The Institute of Scottish Historical Research runs a popular research seminar programme, with visiting speakers delivering papers on a broad range of topics. Meetings are held in the the Old Class Library, St John’s House, South Street unless otherwise stated. Talks begin at 5:30pm.

Institute of Scottish Historical Research Seminars Semester 2, 2023-24

Week 2: 25 January
Rebecca Mason
Women, Property and the Law in Early Modern St Andrews: A Study in Continuity and Change

Week 4: 8 February
Craig Lamont (University of Glasgow)
Hallowed Ground: Rites and Sites of Memory in 19th Century Scotland

Week 6: 22 February
Neil McGuigan
Scottish Kings and the Old English Past

Week 8: 14 March
Annie Tindley (University of Newcastle)
A nobility of trees: the dukes of Buccleuch and forestry in the nineteenth century

Week 10: 28 March
Bradford Bow (University of Aberdeen)
Americanising Scottish Enlightenment Racial Theories: Franklin, Jefferson, Rush and Smith on becoming white in the early republic.

Week 12: 11 April
Kate Ash-Irisarri (University of Edinburgh)
Chronicling the Mistress in late Medieval Scotland and England

Week 14: 25 April
Postgraduate research seminar
Frances Bickerstaff, Timber, sheep and salmon: the monastic economy of south-west Scotland c. 1160-1230.
Michael Fraser, Scots and Huguenots in the Immediate post-Union: A Match Made in [Calvinist] Heaven? 1707-1735.
Ruadhan Scrivener-Anderson, ‘Highland Chieftains’: Selection, Social Class and Nationality of Commissioned Officers in The Black Watch, 1902-1918.

Institute of Scottish Historical Research Seminars Semester 1, 2023-24

Week 2: 21 September
Louisa Taylor (UHI)
Between the cultural world of the Norse and the Scots? The use of violence in high medieval Orkney

Week 4: 5 October
Pauline Van Thienen (École nationale de Chartes)
Renewing the Auld alliance: the Franco-Scottish relationship under the regency of John Stuart, duke of Albany (1515-1524)

Week 7: 26 October
Milinda Banerjee (St Andrews)
“For Freedom (svadhinatar janya)”: Scottish Historical Imagination and the Decolonization of India.

Week 9: 9 November
Dauvit Broun (Glasgow)
Scottish independence and British identity: a medieval perspective

Week 10: Monday 13 November (Parliament Hall. 5.15 pm)
Joint with St Andrews Institute of Medieval Studies
Michael Brown (St Andrews)
Honour and trust in the nation of Scotland: Treason, service and diplomacy in the 1450s

Week 11: 23 November
Karen McAulay (Royal Scottish Conservatoire and Visiting Fellow)
From Magic Lantern to Microphone: the Scottish Music Publishers and Pedagogues inspiring Hearts and Minds through Song

Institute of Scottish Historical Research Seminars Semester 2, 2022-23

Week 1 (19th January): Coralie Mills (University of St Andrews)
Joint seminar with the Archaeology Society
The precise power of the rings: Dendrochronological insights into the last millennium in Scotland
The speaker will be online and can be viewed via Teams at this link or in the Old Class Library.

Week 7 (9th March): Erik Opsahl (Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Visiting ISHR fellow)
The Treaty of Perth (1266): Union of the Realm and the King’s Law in Norway

Week 9 (23rd March): Bryony Coombs (University of Edinburgh)
Joint seminar with the Centre for French History
Scottishness in the Margins: Visualising Scottish National Identity in French Manuscripts 1420-1540

Week 11 (6th April): Jo Tucker (University of Glasgow)
Scribal autonomy in multi-scribe manuscripts: the example of the Chronicle of Melrose Abbey

Week 13 (20th April): Robbie Johnston (Queen’s University Belfast)
Tam Dalyell and Mad Mitch at Empire’s End: Revisiting Scotland in 1968

Week 14 (27th April): Postgraduate Session
Sophie Kniaz, Highly Fragmented, Intensely Connected: Exploring the value of Mediterranean paradigms to the study of early medieval Scotland and the North Channel
Kate McGregor, The December Treaty of 1528: Re-assessing Anglo-Scottish Negotiations
Amber Ward, Towards a cultural history of deindustrialisation in Fife: oral history, subjectivities and memory

Institute of Scottish Historical Research Seminars Semester 1, 2022-23


Thursday 15 September (week 1)
Dr Allan Kennedy (University of Dundee)
Deviance, Marginality, and the Highland Bandit in 17th-Century Scotland

29 September (week 3) School V
TC Smout Lecture – Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch (Emeritus Professor of the History of the Church, St Cross College, University of Oxford)
Marriage: a moving target in Christian history

The TC Smout Lecture will take place in School V, with a reception following in Lower College Hall

