Summer Round Up

News

519qpjslulL._AC_US218_Congratulations to Mlitt student Ashley Atkins and Dr Malcolm Petrie for winning the Royal Historical Society Rees Davies Prize and David Berry Prize respectively!

Congratulations also  to Arthur der Weduwen, who has been awarded the James D. Forbes Prize.  The prize is awarded to a student collector who has assembled a collection of books, printed ephemera, manuscripts or photographs, tied together by a common theme. Arthur was awarded the prize for his developing collection of the everyday books of the Dutch Golden Age.

 

Staff Activity

9781138195837Andrew Pettegree appeared in the documentary Sing, Fight, Cry, Pray: Music of the reformations

The USTC hosted the Printed Book in Central Europe Conference

On July 25, Professor Roger Mason and Principal Sally Mapstone took part in the roundtable ‘Literary Culture in Medieval and Renaissance Scotland: Perspectives and Patterns’ at the International Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Language

Dr Emily Michelson recommended her favourite neighbourhoods in Rome in the Times Higher Education

On August 24-5, the Spatial History and Its Sources workshop took place

James Palmer was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Take it to the Brink on August 27

Recent Publications

The Future of Early Modern Scotland Conference has posted its video proceedings online

Rory Cox, ‘Gratian’, in Daniel R. Brunstetter, Cian O’Driscoll (eds), Just War Thinkers: From Cicero to the 21st Century, (Routledge, 2017)

Timothy Greenwood, ‘A Contested Jurisdiction: Armenia in Late Antiquity’ in E. Sauer (ed.), Sasanian Persia: Between Rome and the Steppes of Eurasia (Edinburgh University Press, 2017)

— ‘Armenian traditions in ninth and tenth-century Byzantium: Basil I, Constantine VII and the Vita Basilii’ in I. Toth, & T. Shawcross (eds.), The Culture of Reading In Byzantium: Festschrift for Professors Elizabeth and Michael Jeffreys (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

Bridget HealA Magnificent Faith: Art and Identity in Lutheran Germany (OUP, 2017)

John Hudson, ‘Emotions in the early common law (c. 1166–1215)‘ Journal of Legal History, (38.2), pp. 130-154.

Caroline Humfress, ‘Gift-giving and inheritance strategies in late Roman law and legal practice’, in O-A Rønning, H Møller Sigh & H Vogt (eds.), Donations, Inheritance and Property in the Nordic and Western World from Late Antiquity until Today. (Routledge, 2017)

Tomasz Kamusella, ‘The rise and dynamics of the normative isomorphism of language, nation, and state in Central Europe’ . in M Flier & A Graziosi (eds.), The Battle for Ukrainian: A Comparative Perspective (Harvard University Press, 2017), pp. 415-451.

Dimitri Kastritsis, ‘Legend and historical experience in fifteenth-century Ottoman narratives of the past’ in P Lambert & B Weiler (eds.), How the Past was Used: Historical Cultures, c. 750-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2017) 9781474401012_1

Chandrika Kaul, ‘Gallipoli, media and commemorations during 2015 select perspectives‘ Media History, 1-27.

Konrad Lawson, ‘Between Postoccupation and Postcolonial: Framing the Recent Past in the Philippine Treason Amnesty Debate, 1948’ in Kerstin von Linged (ed.), Debating Collaboration and Complicity in War Crimes Trials in Asia, 1945-1956 (Palgrave, 2017)

Gillian Mitchell, ‘’Mod Movement in Quality Street Clothes’: British Popular Music and Pantomime, 1955-1975’, New Theatre Quarterly XXXIII Part 3 (August 2017): pp. 254-276.

Richard WhatmoreSaving republics by moving republicans: Britain, Ireland and ‘New Geneva’ during the Age of Revolutions History, (102.351) pp. 386-413.

 

 

 

The Future of Early Modern Scottish Studies

Blog written by Dr Kelsey Jackson-Williams

One of the best things about any corner of academia is the community.  Whether you study Shakespeare or dolphins or Italian volcanoes there’s always that group of similarly-minded scholars with whom you correspond, chat to, argue with, and collectively build the field.  Scottish studies is no different; indeed, its small size has traditionally meant that the community surrounding it is strong and close-knit (though not without the occasional squabble).  It was a great pleasure, then, to organise – along with Kimberly Sherman and Andrew Carter – a conference, held in St Andrews, drawing together part of that community in January 2017.

