Moore Institute Fellow: Galway, 2019

I recently completed a six-week research fellowship at the Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway. I used this opportunity to incorporate the Hardiman Library’s extensive collections in Irish history and Irish cultural geography to finish another chapter of my book, and to research and write a chapter for the forthcoming Cambridge History of Irish Literature and the Environment. I also delivered a talk, “Digitizing Revolutionary Violence against Irish Environments,” which was well attended and offered constructive feedback on my overlapping interests in Irish environmental and digital history!

Being on campus at NUIG was helpful as it allowed me to meet with Galway-based scholars and discuss avenues toward collaboration. Kevin O’Sullivan and Nessa Cronin were particularly helpful in this regard, and attending the Irish Studies seminar put me in contact with several others, included Louis de Paor and Irish Studies MA students.

 

It’s difficult to fully outline how positive this experience was for me. Structurally, the visiting fellowship offers the perfect level of financial and administrative support. I was able to undertake my work with great freedom, and was welcomed to participate in Institute events as they occurred. NUI Galway is also an ideal work location; its library and resources greatly aided my research and writing. Galway city is also ideal, and I simply fell in love with it. Also, I very much like that potential fellows are required to contact a sponsor for support – this cultivates collaboration and the potential for post-fellowship impact. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I look forward to returning to NUI Galway and the Moore Institute in the future!

London – 2018

October 2018 was a very busy time – a culmination of several months’ work in research, writing, teaching, and mentorship. Over the summer I guided and mentored Jon Madson, an advanced undergraduate in Idaho State’s TRiO-McNair program, toward advanced research, conference preparation, and graduate school admission. I had taught Jon in previous classes, including HIST 3326: Twentieth Century Europe and, this semester, HIST 4443: Environmental History of Ireland. Our interests overlap considerably, and we began to craft his project around the topic of contested spaces in post-First World War Ireland. That is, the ways in which public space was mobilized and transformed for and against the Irish revolutionary program. I had collected a variety of primary source evidence files from previous research trips, and Jon set to work dissecting these files.

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One conference in particular emerged as the most appropriate and beneficial venue for Jon’s work, and provided additional opportunities for he and I to explore important international archives in his research field. We both submitted abstracts and were accepted to the “Voices of the Home Fronts: Reflections and Legacies of the First World War,” organized in partnership by The National Archives in London, the “Gateways to the First World War” and the “Everyday Lives in War” Engagement Centres throughout the United Kingdom.

We worked throughout the summer and early autumn preparing conference papers and identifying key files to consult while in London, and arrived with a full agenda. The conference featured numerous scholars, independent researchers, and curators. Jon and I presented in separate panels on the second day. My presentation, “Constructing Environmental Victimhood in Ireland after the First World War,” was an overview of the book chapter I am currently working on, which accounts how Irish nationalists appropriated the internationally recognized environmental trauma of the Great War to communicate their suffering to international audiences. I was joined by Dr. Mark Connelly (University of Kent) and James Wearn (Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew), in a highly complementary panel.

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(L-R): Mark Connelly, myself, and James Wearn

Jon followed in the next session, presenting “Contested Spaces: Armistice Observations in Revolutionary Ireland, 1918-1923” to a full room. I am extremely proud of the work he conducted, the mature and patient approach he exhibited toward feedback, questions, and challenges of his work, and his overall representation of Idaho State. img_8404.jpg

 

We concluded the event in typical conference fashion, and retired to a nearby restaurant with new colleagues and old friends. My dear friend Ciara Meehan joined us from the nearby University of Hertfordshire and it was great to catch up and to introduce her to Jon.

Outside conferencing, Jon and I took advantage of the venue to pursue our own research. I was able to consult remaining files for my final book chapter, while Jon navigated The National Archive’s beautifully efficient ordering and retrieval system. All-in-all, I’d say we secured several months of research material in our short time.

img_7981.jpgOn the two days the Archives were closed, Jon and I visited some iconic sites linked to our work on the First World War, including the Imperial War Museum and numerous public monuments throughout London. As we are currently observing the centenary of the war and the Armistice, London was abuzz with installations and commemorative sites. We also stopped by Parliament to say hello to Winston Churchill and, on behalf of our Environmental History of Ireland class, spit on Oliver Cromwell square at Westminster.

I count this trip a complete success! It was a new and important experience for me as a teacher and mentor, and I believe Jon truly benefited from presenting his work at an international conference and audience more aligned to his historical period and topic. In addition, Jon got a feel for London and real archival research. I am excited to see him return to both very soon!

