UofG launches major history series

Published: 18 September 2017

Scotland’s leading historians and archivists are backing a major history series at the University of Glasgow.

Scotland’s leading historians and archivists will take part in a major history series at the University of Glasgow which begins today (Tuesday 19 September).

‘Historical Conversations’, is a free public programme of talks, interviews and panel discussions, exploring the remarkable transformation of Scottish history over the last 50 years, the current challenges and leading practitioners’ hopes for the future.

It will be a chance to get to know the writers behind the books that have helped to shape how Scots understand their past, sparking a renewed excitement and interest in Scotland’s history.

The 11 public talks feature a diverse range of subjects including 18th century Scotland; Gender History; Scotland’s Empire/Scotland’s Diaspora, as well as, Scottish Literature.

The series, which is organised by Dr Catriona Macdonald and Dr Stephen Mullen, will be recorded and curated online by the University library, establishing a fantastic resource for scholars in the future.

Major historical resource

Dr Macdonald, a Reader in Late Modern Scottish history at the University of Glasgow, said: “We want to learn what motivated these men and woman to write books which changed the way Scotland looked at itself, arguably encouraging a renewed confidence and sense of where we fit in the world.

“This is the generation that wrote a new type of history book – one that was scholarly yet very readable. They took history from the niche book shelves to the mainstream, with many of them appearing on the best seller list.

“This major history series will also create an amazing archive for future generations –the testimony of historians and archivists themselves will become a major historical resource for those studying in this field in the future.”

 Dr Mullen, a Research Associate (History) at the University of Glasgow, said: “We have seen the emergence in the past decades of the historian as a storyteller. They have helped us to look at Scotland differently by focusing on history through the stories of the people involved and where we as Scots fit on the world stage.

“This series is very important for us working in this field to ensure we capture the stories of our leading historians and archivists for posterity.”

The first Historical Conversation is with Professor T.C. Smout, the Historiographer Royal in Scotland. He has written extensively on the social, economic and cultural history of modern Scotland, and since the 1990s, Professor Smout has played a major role in developing the new discipline of environmental history in Scotland.

‘Historical Conversations’ is a partnership between the Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies, The Hunterian Museum, and University of Glasgow Library, Archives and Special Collections. It is also supported by the Chancellor’s Fund of the University of Glasgow, the Tannahill Fund and the Centre for Robert Burns Studies.


First published: 18 September 2017

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