locked in conflict.

About Anna Bryson
Dr Anna Bryson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law, working on two ESRC funded projects - 'Apologies, Abuses and Dealing with the Past' and 'Lawyers, Conflict and Transition'. She is the 2016 winner of the Vice-Chancellor's Research Impact Prize (postdoctoral research category).

Her research has developed along three closely related lines: modern Irish history, socio-legal studies and conflict transformation. She has considerable experience of conducting interviews for social and historical investigation.

The Out of the Ashes lecture series is generously supported by Sean and Sarah Reynolds.

About the series

Year 2 (2019–20) Destroying considers a form of cultural atrocity now subject to international war crimes prosecution—the deliberate targeting of cultural heritage as a means to control social memory and to erase identities. The programme includes a special panel event on the Four Courts Blaze of 1922 organized in association with the Irish National Committee of the Blue Shield. The basis for the Blue Shield is the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property and its additional first and second protocols, ratified by Ireland in 2018.

This three-year lecture series explores the theme of cultural loss and recovery across the centuries, from the destruction of the Library of Alexandria in antiquity to contemporary acts of cultural loss and destruction.

A panel of world-leading experts reflects on how societies deal with cultural trauma through reconstruction and commemoration, and on how the international community should respond to cultural loss.

The series is global in scope, pan-historical and multi-disciplinary in approach, and features a panel of international scholars and practitioners of the highest calibre.

See details of the full series here

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Trinity Long Room Hub

Fellows Square

Trinity College Dublin

2 Dublin

Ireland

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