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The general roundable: “Where do we go from here?”

The Future of Early Modern Scottish Studies”, as we grandiosely called it, was meant to be more than just another opportunity to chat about our research.  We had the usual twenty-minute papers, yes, but we also had lightning talks and discussion sessions focused on how we could develop as a discipline, what could and should be done to make that happen, and how our small neuk of the academy interacted with the humanities as a whole.  It was a fantastic two days, with twenty-two speakers from across Europe and America present, and I hope that everyone else learned as much as I did.

But that’s not all.  As I said, we wanted this to be something more lasting than an ordinary conference and to that end we also recorded the proceedings.  These are now available online at the conference website and on Youtube.  Our hope is that they can be watched by interested scholars who weren’t able to be present in person, but also that they can serve as resources for teaching at the undergraduate and masters level, providing an opportunity to expose students to some of the cutting edge research currently going on in the field.

 

Going forward, we’re preparing an edited volume showcasing the work of conference attendees (as well as a couple of other scholars who had hoped to attend the conference but were unavoidably detained).  Our goal is to advance the field, but also to build its community and to help that community better work together and share its discoveries, plans, and ambitions.  What better way forward for Early Modern Scottish studies?

 

The Printed Book in Central Europe Conference

Blog written by PhD student Drew Thomas

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From left to right: Dr Howard Louthan, Dr Jolanta Rzegocka, Polish Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki, Professor Mapstone, Drew Thomas, Professor Andrew Pettegree

The St Andrews Book Project in the School of History, along with the Centre for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota, hosted its annual conference this year from 29 June to 1 July. The conference theme was The Printed Book in Central Europe. Scholars from across Europe and America spoke on the rise of the printing press predominantly in lands east of the Holy Roman Empire. The Polish Embassy in London sponsored Polish scholars to attend the conference and the Polish Ambassador, His Excellency Arkady Rzegocki, attended the conference accompanied by his wife, Dr Jolanta Rzegocka.

Hosted in Parliament Hall, the conference was one of the largest in years with around sixty attendees. The twenty-seven papers, spread over two and half days, provided many stimulating conversations. The conference prides itself on not having parallel sessions, which greatly enhances the quality of the question and answer periods with so many specialists in the audience.

The conference began with a panel focusing on the transition from manuscript culture to print culture. Later in the day there were sessions focusing on printing in Transylvania and printing for the Jewish community. Friday’s panels focused on the usage of woodcuts and engravings in central European printing, as well as the effects of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. The conference concluded on Saturday with James Brophy of the University of Delaware, who spoke on printers’ reluctance to adopt the steam press in the 19th century and the importance that the hand press continued to play in oppositional political print.

The Polish Embassy graciously hosted a wine and beer reception, which featured a marvelous display by Special Collections of treasures from its holdings relating to the conference theme. University Principal Professor Sally Mapstone spoke to the guests on the history of St Andrews’ relationship with Poland, such as the more than 40,000 Scots who immigrated to Poland during the 17th century and the number of Polish soldiers who settled in St Andrews following the Second World War. The latter is memorialized by various monuments in town, including the bust of General Sikorski, the Prime Minister of the Polish Government-in-Exile and Commander-in-Chief of the Polish forces.

IMG_1933The Special Collections exhibit featured several items from the University’s collection relating to Polish history. One of the popular items was a 1599 manuscript of John Payton’s A Relation of the Kingdome of Polonia and the United Provinces of the Crowne. It was the first English account of Poland-Lithuania’s politics, law, and administration, culture, and diplomatic relations. Although it was thought to have only survived in a single copy at the British Library, a new copy surfaced for sale in May 2013 and was acquired by the St Andrews University Library.

Also on display was a 1543 first edition of Nicolaus Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus, published by Johann Petreius in Nuremberg. Copernicus was born in Poland and later a canon at the Polish Frombork cathedra. His work, published just before his death, offered a heliocentric understanding of the solar system. It came into prominence after the trial of Galileo when it was put on the Index of Forbidden Books in 1616, where it would stay until 1820.

The reception ended with Professor Mapstone presenting a copy of A Companion to the Reformation in Central Europe to Ambassador Rzegocki as a token of our thanks for his country’s generosity. The presented volume, published by Brill, was co-edited by Dr Howard Louthan, co-organizer of the conference, and Dr Graeme Murdock from Trinity College, Dublin, who was also in attendance. Many of the contributors to the volume were also present.

