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 ( by Friday 5 October to register.

Dress and Décor: Domestic Textiles and Personal Adornment in Scotland up to 1700

23-24 March 2018, St John’s House, University of St Andrews

The Institute of Scottish Historical Research (University of St Andrews) is pleased to invite papers for Dress and Décor: Domestic Textiles and Personal Adornment in Scotland up to 1700, an interdisciplinary workshop to be held at the University of St Andrews in March 2018 as part of ISHR’s tenth-anniversary celebrations. With panel discussions and four diverse keynote presentations, the conference will seek to bring together a wide range of researchers from the burgeoning fields of Scottish history and dress and textile history in an interdisciplinary environment.
We hope to include a wide range of perspectives on the study of material culture history, including speakers from academic institutions, museum professionals, archaeologists, and historical crafts practitioners, and we welcome postgraduate students and early career/unaffiliated researchers.
Proposals for papers of 20 minutes in length will be accepted until 15th December 2017. Please see our CFP for submission details.

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.


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.

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 by 17 May 2017. We anticipate being able to reimburse reasonable travel expenses for all speakers.

Further information is available on the conference website.

Elizabeth Melville and the Poetics of Desire in Early Modern Britain

Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross (c.1578-c.1640), was the first Scotswoman to see her poetry printed. This lecture situates her writing in the context of her Calvinist life and milieu, focusing particularly on the renunciation of earthly desire in her Puritanical vision, Ane Godlie Dreame (1603), and her sonnets. Ane Godlie Dreame is newly identified as the culmination of the dream-vision in Scotland, while the sonnets can be understood afresh as inflecting English love poetry towards a distinctively Scottish anti-amatory poetics. Ultimately, as her publication history also attests, Lady Culross was a poet of far greater significance than has previously been recognised.

Dr Kylie Murray, University of Cambridge
The 2016 British Academy Chatterton Lecture
Wednesday 12th October, 5.15pm, The Lawson Lecture Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English

Presbyterianism and Scottish Literature

This half-day colloquium, under the auspices of the Carnegie Literature and Union project, the St Andrews Institutes of Intellectual History and Scottish Historical Research, and the Centre for Robert Burns Studies, University of Glasgow, will take place on Friday 7 October 2016, in The Senate Room, South Street, University of St Andrews (Entrance via the King James Library in St Mary’s Quad).

The event is free and open. However, for catering purposes, please register your interest with Prof. Colin Kidd on


2 pm Welcome

2.05 Dr Valerie Wallace (Victoria University, Wellington) ‘Thomas Pringle’

2.40 Gerard McKeever (University of Glasgow), ‘Circling Time: The Scottish Cotter Idyll and Social Change’

3.15 TEA in Undercroft, Mediaeval History, 71 South Street

3.30 Dr Andrew Holmes (Queen’s Belfast), ‘Poetry, politics and Presbyterianism: the Ulster Dimension’

4.10 pm Prof Gerry Carruthers (University of Glasgow), ‘Presbyterianism and the Legacy of Thomas Muir’

4.45 pm Concluding Discussion

The Future of Early Modern Scottish Studies

The Future of Early Modern Scottish Studies is a two-day international conference which will be held at the University of St Andrews on 13 and 14 January 2017.

The conference aims is to provide a space for a wide variety of scholars to come together and share their research, plans, and ideas covering all aspects of early modern Scotland including but not limited to history, literature, art history, music and geography. Presenters already confirmed include Allan Kennedy (Manchester), Allan MacInnes (Strathclyde), Esther Mijers (Edinburgh), Steve Murdoch (St Andrews), Steven Reid (Glasgow), and Kathrin Zickermann (UHI). The deadline for proposals is Friday, 9 September 2016.

The conference will consist of roundtable discussions and lightning talks as well as traditional papers and will be video recorded throughout. These recordings will subsequently be made available through this website to provide a longer term teaching and learning repository.

For further details, please see the conference website.