ISHR Reading Weekend 2014, The Burn, 21-23 March

Dawn Jackson Williams, School of History communications intern and associate of the ISHR, attended the annual ISHR Reading Weekend. Below is her account.

The Burn. Photo by D. Jackson Williams.

The Burn. (Photo credit D. Jackson Williams).

The weekend of the 21–23 March saw members and guests of the Institute of Scottish Historical Research head to the Burn, just south of the Cairngorms National Park, where they enjoyed three days encompassing a variety of presentations, historical discussions, and a field trip to learn about Pictish stones.

Following a mid-afternoon arrival on the Friday the group was given plenty of time to get acquainted over tea in the Burn’s beautiful Drawing Room. After dinner, the MLitt students in attendance kicked off the weekend’s presentations with a ‘Three Minute Thesis’ session. The six gave brief introductions to their areas of research, which ranged from an exploration of the queenship of Margaret Tudor to a study of Scottish music halls in the early twentieth century. The postgraduate focus of the evening continued in a more light-hearted vein as Claire Hawes demonstrated herself to be not only a talented historian, but also a brilliant musician; she treated us to a musical exposition of the highs and lows of PhD life, set to the tune of ABBA’s ‘The Winner Takes It All’.

The next morning saw two fascinating panels, featuring PhD students Sean Murphy, Carol Bailey, Liz Hanna, and Claire Hawes, which covered a range of topics including ‘verbal tartanry’ and its role in Scottish diasporic culture, the language debates of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, James IV and his uses of chivalry, and the nature of fifteenth-century urban communities. After lunch the group ventured to Pictavia, a nearby attraction boasting a collection of Pictish stones, where they enjoyed the commentary of an extremely knowledgeable guide, and – perhaps less cerebrally – the interactive nature of the exhibit which encouraged visitors to run their hands over replica Pictish stones, and to play a reproduction Pictish harp. The ISHR was also pleased to discover a reference to the research of Dr Alex Woolf in pride of place on the wall beside one of the opening exhibits. The two articles of particular relevance to the displays at Pictavia can be found here: ‘Dún Nechtáin, Fortriu and the Geography of the Picts’, and ‘Pictish matriliny reconsidered’.

Inside the Drawing Room of the Burn. (Photo credit Darren S. Layne).

Hearing about the MLitt research topics in the Drawing Room of the Burn. (Photo credit Darren S. Layne).

On returning to the Burn the group reaped the benefits of a pre-dinner skills panel, with Matt McHaffie sharing his experience of finishing the PhD, and offering advice to those PhD students present to whom handing in still felt like a distant dream. Darren Layne gave a persuasive presentation regarding the virtues of Evernote and its potential benefits for historians. The schedule for the weekend (arranged by ISHR intern Amy Eberlin) had boasted ‘Prescribed Fun Time’ for the hour or so after dinner, and the inaugural ISHR pub quiz certainly provided both entertainment and some head-scratching. History as a potential category was deliberately avoided and the assembled staff and students were tested on their general knowledge, geography, and, in a picture round, their ability to recognise the logos of international organisations. The ‘Blue Owls’ helmed by ISHR Director Katie Stevenson won, although as they boasted a one-time St Andrews University Challenge team-member, this had been widely predicted. The team of ISHR’s Edinburgh guest, Steve Boardman, came joint last after forgetting that the Queen was Canada’s head of state.

The final day saw some erratic weather – bright sunshine interspersed with hail – but no change in the continuing high standard of presentations across the weekend. Piotr Potocki explored Catholic identity and the Catholic church in Scotland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, whilst Neil McGuigan took listeners on a journey to the ninth and tenth centuries with his account of the sons of Ivar and the medieval kingdom of Northumbria. The weekend was ably rounded off by Dr Steve Boardman, who gave a compelling paper on the depiction of Anglo-Welsh and Anglo-Irish relations as depicted in Scottish sources. After a final lunch, the group dispersed, perhaps a little more tired, but certainly more knowledgeable than they had been upon arrival.

Dr Lorna Barrow to take up visiting scholarship in ISHR

Lorna BarrowThe Institute of Scottish Historical Research is pleased to announce the appointment of an ISHR Visiting Scholar for 2014-15, Dr Lorna G. Barrow, a lecturer in the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

Dr Barrow specializes in queenship and gift exchange associated with royal marriages in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Scotland and completed her PhD on that topic at the University of Sydney. This is the subject her first book due for completion this year, to be published in the St Andrews Studies in Scottish History series, a publication of the ISHR. During 2008 Dr Barrow was a visiting scholar at the Strathmartine Centre in St. Andrews where she did further research on aspects of Scottish queenship. She has written several articles related to Scottish Royal women from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries.

