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 – 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.

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.

ISHR Seminar – Dr Malcolm Petrie

The first ISHR seminar of the new semester will be on Thursday 26 January, when our own Dr Malcolm Petrie will present ‘Serfdom in Wishaw, Hayek in Kirkcaldy: The thought-world of Scottish nationalism, c.1942-c.1975.’

Studies of the rise in support for the Scottish National Party during the 1960s and 1970s have focussed chiefly on the political consequences of socio-economic developments. This paper, in contrast, examines perceptions of the relationship between government and the people, tracing the evolution, and eventual demise, of a libertarian rhetoric that viewed individual freedom and national autonomy as indivisible. Deployed in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War by the Unionists as a means of constructing an anti-socialist coalition capable of accommodating Liberals and even nationalists, by the 1960s the mantle of individualism had been assumed by the SNP. Crucial to nationalist success was the emergence of a series of issues, most notably the debate surrounding British membership of the Common Market, which raised questions of sovereignty, representation, and democracy, and encouraged a belief that the Westminster parliament no longer reflected public opinion. This sense of political frustration and alienation, while common across Britain, was essential to the politics of the SNP, a party long convinced that government had grown too powerful, authoritarian and remote, and that only independence could free Scotland from the bureaucratic excesses of an ever-expanding central state.

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.

St Andrew’s Day Graduations

Warmest congratulations to our latest ISHR graduates!  Ashley Atkins, Ashley Douglas, Sarah Leith and Hanna Bjornes graduated from the MLitt in Scottish Historical Studies programme in a ceremony on November 30th.

We wish them all the very best in their future projects!

New ISHR graduates Ashley Atkins, Ashley Douglas and Sarah Leith pictured here with Prof Roger Mason. Photo attrib Anne Rutten