Historical Conversations Series – University of Glasgow

A free public programme of talks, interviews and panel discussions hosted by the University of Glasgow. Each event will include pop up exhibitions with items from the Glasgow University Library Special Collections.

All events will be held in the lecture theatre of the Kelvin Hall on Tuesdays, starting at 5.30.

For full details and to register click here.

PROGRAMME

19 September 2017: Opening Conversation, Semester 1
T.C. Smout
Chair: Catriona Macdonald
This event is followed by a wine reception sponsored by the Hunterian Museum.

10 October 2017: Medieval Panel
Steve Boardman; Dauvit Broun; Stephen Driscoll
Chair: Thomas Clancy

31 October 2017: Early Modern Panel
Keith Brown; Roger Mason
Chair: Ali Cathcart

14 November 2017: Modern Scotland: cultural, political and social perspectives
Callum Brown; Richard Finlay; W. Hamish Fraser
Chair: Catriona Macdonald

5 December 2017: Eighteenth Century Scotland
Allan Macinnes; Murray Pittock; Chris Whatley
Chair: Stephen Mullen

16 Jan 2018: Opening Conversation, Semester 2
T.M. Devine
Chair: Brian Taylor (BBC)

30 Jan 2018: Highland History
Ewen Cameron; James Hunter
Chair: Martin MacGregor

20 Feb 2018: Gender History
Lynn Abrams; Eleanor Gordon; Jane Rendall
Chair: Catriona Macdonald

13 March 2018: Scotland’s Empire/ Scotland’s Diaspora
Marjory Harper; John M. MacKenzie; Graeme Morton
Chair: Andrew Mackillop

24 April 2018: Scottish History and Scottish Literature
Henry Marsh; James Robertson
Chair: Ted Cowan
This event is followed by a wine reception sponsored by the Centre for Robert Burns Studies.

15 May 2018: Archiving Scotland
Irene O’Brien; George MacKenzie; John Scally
Chair: Lesley Richmond
This event is followed by a wine reception sponsored by Glasgow University Library.

Workshop – The British-Dutch World in the Age of Elizabeth of Bohemia

Friday, 21 April 2017, New Seminar Room, St John’s House, 69 South Street.

9.15-10.15
Welcome by Catherine Stihler MEP & Rector of the University

Miranda Lewis – Cultures of Knowledge: EMLO (Early Modern Letters Online), with a focus on WEMLO (Women’s Early Modern Letters Online) and Elizabeth of Bohemia

10.15-10.30 Coffee Break

10.30-12.00 – Chair: Steve Murdoch
Andrew R Little – The British-Dutch Maritime World in the Age of the Two Republics
Graeme Millen – Serve or Stand Down? British Regiments in the Netherlands 1648-1688

12.00-13.30 Buffet Lunch

13.30- 15.00 – Chair: Nadine Akkerman
Marika Keblusek – Curious Collections: Art and luxury objects at the Dutch Courts of Elizabeth of Bohemia
Esther Mijers – Education as Agency in the Scottish-Dutch World

15.00-15.15 Coffee Break

15.30-17.15 – Chair: Andrew Pettegree
Kirsty Rolfe – Remembering and Rewriting the ‘Palatine Cause’ in 1658-1660
Arthur der Weduwen – Britain and the Dutch newspaper trade in the seventeenth century

Round Table: The Age of Elizabeth – all speakers. Chair: Roger Mason

17.45 – ISHR Wine reception in the Undercroft.

19.00 dinner, Zizzi’s Italian Restaurant

Public lecture – Dr Nadine Akkerman

We are delighted to welcome Dr Nadine Akkerman of the University of Leiden, who will present a lecture entitled ‘Missreading Women, Misleading Women: How One Letter Changes Everything.’  The lecture will be held on Thursday 20 April, at 5.30 pm, in the Arts Lecture Theatre, and is followed by a workshop on Friday 21 April on The British-Dutch World in the Age of Elizabeth of Bohemia.  Anyone wishing to attend the workshop should contact Steve Murdoch no later than noon on Wednesday 19 April.

Elizabeth Stuart (1596-1662) was at the centre of European diplomacy, warfare and intrigue for much of her life. The daughter of James VI of Scotland, she was brought up in England following her father’s accession to the English throne in 1603. In 1613 she married the German Protestant, Frederick V, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and settled at their grand court in Heidelberg. When Frederick was elected king of Bohemia in 1619, they moved to Prague, but their reign was short-lived – earning them the soubriquets the ‘Winter Queen’ and the ‘Winter King’ – when Frederick was defeated by his Catholic rival for the throne at the battle of the White Mountain, often taken as the first engagement of the Thirty Years War. Forced to flee Bohemia, Elizabeth spent much of the rest of her life in the Hague, where she bore Frederick eight children before his death in 1632, and where she maintained a voluminous correspondence with key political, religious and cultural figures in contemporary Europe.

Dr Nadine Akkerman’s extensive research on Elizabeth has included editing three substantial volumes of her correspondence, published by Oxford University Press.

Her lecture draws on this research to explore the hitherto neglected role of women as spies in 17th century Europe. Challenging the assumption that women played little or no role in espionage, she will show how shop-keepers, singers, nurses, ladies-in-waiting, postmistresses, and women in other professions and positions operated as spies, especially during the period 1647-1667. Unlike men, these women were not restricted by codes of chivalry and honour. Sometimes they worked alone, but there is substantial evidence to suggest their involvement in secret spy networks. Hitherto unexamined archival material reveals the underground whereabouts of early modern female spies. How did early modern women spies operate differently from their male colleagues? To what extent were they successful and for what reasons? What were the advantages and restrictions of their gender? And, finally, how did female, seemingly informal, news networks intersect with the male world of high diplomacy, intelligence, and espionage? By addressing such questions, Dr Akkerman will demonstrate that early modern espionage was by no means a male preserve.

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

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.

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.