Universities in Revolution and State Formation


A national, European and global perspective on the role and experience of universities in times of revolution and uprising.

DATE: 5 - 6 June 2015 Time: 9:30 - 16:30

VENUE: Newman House, University College Dublin, 85 & 86 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

Academic institutions, their staff and students, have played key roles in effecting social and political change throughout the last century. This conference explores the context of the Irish university experience through international comparators, with a twentieth century focus. The discussions in Newman House will bring together a diverse cross-section of international scholars, the Irish university experience of revolution can begin to be contextualised as an important case study in European and global settings.

Press release URSF15, 5-6 June 2015

VENUE: Newman House, 85 & 86 Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (Please note Newman House is not wheelchair accessible)


To pre-register click below, Registration Fee: €30.00 / Concession Fee: €20.00 (payable on the day of conference at the door, cash only). Additionally, attendees may pre-book their place at the Friday evening conference dinner @ €40.

book-now FOR PROGRAMME DETAILS CLICK find-out-more

Friday 5 June 2015, Day 1

09:30-10:00 Conference registration

10:00-10:30 Welcome

10:30-11:30 Keynote: Dr Renate Marsiske (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México)

‘Mexican Revolution, National University and the formation of a revolutionary state: actors-conflicts-university autonomy (1910-1929)’

11:45-12:45 Panel 1: Enlightened Radicals: students and social change, 1790-1848

Dr Sharon Webb (Royal Irish Academy), ‘The [TCD] Hist and Radical Politics in Dublin during the 1790s’

Dr Francesca Frisone (University of Messina), ‘The Sicilian Universities between 1812 and 1848: political activism and training of the élites’

13:45-14:45 Panel 2: Academics in state formation

Dr Mairéad Carew (University College Dublin), ‘Eoin MacNeill: Revolutionary Cultural Ideologue.’

Very Rev. Dr J. Anthony Gaughan (Independent Scholar/National Library of Ireland), ‘Alfred O’Rahilly, Creative Revolutionary.’

Dr Matthew Stout (St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra),

‘Emyr Estyn Evans, Queens University Belfast and the formation of Northern Ireland’s cultural institutions’

15:00-16:30 Panel 3: Identity, nation, and the university

Dr Tomás Irish (Trinity College Dublin), ‘Students between two States: The Case of Trinity College Dublin, 1912-1945’

Dr Stephen Kelly (Liverpool Hope University), ‘Ultra zealous patriots’: The Young Irelanders and the Catholic University of Ireland’

Dr Conor Mulvagh (University College Dublin), ‘Scholars or subversives?: Indian law students in Dublin, 1913-16’

 Saturday 6 June, Day 2

10:00-11:30 Panel 1: Transformations political, transitions educational: Ireland, 1890-1923

Ruairí Cullen (Queens University Belfast), ‘[T]rue history must be written from within’: History honours at the Irish universities c.1890-1910’

Doireann Markham (University College Dublin) ‘Trying to settle down but it’s extremely difficult’; IRA volunteers and university life in the 1920’s’

Dr Eve Morrison (University College Dublin), ‘Students at War: the IRA in higher education, 1919-23’

12:00-13:00 Panel 2: ’68 in the Universities

Dr Sarah Campbell (Newcastle University), ‘“… We’re paying for them to support the IRA”: Queen’s University students and revolution, 1967-1971’

Dr Matt Perry (Newcastle University)”Will He Be One of the Unemployed”? Student discourses of work, anti-work and unemployment in the revolt of May 1968.’

14:00-15:00 Roundtable 1: Universities, academics, students and the Arab Spring, 2011-2015

A roundtable discussion with Professor Damian McCormack (Mater Hospital Dublin), Dr Fatima Haji, Dr Mike Diboll (University of London)

15:30-16:30 Roundtable 2: Students, social change and ’68: a witness seminar

IRC Logo hi-res

This project has been funded by an Irish Research Council

New Foundations Award and by

University College Dublin Decade of Centenaries Award

Dr Conor Mulvagh

Lecturer in Irish History, UCD School of History & Archives, UCD Centre for War Studies


Dr Conor Mulvagh is Lecturer in Irish History at UCD with special responsibility for the decade of centenaries. He is currently researching the history of UCD during the Irish Revolution. He lectures on memory and commemoration as well as on nineteenth and twentieth century Irish and British history. He has previously lectured on the Irish revolution, the Northern Irish Troubles, and Irish Studies at UCD as well as having worked on the Royal Irish Academy’s Documents on Irish Foreign Policy project (2013). His recent publications include, Irish Days, Indian Memories: V. V. Giri and Indian Law Students at University College Dublin, 1913-1916 (Irish Academic Press, 2016) and The Irish Parliamentary Party at Westminster, 1900-18 (Manchester University Press, 2016).