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: April

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Professor Guy Rowlands has presented his inaugural lecture ‘Glamping with Guns. Louis XIV, the Camp of Compiègne, and the Origins of the Modern Military Exercise’.

Professor John Hudson has received the 2017 St Andrews Students’ Association Teaching Award in the ‘Excellence as a Dissertation/Project Supervisor’ category.

Dr Nina Lamal has received a three-month Rome Award from the British School in Rome. She will be at the BSR from January to March 2018 working on collections of seventeenth-century Italian newspapers.

Staff Activity

Dr Chandrika Kaul delivered a public lecture on ‘The BBC and India’ at the FCSH/Nova, Lisbon, on 6th April.

Dr Sarah Easterby-Smith gave a public talk  on 11th April, entitled ‘Science at Sea: Eighteenth-century botanical collecting,’ to the Dollar History Society.

On 15th April, Professor Michael Brown gave the plenary lecture entitled ‘Brexit and “the New British History”: A Late Medieval Perspective’ at the conference Borderlines XXI: Authority in the Medieval and Early Modern World, held at University College Cork.

On 19 April 2017 Dr Tomasz Kamusella delivered a talk on ‘Imagining Nations: Ontological and Epistemic Objectivity’ in the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia.

Two days later Dr Tomasz Kamusella provided a Summing-up Commentary for the international conference on ‘Identities, Categories of Identification, and Identifications between the Danube, the Alps, and the Adriatic,’ held in the National Museum of Contemporary History, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

On 27 April, Dr Ian Bradley and Dr Douglas Galbraith gave the talk ‘Singing the Protestant Faith: the Musical Legacy of the Reformation’ as part of the St Andrews Reformation Institute seminar series.

New Publications

Josh Arthurs, Michael Ebner, and Kate Ferris eds. The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy. Outside the State? (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

Bridget Heal and Joseph Koerner, eds. Special Issue: ‘Art and Religious Reform in Early Modern Europe’, Art History, Vol 40, No 2 (2017)

ISHR Reading Weekend 2017

 

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Photo attrib. Ellen Colingsworth, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

On April 7, the members of the Institute of Scottish Historical Studies traveled from various places to the Burn in Edzell for the highly anticipated ISHR Reading Weekend 2017. Mlitt students, PhDs, postdocs, professors and former lecturers were all part of this fantastic event, and with the sun shining brightly upon arrival, the weekend was off to a great start.

The Friday started gently, as after tea, cakes and dinner, the Mlitt students associated with the Institute presented their preliminary plans for their theses. Sarah Minnear spoke about her exploration of gendered bloodfeud in Scotland, especially the role of women in these conflicts. In examining both urban and noble contexts, a fuller picture of this violent practice will emerge. Daniel Leaver talked about his research about the early twentieth century Scottish National Party, analysing the extent and variety of ideas the party had about Scottish Independence. By studying party leaders’ documents and other political writings, a clearer idea of the legacy of this period for the SNP’s thought can be discussed. After probing questions had been answered, the group dispersed to play games, have a drink and catch up with one another. Read more of this post

Monthly Round Up: February and March

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Dr Shanti Graheli was recently awarded the Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellowship in Comparative Literature and Translation at the University of Glasgow, for a duration of three years. Dr Graheli has also recently won a Major Grant from the Bibliographical Society.

Professor John Hudson has been awarded a European Research Council ‘Advanced Grant’ of over two million Euros for a project entitled ‘Civil Law, Common Law, Customary Law: Consonance, Divergence and Transformation in Western Europe from the late eleventh to the thirteenth centuries’.

Dr Nina Lamal has  received a Major Grant from the Bibliographical Society to conduct research in Italian archives and libraries for her project on Italian newspapers entitled, ‘Late with the news. Italian engagement with serial news publications in the seventeenth century (1639-1700)’.

Staff Activity

The Heirs to the Throne project has now launched a podcast series, based on their Heir of the Month essays.

On 15 March 2017, Dr Tomasz Kamusella delivered the lecture on ‘Imagining the Nation: Ontological and Epistemic Objectivity,’ in the Departamento de Filología Moderna at the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain.

Professor Carole Hillenbrand gave a presentation on 15 March to UN ambassadors and delegates in the United Nations Office in Geneva at an event entitled ‘Islam and Christianity, The Great Convergence’, organised by The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue.

Dr Bridget Heal has written an article in History Today entitled, ‘Martin Luther and the German Reformation’.

On 23rd March, Professor Elena Marushiakova and Professor Veselin Popov took part in the Workshop ‘Roma Communities in a Global Perspective: Myths, Constructions and Discourses’ in University of Helsinki.

Dr Emily Michelson presented two papers on the 27th and 29th of March: ‘Sixteenth-century Italian Sermons to Jews and to Christians’ at ‘Circulating the Word of God in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Transformative Preaching in Manuscript and Print (c. 1450 to c. 1550)’ at the University of Hull an ‘Exiting the Roman Ghetto: when was it dangerous and why?’ at ‘Ghettos’, an interdisciplinary research seminar at Birkbeck University of London.

jacqueline rose.pngRecent Publications

Josh Arthurs, Michael Ebner, Kate Ferris eds. The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy. Outside the State? (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

Shanti Graheli, ‘Aldo Manuzio e il Rinascimento Francese’ in M. Infelise (ed.), Aldus and the Making of the Myth (Venice: Marsilio, 2016), pp. 259-274.

