Monthly Round Up: February

Photo attr. Daniel Peckham, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Photo attr. Daniel Peckham, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.


Dr Katie Stevenson on the Radio

Dr Katie Stevenson appeared on BBC radio in a programme on the Black Death in Scotland. The programme can be heard here.

Dr Barbara Crawford awarded Honorary Professorship from UHI

The School of History extends congratulations to Dr Barbara Crawford, who has been awarded the title of Honorary Professor from the University of the Highlands and Islands. She has been active in the Centre for Nordic Studies in Kirkwall – where she is an Honorary Fellow ­– since it opened, and she will continue to be involved with their various teaching and research programmes.

Ms Jane Ryder to chair Historic Environment Scotland Board

The School of History would also like to congratulate Ms Jane Ryder OBE, a St Andrews graduate in Mediaeval and Modern History, who recently became the first chair of the Historic Environment Scotland Board. Ms. Ryder will hold this position from 19 January 2015 until 18 January 2019.

International Society for Historians of Atheism, Secularism, and Humanism

Mr Nathan Alexander, a PhD student and Communications Intern in the School of History, recently started a group called the International Society for Historians of Atheism, Secularism, and Humanism (ISHASH) with another PhD student, Mr Elliot Hanowski, from Queen’s University, Canada. The society aims to provide the growing number of scholars in this field with a platform for networking and collaboration. Thus far, members include professors and postgraduates from seven countries. The society’s inaugural conference, to be held at Conway Hall in London, is planned for this year.


Statue of Louis XIV, the 'Sun King', Photo attr. Wally Gobetz, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Statue of Louis XIV, the ‘Sun King’, Photo attr. Wally Gobetz, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Dr Guy Rowlands spoke to the seminar of the Scottish Centre for War Studies at Glasgow University on 20th January, on the subject: ‘The Sinews of War, the Sun King, and the Burdens and Perils of being a Superpower.’

On 22nd January, Dr Aileen Fyfe spoke at a Café Scientifique in Aikman’s bar, St Andrews. A ‘full house’ turned up to discuss the increasing importance of peer review in science.

Dr James Palmer spoke at the ‘Calendars and Religion in Antiquity and the Middle Ages’ workshop at UCL on 18th February. His paper was entitled ‘Calendars, Religion and Order in the Carolingian World (740-900)’.

On 18th February Dr Sarah Easterby-Smith gave a paper entitled ‘Paris, Mauritius and Mysore: Diplomatic Botany in 1788’ to the History Department Seminar at the University of Aberdeen.

Ms Hambly, Mrs Graham, and Mr Dawson attended the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales Digital Past conference in Swansea on 11th-12th February, where Mr Dawson gave one of the keynote addresses. They also helped organise an event in the Scottish Parliament as part of Scottish Environment Week, including giving a lunchtime presentation in one of the Committee Rooms.

Dr. Konrad Lawson presented “Managing International Projects in the Digital Humanities: Collaboration, Modularity, and Longevity” at a conference at the University of Freiburg on 21 February, 2015 entitled “Digital Humanities and the Maoist Legacy: Challenges and Opportunities”


Carol Hillenbrand, An Introduction to Islam: Beliefs and Practices in Historical Perspective (Thames and Hudson, 2015)

Carole Hillenbrand, long acknowledged as a preeminent authority on Islam, has now written a superb introduction to this great world religion, a book that promises to be the most lucid, nuanced text of its kind on the market. Beginning with the life of Muhammad, Hillenbrand firmly establishes in historical and global context the beliefs and ideals of Muslims and the branches and movements within the faith. Rather than portraying Islam as a monolithic entity, Hillenbrand emphasizes its diversity and variety. Featured chapters include, but are not limited to: Law, Diversity, Sufism, Jihad, and Women. Finally, a concluding chapter on Islam in the globalized twenty-first century is bound to appeal to instructors and students alike.

Frank Lorenz Müller and Dominik Geppert, eds, Sites of imperial memory: Commemorating colonial rule in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, (Manchester University Press, 2015).

Tomasz Kamusella, Ô rechtsztat a echte demokracyjo we Schlōnzsku / For Democracy and the Rule of Law in Upper Silesia, 2015, Zabrze, Poland: NOS.

Nikolaos Papadogiannis and Sebastian Gehrig, ‘‘The Personal is Political: Sexuality, Gender and the Left During the 1970s’, European Review of History 22/1 (2015), pp. 1-15.

Nikolaos Papadogiannis, ‘Red and Purple? Feminism and Young Greek Eurocommunists in the 1970s’,European Review of History 22/1 (2015), pp. 16-40.

Tomasz Kamusella, Creating Languages in Central Europe During the Last Millennium (Palgrave, 2015).

Languages are formed into discrete entities, as we know them nowadays, by the technology of writing in the service of power centers, usually state capitals. All the choices made on the way – planned or not – amount to standardization which intensifies as the literate percentage of population increases. Long-lasting extant states and religions decidedly shaped the constellation of written languages across Central Europe. Having emerged in the 10th and 11th centuries, this constellation was dramatically remade during the religious wars and, from the 15th to 17th centuries, by the invention and spread of printing, marking a growing correlation between vernaculars and written languages. After 1918, Central Europe’s multiethnic empires were replaced by nation-states, giving rise to the political principle of ethnolinguistic nationalism which holds that the nation-state is legitimate only if it is monolingual and monoscriptural and does not share its official language with another polity. This book provides an overview detailed history and linguistic analysis of how the many languages of Central Europe have developed from the 10th century to the present day, when cyberspace changes the rules of the game.

About standrewshistory
With over forty fulltime members of staff researching and teaching on European, American and Asian history from the dawn of the Middle Ages to the present day, the School of History at the University of St Andrews has one of the finest faculty and diverse teaching programmes of any School of History in the English speaking world. The School boasts expertise in Mediaeval and Modern History, from Scotland to Byzantium and the Americas to South Asia. Thematic interests include religious history, urban history, transnationalism, historiography and nationalism. The School of History prides itself on small group teaching, allowing for in-depth study and supervision tailored to secure the best from each student. Cutting edge research combined with teaching excellence offer a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment for the study of History.

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