St. Andrews University has supersized the 2013 Charles Bascombe Shaw Memorial Scottish Heritage Symposium by adding speakers and sessions to the event while keeping the prices the same.
Presented by the Scottish Heritage Center, the annual symposium will take place April 5 -7 on the university’s campus.
“Our symposium has provided a forum for those interested in Scottish history, culture and genealogy to learn from top scholars in their respective fields,” said Bill Caudill, director of the Scottish Heritage Center. “Since beginning in 1989, our symposium has gained national recognition as a leader in the exploration of Scottish culture.”
Lord Rector of the University of St. Andrews Scotland and President of the Court Alistair Moffat will start the symposium April 5 with his presentation The Clans – How They Came Into Being and Why They No Longer Exist. He will present Scotland’s DNA on Saturday morning.
“Since 1999, his work has focused on Scottish social history,” said Caudill of Moffat. “His most recent work involves DNA research and his mapping of DNA within Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. His 20 books and seven documentary films – including the forthcoming The British – A Genetic Journey – have been said by some to have the potential to rewrite Scottish history entirely.”
June Skinner Sawyers will also be making two presentations over the weekend. The Last of the Clans – the Art and Iconography of the Highland Clearances will be presented Friday while Lay Down Your Weary Tune – Dylan, Scotland and the Ballad Tradition will close out the presentations on Saturday.
A native of Glasgow, Sawyers returns by popular demand after her appearance at the Symposium last year. She is the author or editor of more than 20 books and published essays dealing with Scottish and Celtic topics. Her latest work, Bearing the People Away: The Portable Highland Clearances Companion is expected shortly. Later this year, she will present a paper on the country songs of Bruce Springsteen at the International Country Music Conference in Nashville. She teaches at Newberry Library in Chicago.
Dr. David Caldwell, who retired last year after 38 years with the National Museums of Scotland, will present The Post-Reformation Church in Argyll on Friday. He will return to the podium on Saturday with Sir James MacDonald, Last Chief of Clan Iain Mhoir: Savage or Renaissance Man?
Caldwell has written over 100 articles on Scottish historical and archeological topics relating to the West of Scotland.
“In particular, he specializes in the history and archaeology of Argyll and the Western Isles,” said Caudill. “From 1990 to 1997 he directed the archaeological excavations of Finlaggan, Islay – the home of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles, and still serves as a trustee of the Finlaggan Trust. We welcome Dr. Caldwell back for this, his third speaking engagement in our event’s history.”
Rounding out the presenters is Dr. Gerard Carruthers making his first appearance at the Symposium. He will present Robert Burns in North America on Saturday afternoon.
Carruthers holds a personal Chair in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. He is the General Editor of the Oxford University Press edition of the works of Robert Burns and Principal Investigator of the project “Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century,” which received a large grant by the Advanced Humanities Research Council.
The weekend also includes the 24th Annual Scottish Heritage Awards Banquet Friday and a free concert by the St. Andrews University Pipe Band and Concert Choir Saturday night. The final event of the weekend is the annual Kirkin’ of the Tartans Worship Service at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church on Sunday morning.
For a full schedule of events and registration information, go to http://www.sapc.edu/shc/scottishheritagesymposium.php or call the Scottish Heritage Center at 910-277-5236. Email reservations are also taken at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to include Scottish Heritage in the subject line and include names of all participants. The deadline to register is March 29.