Shanti Graheli, ‘Aldo e i suoi lettori’ in T. Plebani (ed.), Aldo al Lettore (Milan/Venice: Unicopli and Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, 2016), pp. 151-172.

Tomasz Kamusella, Język śląski, naród śląski. Więcej faktów, mniej mitów [The Silesian Language and Nation: More Facts, Fewer Myths], 2017.

Professor Frank Lorenz Müller, Royal Heirs in Imperial Germany: The Future of Monarchy in Nineteenth-Century Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg  (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017)

Jacqueline Rose, ‘The Godly Magistrate’, in Anthony Milton, ed., The Oxford History of Anglicanism, volume 1: Reformation and Identity, c.1520-1662 (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Monthly Round Up: December and January

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The Heirs to the Throne project has launched a podcast series: a selection of the finest ‘Heir of the Month’ essays will be made available as mini-lectures.

A Companion to Intellectual History, edited by Professor Richard Whatmore and Dr Brian Young, has been selected as an ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ by Choice Magazine and has been included in the magazine’s annual list in its  January 2017 issue. Dr John Clark also contributed a chapter to this volume.

Dr James Nott has been awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh grant for a series of research workshops on how historians can best collaborate with artists, museums and others working in Scottish cultural institutions. The workshops will be held in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee.

Arthur der Weduwen has won the Elsevier/Johan de Witt Thesis Prize for his master thesis, titled ‘The development of the Dutch press in the seventeenth century, 1618 – 1700’. A two volume bibliography, Dutch and Flemish Newspapers of the Seventeenth Century, based on this same thesis will be published in May.

Anne Rutten was awarded the 2016 Dorothy Dunnett Academic History Prize for her essay ‘And There Was Proof: James II, the Black Douglases and the Fifteenth-Century Power of Documents’.

Staff Activity. 

On 2nd December Dr Nina Lamal gave a talk at the IHR Low Countries Seminar in London. The talk was entitled ‘The Low Countries in the news: Italian information networks on the Dutch Revolt’.

On 5th and 6th December Dr Shanti Graheli gave two guest lectures at the University of Udine, entitled, ‘Il mondo del libro antico in un guscio di noce: introduzione all’USTC’ and ‘Dove i libri sono tutti monadi. Benvenuti a The World’s Rarest Books.’

On 9th January, Dr Tomasz Kamusella talked on ‘The Normative Isomorphism of Language, Nation and State’ in the Institut für Osteuropäische Geschichte at the Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria. On 10th January, Dr Kamusella spoke on ‘The National Silesian Movement in Postcommunist Poland: Between Democracy and Nationalism’ in the Institut für Slawistik at the Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria. He also spoke on the same topic onn 13th January for the Ústav politických vied SAV (Institute of Political Sciences) and the Ústav etnológie SAV (Institute of Ethnography) in the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Dr James Palmer contributed to the Radio 3 Sunday Feature ‘Apocalypse How’ on 15th January.

Dr Nathan Alexander gave a talk, entitled ‘Debating Nonreligious Identity: A Historical Perspective’ to the Dundee branch of the Humanist Society of Scotland on 16th January.

On 16h January, Dr James Nott delivered a talk on ‘The Dance Hall and Women’s Emancipation in Britain 1918-60’ at Shoreditch House, London.
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From 18 to 20 January Professor Elena Marushiakova and Professor Veselin Popov took part in the MigRom Final Conference as invited key note speakers with an opening presentation entitled “Migration vs. Inclusion: Roma Mobility from East to West”.

On 22nd January, Dr Emily Michelson published an article in the Times Higher Education blog, entitled ‘Historians make the best healthcare workers.’

On 27 January Sarah Easterby-Smith gave a paper entitled ‘Picturing Banks’s networks: patrons, scholars and botanical merchants’ at an AHRC workshop at the National Portrait Gallery, London, on ‘Science, Self-fashioning and Representation in Joseph Banks’s Circles’.

On 28th January Dr Konrad Lawson gave the talk “From the Regional to the Global: Pan-Asianism to World Federalism in the Aftermath of Japanese Empire” at a Leiden University symposium on Global Regionalism as part of the Contemporary History and International Relations Research Seminar.

Recent Publications

David Allan, ‘“Winged Horses, Fiery Dragons and Monstrous Giants”: Historiography and Imaginative Literature in the Scottish Enlightenment’ in R. McLean, R. Young and K. Simpson (eds.), The Scottish Enlightenment and Literary Culture (Bucknell University Press, 2016).

Colin Kidd, The World of Mr Casaubon: Britain’s Wars of Mythography, 1700-1870 (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Julia Prest and Guy Rowlands (eds.), The Third Reign of Louis XIV, c. 1682-1715 (Routledge, 2016).

