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.

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.

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

royalheirs.pngNews

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).

Postgraduate Spotlight: Arthur der Weduwen

00A07_Andrew_and_Arthur_AR.jpgIt is not every day that you hear about a PhD student publishing a seminal bibliography and unlocking thousands of primary sources for a wider audience. However, in St Andrews, it just may happen! Arthur der Weduwen, a team member of the Universal Short Title Catalogue project at St Andrews supervised by Professor Andrew Pettegree, will publish a two-volume bibliography of seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish newspapers this May.

Published by Brill as Dutch and Flemish Newspapers of the Seventeenth Century, 1618-1700, the bibliography contains detailed descriptions of 49 newspapers and more than 16,000 surviving issues. Each newspaper is prefaced with an introduction highlighting the publishers, printers, characteristics and lifespan of the paper. The bibliographical sections are preceded by a lengthy essay, ‘The rise of the newspaper’, which presents a chronological analysis of the development of the periodical press and an overview of the production and consumption of newspapers in seventeenth-century society. A major portion of this essay is based on Arthur’s M.Litt dissertation written for the Book History degree at St Andrews in 2015. In November 2016 Arthur received the prestigious Elsevier/Johan de Witt thesis prize for this dissertation at a ceremony in Utrecht.

Arthur started work on his bibliography during his M.Litt studies in Book History at St Andrews. Interested in the history of media, information and news, Arthur was inspired to start the bibliography after coming across an article by the English scholar G.C. Gibbs, who urged the completion of exactly such a task back in 1971. Some of the first printed newspapers appeared in Amsterdam and Antwerp, and the region would develop into one of the most competitive centres of the newspaper trade in Europe. Netherlandish publishers were true pioneers, responsible for some of the most notable features of newspaper publication, including the adoption of newspaper advertising.
While these papers played a fundamental role in the intellectual and political culture of the early modern Netherlands, no study has ever presented a comprehensive overview of the publication of these early newspapers.

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Publisher Abraham Casteleyn and his wife Margaretha van Bancken, painting by Jan de Bray, Photo attrib. Rijksmusesum, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

The bibliography took Arthur across dozens of libraries and archives in Europe and the United States. Early newspapers have suffered a high rate of loss: close to two-thirds of all documented issues in Arthur’s bibliography survive only in a single copy. Many of these copies are often to be found outside the Low Countries, in Sweden, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom, where they were collected and read by diplomats poring over the papers to assess public opinion in the Low Countries. Thanks to the development of digital resources and the goodwill of many librarians and friends, Arthur was able to access scans of thousands of issues in foreign institutions; altogether he personally inspected 98% of all surviving issues. While digital initiatives greatly assisted the compilation of the bibliography, Arthur most enjoyed searching through undocumented collections in libraries himself: such quests were particularly rewarding as they turned up four previously unknown titles, including the oldest newspapers published in Utrecht (1623) and Brussels (1621).

Overall, Arthur hopes that his bibliography will encourage other researchers to make as much use as possible of these fascinating documents, and that the study of news and newspapers will continue to evolve and inspire other scholars. He is especially grateful for the continuous support and generosity of the School of History at St Andrews and the Universal Short Title Catalogue project.

On Thursday 11 May, Arthur’s bibliography will be festively presented at the Amsterdam University Library. The presentation will be followed on 12 May by a symposium on the development of the newspaper in the Dutch Golden Age. For details about the event contact Arthur at adw7@st-andrews.ac.uk or Dr Helmer Helmers at h.j.helmers@uva.nl

Monthly Round Up: December and January

colinkidd.jpgNews

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.