PhD Induction Day 2017

Blog written by PhD student Sarah Leith

PhD Induction Day Photograph.jpegShould you have been on South Street on the first Thursday morning of the new academic year, you would very likely have seen the latest intake of history PhD students scurrying towards St John’s House. Everyone was desperate to escape the very stereotypical Scottish weather and, once safely inside, the mediaeval history department did indeed provide very welcome shelter from the dreich and dreary day. St John’s entrance hall also doubled as a space for the students to meet each other for the first time as we all gathered together there before our Induction Day officially began.

The beautiful and imposing Cambo House provided the lucky students with the venue for the School of History PhD Induction Day and we were led to an ornate drawing room, which was to be our base for the day. There we were welcomed by staff and current PhD students: the School of History’s Director of Postgraduate Research Riccardo Bavaj, the School’s Postgraduate Secretary Elsie Johnstone, lecturer Dawn Hollis and two history PhD students, Jamie Hinrichs and Matt Ylitalo.

The first order of the day was refreshment: we enjoyed tea, coffee and a selection of chocolate biscuits, as well as the chance to chat during a ‘Speed Meeting’ session (not to be confused with Speed Dating!). We were encouraged to expand our topics of conversation beyond the weather and the usual ‘Where are you from?’ and ‘What is the topic of your thesis?’ When we had all finished our coffees and had all eventually returned to twenty-first-century North East Fife, the School staff spoke to us regarding ‘Understanding how the School works for you’, which included the varied lecture and seminar series, the Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development (CAPOD)’s and the School of History’s own very useful Postgraduate Skills Training programmes.

Cambo House fun times bloomsRiccardo Bavaj then discussed with us the PhD thesis itself and we spoke to our new friends about what it means to conduct original research and about the process involved with the construction of a project such as a thesis. This talk was followed by a discussion led by Dawn Hollis, Jamie Hinrichs and Matt Ylitalo and we were all encouraged to consider what we wanted to achieve both academically and in our spare time during our three years as doctoral students at the University of St Andrews. All three inspired us and our eyes were opened to all the academic and professional options available to us as PhD students.

The gong then went for lunch and we all assembled in Cambo House’s spectacular dining room. Having been very well fed, we returned happily to the drawing room for the afternoon session, during which Sukhi Bains and Kate Ferris both gave very interesting talks about equality and diversity at the University of St Andrews. When the discussion came to an end, the sun began to shine at last and both students and staff embarked on a tour of Cambo House’s stunning gardens. We then returned to St Andrews far better equipped to start our PhDs than when we had assembled in St John’s that morning.  It was a really enjoyable and informative day and many thanks are therefore due to the speakers and organisers, and also to Cambo Estate, too, for the wonderful food and marvellous setting.

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.

conf.png

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

IMG_1963

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.

History of Psychiatry in Britain and Ireland since 1500 – Part Two

Blog written by Professor Rab Houston

trosse

George Trosse, Photo attrib. YOONIQ, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

I guess most of you already know about the series of podcasts I have put out over the last year, exploring the rich and sometimes curious History of Psychiatry in Britain and Ireland since 1500. There are 44 episodes that range from sex to suicide, asylums to alienists, doctors to devils. I wrote the ‘script’ for these and I delivered them as a monologue in my soft Scottish voice.

The second series of podcasts that followed and is currently airing is called The Voice of the Mad‘ and looks at mental illness in Britain from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. It has a dual format. The basis of what I say in my spoken contribution is a contextualisation of the writings of people long dead, who either knew they were mentally disordered or who wrote to refute the notion. I interpret their words and explain the cultural context that created them: law, society, medicine, religion, and so on. That part is exactly the same as series one.

The other part is an original historical source, either written or printed. These words are, if you like, a bit like ‘gobbets’: extracts from documents that are the core of final year special subjects across the School. In fact, some of the extracts are from my course ‘Madness and its social milieu in England, c.1560-1820’ (MO4904). I thought it would be a good idea not only to reproduce the words of the people I am interpreting, which you can find on the website, but also to have them spoken by people other than myself. Thus Seb Bridges, who was once in my first-year MO1007 tutorial, recruited members of Mermaids to help; Seb is the secretary of this popular student society. Members of Mermaids voiced the written words, allowing those who have visual problems (or who simply prefer to listen) the opportunity to hear the vivid and affecting (and sometimes troubling) words of people struggling to come to terms with their minds and the people around them.

