When I was proposing my thesis topic to my history department, I wrote a paragraph about how going on a research trip to the U.K. and Ireland would be incredibly helpful, but I honestly didn’t think I would have the time or money to do so. Well, the head of the department suggested I apply for funding from my school, and two months later, here I am in Belfast.
My topic is the collective memory of the Titanic, particularly as seen through pop culture, but also through public history, so Belfast makes total sense – I thought the tagline “Titanic Town” might have been a bit of an exaggeration, but it turns out to be pretty on the nose from what I’ve seen. BUT before I describe what I’ve been seeing and doing in Belfast, I should take a step back and mention my whole itinerary for this trip – Belfast is my second stop, and I have at least 2-ish more I have back to the States.
I started off in London (4 days), with a day trip down to Southampton, before flying over here. I’ve been in Belfast for a day and half, and I have about another 30 hours left before I catch an early morning train to Dublin. I’ll get 7 hours in Dublin, and then on another train down to Cork, where I’ll spend a day and half (and probably most of that day in Cobh, less than an hour away by commuter rail). Then back to London for two more days, although I’m thinking of trying to fit in a quick stop in Liverpool…
Right, I should get to sleep – I have a long day of walking tours and murals and talking to people nicknamed “Mr. Titanic” planned, so I had better write more about my research over here tomorrow!