Rabbie Burns' Legacy Celebrated

Rabbie Burns' Legacy Celebrated

Issued: Tue, 23 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT

Robert Burns on life

To celebrate Scotland’s national bard, Professor Gerard Carruthers, Francis Hutcheson Chair of Scottish Literature and Co-Director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies, recites part of Robert Burns Epistle To Colonel de Peyster.

 Portrait of Robert Burns

Centre for Robert Burns Studies celebrated 

The University of Glasgow’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies was hailed as “both an income generator and a job creator” during a Scottish Parliament debate.

The parliament was celebrating the economic impact that Burns’ legacy has on Scotland. The full debate can be viewed here.

South Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, Convenor of the Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Committee in the Scottish Parliament, who raised the motion on Burns in the Parliament on Thursday 17 January 2018, said: “The Centre for Robert Burns Studies at Glasgow University has been an income generator and job creator – with students from all over the world coming to study Burns and other writers of his period.

“The Centre secured an Arts and Humanities Research Council or AHRC grant worth £1.1 million towards the project editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century. Over 15 years it will produce a new multi volume edition of his entire work published by Oxford University Press and with an accompanying website and social media engagement.

“Of course, we cannot put a price on the cultural value of Burns. Burns cemented our national identify and self-confidence. But we can be sure that the Bard’s legacy wields soft power, spreading Scotland’s influence far and wide, and is a huge part of our contribution to the world.”

In 2003 the BBC commissioned work from World Bank economists on Robert Burns. It calculated that Burns related tourism and merchandising, as well as the bonanza of the Burns supper season, with spending on everything from hospitality, whisky and haggis sales, kilt hire and even paying the piper, provided £157 million added value each year to the Scottish economy.

Ms McAlpine called for the economic impact of Burns to be updated, and said: “Since this research, the Burns Birthplace museum has opened and has 300,000 visitors a year and Scotland’s Winter Festival Programme, which includes Burns night has been launched. The research was also done before the watershed Homecoming Year of 2009, Burns 250th anniversary, which reached out to Scotland’s diaspora as never before.”

Professor Murray Pittock, the University’s Pro-Vice Principal and Bradley Professor of English Literature, who was at the Scottish Parliament to hear the debate, said: “Burns was arguably the first poet to think of himself as a brand. That brand helped to bring him both national and international recognition.

“Today Burns’ reach continues to grow and grow as new generations discover and enjoy his work.

“I was delighted to advise MsMcAlpine ahead of the debate and to see the work of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies in world-leading research and ground-breaking business and cultural advice acknowledged during this very important Scottish parliamentary debate on the economic impact of Robert Burns. We intend to build on the issues raised in that debate, which received cross-Parliamentary support.”

Immortal Memory

On the 25 January, Professor Pittock will be giving the Immortal Memory at the Scottish Government’s Burns Supper at Scotland House in London.

#CheerstoRabbie #UofGRabbie 

This year everyone has been invited by the Scottish Government to get involved in celebrating our shared love of Scotland’s national bard.

People around the world are been asked to post a picture of their toast to Burns on social media using #cheerstoRabbie so these can be captured and collated.

At the University of Glasgow we will be taking part in the national social media campaign, calling on staff and students to use both the hashtag #cheerstoRabbie and our own #UofGRabbie

Night at the Museum: Burns Night 2018

The Hunterian Museum will host a very special Burns Night celebration on Friday 26 January, inspired by its collections and the research of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies.

This exciting free event, from 7pm to 10pm, will create an opportunity to see The Hunterian’s world class displays at night, set against a backdrop of light projections, live music and access to related historical items not normally on show.

The University of Glasgow has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme of events to showcase this spectacular event. While the event is free, you must book a place via Eventbrite


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