Why does culture matter? What impact does it have and how has this changed over time and region? How have cultural interventions helped to make the world a place we want to live in?  

The 2019 annual meeting of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) will explore a wide range of cultural interventions by individuals and institutions. Hosted for the first time in Ireland, the programme will largely use Ireland as a case study but will also draw on examples from other countries. 

Ireland is a small island in the North Atlantic on the periphery of Western Europe. It is approaching the centenary of the partition of the island into Northern and Southern Ireland in 1921 and of the independence of Southern Ireland (to eventually form the Republic of Ireland in 1948) from the United Kingdom in 1922. The island of Ireland is currently bracing itself for the impact of the potential exit of Britain from the European Union in March 2019. 

Colonisation, post-colonialisation, nationalism, globalisation, sectarianism, terrorism, famine, emigration, immigration, poverty, corruption, discrimination and inequality, forces felt the world over, in this context, have led to a heightened engagement by individuals and institutions within the arts and humanities. This meeting will allow us to explore how cultural interventions — the arts and humanities — contribute to societies at times of trauma, repression, and stagnation.

This exciting programme will combine the best of the global with the distinct contribution of Ireland’s culture at home and abroad and explore the impact of cultural interventions on divided societies through partition and civil war, on the practice of commemoration in a post-colonial world, and on the role of visual culture in negotiating cultural trauma.