Skip to 0 minutes and 16 seconds As a geographer, an historical geographer, we understand place as developing as layers through time.
Skip to 0 minutes and 28 seconds So if you walk down a street in a city. You walk down O’Connell Street, for example. It was O’Connell Street, it was Sackville Street, before that, it was actually marshy land at the edge of the river. And you think about all of the events that have taken place there, all of the people who have passed through. But at everyday lived experience of people in the city. It’s the people who shape the cities, and the cities in turn seem to shape people.
Skip to 1 minute and 13 seconds So we started in 1850. So, it’s Dublin after the Famine, and we’re going up to the new state up to 1930. If you look around the city today, for people who are familiar with Dublin, a lot of the things that happened during that time period are still prominent in the landscape that we see.
Skip to 1 minute and 40 seconds My name is Juliana Adelman. I’m a historian of 19th century Ireland and Britain, particularly social and economic history. Hi, I’m Ruth McManus. I’m a geographer working in the School of History and Geography here at DCU. So we’re looking at the history of Dublin in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s a huge period of social change. We have the development of the suburbs, we have a huge public health crisis unfolding, where Dublin’s death rates are soaring. In the 19th century in particular, there was a very strong philosophy around the deserving poor, for example, and getting people out of slums.
Skip to 2 minutes and 25 seconds And people are developing those ideas in the context of what they see around them in the city, what kinds of living conditions they see, what kinds of working conditions they see. And that if you could reshape where people lived, you would actually create better citizens. So one of the things that I’m particularly interested in, is when they suddenly discover that diseases are caused not by bad smells in the air, but also by minute organisms, and how that affects the way they approach how the city should be shaped, how people want to interact with one another.
Skip to 3 minutes and 4 seconds Anybody who has any association with Dublin, if you’ve passed through on your way somewhere else on holidays. If you’re somebody who’s lived there all your life and has walked the streets and wondered what’s gone on, or how come the city is the way it is today. Even though we don’t have horsedrawn trams or Omni buses anymore, a lot of those traffic routes would be familiar to people. If you travelled back in time, you’d be taking, you know, not the same bus, but you might be traveling on similar roads. We have a huge and very passionate public in Dublin itself.
Skip to 3 minutes and 39 seconds Anytime we give public lectures, you’d be amazed at the people who come and tell us their stories, and we’re hoping that this kind of format of a course, will enable people to interact and to share their stories, as well as learning the context of their lives and the experience of their ancestors as well. I love when my students tell me “before I took this course I never really looked around me. I never really looked at the buildings and kind of thought about them and why they get to be there.” And what that tells us about our ancestors, about the people who lived in the past; past society inscribes itself on the landscape and on the streetscape.