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The event is being staged at the Belfast Waterfront on Saturday March 16th as part of the ongoing `Belfast 400` commemorations, which mark the granting of the city`s first Royal Charter by King James I in April 1613.
The history forum will bring together a panel of distinguished academics, historians and other experts to look at aspects of Belfast`s story in the four centuries between then and now.
The panelists will be:
• Raymond Gillespie, Belfast-born Professor in History at NUI Maynooth
• Ian Montgomery, archivist with the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland
• Dr Brid McGrath, Research Associate in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at TCD
• Sean Connolly, Professor of Irish History at QUB; editor Belfast 400: People, Place and History
• Audrey Horning, Professor of Archaeology at QUB
• Jonathan Wright, Research Fellow, School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeontology,QUB.
As well as examining the relevance of the charter`s history in the 21st Century, subjects discussed will include how Belfast repeatedly re-imagined itself in the first 150 years after the granting of the charter; local government and the role of record-keeping in an emerging city; the incorporation of boroughs in Ireland during King James` reign; historical amnesia and how history is defined by forgetting as well as remembering; the Plantation of Ireland and comparisons with the colonisation of America; and the industrial expansion of Belfast in the first half of the 19th Century. There also will be a link up to Virginia, to get a native American perspective on our parallel histories of plantation.
Admission to the forum, which runs from 9.30am until 2pm, is free but you need to book either by email or telephone +44 (0)28 9050 0512. Everyone attending will be entered into a free draw for copies of `Belfast 400`.