 

‘Shooting the Visible Army’: Using Dublin Archives to think about the Irish Civil War through a different lens

Very interesting stuff!!

British Association for Irish Studies

‘Shooting the Visible Army’: Using Dublin Archives to think about the Irish Civil War through a different lens

Tim Ellis (Teesside) discusses his trip to military and state archives across Dublin.

‘the tracking down of raiders, looking after suspects and the other multifarious duties of Oriel house made it necessary to have the best and quickest photographic apparatus…’

(Letter from the Department of Finance, 24 March, 1923. National Archives of Ireland FIN/1/27/47).

This summer, I was very fortunate (thanks to the generous bursary offered to me by the British Association for Irish Studies) to spend several weeks researching the significance of visual culture, specifically photography, in the Irish Civil War. This will form the subject of the first chapter of my PhD, which examines the broader role of visual culture in the politics of Interwar Ireland. I wanted to examine two particular themes a) the extent to which contemporary politicians…

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Academic Year 2016-17

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At the World War I memorial in Kansas City, MO

I probably shouldn’t try to blog about an entire year only hours after I’ve submitted final grades; I have that exhausted giddiness that accompanies the completion of another  academic year. This has been a year of firsts, of new discoveries and new directions, and of revisiting traditions, forgotten passions, and old friends. It’s been a good year.

I passed summer 2016 with family (Disney Cruise), in the garage (various little projects) and in intense writing with Matt Levay (our self-titled collective was called “Do the Write Thing: A Stover-Levay Joint”). Sundays were spent in the back yard, where my new, crudely constructed bar proved the perfect complement well into the autumn.

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Kevin, Katy, Erika, and Matt saddle up to the bar.

For the fall semester 2016, I taught an introductory survey to modern Europe, a new course on the global history of war and revolution, and a transnational history of the First World War, which I first delivered in 2015. Each continued to challenge my perceptions of the past, while students brought energy, curiosity, and insight that inspired me to dig a little deeper in preparing each lecture.

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Jessi Donnelly presents her graduate research on disease and the First World War in World War I & its Legacy.

I was off to London quite early in the semester to conduct research and present my work at the Voices of the Home Fronts conference, hosted by The National Archives, Kew. My paper, “A Transnational View of Irish Dissent During the Great War,” examined various IMG_4242perceptions of Irish nationalism, and the Easter Rising and subsequent revolution, throughout Europe – particularly in France and the Francophone world.

Researching this paper over the previous year, I found that Sinn Fein kept close tabs on European public opinion of Ireland and the Irish Revolution during after the First World War. One collection at the National Library of Ireland (which I consulted in 2015) contained receipts from a French press tracking company, which I used to map the geography of publication on Irish issues in French newspapers. I’m working to expand this paper to an article for publication.

I’m very grateful to Owen Davies and Sarah Lloyd for continuing to include me in the the Everyday Lives in War center, based at the University of Hertfordshire. Of course, Ciara Meehan is solely responsible for allowing me to participate, and for involving me in the history activities at Hertfordshire. My good friend was recently made Head of the History Group (Head of School, or Chair) at Herts, illustrating her talent and leadership.

Traveling to London also allowed me to visit with several old friends, including James and Susie Murphy-O’Conner, Hal Hodson and Conor Logue, and my former student, Sam Simpson, who came over from Maynooth University in Ireland. IMG_4248

I met Emmett Murphy-O’Connor, James and Susie’s first-born son, and caught up a bit en route to central London, where James and I reunited over liters of German beer at the Bavarian Beerhouse. As always, James brought me right into his inner-circle, and it was great to see Chris Lock, Sam & co., as we celebrated Chris’s engagement. (Note to self: repay James for the Uber back to Brentford).

IMG_3102Later in the week I ventured to Hammersmith to meet up with Hal Hodson and Connor Logue, both of whom relocated from Boston to London in the past year. We met at The Andover Arms for dinner and a drink, talked football days at Trinity, previous meet-ups in Boston, how the Patriots were going all-the-way (correct prediction), about Logue’s recent wedding, and about Hal’s new position as technology correspondent with The Economist. (Note to self: repay Hal and Logue for the Uber back to Brentford).

London was a very successful trip – research, presentation, friends, food and drink.