The conference was a great success. The proceedings will be published in Brill’s The Library of the Written Word. Next year’s conference on ‘Print and Power’ will take place 21-23 June 2018. For more information, please visit ustc.ac.uk.

Monthly Round Up: June

book coverStaff Activity

On Friday 2nd June 2017 Professor Guy Rowlands was the expert guest on BBC2’s ‘Inside Versailles’ 

Dr Chandrika Kaul was interviewed as an expert on Brexit for Konflikt, the leading foreign affairs show on Sveriges Radio, the national public service broadcaster of Sweden, on 3rd June

On June 7, ‘The Interwar Dance Craze: a Transnational History’ symposium took place

On 8 June Dr Jacqueline Rose and Professor Colin Kidd co-organised an impact event at All Souls College, Oxford, on ‘Political Advice: from Antiquity to the Present’, which brought together practitioners from both sides of the Whitehall fence as well as academics from a variety of disciplines, including literature, history, classics, psychology, politics and natural sciences

Between June 7 and June 15, Dr Tomasz Kamusella presented the following papers: ‘Europa Środkowa w krzywym zwierciadle map, języków i pojęć’ [Central Europe in the Distorting Mirror of Maps, Languages and Concepts]; ‘Niepolska Polska: rok 1989 i iluzja odzyskanej ciągłości historycznej’ [The Un-Polish Poland: 1989 and the Illusion of
Regained Historical Continuity];  ‘Imagining the Nation: Ontological and Epistemic Objectivity’;  ‘Problemy mizhnarodnoi bezpeky v Tsentralnii Evropi’ [The Problems of International Security in Central Europe], at Iaderna bezpeka Ukrainy v konteksti svitovogo dosvidu [Nuclear Security and Ukraine from the Global Perspective conference]; ‘Tsentral’na Evropa v krivomu dzerkali map, mov i poniat’ [Central Europe in the Distorting Mirror of Maps, Languages and Concepts]

Publications

Chandrika Kaul, ‘Researching Empire and Periodicals’ in “Researching the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: Case Studies’ in Alexis Easley, Andrew King and John Morton (eds.), Researching the Nineteenth Century Periodical Press: Case Studies, (Routledge, 2018)

Tim Greenwood, The Universal History of Step‘anos Tarōnec‘iOxford Studies in Byzantium (OUP, 2017)

Tim Greenwood, ‘Aristakēs Lastivertc‘i and Armenian urban consciousness’ in M. Lauxtermann and M. Whittow (eds.), Byzantium in the Eleventh Century: Being in Between (Routledge, 2017), pp. 88-105.

Untangling Academic Publishing Launch

Blog written by Dr Aileen Fyfe

untanglingpublishingbooks.jpgAcademics should take back control of the communication of research, according to a briefing paper launched on May 25 by a team led by St Andrews researchers. ‘Untangling Academic Publishing: A history of the relationship between commercial interests, academic prestige and the circulation of research’ examines the recent historical changes in academic publishing, and highlights the disconnect between traditional scholarly ideals of circulation and the current commercially-motivated system. It argues for the importance of considering academic work cultures – particularly the emphasis on publishing in certain prestigious venues – when trying to drive changing practices.

The paper was launched with a talk at the British Academy by Dr Aileen Fyfe, lead author, and reader in Modern History. She outlined the huge change in models of academic publishing that took place around 1950, and asked why similarly large changes had yet to take place despite known problems such as the constraints on library funding, and the arrival of online publishing.  Aileen argued that learned societies and universities – as organisations representing communities of academics, and with an intrinsic commitment to promoting research and scholarship – ought to take the lead in creating cost-efficient, prestige-bearing venues for online communication of research.

untanglingphoto.jpgDavid Sweeney, Executive Chair Designate of Research England, responded to the talk, saying it had raised many key points about the value of academic publishing and its relationship to academic prestige culture. He welcomed the briefing paper as a ‘constructive and thoughtful’ contribution to the debate about the future of academic publishing. He praised it as ‘pleasingly free – almost! – from polemic’, noting that this is all too rare in an area where there are strong feelings on both sides. Some common ground is needed if we are genuinely to work together to seek a future arrangement that offers value for all.