Publication Spotlight: The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286–1707

Blog written by Dr Jacqueline Rose

politicsofcounselIs it true that behind every successful ruler there is an exhausted adviser? It has certainly often been the case that ‘evil counsellors’ have been blamed for bad government. But if grumbling about special advisers looks like a distinctly modern phenomenon, think again.  Such figures have often operated in the shadowy world of political manoeuvring, whether characterised as benign mentors or cunning manipulators—or both.

For much of history, the role of the adviser was idealised. This was the case in much of the period covered by the contributors to the recent volume on The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286–1707. This was an era in which good counsel was seen as the way to foster good rule; that is, where a monarch governed for the common interest and common good, and not tyrannically, for their own private benefit or wilful pleasure. Counsel evolved to meet the needs of this age of Anglo-Scottish warfare and unions, dynastic and religious upheavals, and developments in local, national, and colonial government—not forgetting the adaptations in advisory practices required to fit each new monarch’s personality.

Using the poetry, drama, government records, and political treatises of the period, contributors to the volume examine ideas about advice and the role it played. Some instances of political failure come up—James III of Scotland, killed during a rebellion in 1488, and Charles I, executed in 1649—are the most prominent. But there are also signs that rulers could be open to advice, at least on some points, some of the time.

Appropriately, contributors to this volume benefited from each other’s counsel through a workshop held in St Andrews in May 2014, which was made possible by the British Academy’s award of a grant from the Browning Fund and a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant; and by support from the School of History and the Institutes of Scottish Historical Research, Intellectual History, and Reformation Studies. Alongside the editor, the volume features chapters by St Andrews-based authors Michael Brown and Roger Mason, and one by Claire Hawes, at the time a PhD student here and now based in Aberdeen. This reflects how suitable a base St Andrews is for the larger Politics of Counsel research project from which the workshop and volume derived.

While substantial in its own right, the volume aims to create a framework for future research on political advice—past, present, and future. It provocatively suggests ways in which even ‘failed’ advice might actually contribute to political life. So the next time you hear on the news that the power and influence of ‘spads’ has been criticised, don’t assume it’s a symptom of the decline of modern politics. Bad advice may just be an age-old excuse: easy to make, but deserving of sharper analysis.

Early Modern and Reformation Studies Reading Weekend

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Photo attrib. Stu Smith, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Blog written by Hannah Briscoe

In mid-November, Early Modern and Reformation Studies students and staff gathered around the warmth of a fire and the grandeur of a Scottish country house for our “Reading Weekend”—a favorite tradition and yearly highlight for the school.

After our first dinner together on Friday evening, Robert Frost (Aberdeen) kicked off the weekend with an impressively appropriate and mood-setting presentation, “Identity Doubtful: The Supposed Polish Portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie.” It was just the right setting for a bit of Jacobite intrigue. Afterwards, the evening continued for most with games, discussions ranging from philosophical to the ridiculous, drink and merriment. Saturday was a full day which included three meals together, three sessions, and a gorgeous afternoon for exploring.

The morning session was on the theme of printing and publishing. Marc Jaffre chaired what was a truly interesting panel of papers and following discussion. Andrew Pettegree, Arthur der Weduwen, and Jamie Cumby presented on the recovery of lost books, lost and found travel literature, and reasons for resistance to typographic change. After the all-important coffee and tea break, Jaap Jacobs (Dundee) chaired a session in which Edda Frankot and Jackson Armstrong (Aberdeen) offered insight into what it is like to work in a group on a funded research project. Claire Hawes (Aberdeen) then related her experiences in post-doctoral research and offered insights into how historians can engage with the community.

We reconvened after tea and coffee for an international panel discussion. Guy Rowlands was the moderator on “Crossing Continents. Two university systems divided by a common language (sort of).” Martine van Ittersum (Dundee), David Whitford (Baylor University, Texas), and Emily Michelson made up the panel which focused on comparing the American and British systems for undertaking a PhD as well as finding funding and the job interview process. In the evening, we enjoyed a fantastic pub quiz, courtesy of Jamie Cumby and Andrew Carter. Categories spanned early modern history, pop culture and movie trivia, US presidents and their moms, and many more!

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Photo attrib. shirokazan, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

After breakfast on Sunday, Prof. Karin Friedrich (Aberdeen) chaired a session in which Jessica Dalton, John Condren, and Lena Liapi (Aberdeen) spoke on the themes of conversion strategies of the Jesuits and Roman Inquisition, women as negotiators and political actors, and crime and the public sphere in London. Our final session was strictly ‘no staff allowed’. This panel was a chance for the MLitt students to hear from new and current PhD students about their experiences in choosing a topic, applying for PhDs, and to ask any questions they had about the process. There were a lot of great questions and insights offered, and it was a nice casual ending to the weekend before we all packed up the cars and headed back to the Kingdom of Fife.

The reading weekend has been a highlight for me in my first year-and-a-half at St Andrews. It is a great opportunity to get to know friends, colleagues, and lecturers in a relaxed environment. It offers exposure to academic presentations, the chance to get over the intimidation and just have a really great time—not to mention making the most of the incredible scenery and charms of Scotland.