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New Symposium weekend in Edinburgh – Scotland: History & Identity

posted on 18/07/17

The latest in our highly successful series of symposia, Scotland: History & Identity, brings together historians, curators, commentators and a politician or two for a dozen lectures celebrating Scotland’s rich history and culture.

Chosen for their pre-eminence and mastery of their subject, the speakers are well placed to offer perspective on current themes relating to independence, sovereignty and modernity. Given the lively debate surrounding Scotland’s ties to the UK, its relationship with Europe, recent referenda and elections, this promises to be a fascinating and timely event.

The symposium takes place at the Hub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Built in the 1840s by the Church of Scotland as a General Assembly, this Gothic Revival building is now the base for the Edinburgh International Festival. The wealth of historic monuments, museums and galleries in Edinburgh exceeds that of all but a few capitals of a country the size of Scotland. Many of the museums have benefited from renovation and extension in recent years and there is time in the programme to take advantage of them. The symposium has been planned to coincide with the National Museum of Scotland’s major 2017 exhibition, Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites, the largest on the subject to be held in 70 years. Admission is included.

The lecturers include prominent political figures; Ruth Davidson MSP (leader of the Scottish Conservative Party) and the economist George Kerevan (formerly SNP Member of Parliament for East Lothian), with reflections from the political biographer and journalist, David Torrance. There are talks from the archaeologist Nick Card on Neolithic Orkney, Professor Tony Pollard on the landmark Scottish victory at the Battle of Bannockburn (1314) and Professor Pamela Robertson on the origins and legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Elsewhere in the programme, Professor Dauvit Brown reveals the origins of Scottish identity, Dr Anna Groundwater illuminates James VI & I, and David Forsyth takes a fresh look at the Jacobites. We are delighted, also, to present contributions from the renowned historians of Scotland, Professor Sir Tom Devine and Professor Murray Pittock.

This is a fully inclusive residential weekend, with four hotels to choose from to suit all tastes and budgets. The package includes breakfasts, mid-session refreshments, a lunch, a dinner and exhibition tickets. There is also a private drinks reception for all guests at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday evening. A gala dinner in the gallery’s magnificent Allan Ramsay room with a talk by an expert curator is an optional extra.

By Charlotte Crow, Operations Supervisor


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