The launch was supported by a number of articles written by Aileen and her team. In ‘Who should speak for academics over the future of publishing?‘ she called upon scholars to take back control over the peer review process, and she advocated for the return of non-commercial academic publishing in ‘Commercial publishing has had its day, and societies must adapt‘. Professor Stephen Curry also encouraged a return to information shared freely, instead of continuing to adhere to the expensive subscription models.

Since the launch, there has been an outpouring of responses to the report from across the globe. The Times Higher Education recommended that “academics should resist signing over the copyright of their research to a “profit-oriented” academic publisher if they can secure a licence to publish themselves” while Ernesto Priego described the report as “documenting the need for academics to enhance the fairer dissemination of their research work and to reclaim and redistribute ownership of academic content from for-profit publishers. ” Shawn Martin unpicked the differences between UK and US academic publishing history, and Veruscript was especially interested in returning the control of publishing to the academic community. Kat Steiner highlighted the problems of accessibility, stating that “academics shouldn’t just sign over their copyright” – even the British Library Science Blog concluded that “it is time to look again at whether learned societies should be taking more of a role in research dissemination and maybe financially supporting it, with particular criticism of those learned societies who contract out production of their publications to commercial publishers and do not pay attention to those publishers’ policies and behaviour.”

 

Class Trip ‘The German Hercules’: Martin Luther and Germany

Luther 2017 1.jpgBlog written by Ffion Bailey

Our intrepid historical adventurers set off from St Andrews bright and early on a fine Thursday morning for a few days of Lutheran fun, neither ‘celebrating’ the ‘jubilee’ of the beginning of the Reformation in 1517, nor embarking on a pilgrimage to buy Lutheran relics (or Playmobil figurines), but commencing an exploration of the places that were key to Luther’s Reformation.

Our journey began with a walking tour of the Wartburg, where Luther hid under the protection of Frederick the Wise after the Diet of Worms. Although disappointed by the lack of donkeys at the castle, which welcomed Luther in his day, buses were an adequate substitute for our enthusiastic bunch to reach their destination. Despite feeling rather worse for wear after tasting some German beer(s) the previous night, the brightly reconstructed nineteenth-century rooms, castle views and interesting gift shop souvenirs rallied the group. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Eisenach house offered further entertainment later in the day, where highlights included the hanging pods designed for listening to some of the composer’s greatest hits, and one class members’ debut as a pedal pusher in a musical demonstration.

Our study and research continued after hours, as the Leipzig crew sampled the local nightlife with traditional German beers and food, as well as finding a Scottish bar to remind us of home, thus successfully emulating Luther’s alcohol-laden table talks.

Luther 2017 2.jpgOur adventures brought us next to Wittenberg, a town at the heart of the Lutheran Reformation, although seriously lacking in much hustle or bustle today. Must-see sights included the brand new and well-equipped train station which welcomed us and set high hopes for our day in Luther’s university town. We also visited the famous doors of Castle Church, redesigned in the nineteenth century, where Luther allegedly nailed his 95 Theses, the beautiful Cranach the Elder Wittenberg Altarpiece, and of course Luther’s house. From receiving a stern and disapproving look from a member of staff when we held a Luther’s works story time in the Luther Room, to learning all about the animals the family kept at their home, and reading the many interesting pamphlets from Luther’s day in the printing room – hours of fun were had at the Luther House. This was undoubtedly the best part of everyone’s trip, with two members of the class particularly taking their time to soak up all the facts and learn about each display in minute detail, to everyone else’s delight…

The fun continued in Berlin, where some of us attended a number of church services to truly immerse ourselves in Lutheran theology, and others explored art galleries, set off sightseeing and getting lost around the Brandenburg Gate, and found the best place for breakfast. However, our planned itinerary later that day was cruelly cancelled due to the distraction and disruption of striking staff at all Berlin airports, which left everyone extremely disappointed to miss another museum visit. The solution of course was clear and we found a quaint bar to help drown our travel-dispute-related sorrows. Online comments stated that the barman was Mephistopheles himself, and that the basement bar was a parallel universe, although these claims can be neither confirmed nor denied.

