In Ireland we are currently living through a decade of centenaries marking a chain of events in Irish history that commenced with the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill in the British House of Commons in 1912 and concluded with the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. But history should not only be about what happened in the past, but what else might conceivably have happened. In this lecture Heather Laird re-imagines commemoration, proposing ways that we can both make the roads untaken in history visible and 'remember' them. Recognising that the past could have been other than it was and that it could have given rise to other possible futures can help us in the difficult but necessary process of imaging our future as both different to and better than the here and now.
Dr. Heather Laird is a lecturer in the School of English, University College Cork. She is a postcolonial scholar whose research interests include theories and practices of resistance, critical/radical historical frameworks, and Irish culture since the early nineteenth century. Her most recent publication, Commemoration (2018), was published as part of the 'Síreacht: Longings for Another Ireland' series.