Partition, Where to Draw the Line by Dr Conor Mulvagh at TEDxUCD 2016

Dublin, Ireland, 4 January 2017, University College Dublin (UCD)’s fourth annual TEDxUCD event, organised by volunteers from the UCD Research and Innovation team based at NovaUCD, took place in December in the UCD Dramsoc Theatre.

Among the TEDxUCD 2016 speakers was Dr Conor Mulvagh, a specialist in Westminster politics and Irish constitutional nationalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century at the UCD School of History.

His TEDxUCD 2016 talk entitled ‘Partition, where to draw the line’, is available to view here.

Speaking after his TEDxUCD 2016 talk Dr Conor Mulvagh said, “Partition presupposes that lines can be drawn around peoples and nations granting them political and legislative autonomy to pursue their national destiny or to underline cultural or religious distinctiveness. It’s a concept with which Ireland is very familiar, but to what extent was partition the rule and not the exception in twentieth century statecraft?.”

He added, “As I outlined in my TEDxUCD 2016 talk recent decades have seen the erosion of boundaries and borders, both geographically and emotionally. However, the more recent past and, it would seem the immediate future, heralds a return of harder borders. Be it on the frontiers of the European Union, the Irish-Northern Irish Border, US-Mexican border, and even the English-Scottish Border, the old maps are coming out and lines are being redrawn or reinforced.

He concluded, “New national and regional identities are constructed in the wake of partition, and lines on maps leave behind social, political and cultural legacies.”
The 10 speakers who took part in TEDxUCD 2016 were members of the UCD community of researchers, students, alumni and friends who spoke on a wide range of ideas worth spreading on the overall theme of ‘contemplation’.

Opening this year’s event, Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “Following the success of our previous TEDxUCD events I am delighted that we are hosting our fourth annual TEDx event at University College Dublin. Organising and running TEDxUCD is an excellent example of how we engage with the general public, not only in Ireland but across the world, to share the ideas, knowledge and expertise emanating from members of the UCD community.”

At TEDxUCD 2016 a combination of live speakers and a selection of TED Talks videos were combined to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group of 100 attendees. The TED conference provides general guidance for the TEDx programme, but individual TEDx events, including TEDxUCD, are self-organised.
The videos of the 10 TEDxUCD 2016 talks are available to view here.