I returned to Pocatello and jumped right back into teaching and preparing for my next conference. In mid-October, I once again departed for Europe, this time landing in my adopted hometown of Dublin. I was invited by Professor Kevin Whelan to present work on comparative environmental destruction in war to the Paris: Capital of Irish Culture conference at the Notre Dame Global Gateway. This was truly an honor, and I was warmly welcomed to O’Connell House by Kevin and Notre Dame students then studying abroad. This was a very IMG_4413special event, the second in a dual-conference held to commemorate historic links between France and Ireland. I got to meet several of my academic heroes, including Pierre Joannon, Seamus Deane, and Phyllis Gaffney. My paper, “‘Shattered Glass and Toppling Masonry: War Damage in Paris and Dublin,” compared and contrasted social, political, and environmental responses to war damage caused during the First World War in France, and the 1916 Easter Rising. I have to say that this was a fun topic to pursue, research, and produce. Kevin laid the challenge before me when he assigned the title prefix, which is taken from James Joyce’s Ulysses and required me to dig a bit deeper into literary analysis. I was honored to present alongside Phyllis Gaffeny and Thomas O’Connor in a gorgeous Georgian lecture room overlooking Merrion Square.

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We were all treated to a special screening of 1916: The Easter Rebellion, Bríona Nic Dhiarmada’s award-winning documentary narrative by Liam Neeson, and later to dinner in a restaurant off Camden Street, where I got to parle en francais throughout the evening.

I was also able to conduct further research while in Dublin, stopping specifically at the Dublin City Archives on Pearse Street. I touched base with my former supervisor, Anne Dolan, Marguerite Helmers, who was also in Dublin, perpetual second-placer in Mario Kart, Kieran Hegarty, and Eamon Darcy, my fellow-Trinner and now, with Una, father to little Aoife! Also, I got to visit with Kara Bearpark and little Margaret over breakfast in Ballsbridge. I was also welcomed back to 43 St. Stephen’s Green by my BC buddies, Claire, Thea, and Mike, and enjoyed lunch with them on the Green. #Neenanfellow4life

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This trip provided for excellent reunions, and also prompted new research avenues and collaboration with Notre Dame. In fact, my paper and others from the Paris-Dublin dual conference have been compiled into a collected volume, entitled Paris – capital of Irish Culture: France, Ireland and the Republic, 1798-1916, which will be published with Four Courts Press this autumn. Have a look at the contents here.

The remainder of 2016 was a blitz. The Stovers rocked Halloween. Liam and I went as Ash and Charizard from Pokemon; Catherine went as Madeline and Aunt Kate visited to play the role of Miss Clavel; Meg was the tiger at the zoo to which Madeline said, “poo poo.” We took  advantage of some great weather, and had fun!

I began demolishing the downstairs bathroom ahead of my parents’ visit in December. This was a tough job, and one I had not tackled before. The bathroom had pressed wooden paneling glued over previously glued tiles – a mess to remove. Liam was a huge help, and he really enjoyed smashing the existing tile floor! The plumbing was a bit offset a15288531_10104520232165518_1862819501780781196_os well, which required some creative rerouting, and the ceiling light needed to be moved and mounted on the wall. I laid new tile flooring and tiled the walls with nice subway tiles with grey grout, painted the walls a bright color, installed a vanity and mirror cabinet and replaced the toilet. It was a big job but one that certainly improved our home.

As I worked on the bathroom I also continued to prepare a public exhibition on the environmental impacts of war, a joint venture with Professor Erika Kuhlman. We selected various visual examples of war damage throughout modern history, from Sherman’s march to the sea during the American Civil War to the bombardment of Aleppo (2011-present), and contextualized them in descriptions that tied together the experience of war and environment. We opened the exhibit near Veterans Day with a public talk by Dr. Lisa Brady, from Boise State University.

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Dr. Bray’s talk, “Nature’s War,” highlighted historical instances of war and environmental destruction, including aspects of her recent project on the Korean DMZ and its ecological restoration.

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Throughout December we prepared the house for the Christmas holiday, attended the children’s school concert, and I furiously finished grading and writing ahead of Mom and Dad ‘s arrival. Then, the entire Stover crew traveled to Jackson Hole to see the lights, sights, and to get some bites. We stayed at the Cowboy Village Log Cabin Resort near downtown Jackson and were able to walk to Snake River Brewing Company and all the restaurants and shops. Meg booked us into the Elk Refuge for a sleigh ride, and we enjoyed a pristine December chill in the peace of the mountain valley. It was a great trip and we returned to our cozy home in time to celebrate Christmas with the family.

We all then flew to Detroit to spend time with Meg’s family and the various extended Nielsen, Cantlon, Pasque, and Stover factions. I imbibed a modest amount of holiday cheer before nailing the vocals on various Bare Naked Ladies songs, and a special tribute to Tenacious D’s “Tribute.” This year’s family gift was bicycles. I selected a Specialized bike from our local shop in my favorite color, and quickly equipped a book rack. I’ve cycled to work every day since the snow has melted.

