Tuesday, 1 July 2014

WW1 Lecture Series a Hit!

A highly successful 5 week lecture series on Ireland and the First World War has just concluded at the Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith. Organised in conjunction with St Mary’s University Centre for Irish Studies, the Irish Cultural Centre  attracted over 50 people each week  to lectures explaining the impact of the Great War on Irish politics and culture.

Dr. Ivan Gibbons, WW1 Lecture Series coordinator
The series began with renowned historian Professor Joanna Bourke from Birkbeck College, University of London on The Experience of Killing in the First World War. Joanna is a leader in the field and her previous research An Intimate History of Killing; Face to Face Killing in Twentieth Century Warfare won two high-profile historical book awards. This was followed by Jim O’Hara’s lecture on Ireland and the First World War which looked at how the Irish public and political parties responded to the changing conditions that the conflict brought to the country. Jim is founder of the Irish Studies programme at St Mary’s and is chairman of the board of directors at Hammersmith Irish Cultural Centre.

WW1 Lecture Series audience at St. Paul's Hammersmith

Dr Anne Goudsmit, who has recently completed her PhD in Northern Irish fiction at St Mary’s talked on Irish war writers including Irish nationalists Francis Ledwidge and Tom Kettle and this was followed by current St Mary’s MA Irish Studies student Peter Power-Hynes describing the role of the London Irish Rifles battalions in France and the Middle East during the First World war.

Dr. Anne Goudsmit on Irish Literature in WW1

Dr Ivan Gibbons, Programme Director in Irish Studies at St Mary’s and a member of the board of directors at Hammersmith Irish Cultural Centre finished the series with a talk on Ireland and the Aftermath of the First World War which explored the Great War’s significant impact on Irish politics and society between 1918 and 1923.

WW1 Lecture Series audience enjoying a glass of wine 

Dr Gibbons, who also organised the series stated that such has been the success of the lecture series that a similar series of lectures will be organised in 2015 examining the political and historical significance of the 1916 Easter Rising on the occasion of its centenary.

WW1 Lecture Series Lecturers. Left to right: Peter Power Hynes, Dr. Anne Goudsmit, Jim O'Hara, Prof. Joanna Bourke, Dr. Ivan Gibbons

We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who made this series possible: All our speakers, all our volunteers, everyone at St. Paul's Hammersmith, Lala Restaurant, Lance Pettitt from St. Mary's University and you, the audience for packing the room out week after week! 

Please stay tuned for more lectures and Education Programme updates coming soon.

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