Academics, members of the public, actors and cosplayers came together to explore the influence of history on popular media and culture at the second annual Trinity HistoryCon, which took place on 15–16 November 2019 at the Trinity Long Room Hub. The conference welcomed presenters and guests from as close as NUI Galway and as far away as Universidade de São Paulo. At its core, HistoryCon is a celebration of the study of history and its intersections with popular media and culture. The conference endeavours to foster equality and limitless conversations, encouraging both presenters and guests to wear costumes from their favourite time periods, films, television shows or books throughout the weekend.
Presentations ranged in topics from Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ to a comparison of Seneca and Spock, and the popular American perception of Charles Manson to the origins of X-Men’s Magneto. Of course, an entire session was dedicated solely to the Game of Thrones phenomenon! The diverse programme ensured no matter your interests, there was something for everyone. In addition to academic presentations, three panel discussions explored subjects such as historical costuming, filmmaking, historical consultancy, and research. The Adapting History panel placed the Friends of Medieval Dublin, an influential not-for-profit advocacy and pro bono consultative organisation, and academics from Trinity’s Department of Film Studies in conversation to discuss the process of making the Netflix film Outlaw King (2018). Just before the panel drew to a close, in a moment of great surprise for panellists, audience members and HistoryCon organisers alike, Outlaw King’s writer and director David Mackenzie kindly sent in special remarks to read aloud.
On Friday, Near FM 90.3 joined Trinity HistoryCon to record ‘How We Imagine Her: Giulia Farnese from Sour ce to Screen’ where The Borgias and Outlander actress Lotte Verbeek joined Trinity academics to discuss her treatment of Giulia on screen. If this was not enough, Fellow’s Square was abuzz when Medieval Armoured Combat Ireland dazzled audiences with a live weapons demonstration on Saturday afternoon. The crowd cheered as the knights battled on the lawn, with Sir Brendan coming out on top. Trinity HistoryCon 2.0 came to a close with a costume competition wherein King Arthur (in full armour) reigned supreme as Trinity HistoryCon’s champion.
Trinity HistoryCon 2.0 was organised by a group of doctoral and masters students (Dawn A. Seymour Klos, Department of History; Daryl Hendley Rooney, Department of History; Savneet Kaur, Trinity Business School; Mollie Kramer, Department of History; and Elysée Yhuel, Department of History) in association with the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute and with the support of the Department of History; the Department of Film Studies; the Trinity College Dublin Association & Trust; Dublinia; Vaults Live; GPO Witness History Museum; and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.