2017 began with a fury of course prep, snow shoveling, and belated gifts. Two of my works were published in separate collected volumes. “Violence, Trauma, and Memory in Ireland: The Psychological Impact of War and Revolution on a Liminal Society, 1916-1923,” appeared in Aftershock: Psychological Trauma and the Legacies of the First World War.

CzvhlaZUoAASkN6The second, “Families, Vulnerability and Sexual Violence during the Irish Revolution,” was published in Perceptions of Pregnancy: From the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century. I am delighted to see both in print!

Toward the end of January I revisited a passion I thought I would never experience again: ice hockey. I played pond hockey growing up in Michigan, but never organized arena hockey. I signed up for several mailing lists for drop-in players in Idaho Falls and further afield, and was contacted by the Teton Valley Foundation in Victor, Idaho, to participate in a weekend tournament. 16179599_10104706952810848_9206387010990893928_o(1) The whole Stover crew traveled to Victor for the event, which featured five games over three days – more than I had played in twenty years! We stayed with our Australian friends, Suzanne and Brett, who have a cabin in Driggs, the next town over, and also got to take part in the global women’s march. It was a wonderful experience. I made new friends, resurrected my love of hockey and turned Liam and Catherine on to the game, all while being supported and cheered by Megan.

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I continued to play pick-up hockey in Idaho Falls throughout the spring, and we all attended open skates as a family. I am now playing inline hockey locally in the adult league – fun but different. Liam and I practice in the garage and even Catherine enjoys passing the puck around, though she holds the stick like a broom. Meg and I have plans to organize a small youth league at our local rink this autumn, and coach together.

Winter continued to chill Pocatello well into late March. I traveled to IMG_5142Lewiston, Idaho, in early March to deliver a keynote talk at Lewis-Clark State College for their Women’s History Month Event. I spoke on women in the Irish Revolution and was warmly received. Amy Canfield helped to organize the event, and was a wonderful host. Lewiston has a lot to offer, including great coffee shops and restaurants – and a commanding view of the river valley, as you can see!

Throughout the spring semester, I worked with my students in HIST 2291: The Historian’s Craft, on a collaborative project to commemorate the one hundred-year anniversary of the USA’s entry into the First World War. Each student explored an individual, thematic aspect of this project, and we engaged with a variety of primary sources at Idaho State’s Special Collections Department. In the end, I created a separate “Student Projects” section for the ISU’s War, Conflict, and Veterans Studies Committee, a group that I co-chair with Erika Kuhlman.

Late March also brought the annual American Conference for Irish Studies national conference, which was hosted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City. This was a fantastic event, expertly organized and warmly hosted. Kansas City has a lot to offer, and I was floored by the variety of barbecue!! I serve as Secretary on the ACIS executive board, and it was good to see much of our work come to fruition. We honored past ACIS presidents, recognized various book award winners, and saw the changing of the guard as Tim McMahon (Marquette University) succeeded Brian Ó Conchubhair (Notre Dame) as President, and Kate Costello-Sullivan (Le Moyne College) became Vice-President.

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Tim, myself, Brian, Anna Teekell, and Nick Wolf

My contribution to the conference was a paper that further developed my comparative war damage study. I got to reconnect with a lot of excellent colleagues, including Jason Myers, Ian Burns, Mindy McMann, Ide Milne, Mike Cronin, Sean Farrell, Marguerite Helmers, Oliver Rafferty, Tim O’Neil, Jason Knirck, Michael de Nie, Matthew Reznicek, Mary Trotter, Ariana Mashilker, Ken Shonk, Renee Fox, and MANY others. I also met some new peeps, including Megan Crotty, Claire Connolly, Jim Rogers, Christine Myers, and Amy Clukey, and touched base with one of the conference’s keynote speakers, Fearghal McGarry (Queen’s University Belfast), who presented an insightful talk on the global history of the Irish Revolution. The Kansas City Irish Center at Drexel Hall hosted our conference banquet, which featured live music, great food and an open bar (!!!). Shenanigans were had.

April was a blitz, with several of my graduate students seeking to finish and defend their work, the winding down of undergraduate teaching, committee reports, and the normal excitement that accompanies good weather. Meg and IIMG_4548 made time for a date (the first in ages), while Liam and Catherine continued with their busy schedules in gymnastics, ballet, swimming, and piano. Meg’s mom, Mary Pasque, visited again and got to spend some time with the kids in Salt Lake City.

