It is with great concern that the Council of the British Association for Irish Studies learned of the proposed redundancies at Goldsmiths.
The vital work done in Irish Studies across the Department of English and Comparative Literature, and the Department of History, at Goldsmiths is central to our understanding of contemporary issues. Derval Tubridy’s exploration of neurodiversity in performance through Samuel Beckett contributes important new thinking to public agency and representation. Her work on how contemporary Irish writers, artists, and performers address urgent climate issues of the Anthropocene contributes to an essential discussion on how public policy needs to be reframed beyond the concerns of humanism. Richard Grayson’s research on commemoration of the First World War across Ireland but especially in Northern Ireland is central to understanding modern community identities and has led to new modalities of engagement across communities. Its significance has been recognised in two REF impact case studies. Erin Scheopner’s research on colonialism, self-determination, and language is vital to the decolonial project as contemporary Britain re-negotiates its international relations. Her work on how national identities between Ireland, Britain, and America are figured through the media and newspapers is important to understanding current diplomatic and political discourses. Maurice Walsh’s incisive analysis of media coverage of the Irish Revolution is central to our understanding of how ideas transmit between nations, and help us to understand modern British (mis)understandings of Irish politics. His second book, Bitter Freedom, places the Irish revolution in a global context of political and cultural upheaval, relating a national revolution to issues of race, colonialism and women’s rights.
As members of Council and Vice-Chair, Goldsmiths’ colleagues play a central leadership role in BAIS, an association that is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the Embassy of Ireland in London and affiliated with the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies. Given Goldsmiths’ commitment to interdisciplinarity and engagement with the vital contemporary issues of our time, BAIS urges leaders at Goldsmiths to continue to support this vital work across the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Department of History.