Northern Ireland: March 2022 - Culture and Conflict

Explore Northern Ireland to learn about the history and context of The Troubles, Northern Ireland’s 30-year conflict that, at its heart, involved two mutually exclusive visions of national identity and national belonging: a predominantly protestant majority who wished to remain a part of the United Kingdom, and a Catholic nationalist minority whose goal was to have Northern Ireland become part of the Republic of Ireland.

From the 1960s, the conflict killed 3600 people and injured thousands more before a peace agreement was finalized in 1998. We’ll use this historical context to examine efforts towards post-conflict reconciliation and look at the political structures that have been enacted to negotiate peace between these communities, and assess the impact that Brexit may have on the people of the region.

One component of the course is an examination of identity through cultural expression, particularly the large number of political murals found throughout both Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods, which illuminate much about the nature of the conflict and the communities, actors, leaders and martyrs on both sides.

We will spend several days each in the major cities of Belfast and Derry, as well as day trips to other locations and the border of the Republic of Ireland, to visit important sites and meet with a wide variety of locals and leaders to help us understand what’s at stake in maintaining peace and stability in this fractured region.

We’ll also spend time on the stunning Antrim Coast, visiting historical sites such as Dunluce Castle and the breathtaking geological formations of Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Trip Map

Courses: There are two options:

  • POS 215 (Current Political Issues - 3 credits) and ART 208 (Culture Studies - 3 credits). This option is best for most students, CMC faculty/staff, and community members.


  • SUS 391 (Field Experience in Sustainability - 3 credits). This option is for students in the B.A. in Sustainability Studies program (or other BA/BS programs for which upper-division SUS credit may apply as elective credit).

Trip Dates: March 10-19, 2022 (tentative)

Class meetings: Thursday evenings 6-8pm; February 10 through March 3 and March 24- 31

Program fee: $5200 (price may decrease depending on the number of students participating)

Airfare, CMC tuition, and other miscellaneous fees (passport fees, immunization fees) are not included.

In order to provide for efficiency and flexibility, you will purchase your own round-trip airfare to Belfast. The instructors will let you know the flight itinerary you should purchase for the trip.

Tuition: See current in-district, in-state, and out-of-state CMC Tuition Rates

Registration Deadline: December 1, 2021

Trip Flyer

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Form

Trip Leaders

Gumbrecht, Bob

Robert Gumbrecht

Bob Gumbrecht, Ph.D.

Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Affiliated Faculty, Sustainability Studies

970-870-4484 |

Read more: Gumbrecht, Bob

Zyzda, Cynthia

Cynthia Zyzda

Cynthia Zyzda, MFA

Professor of Visual Arts and Humanities
Affiliated Faculty, Sustainability Studies

970-870-4432 |

Read more: Zyzda, Cynthia