In late April I participated in a panel, entitled “The Future of the Western Alliance in the post-Brexit/Trump World,” organized by my colleague Lauren Krutko and featuring Dr. Martin Farr from Newcastle University – a great event!

I was also honored as a 2016-17 Outstanding Master Teacher by Idaho State University, capping off a busy but rewarding academic year. Meg and I attended the ceremony, which was well attended and presented.

There is no slowing down this summer. We will all be living in Boston throughout June while I work to finish my monograph on environmental destruction and the Irish Revolution. Many thanks to James H. Murphy and the Boston College Irish Studies Institute for the invitation! Also, my brother Daniel and his fiance Ellie are getting married on the farm in mid-June! An exciting year behind us, and an exciting year ahead!

Academic Year 2015-16

I’m a lazy blogger. In fact, I’m averaging about one blog post a year. This year’s post is sort of a year in review – coming at the end of the academic year, rather than at the end of the calendar year, which is how I have come to experience time.

I was absent at the beginning of AY 2015-16. Megan, Liam, Catherine and I were in Ireland where I undertook research as the 2015 Neenan Visiting Research Fellow with Boston College-Ireland. We took a place in Dun Laoighaire, enjoyed the seaside, ate our weight in biscuits, fish, and Cadbury, and traveled to different centers of my research.

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Yeats Country, Sligo

I spent most of our two months in Dublin at the National Archives, digging into property compensation claims for victims of malicious damage during the Irish Civil War. This research informed a large portion of my current book project, which will examine the environmental impact of the Irish Revolution. I was also able to escape to Connemara to examine how certain environments inhibited or enabled guerrilla mobility during the revolutionary period. Liam joined me and had no trouble ascending Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park  (though I did carry him down).

Justin Dolan Stover examining the bogs of Connemara, Galway

Connemara National Park, Galway

In early September I organized and hosted a symposium on my research, to which several guests also contributed. It was graciously hosted by Boston College-Ireland, whose beautiful facilities overlook St. Stephen’s Green.

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Boston College symposium guests: Marie Coleman, Gemma Clark, Darragh Gannon & Derek Gladwin.

It was a busy fall term. I jumped straight back into lecturing after our return, having been temporarily relieved (saved) from teaching by my graduate assistant, Ms. Amanda Poitevin. The autumn also brought opportunities for public impact. In November I participated in a student-faculty engagement event organized by my PhD student, Kelly Ricken, entitled “Mobilizing the Academic Front.” I spoke on the history of trauma and how it evolved within military medical circles. I also had the opportunity to speak to both the Idaho Falls Friends for Learning senior group, and the Pocatello New Knowledge Adventures group about the Easter Rising and its impending 2016 centenary. Both groups have been wonderful hosts over the past few years. Finally, I presented highlights of my recently completed research fellowship to the Dean’s Advisory Council – a very enthusiastic and friendly group!

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Garnie and the Idaho Falls Friends for Learning are always so welcoming, interested in what I have to say, and have great questions!

The fall semester ended in a typically chaotic fashion. Meg organized a “Cheers & Beers” celebration which, conveniently, fell on my birthday and the last day of the semester. It is becoming a wonderful tradition! We spent Christmas in Idaho then flew to Detroit to spend time with extended family. Meg’s parents treated us to a wonderful tour of the Shinola bicycle and watch factory, and we each received a watch that will stay in the family for generations.

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Christmas morning, 6:35 a.m……..

A new year brought a new look. I embraced my genes (and the balding pattern they dictate) and shaved my head. My colleague Katy Kole says it completes my “Euro prof” look.

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B&W: When students miss deadlines.

Color: When students meet deadlines.

 

 

I traveled to Atlanta shortly after the start of the new year to attend the American Historical Association annual conference. I was greeted with chicken-fried chicken and balmy weather, and presented some new research on the migration of Irish nationalist ideology throughout post-First World War Europe.

The spring term started the following Monday. In all honesty, I had been planning spring 2016 for some time; aligning the publication of a lot of my recent research, creating course plans to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, and directing both toward public engagement. Melissa Lee from the College of Arts & Letters did a great write up on my efforts for the College Newsletter.

In January, the first of my contributions was published through Century Ireland, an online newspaper and social media project tracing the course of the Irish revolutionary decade throughout its centenary. My contribution, “The Destruction of Dublin,” examined the physical and environmental impact of the Easter Rising. It’s since been widely read, was featured on Ireland’s RTE news website and republished as a full-page article in the Sunday Business Post.

In early February I spoke to the College of Arts & Letters Humanities Cafe on Irish identity. It was a great talk, with wonderful support from friends, students, colleagues and the community. Best of all, the Humanities Cafe is hosted by the Portneuf Valley Brewery – enough said.

