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Dr Connal Parr

Senior Lecturer

Department: Humanities

Connal's doctoral thesis on Ulster Protestant working class politics and culture since 1960 viewed political developments and recent history through the prism of dramatists and writers from this background. His current research builds on his expertise in Northern Ireland to comparatively explore how states such as South Africa, Spain, Chile and others deal with a divided and violent past. It illustrates how the arts and culture resonate with a transitional justice element, playing an active role in conflict transformation and peace-building across the world.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Connal's doctoral thesis on Ulster Protestant working class politics and culture since 1960 viewed political developments and political and social history through the prism of dramatists and writers from this background. This was the basis of his first book Inventing the Myth: Political Passions and the Ulster Protestant Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2017). The book was shortlisted for the Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize (for titles 2015-17) and the Royal Historical Society's Whitfield Prize for distinguished first books. It was also the basis of a three-month series funded by the International Fund for Ireland entitled 'Across the Lines', which took place in two border counties of Ireland in the autumn of 2019. It engaged civilians from border counties and discussed Ulster Protestant, Unionist and Loyalist identity.

His present research builds on his expertise in Northern Ireland to comparatively explore how states such as South Africa, Spain, Chile and others deal with a divided and violent past. It illustrates how the arts and culture resonate with a transitional justice element, playing an active role in conflict transformation and peace-building across the world. He is currently finishing his second book on the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Drama as Truth Commission: Reconciliation and Dealing with the Past in South African and Irish Theatre, Parr, C. 2 Jan 2021, In: Interventions
  • Northern Ireland’s 1968 at 50: agonism and protestant perspectives on civil rights, Reynolds, C., Parr, C. 2 Jan 2021, In: Contemporary British History
  • From stereotypes to solidarity: the British left and the Protestant working class, Parr, C. 25 Jun 2019, In: Renewal: A journal of social democracy
  • Ending the siege? David Ervine and the struggle for progressive Loyalism, Parr, C. 3 Apr 2018, In: Irish Political Studies
  • Paddy Devlin, the Labour Movement and the Catholic Community, Parr, C. 20 Jun 2018, The Contested Identities of Ulster Catholics, Springer
  • Cultural Responses to and the Legacies of Sunningdale, Parr, C. 3 Mar 2017, Sunningdale, the Ulster Workers' Council Strike and the Struggle for Democracy in Northern Ireland, Manchester, Manchester University Press
  • Inventing the Myth: Political Passions and the Ulster Protestant Imagination, Parr, C. 3 Aug 2017
  • Something Happening Quietly: Owen McCafferty's Theatre of Truth and Reconciliation, Parr, C. 1 Nov 2017, In: Irish University Review
  • Etcetera Theatre Company: An Exercise in Ulster Loyalist Storytelling, Parr, C. 15 Dec 2016, In: New Hibernia Review
  • An Identity Pieced Together: Northern Irish Protestantism and the Drama of Ron Hutchinson, Parr, C. 2015, In: Canadian Journal of Irish Studies

Professional Activity

PGR Supervision

  • Rory Allen Diversity, distinction and conflict within the unionist community of NoDiversity, distinction and conflict within the unionist community of Northern Ireland: 1969-2021rthern Ireland: 1969-2021 Start Date: 18/01/2021
  • Struan Kennedy '(Re)writing on the wall: Disarming Weaponised Murals and Masculinities in Loyalist Northern Ireland' Start Date: 01/10/2019

Qualifications

  • Politics PhD September 01 2013
  • History MA September 15 2010
  • History BA (Hons) July 05 2007


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