13 October (week 5)
Dr Peryn Westerhof Nyman (University of St Andrews)
Digitally Dressing Scotland: Creating Accurate Historical Characters for Virtual Reality Heritage Environments (and why we should get them right)

3 November (week 8)
Dr Alasdair Raffe (University of Edinburgh)
Religious heterodoxy and intellectual pluralism in Scotland, c. 1714-1756

17 November (week 10)
Dr Valerie Wallace (University of St Andrews) TEAMS ONLY and at 7.00pm
Scots law and the British empire: a plea for a new subject


Institute of Scottish Historical Research Seminars Semester 2, 2021-22


Thursday 10 February (week 4)
Dr Sarah Leith (University of St Andrews)
Scotland Zen and the Roots of Scottish Green Nationalism, c.1934-c.1974

Thursday 3 March (week 6)
Dr Clarisse Godard Desmarest (University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens)
Napoleon and Ossian: Celtomania and the construction of French nationhood

Thursday 17 March (week 8)
Dr Martin MacGregor (University of Glasgow)
Gaelic Sovereignty in the Later Middle Ages

Thursday 31 March (week 10)
Daniel Leaver (University of St Andrews)
“We were all Nationalists before oil was discovered”: Rethinking North Sea Oil and Scottish Nationalism, 1967-79.

Thursday 14 April (week 12)
Professor Neil Murphy (Northumbria University)
The Anglo-Scottish War of 1522-4 and Military Supplying in Sixteenth-Century Scotland

Thursday 5th May (week 15)
Professor Robert Morris (University of Edinburgh)
Why does Edinburgh have historic buildings?

Institute of Scottish Historical Research Seminars Semester 1, 2021-22

Thursday 23 September (week 2)
Dr Ewan Gibbs (University of Glasgow)
‘Understanding Coal Country: The Meaning and Memory of Deindustrialization in Postwar Scotland’

Thursday 7 October (week 4)
Postgraduate Presentations
Clemmie De la Poer Beresford (University of St Andrews)
‘Cultural projections of royal authority in Prince Henry Frederick’s creation as Prince of Wales in 1610’

Jessica Secmezsoy-Urquhart (University of St Andrews)
‘Liminal insiders? Disabled Natural Fools and Wonders at the Scottish Royal Court 1488-1603’

Thursday 28 October (week 7)
Dr Edda Frankot (Nord University)
‘To underlie the law within three tides as sea faring men’: Merchants and mariners before the Aberdeen courts in the later middle ages

Thursday 11 November (week 9)
Dr Adrián Maldonado (National Museums Scotland)
Creating a nation: an artefactual history of Scotland AD 800-1200

Thursday 25 November (week 11)
Dr Karie Schultz (University of St Andrews)
Education and the Catholic Mission in Scotland, c. 1660-1707

Institute of Scottish Historical Research Seminars Semester 1, 2019-20

Semester Two

Thursday 30 January (week 1)
Postgraduate work in progress panel (TBC)

Thursday 13 February (week 3)
Dr Kylie Murray (University of Cambridge)
New Identifications: George Buchanan and an Unearthed Manuscript in St Andrews.

Thursday 27 February (week 5)
Dr Alex Woolf (University of St Andrews)
Pictoscepticism and the Rise of the House of Alpin

Thursday 12 March (week 7)
Dr Alison Cathcart (University of Stirling)
James VI and I and his empire of islands: the view from the periphery.

Thursday 9 April (week 9)
Karie Schultz (Queens University Belfast)
The reception of Catholic scholastic legal theory in Samuel Rutherford’s Lex, Rex (1644)

Thursday 25 April (week 11)
Dr Adrián Maldonado (National Museums Scotland)
Making a nation: an artefactual history of Scotland AD 800-1200

Semester One

Thursday 19 September (week 1)
Dr Ben Jackson (University of Oxford)
Old Nationalism and New Nationalism: Changing Arguments for Scottish Independence, c.1928-2014

Thursday 3 October (week 3) Annual Smout Lecture


Professor Poul Holm (Trinity College Dublin)
The North Atlantic Fish Revolution, c1500 AD – climate, markets, people

Thursday 17 October (week 5)
Professor Laura Stewart (University of York)
Manuscript Circulation and Political Mobilisation in Covenanted Scotland

Thursday 7 November (week 8)
Dr Jane Harrison (University of Oxford)
New Perspectives on Scandinavian settlement in the Northern Isles: Landscapes,
Longhouses and Place Names

Thursday 21 November (week 10)
Professor Kirstie Blair (University of Strathclyde)
The Piston and the Press: Industrial Heritage, Working-Class History and Literary

Thursday 5 December (week 12) 
Dr Lucinda Dean (University of the Highlands and Islands) 
Raising Royal Scottish Babes: Baptisms, Gossibs and Godparents in Late Medieval and Early Modern Scotland