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Raphael, Amanda, and myself at the Humanities Cafe

In early March I returned to Columbia University, where I had served part of a research fellowship in 2012, to present an invited paper to the Columbia Irish Studies Seminar. This had been in the works for some time, and contributed to their “alternative” 1916 program. As always, Columbia treated me very well! Terry Byrne, Mary McGlynn, and Arden Hegele were gracious hosts. Best of all, I made a new friend: Mindi McMann from the College of New Jersey.

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Back on the campus of Columbia University – one of my favorites!

My second contribution to the 1916 centenary was published around this time. “La Bretagne et l’Insurrection de Pâques 1916” featured in En Envor, a French review of contemporary Breton history. As a whole, the spring semester allowed me to explore and observe the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. This was done in print, at conferences, and in the class room. I taught HIST 4445: Modern Ireland in the spring …

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… which, in addition to lecturing and discussion included demonstrations on Irish sports such as hurling.

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I treated my students to a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast (and lecture) before spring break. Many had never had the Americanized delight which is corned beef and cabbage. It was a fun, informal break from the norm! My deep thanks go to Kathy Bloodgood for helping prepare the meal (i.e., doing 98% of the work).

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In late March I traveled to the University of Notre Dame to deliver two papers at the American Conference for Irish Studies annual meeting. It was a wonderful week of scholarship, reunion with old friends and colleagues, and exploration. Best of all, mom came along and was a huge hit! She had lots of great questions for the panels and everyone is looking forward to her being a fixture at future conferences.

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With Mom at Notre Dame

While I was away, my students hosted their own temporary “pop-up” museum on the Rising. Each student was guided toward the creation of an exhibit that explored the rebellion thematically. It opened to the public on Easter Monday!

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Coinciding with the Easter Rising centenary week, students’ museum exhibits, and the conference papers I delivered at Notre Dame, was a third publication. “The Afterlife of Roger Casement’s Irish Brigade, 1916-1922” grew out of a presentation I delivered in Kerry in 2013.

Other portions of my work are set to see light this year, including two chapters in separate collected volumes. The first,”Families, Vulnerability and Sexual Violence during the Irish Revolution,” is under contract with Palgrave Macmillan in a collection entitled, Perceptions of Pregnancy from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century, edited by Jennifer Evans and Ciara Meehan. The second, “Violence, Trauma, and Memory in Ireland: the Psychological Impact of War and Revolution on a Liminal Society, 1916-1923,” will also be published with Palgrave Macmillan in Psychological Trauma and the Legacies of the First World War, edited by Peter Leese and Jason Crouthamel. Finally, I contributed a small piece on hunger strikes during the Irish War of Independence to the Atlas of the Irish Revolution, edited by John Crowley, Donal O Drisceoil, Mike Murphy, and John Borgonovo. The publisher, Cork University Press, is offering a special pre-order discount on this 700+ page book. Act now!

April was also a busy month! Some sunny days allowed me to work in our yard – particularly on our soon-to-be-finished vegetable garden.

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Liam Patrick Dolan Stover turned six! His current obsession with sharks was honored by Meg, who baked (constructed) an amazing cake! We grilled burgers for all our friends and danced in the rain, as Stovers are known to do!

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April also brought the fourth installment of the Holocaust Memorial Project, which I have organized over the past years. This year, my student interns and I invited several local and regional educators from various levels to share their methods of teaching the Holocaust. My friend and colleague Matt Levay gave a stellar talk about objects, possession, and memory in Holocaust literature, creating a truly interdisciplinary event.

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In late April I was identified by honors graduate Hope Gibson as her “Most Influential Professor.” We attended a lovely awards ceremony in the Stephens Performing Arts Center, where I was presented with a beautiful picture frame. Inserting a copy of the photo below will complete the gift!

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Honors graduate Hope Gibson and her “Most Influential Professor”

Final exams were held during the first week of May, followed promptly by graduation. It was wonderful to see some of my students conferred – particularly those whom I’ve taught in several classes!

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Matt, Steffanie, and myself

Earlier this morning I submitted my final grades for spring 2016, formally ending Academic Year 2015-16 (though I am teaching summer classes). I set out to achieve a lot this AY: to impact students and our community, to deliver classes at a high standard, to be a leader in my field, and to continue to work toward my lofty professional goals. As always, I’m driven by the love and support I receive from Megan, and by the humor and innocence of Liam and Catherine. Here’s to another great year! Cheers!

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Well deserved rest.