Dr Barrow is looking forward to returning to St. Andrews later this year and will be working on research towards another book, Margaret Tudor (1489-1541) Queen of Scots: Queenship, Dynastic Marriage, Gender, Power and Politics in Early Modern Scotland. She will also be offering a postgraduate workshop on Scottish queenship, and medieval and early modern gift exchange more generally.

ISHR workshop: A Laboratory for Improvement? 24 January 2014

File:New Caledonia in Darien.jpgOn Friday 24 January the Institute of Scottish Historical Research hosted a workshop, A Laboratory for Improvement? Scotland in the 1680s and 90s, led by ISHR Visiting Scholar Dr Esther Mijers. It was an opportunity to discuss a planned edited collection of essays on Scotland in the late Restoration and post-Revolution period, as part of Dr Mijer’s project on William Carstares. Dr Mijers said: ‘I have always been struck by the dynamism of the 1680s, both in my work on universities and on Atlantic history, as opposed to the grim situation of the 1690s. I think that this is an area that has suffered neglect over the years and needs reassessment, and this workshop was a first step.’ Topics discussed focused on ideas and examples of ‘improvement’, such as the modernisation of the University of Edinburgh, the attempts by the Privy Council to reinvigorate the economy and ideas of agricultural improvement and landownership, and their development. Comparisons were made with England and the Continent. It was a lively debate which stimulated a lot of new ideas and gave plenty food for thought.

Reformation Studies Cameron Fellows 2014-15 Announced

File:Jeorg Breu Elder A Question to a Mintmaker c1500.pngThe Reformation Studies Institute in the School of History is pleased to announce that it will host two visiting Cameron Fellows during 2014-15.

In the Michaelmas semester Professor Jeff Jaynes of the Methodist Theological School in Ohio will undertake work on a study entitled ‘From Luther to Lutheranism: Architects of Church Order in sixteenth-century North Germany’, which analyses the authors of a series of church orders from the 1520s to circa 1580 to explore territorial reformations in Northern Germany.

In Candlemas, Professor Howard Louthan of the University of Florida, author of The Quest for Compromise (Cambridge, 1997) and Converting Bohemia (Cambridge, 2009), will work on a project entitled ‘Poles apart? From humanism to heresy in Reformation Europe’.  This study of sixteenth-century Polish religious history will consider the variously intersecting and diverging careers of Johannes a Lasco, Stanislaus Hosius, and Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski (Frycz) to analyze the complexities of Reformation in Central Europe.

The Cameron Faculty Fellowship is named in memory of James K. Cameron, distinguished professor of ecclesiastical history at the University of St Andrews.  A long term supporter and friend of the Institute and historical and theological studies at St Andrews, he delighted in the exchange of ideas between members of the University and the wider scholarly community.

Call for Applications: Donald Bullough Fellowship for a Medieval Historian

Leaves 72v-73r of the “St Andrews Psalter” (St Andrews msBX2033.A00), with full border decorations and illuminationsThe St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies invites applications for the Donald Bullough Fellowship in Mediaeval History, to be taken up during either semester of the academic year 2014-15.

The Fellowship is open to any academic in a permanent university post with research interests in mediaeval history. The financial aspect of the fellowship is a subsidy (up to £3000) towards the cost of travel to St Andrews and accommodation during your stay.

Previous Fellows have included Dr Christina Pössel, Professor Cynthia Neville, Dr Ross Balzaretti, Dr Marlene Hennessy, Professor Warren Brown.  The fellowship is currently held by Dr Edward Coleman.

The Fellowship carries with it no teaching duties, though the Fellow is expected to take part in the normal seminar life of the mediaeval historians during their stay in St Andrews. Weekly seminars, held on a Monday evening, run from September – December, and February – May. You will also be invited to lead a workshop on your chosen research theme during your stay. Fellows are provided with computing facilities and an office alongside the mediaeval historians in the Institute. The university library has an excellent collection for mediaeval historians.

You should send a letter of application by the advertised closing date, together with a scheme of research for the project on which you will be engaged during your time in St Andrews.  You should also enclose a CV, together with the names of two academic referees, who should be asked to write by the closing date. All correspondence should be addressed to saimsmail@st-andrews.ac.uk

The closing date for applications is 31 March 2014.

Further enquiries may be addressed to the Director, Professor Simon MacLean (saimsmail@st-andrews.ac.uk) or to colleagues in the Institute.