You can find more information on our website and the written versions of the extracts are available on the Extracts and Readings page. You will also find links to all the podcasts and recorded extracts.

So do please read, listen, and think about those with mental problems, past and present. This is history with a living purpose.

Royal Historical Society Prizes for St Andrews

ashley.jpgThe Royal Historical Society awards a number of prizes every year to scholars of all levels in order to encourage further research. This year, a great number of (former) St Andrews scholars received prizes – congratulations to all the winners!

MLitt student Ashley Atkins was awarded the Rees Davies Prize for his dissertation ‘The Authorship, Function and Ideological Origins of the Claim of Right of 1989’. The thesis was supervised by Professors Colin Kidd and Roger Mason, and the judges described Ashley’s argument as “thoroughly convincing, superbly demonstrated on the basis of a range of primary and secondary sources, and written with remarkable lucidity, elegance and panache.”

The David Berry Prize was awarded to Dr Malcolm Petrie for his essay ‘Fear of a “Slave State”: Individualism, Libertarianism, and the rise of Scottish Nationalism c.1945-c.1979’. The judges commented that “it is a profound work of scholarship with real historical significance on a subject that has received little scholarly attention. […] The author does a wonderful job in providing a clear narrative in a style which both the academic and the lay reader can appreciate.”

Three former St Andrews students also received prizes. Dr Claire Eldridge, who completed both a Master’s degree and a PhD here, won the Gladstone Prize for her new book From Empire to Exile: History and memory within the pied-noir and harki communities, 1962-2012. Dr Andrew Smith, who also attended St Andrews for a Master’s degree, was shortlisted for the same prize with his book Terror and Terroir: The Winegrowers of the Languedoc and modern FranceDr Richard Sowerby, now at Edinburgh, was shortlisted for the Whitfield Prize for Angels in Early Medieval England.

Monthly Round Up: May

john galtNews

Dr Aileen Fyfe and her team presented the report Untangling Academic Publishing, which has invited responses from all over the world!

Congratulations to Professor Chris Given-Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Medieval History, who has been shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Wolfson History Prize for his book Henry IV

Dr Caleb Karges, who graduated in 2016 after completing his PhD ‘”So Perverse an Ally” Great Britain’s Alliance with Austria in the War of the Spanish Succession’ has won the André Corvisier Prize. Congratulations!

Staff Activity

On 9th May, Professor Given-Wilson discussed his book Henry IV on BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking

Dr Emily Michelson presented the paper  “Converting the Jews of Rome: New, Old and Failed Tactics,” at Agents of Conversion, a conference at Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters

Professors Elena Marushiakova and Veselin Popov gave public lecture on topic “Towards Modernity: Roma Awaking in the Interwar Period in Eastern Europe” on May 11 in the SEELECTS – Slavic and Eastern European lecture series, organised by the Research group Slavonic and Eastern European Studies at Faculty of Arts and Philosophy Ghent University

Between 22 and 25 May, Professors Elena Marushiakova and Veselin Popov presented the paper ‘Politics of Multilingualism in Roma Еducation: Between Two World Wars and its Current Projections’at  “The politics of Multilingualism: Possibilities and Challenges” organised at the University of Amsterdam

In May, Dr Emily Michelson presented the paper “Defining hate speech and Jewish resistance in early modern Rome”

heirsthronePublications

The Heirs to the Throne Project, The Royal Annual 2017

Emily Michelson, ‘Conversionary Preaching and the Jews in Early Modern Rome‘, Past&Present, Vol. 235, No. 1, (2017), pp. 68-104.

Colin Kidd and Gerard Carruthers, (eds.), The International Companion to John Galt (Association for Scottish Literary Studies: Glasgow, 2017)

Colin Kidd, ‘Satire, Hypocrisy, and the Ayrshire Renfrewshire Enlightenment’ in, Colin Kidd and Gerard Carruthers, (eds.), The International Companion to John Galt (Association for Scottish Literary Studies: Glasgow, 2017) ,pp. 15-33.