CFP: Scotland and Ireland: A Conference – Connecting nations, unions and ‘diasporas’ in the modern period

This one-day conference – taking place on 30th September 2017 – is an interdisciplinary opportunity to examine the historical, literary, cultural, religious and social ties between Scotland and Ireland in the modern period.

Bound together by geographical proximity, Scotland and Ireland are underscored by political, cultural and religious ties. But such interconnections are often typified by difference. Indeed, Scotland and Ireland can be seen as similarly different, from certain angles.

English-speaking but not English, and with comparable access to “other” languages, literatures and histories, Scotland and Ireland can stand at both the centre and periphery of an “Anglophone” world. But these are also nations marked by centres and peripheries of their own, with those outwith the capitals of Dublin and Edinburgh frequently cast as figures “beyond the pale.” Both nations negotiate with varieties of Britishness; with multiple and often divisive states of nationalism.

As such, Scotland and Ireland are inherently and unavoidably interconnected. This conference seeks to explore these relationships.

The conference organisers welcome submissions on the following themes:

– Religion: schisms and ecumenisms.
– Literatures and “other” languages.
– Nationalisms in relation: with and outwith the British empire.
– Migrations, minorities and diasporic interactions.
– Gendered representations.
– Politics and institutions: unions, ‘Home Rule(s)’, independence.
– Celticism and myths of “race.”
– Economics: Urban and Rural, including the Land Question.

Speakers are encouraged to submit a 300-word proposal and one-page curriculum vitae to scot.irl.standrews2017@gmail.com by 17 May 2017. We anticipate being able to reimburse reasonable travel expenses for all speakers.

Further information is available on the conference website.

ISHR Seminar – Ms Lynn Kilgallon

The next ISHR seminar will take place on Thursday 6 April, when Ms Lynn Kilgallon, of Trinity College Dublin, will present: ‘Parliament, legitimacy and the ‘absent king’ in the insular world (c. 1399-1450).’

This paper will explore how royal authority was operated in the absence of an active adult monarch. Although it has been argued that the only source of fully legitimate authority in medieval governance was the will of the king, fifteenth-century England and Scotland both saw periods in which adult monarchs could not—for a variety of reasons—actively rule. In Ireland, even though colonial governance remained centrally predicated upon royal authority, the king was a permanent absentee. In the absence of the king, guardians, lieutenants and governors came to the fore, while parliaments and general councils acquired an increasingly important role in governance; this paper will explore their roles, and the role played by the elusive ‘political community’ in such circumstances.

The seminar will be held in the New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 71 South Street, St Andrews at 5.30pm, with drinks and nibbles served from 5.15pm.

Book launch – Medieval St Andrews: Church, Cult, City

We look forward to celebrating the publication of Medieval St Andrews: Church, Cult, City, a major landmark in reinterpreting the importance of the town in the middle ages, in a special event hosted by Topping and Company, on Wednesday March 29th, Lower College Hall, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, at 7:45 p.m.

Edited by Prof Michael Brown and Dr Katie Stevenson of the University of St Andrews, Medieval St Andrews is an exploration of St Andrews during the centuries when it was Scotland’s ecclesiastical capital. Its fourteen chapters by a range of distinguished scholars examine the archaeology of its early history, its development as an urban complex, its civic and spiritual life, and its significance as a centre of learning before and after the foundation of its university. Including the results of a great deal of new research, it represents a major contribution to our understanding of St Andrews’ place in the history of medieval Scotland.

Prof Michael Brown will give a talk on the genesis of the book and what it reveals about the medieval town. This will be followed by a presentation by Dr Alan Miller and his Open Virtual Worlds team who are beginning an exciting new project aimed at creating a complete digital reconstruction of St Andrews as it appeared in the mid-sixteenth century – before so much of the medieval townscape was damaged in the Reformation.

Tickets range from £4 – £40, and can be purchased from Topping and Company.

ISHR Seminar – Dr Valerie Wright

The next ISHR seminar takes place on Thursday 9 March, when Dr Valerie Wright of the University of Glasgow will present: ‘”The evils of the present housing conditions”’: Women’s organisations and campaigns for improved housing in interwar Scotland.’

In the interwar years in Scotland women made their voices heard on a range of issues that were important to them through membership of women’s organisations that took an active role in associational culture and civil society. This paper will focus on the ‘housing question’ in both urban and rural Scotland and the ways in which women responded to, and shaped, debates for improved housing conditions for the working classes. Three women’s organisations  will be considered:  the overtly feminist Edinburgh Women Citizens’ Association, the Scottish Co-operative Women’s Guild and the Scottish Women’s Rural Institutes. Class was important in shaping the approach of each organisation as was geographic location.

The seminar will be held in the New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 71 South Street, St Andrews at 5.30pm. Drinks and nibbles will be served from 5.15pm.