 

ISHR Visiting Research Fellowship 2014-15 awarded to Prof. Paul Pickering

The Institute of Scottish Historical Research is delighted to announce that the ISHR Visiting Research Fellowship for 2014-15 been awarded to Professor Paul Pickering, Director of the Research School of the Humanities and the Arts at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Professor Paul Pickering is an historian of Britain, Ireland and Australia and is interested in political and cultural history, biography, public memory and commemoration, and the study of reenactment as an historical method. He has written and edited books including Historical Reenactment: From Realism to the Affective Turn (2010); Feargus O’Connor: A Political Life (2008); Unrespectable Radicals? Popular Politics in the Age of Reform (2007); Contested Sites: Commemoration, Memorial and Popular Politics in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2004); Friends of the People: The Uneasy Radicals in the Age of the Chartists (2002); and The People’s Bread: A History of the Anti-Corn Law League (2000). Professor Pickering has published articles in journals including Past & Present, the English Historical Review, Labour History ReviewHistory, and Australian Historical Studies.

Professor Pickering has been the primary investigator on three Australian Research Council major projects, Democratic Voices: The impact of British democrats on political, social and cultural development, c. 1840-2001; Homes for the people: A study of the Peter Lalor Housing Co-Operative, 1974-2004; and most recently Sounds of Empire: Popular Politics and Music in the Nineteenth Century; and secondary investigator on a fourth ARC project, Urban Imaginaries/Cultural Landscapes: An Asia-Pacific Transnational and Cross-Cultural Research Collaboration.

While with the ISHR in St Andrews, Professor Pickering will be working on a project called Lives in Two Hemispheres: A Group Biography of Scottish Radicals in Colonial Australia. This project will consider a group of Scottish migrants who made a sustained contribution to Australia’s political development in the middle of the nineteenth century, including John Dunmore Lang, Australia’s first republican and an outspoken supporter of self-government, democratic reform and separation from the ‘Mother Country’. During his long career, Lang made nine return trips to Britain to promote immigration schemes to Australia. Lang is one of six radicals and reformers at the heart of the project. The others are: Ebenezer Syme; Charles Jardine Don; George Edward Thomson; David Buchanan; and James Service.

Prof. Pickering will present his research to the staff and postgraduate students in the ISHR and the School of History in seminars and workshops during his fellowship in St Andrews.

Call for Applications: ISHR Visiting Research Fellowship 2014-15

st_andrewsThe Institute of Scottish Historical Research at the University of St Andrews invites applications for the ISHR Visiting Research Fellowship in Scottish Historical Studies, to be taken up during either semester of the academic year 2014-15. The fellowship may last between one and five months, with preference given to applicants requesting a longer residency.

The Institute of Scottish Historical Research was founded in 2007 under the directorship of Professor Roger Mason, and draws together the excellence and expertise of nearly twenty historians of Scotland, including Prof. T.C. Smout, the Historiographer Royal in Scotland.

The ISHR provides an intellectual and social focus for staff and a thriving community of postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers working on all periods of Scottish history from the early Middle Ages to the present. The Institute hosts a number of events throughout the year attracting delegates and speakers from all over the world, including a fortnightly research seminar series, workshops and conferences with an emphasis on new discoveries and directions in historical enquiry.

The Institute has several major collaborative research initiatives under its auspices. Past projects have included the Scottish Parliament Project and the History of the Universities Project. Ongoing and current projects include the Scotland and the Wider World Project, and the Scotland, Scandinavia and Northern Europe Database, and most recently the Scotland and the Flemish People project which commenced in AY2012-13.

The Fellowship is open to any academic in a permanent university post with research interests in any aspect of Scottish history in any period. It covers the cost of return travel to St Andrews from the holder’s normal place of work, together with a substantial subsidy towards accommodation while the holder is resident in St Andrews.

St_Andrews_Castle_ScotlandThe Fellowship carries with it no teaching duties, though the Fellow will be expected to take part in the normal activities of the ISHR during their stay in St Andrews. For more information on the Institute please visit the ISHR website at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/ishr/. You will also be invited to lead a workshop, give a research seminar paper or other suitable activities depending on the length of your stay. Fellows are provided with computing facilities and an office, normally in one of the School of History buildings. The university library has an exceptional collection for Scottish historians, including vast electronic resources and excellent holdings in the Special Collections department. Major national libraries and archives are within easy travelling distance, as are the university libraries in Dundee, Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

You should send a letter of application by 6 December 2013, together with an outline of the research and/or writing in which you will be engaged during your time in St Andrews.  You should also enclose a CV, together with the names of two academic referees, who should submit their references by the closing date. All correspondence should be addressed to the Director of the ISHR, Dr Katie Stevenson, by email to kcs7@st-andrews.ac.uk.

The closing date for applications is 6 December 2013.

Further enquiries may be addressed to the ISHR Director Dr Katie Stevenson (kcs7@st-andrews.ac.uk) or to other staff in the ISHR.