Teaching Ireland’s Great Famine

Educational Practices in Schools and the Heritage Sector
2020 until 2025
Project member(s)
Dr Janssen, L. (Lindsay)
Project type

Since its occurrence, memories of the Famine have been used in comparative ways, to either seek common ground and foster empathy, or, conversely, to fuel polemic and/or exclusionary discourses. This postdoctoral research project, conducted by Dr Lindsay Janssen, investigates the didactic legacies and potential of the Famine from a diachronic and a synchronic perspective and across various media. The project examines past and present educational materials and practices in primary and secondary education, museums and other heritage institutes.

Educational activities surrounding Famine commemorations on the local, national, and international levels are also part of the project’s research corpus. Building on researcher Lindsay Janssen’s existing expertise, the project considers ‘educational material’ in a broad sense, also including historical Irish and transatlantic periodical culture and fiction as didactic spheres in which Famine memory was and is employed.

Teaching Ireland’s Great Famine investigates educational practices in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the rest of the UK, as well as elsewhere in Europe. It complements the subproject Teaching Great Famine Legacies in North America, as together these projects provide insight into the uses of Famine memory in education on both sides of the Atlantic.

This research project is one of seven subprojects of Heritages of Hunger


Grant provided by NWO NWA.


The project is supported by a board of hunger experts and partners from the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Spain, Ireland, UK, Ukraine, Russian & Canada. These are: Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam; Museum Rotterdam; Red Star Line Museum, Antwerpen; EUROCLIO; Irish Heritage Trust, Dublin; Nerve Centre Derry; Kuopio Cultural History Museum; Werstas Labour Museum; Universiteit van Granada; Centro Documental de la Memoria Historica, Salamanca; Nederlands Instituut in Sint-Petersburg; Holodomor Research and Education Centre, Kiev; Ireland Park Foundation, Toronto; Holodomor Research and Education Consortium, Toronto.

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