WRT3701 Writing Through War to Peace: Images and Narratives of the Troubles and Beyond in Northern Ireland
November 2005: “When I was young, I thought this was the greatest place in the world to live,” he told us at the end of our first Black Taxi tour. His face clouded, eyes narrowing. “Then came the Troubles, and for thirty years it was hell on earth. But since the Agreement and peace—well, now it’s the greatest place in the world again.” The clouds lifted, and Patrick deposited us in front of Queen’s University, his eyes once again sparkling with hope.
This short-term study abroad experience will introduce you to the images and narratives that tell the story of a war-torn province slowly transforming itself into a thriving, peaceful community where men who once pointed guns at each other now escort tourists through the streets of Belfast, the city that Patrick calls “the greatest place in the world to live.” Prior to a 10-day visit to Dublin, Belfast, and Derry, you will experience and respond to fiction, memoirs, diaries, historical accounts, films, and guest speakers. On site, you will visit murals and other sites relevant to The Troubles, meet with private citizens and public figures who have written about the period, and write/present your own responses to what you have witnessed. By the time you return home, you will appreciate the power of history as told through the words and images of the people who live it.