Re-thinking the Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland

Re-thinking the Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland:
A Conference in Honour of Roger A. Mason, Professor of Scottish History

Saturday 13 October 2018
Parliament Hall, University of St Andrews

Reconstruction of St Salvator’s Chapel. Photo courtesy of Smart History

The Institute of Scottish Historical Research is pleased to announce the hosting of a one-day conference in honour of Professor Roger Mason. Featuring contributions from leading scholars, this conference will examine how we define and date these two movements in Scotland, particularly as a result of Professor Mason’s extensive work on Scottish renaissance culture, and intellectual and textual history. The major themes to be discussed on the day include political thought in Scotland; new ways of looking at the renaissance and reformation in Scotland; Knox, Buchanan and James VI; the intersection of politics, history and literature; and renaissance literature and iconography.

Please see the attached programme for the full schedule. The event is free and a buffet lunch will be provided, but places are limited. If you would like to attend, please email Dr Malcolm Petrie (mp49@st-andrews.ac.uk) by Friday 5 October to register.

Face to Face: Stories from the Asylum

Face to Face: Stories from the Asylum
An exhibition on the lives of Victorian patients at Dundee Royal Lunatic Asylum

reproduced with permission of University of Dundee Archive Services

Tower Foyer Gallery, University of Dundee
23 March – 9 June 2018: Mon – Fri 09:30 – 19:00 Sat 13:00 – 17:00
Admission free

Currently on display at the University of Dundee, Face to Face: Stories from the Asylum is a new exhibition exploring the lives of nine patients admitted to Dundee Royal Lunatic Asylum around the turn of the twentieth century. Researched and curated by St Andrews PhD student Morag Allan Campbell, the exhibition aims to promote awareness and discussion about present day mental health issues by uncovering the experience of mental illness in the past, and is a collaboration between the University of St Andrews and University of Dundee Archive Services.

Using photographs and information from their case notes, the exhibition tells each patient’s story – where they came from, the circumstances that brought them to the asylum and the dilemmas faced by their families. Their diagnoses and treatment are explained within the context of how mental illness was understood during that period, and their stories are also placed within the local historical background of late nineteenth/early twentieth century Dundee.

reproduced with permission of University of Dundee Archive Services

The exhibition is one strand of a wider project, Promoting Mental Health through the Lessons of History, based at the University of St Andrews and led by Prof. Rab Houston of the School of History. The project also includes Rab’s highly successful podcast series exploring the history of psychiatry in Britain and Ireland since 1500, currently available on SoundCloud and now into a third series.

Face to Face: Stories from the Asylum, will be on display in the Tower Foyer Gallery from March 23 until June 9th, and a number of associated events are planned, including talks, a panel discussion and a creative writing workshop.

Further information is available on the exhibition website: http://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/facetoface/

You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook @FacetoFaceStA

ISHR Reading Weekend 2017

This weekend saw the annual ISHR reading weekend take place at The Burn, Glenesk.  A number of ISHR members and guests gathered in these beautiful surroundings to share research in progress and catch up with events and issues in the field of Scottish history. Papers presented ranged from discussion of clothing in late medieval Scotland to the representation of Burns as ‘Scotland’s voice’ during and after the First World War. Participants also visited the nearby House of Dun, with a tour of the house itself and a chance to enjoy the sunshine in the surrounding grounds.  Once again, the hospitality of the staff at The Burn made the weekend as relaxing as as it was rewarding.

You can read more about the weekend on the School of History blog.

Enjoying the sunshine at the beautiful House of Dun. Photo attrib. Ellen Collingsworth. CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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.

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 – Prof Steve Boardman

The next ISHR seminar will take place on Thursday 23 February when Steve Boardman, Professor in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh, and ISHR Visiting Scholar during this academic year, will present ‘Bucktooth, Earl Beardie, and the Black Knight: Names and by-names in late medieval Scotland.’

Steve’s paper examines naming patterns within the late medieval Scottish nobility. The first part of the paper looks at baptismal names and, while acknowledging the deep conservatism that determined name choice in general, attempts to trace and explain the growing popularity of ‘new’ names such as George, Ninian and Duthac. In the second half of the paper the focus is on the positive or condemnatory nicknames or bynames earned by, or imposed on, particular noblemen and what these appellations might tell us about the political, social and cultural world of the late medieval Scottish aristocracy.

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.

New publication explores the life and works of Robert Baillie

The Institute of Scottish Historical Research is delighted to announce the publication in the St Andrews Studies in Scottish History series of Alexander D. Campbell’s The Life and Works of Robert Baillie (1602-1662) Politics, Religion and Record-Keeping in the British Civil Wars.

9781783271849_1From 1637 to 1660, the Scots witnessed rapid and confused changes in government and violent skirmishing, whilst impassioned religious disputes divided neighbours, friends and family. One of the most vivid accounts of this period may be found in the letters of the Glaswegian minister, Robert Baillie; but whilst his correspondence has long featured in historical accounts of the period, the man behind these writings has largely been forgotten.

Based on the first, systematic reading of Baillie’s extensive surviving manuscripts, comprising thousands of leaves of correspondence, treatises, sermons, and notebooks, this biography draws together for the first time an analysis of Baillie’s career and writings, establishing his significance as a polemicist, minister, theologian, and contemporary historian.

Alexander D. Campbell is Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Post-Doctoral Fellow, Queen’s University, Canada.

The Life and Works of Robert Baillie (1602-1662) Politics, Religion and Record-Keeping in the British Civil Wars is available now from the Boydell and Brewer website.

ISHR Seminar – Postgraduate progress

Our next seminar takes place on Thursday 9 February, and features a postgraduate progress panel. Three current PhD candidates at the ISHR will present short papers:

Morag Allan Campbell:
‘A tale of two asylums: Caring for the insane in nineteenth century Dundee and Angus’

Rory MacLellan:
‘The Lion Dormant? Armchair-crusading and the Scottish Hospitallers, 1322-88’

Anne Rutten:
‘How to do things with medieval words: Writing in the reigns of Robert II and Robert III’

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.