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Communicating Memory & History

Edited By Nicole Maurantonio and David W. Park

Communicating Memory & History takes as its mission the job of giving communication history its full due in the study of memory. Taking three keywords—communication, history, and memory—representing related, albeit at times hostile, fields of inquiry as its point of departure, this book asks how the interdisciplinary field of memory studies can be productively expanded through the work of communication historians. Across the chapters of this book, contributors employ methods ranging from textual analysis to reception studies to prompt larger questions about how the past can be alternately understood, contested, and circulated.

Communicating Memory & History is ideal for teaching, including case studies that elaborate different ways to approach issues in memory studies. While some foundational knowledge would be useful, it is possible to use the text without extensive knowledge of the literature. This book is of particular interest to professors, graduate students, and advanced undergraduate students of communication and media studies, as well as scholars and students in cultural studies, history, and sociology—disciplines where one finds steady consideration of issues related to communication, communication history, and memory.

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7. “Taking Back” a Post-Conflict City: Tourism, Anniversary Memory, and the New Histories of Belfast (Carolyn Kitch)


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7. “Taking Back” a Post-Conflict City: Tourism, Anniversary Memory, and the New Histories of Belfast


In June of 2014, amid cheering onlookers, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II walked through the gates of the Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast, Northern Ireland, flanked by First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Among inmates the Gaol housed during its 150-year history were political prisoners on both sides of the Troubles, the violent twentieth-century conflict, peaking in the 1970s and 1980s, between Ulster Protestant loyalists (or unionists, wanting to remain part of Great Britain) and Irish Catholic republicans (or nationalists, wanting to be part of a free and whole Ireland). Both Robinson, head of the Democratic Unionist Party, and McGuinness, a former Irish Republican Army leader who was by then a Sinn Fein politician, had served time in the prison. Their 2014 visit was a press event, in which they joined the Queen in promoting Northern Ireland’s “creative industries.”

Unthinkable three decades earlier, this scene was widely covered by news media. BBC News noted that the prison is in “one of the toughest parts of town” and concluded that the visit “shows that there are now fewer areas out-of-bounds, even to the Queen.”2 The Belfast Telegraph summarized this event’s meaning: “Once a forbidding facility synonymous with the dark years of the conflict, the transformation of the notorious prison into a popular visitor attraction is symbolic...

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