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Accepted Paper:

'Propaganda Glorifying Past Genocide': Culture War and the Legacy of Loyalist Songs in Northern Ireland  
Stephen Millar (Queen's University Belfast)

Paper short abstract:

This paper traces the origins of Ulster loyalism’s culture war against Irish republicans, unravelling the role loyalist songs played in inciting conflict during the Troubles (1969-98) and their ongoing legacy in legitimizing structural violence during peace.

Paper long abstract:

From the Shankill Defence Association’s Orange-Loyalist Songbook to the UDA’s appropriation of ‘Simply the Best’, music has long been used to celebrate loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland. During the Troubles (1969-98), loyalist songs served a variety of functions, from community fundraising and entertainment to the transmission of loyalist cultural memory and the articulation of political perspectives ignored by the mainstream media. Yet, in addition to celebrating local practices and political traditions, loyalist songs now feed into a broader ‘culture war’ in Northern Ireland where, in the absence of intercommunal violence, the commemoration of paramilitary groups is used to continue the conflict by other means. This paper traces the origins of contemporary loyalism’s culture war against Irish republicans, unravelling the role loyalist songs played during the Troubles and their ongoing legacy.

Panel P016a
Proposed Title: Promises, Performativity, and Precarious Futures after Mass Violence I
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -