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Dr Connal Parr

Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the Humanities

Department: Humanities

Connal’s research emphasises the interconnectedness of history, politics, and culture.

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.

Qualifications

PhD, Queen’s University Belfast, 2013; MA, Queen’s University Belfast, 2010; BA, University of Oxford 2003

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Connal’s research emphasises the interconnectedness of history, politics, and culture. His 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. Drawing on personal interviews as well as unpublished archival material, the thesis contended that this group has historically and continually demonstrated a vigorous creative pulse as well as a tendency towards political division and dissent.

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.

Subjects he has taught include: Britain and Ireland in Comparative Perspective, the Northern Ireland Troubles (c.1965–85), 20th Century Europe, World Politics, the Foundations of Social and Political Thought, and Exploring War and Conflict.

Sponsors and Collaborators

Connal has worked with a number of community groups in Northern Ireland and is a board member of Etcetera Theatre Company, founded in 2013 to stage plays written by Loyalist ex-prisoners and generate artistic initiative in deprived Protestant working class areas. In July 2014 he was part of an official Submission on behalf of Etcetera to the Inquiry into Inclusion in the Arts of Working-class Communities, conducted by the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure and published by Hansard.

Awards

2016: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment – to consult the papers of St. John Ervine at the Harry Ransom Centre in Austin, Texas

2014–15: Irish Government Senior Scholarship in the History and Culture of Ireland – Hertford College, University of Oxford

2010–13: Department of Education and Learning (DEL) PhD Scholarship

Key Publications

  • Co-editor with Dr Stephen Hopkins of ‘The Politics of Memoir and Life-Writing’ – Special Issue of Irish Political Studies (2018).
  • ‘Something Happening Quietly: Owen McCafferty’s Theatre of Truth and Reconciliation’, Irish University Review, Vol. 47, No. 2 (Spring 2017).
  • Inventing the Myth: Political Passions and the Ulster Protestant Imagination, 1916–2016 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017).
  • ‘An Identity Pieced Together: Northern Irish Protestantism and the Drama of Ron Hutchinson’, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, Vol. 39, No. 1 (2015), pp. 162–85.
  • ‘Maverick: Paddy Devlin’, in Studies in Irish Radical Leadership: Lives on the Left (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015), E. O’Connor and J. Cunningham (eds), pp. 175–85.
  • ‘Definitively Other: Seamus Heaney and Ulster Protestantism’, The Irish Review, Nos. 49–50 (Seamus Heaney Special Issue), Winter/Spring 2014–15, pp. 90–101.
  • ‘The Pens of the Defeated: John Hewitt, Sam Thompson and the Northern Ireland Labour Party’, Irish Studies Review, Vol. 22, No. 2 (2014), pp. 147–66.
  • ‘Managing his Aspirations: The Labour and Republican Politics of Paddy Devlin’, Irish Political Studies, Vol. 27, No. 1 (2012), pp. 111–38.

 

In addition, Connal has published articles in the Belfast Telegraph, Irish Times, Belfast News Letter, the Dublin Review of Books and Index on Censorship, and has appeared on BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster and Doubleband Film’s BBC-broadcast documentary In The Shadow of the Shipyard.

 

Further Information

https://northumbria.academia.edu/ConnalParr

 


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