Luther 2017 4.jpgGetting back to the UK became our next class mission. Collectively, we missed seven flights, had a further six cancelled, caught trains from Berlin to Hamburg, Vienna and Amsterdam, and even booked non-refundable hotel rooms mistakenly for seven months in advance in the Dutch capital – if anyone would like to buy these rooms from us please get in touch. With our numbers dwindling and seemingly re-enacting ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’, or perhaps Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ (minus the murder element and basically unlike the plot at all) the three remaining adventurers still stuck in Berlin desperately tried to return to St Andrews. Punished with flight delays and the Forth Road Bridge closure, we finally returned to The Bubble after twenty-eight hours of travel, where we will continue to study Luther from a safe distance. Dispersed across Europe, all members of the infamous 2017 Luther field trip could now truly understand Luther’s difficulties traveling through Germany.

Our thanks go to Dr Heal for organising the trip, showing us the sights, and most importantly getting us home. Half the class having converted to Catholicism, and all being very reluctant to leave Scotland for the foreseeable future, this was all in all a very successful trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curiosity, Empire and Science in Eighteenth-Century France Class Trip

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Maggie Reilly (Zoology Curator) explains some of the taxonomic challenges faced by the Hunterian’s curators. Photo attrib. Sarah Easterby-Smith, CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

Blog written by Jamie Hinrichs, PhD student

On 8 March, Dr Sarah Easterby-Smith’s undergraduate module ‘Curiosity, Empire and Science in Eighteenth-Century France’ travelled to the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. Additional members of this expedition included a visiting lecturer from the School of Art History and a few postgraduate students – of which I was one. Although the holdings of the museum were unlikely to relate to my PhD thesis topic, and although I was lacking contextual knowledge of the eighteenth century and notions of “empire”, what historian-in-training could resist an invitation to a museum? Furthermore, what human being could resist an invitation to spend a day in a museum with Dr Easterby-Smith? I certainly could not.

The Hunterian is Scotland’s oldest public museum, founded in 1807. It was built upon the bequest of Dr William Hunter (1718 – 1783), a physician and anatomist by trade and a devoted collector at heart. His wide array of curiosities illustrates the exchange of ideas that lay at the heart of the Enlightenment era. Hunter collected with the purpose that the items would be used within an institutional environment in the future. Within his will, Hunter included provisions for the University of Glasgow to build a museum to hold his collections and stipulated that the collection would be kept together as a whole after his death.

The historic value of collections in general was put best by one of the curators:

“The history of collecting is not just about the past, but about our present.”

Visiting the Hunterian Museum reminds us that primary resources are truly a menagerie, a mix of preserved insects, herbariums, minerals, taxidermy, coins (the narrative and portraiture found in each), preserved medical specimens, military medals (and the story each one tells), shells, sketch books, paintings, journals, letters, personal book collections, and more. Collections like the Hunterian’s, are the circus-spectacular of the of the primary resource world – prepare yourself to marvel at its curiosities.

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Maggie Reilly and Anne Dulau (Art Curator) discuss the sloth specimen. Photo attrib. Sarah Easterby-Smith, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

While the collection itself is certainly impressive, what’s perhaps even more impressive is the degree of devotion and passion the collection’s curators displayed. Our group was treated to a full day of engagement with specialists who gave us mini-lectures on each part of the collection. They presented the information almost as if they were boiling over with excitement to tell someone a long-held secret.

For the history student, visiting a museum collection like this and engaging with those that work with these materials daily, illuminates history as a vibrant field of future career possibilities. The overall experience shed light on the grand array of potential employment paths that involve historical research beyond the traditional route of becoming a professor. For example: you might become a numismatic expert (with a silver pocket watch), develop an exhibition on British historic military medals (even though you studied twentieth-century, cultural European history), take charge of shifting through thousands of shells in a historic collection to discover which belonged to the original collection (thereby playing Sherlock), fascinate wide-eyed visitors by explaining just why there is a pig with two bums in a glass display case (and yes, it was born that way), and risk your life by handling a taxidermized sloth which, should you break the specimen’s skin, would leak arsenic on your hands (gives a new thought to the connotation “slothful”). Anyone who says history is dead, dull, or dreary is truly misinformed.

Articulating the fast-paced nature of working in a museum, subliminally comparing it to a journalistic lifestyle, one curator said:

“That’s museum life. You finish one project and immediately dive into the next with little time for reflection.”

The experience provided me with plenty to reflect on. If you are past due for a dose of curiosity and want a peek through different windows into the past, I highly recommend an expedition of your own to the Hunterian Museum.