In 2021, Trinity began a Trinity Colonial Legacies project, aiming to contextualise and historicise the university's deep links to colonialism both in Ireland itself and in the wider world. It also sought to raise awareness of college's physical and intellectual colonial legacies, monuments, and endowments in the present.
Led by co-investigators Dr Ciaran O’Neill and Dr Patrick Walsh in collaboration with the Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Mobeen Hussain, the project sought to investigate Trinity’s multifaceted connections with empire at home and abroad from the College’s foundation in 1592 through to the late twentieth century. Drawing on detailed research in the college archival collections alongside material objects preserved in the college and other national collections the project’s work aimed to open up important debates about the legacies of colonialism on our campus.
The work that resulted from this project was fundamental to the formation of the Trinity Legacies Review Working Group, as it became clear that a separate process was needed to consider the ramifications for the university of the research material being produced.
The Colonial Legacies Project researchers played a key role in informing the deliberations of the TLRWG around the Inishbofin crania and George Berkeley's memorialisation.