Belfast-DublinDIScovery Trip

Required Course(s)

Note: This Study Tour last runs in fall 2019.

As the hotbed of a long-standing, and previously violent, conflict between Roman Catholic and Protestant communities, Belfast and Dublin are the ideal places to study the challenges of communicating across cultural divides.

Visits to BBC Northern Ireland will give you an understanding of how the media both reflects and shapes collective identities. Additionally, visits to comedy clubs, community groups, political organizations, top media companies, minority organizations, integrated schools, and discussions with students offer insight into how delicate and contentious issues are negotiated in cultural and political texts. To understand the intimate nature of the conflict, we will walk around Belfast and Dublin and pay particular attention to the ways in which sympathies and antipathies are communicated visually and symbolically (through graffiti, murals, advertisements, flags, food, sports, music).

To further our understanding of the history and culture of Northern Ireland, we venture to Londonderry/Derry, where the conflict, known as the ‘Troubles,’ is widely regarded to have started with the Battle of the Bogside.

Tour Objectives

  • Experience the similarities and differences between and within English speaking cultures
  • Learn about the challenges of communicating and co-existing across politically volatile cultural, political, and religious divides
  • Experience first-hand the visible and invisible markers of separation in Belfast and understand the background and challenges of the specific conflict in Northern Ireland (the ‘Troubles’)

Possible Activities

  • Take a walking tour of Shankill Road (Loyalist) and Falls Road (Republican)
  • Meet with reporters at BBC Northern Ireland to discuss the challenges of reporting neutrally in a politically charged context and meet with the Bogside artists to explore the symbolism of the murals of Derry/Londonderry
  • Visit the Irish Refugee Council in Dublin