 

 

 

A Different Four Nations Approach? Celtic Nationalism in the Period of the Great War

A piece I recently wrote for the Four Nations History Network

Four Nations History Network

A Different Four Nations Approach? Celtic Nationalism in the Period of the Great War

This week, Professor Justin Dolan Stover considers how ‘less conventional’ four nations approaches can inform our understanding of Celtic nationalism. 

In the autumn of 2012 I presented a working paper to the annual Harvard Celtic Colloquium that attempted to highlight underlying connections amongst political devolution and cultural revival movements in nations of the “Celtic periphery” prior to the Great War, namely Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Brittany. I suggested that while Ireland had undergone significant political transformation throughout its revolutionary decade, 1913-1923, some of its preceding experiences were not unique. The Gaelic League, Young Scots Society, Young Wales, and the Breton Regionalist Union all show that Celtic cultural revival was prevalent throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Endeavors to create an integrated literary movement were also present, with the Pan-Celtic Congress, Celtic Association, and Celtic Literary…

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Touchdown

Quickly following the conclusion of the spring term the family and I packed up for a five-week stint in Dublin – our old stomping grounds. After a horrendous Delta-operated flight that included a 24 layover in New York (we were made stay in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens) we settled into digs in Donneybrook. The purpose of this trip was professional, but we still managed to connect with old friends. I was aided by an Idaho Humanities Council Research Fellowship, which eased the financial burden of research and accommodation in Dublin. The purpose of this research trip was to tie up loose ends on a monograph manuscript I have been nursing for about a year. All-in-all, I believe I was able to consult the necessary material, which was housed in the National Library of Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, and the University College Dublin Archives.

In mid-June I travelled to Limerick to present in the Collegial Colleges in Exile Conference, where I was finally able to present on research I conducted at the Irish College, Paris, in 2010! The conference was held at Mary Immaculate College, an extension of the University of Limerick.

The family and I returned briefly to Idaho in late June/early July before parting ways for roughly two weeks – Meg, Liam and Catherine travelled to Michigan, and I returned to Europe. After touching down briefly in London I departed for Portugal to attend the Second World Congress of Environmental History, held in Guiamraes, an hour’s drive from Oporto near the coast. It was a wonderful setting and a massive meeting. My paper, “Reconstructing the British Isles: Environment and Society Following the Great War and Irish Revolution,” was a comparative examination of the politicization of restoring war-torn environments in Britain and Ireland that stemmed from two distinct conflicts: the First World War (1914-18) and the Irish Revolution (1916-23). This paper featured Geographic Information Systems-generated maps (expertly prepared by my graduate research assistant Kurt Kirkpatrick) that illustrated the progression of environmental destruction in Ireland as a result of guerrilla warfare – mainly cases of arson, felled trees, trenches dug and walls destroyed. This research utilized recently released reparations files under the Destruction of Property (Ireland) Acts, as well as evidence from over one hundred contemporary witness statements. Overall, this paper concluded that the politics of environmental restoration were much more divisive in Ireland following guerrilla warfare and civil war than they were in Britain, where damage caused by a legitimate foreign belligerent (Germany) prompted national consensus toward rebuilding. This conference was my first introduction to the field of environmental history and provided an array of new historical insights. Primary amongst these is the environmental concept of “sacrifice zones,” or areas in which the removal of resources or destruction of environments is deemed acceptable by military and civil command as means toward a strategic end.

At the World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal.

At the World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal.

Portugal was lovely, and I would encourage anyone to visit. I returned to London to stay with my good friends James and Susie Murphy-O’Connor in Balham, a neighborhood in south London. For some reason I always feel quite at home in London. I find the transportation to be very efficient and the people (for the most part) to be friendly, or at least not overtly rude.  Balham was a gem. Small coffee shops and restaurants and an exceptional open green. While in London I worked on another conference presentation for the Perceptions of Pregnancy: from Medieval to Modern conference, hosted by the University of Hertfordshire. I was invited to attend this conference, deliver a paper and act as a panel chair by my good friend and colleague Ciara Meehan.

Presenting at the Perceptions of Pregnancy Conference, University of Hertfordshire

Presenting at the Perceptions of Pregnancy Conference, University of Hertfordshire

My paper, “Pregnancy, Parenthood and the Irish Revolution: Violence and Vulnerability, 1916-1923” inserted male perceptions of family and the vulnerability of children in civil conflicts into the conference’s wider focus on pregnancy, motherhood, and infants. It was well received, and I gained a variety of insights from attendees, including the plenary speakers Joanne Bailey (Oxford Brookes University) and Elaine Farrell (Queen’s University Belfast). More importantly, I met with Professor Sarah Lloyd, Principal Investigator of the “Everyday Lives in War” project at Hertfordshire, who suggested collaboration with Idaho State University throughout the centenary of the Great War. I look to participate in this project through 2018.

