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Historian Roy Foster Details Irish History

By Gail Hairston

(Oct. 26, 2015) — Roy Foster, Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford, was recently awarded a President’s Medal from the British Academy for “transforming the understanding of a period or subject of study” for his book “Vivid Faces: the Irish revolutionary generation 1890-1923.”

Focusing on the central event of the Easter Rising of 1916 and the motivations which drove the people behind it, Foster will lecture on the history of the Irish Revolution of 1912-1922, “Making a Revolution in Ireland: Some Centenary Thoughts” at 4 p.m. today at the William T. Young Library Auditorium.

His lecture will also consider the agendas, elisions and implications of commemorating events in history that are at once inspirational and divisive. He will raise issues such as the changing historical interpretations of revolutionary change, the psychological uses of memory in Irish history, the challenges presented by the current centennial observations of the Irish revolutionary decade of 1912-22, and the possible lessons of Irish history for the larger United Kingdom and European picture.

Foster will also lead a seminar titled “Literature and History in Modern Ireland,” at 11 a.m. Monday, in 245 Patterson Office Tower. The event is open to all students, but an R.S.V.P. is requested at

The events are part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Year of Europe program, sponsored by the UK Department of History and UK Department of English.