Now, sitting comfortably in my new office amidst books and papers, I can’t help but feel relieved to have honored my summer commitments. I have two weeks to re-submit returned articles, prep for autumn classes, and continue to unpack our new home before we’re off to Lake Tahoe for a family wedding.

Here is a brief overview of what lies ahead over the next few months:

  • I’ll be contributing a short piece on Ireland, Brittany and the Great War for the new Four Nations History Network blog.
  • I will soon write a short overview of my research for the University of Hertfordshire First World War Centre project (Everyday Lives in War: experience and memory of the FWW).
  • The autumn issue of the journal Peace & Change will be a special edition on the topic of the Northern Ireland peace process. I am guest editor on this volume, which highlights the use of symbols in the construction (and deconstruction) of peace.
  • I recently submitted an abstract for the American Conference for Irish Studies-Midwest Region conference to be held at Oakland University in Michigan. The theme is “Ireland: The Great War, Conflict, and the Modern Age”, and I’m hoping my abstract on violence, trauma and memory in Ireland will be accepted.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Peace & Change: A Journal of Peace Research Special Issue: Peace and Society in Northern Ireland, 1994-2014

In 2014 the world will observe the centenary of the start of the first global war. The Great War had far reaching international consequences, and influenced a variety of localized affairs. In Ireland, it shelved a potential civil war and ushered in a political truce over the question of self-government, or Home Rule. This question was not settled in the post-war Paris peace negotiations. Instead, the emerging “war of the pygmies,” of which Winston Churchill spoke, was personified by sectarian conflict and paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland throughout the twentieth century. This conflict, which intensified following a series of civil rights protests in 1969, observed an uneasy armistice in 1994. The announcement of a ceasefire by the Irish Republican Army helped to establish a basis for negotiation on issues of political representation, social order, and community relations in Ulster, and between the political centers of Belfast, Dublin, and London.

Peace & Change will reflect on twenty years of the Peace Process (1994-2014) in a special issue that will feature a select number of articles addressing, but not limited to the following topics:

Narratives of peace; narratives inhibiting peace

Strategies of peace (political, social, communal)

Spaces and/or marginalization of peace; the geography of peace

Politics of peace

Symbols, symbolism of peace and change

Demonstrations of peace; demonstrations inhibiting peace

Challenges to peace, or violations (loosely defined) of the ceasefire agreement

Community organization

Narratives of the ceasefire generation (those born in or after 1994)

International dimensions of the Peace Process

Contributions, which should adhere to the submission guidelines outlined below, should be emailed to Dr. Justin D. Stover (Idaho State University) at stovjust@isu.edu with “Peace & Change submission” in the subject line.

The deadline for submissions is 1 April 2014

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SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Please email submissions to Justin D. Stover at stovjust@isu.edu. All submissions should be limited to 10,000 words inclusive of footnotes. Manuscripts should be sent as Microsoft Word documents, should use Times New Roman, and be double-spaced throughout, including the abstract, block quotes, and endnotes. All endnotes should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. A 50-word biographical statement and an abstract of 100-150 words must accompany the manuscript.  The author’s name should appear only on the title page, which can then be removed for reviewing purposes.

Peace & Change is sponsored by The Peace History Society (PHS) and The Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) and is published quarterly by Wiley Blackwell.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1468-0130

3-2-1-loss of contact

I’m (hypothetically) navigating down the avenue of popular culture, bumping into ever other person as I fight against the current of distracted mobile phone obsession.

Semantics aside, I’ve made a choice to forego a mobile phone. That’s right, I have given up my cell phone: cast your rocks, question and condemn! I am still connected. My wife has a fancy new iPhone, the number for which I will give out to those needing to reach me – but this will be on my terms. I will not check my phone incessantly, Instagram my latte, or use it to escape social situations.

I made this choice for a few reasons. I feel like the current technological trends in society boast of connectivity while at the same time reinforcing behavior that prevents communication. Simply put, excessive mobile phone dependency is producing distracted and impatient individuals. This is not the case in all areas or with all individuals (I still have my iPad). I simply feel obliged, as a service to civilization and to myself, to buck this trend and stand as an example of past behaviors that helped to form personalities and character: human interaction, conversation, silence, and introspection. 

I realize the irony of posting this on a social media portal…I’m not ready to disconnect Image.