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David Leishman

Irn-Bru, produced by the beverage firm A.G. Barr p.l.c. (aka Barr's), is a leading brand in the Scottish soft drinks market, and over the course of the twentieth century, this beverage also came to symbolise Scottish cultural specificities before

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Charles Bradford Bow

This article examines the “progress” of Scottish metaphysics during the long eighteenth century. The scientific cultivation of natural knowledge drawn from the examples of Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1626), John Locke (1632–1704), and Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) was a defining pursuit in the Scottish Enlightenment. The Aberdonian philosopher George Dalgarno (1616–1687); Thomas Reid (1710–1796), a member of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society known as the Wise Club; and the professor of moral philosophy at Edinburgh University Dugald Stewart (1753–1828), contributed to that Scottish pattern of philosophical thinking. The question of the extent to which particular external senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell) might be improved when others were damaged or absent from birth attracted their particular interest. This article shows the different ways in which Scottish anatomists of the mind resolved Molyneux’s Problem of whether or not an agent could accurately perceive an object from a newly restored external sense.

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Michelle Brock

Demonic belief in Scotland has primarily been addressed in the context of the witch-trials, in which the devil appeared as an external figure that convinced morally weak people (mostly women) to renounce their baptisms, enter into a demonic pact, and commit atrocious crimes. Encountering the devil, however, could also be a very personal, internal experience that arose from the questions of sin and salvation that formed an intrinsic part of reformed Protestant piety. I propose that in order to understand the importance of the devil to early modern Scotland, and Europe more generally, we must look beyond the witch trials and the dichotomy of good versus evil and ask how early modern men and women actually experienced the devil in their daily lives. By exploring the diaries and letters of both ministers and laymen in seventeenth-century Scotland, I demonstrate that the devil was not simply an evil, non-human "Other"; for early modern Scots, the demonic represented something innate and intimate about humanity itself, serving as a constant reminder of the moral depravity man, the potential for God's wrath, and the insecurity of salvation.

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Elizabeth C. Macknight

This special issue of Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques derives from panel sessions for the Irish-Scottish Academic Initiative (ISAI) conference held at the University of Aberdeen in October 2009. The conference marked the tenth anniversary of the founding of Aberdeen’s Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies. It was also the first ISAI conference to feature panel sessions dedicated to the study of gender in Irish and Scottish history. The overarching theme of the conferenceGlobal Nations? Irish and Scottish Expansionencouraged discussion of the ways in which the history and heritage of Ireland and Scotland are interpreted and understood both within those countries and abroad. In the two panels on gender, history, and heritage we sought to interrogate past and present notions of Irish and Scottish identity through the lens of gender by bringing together speakers from universities and the heritage sector.

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Rosalind Carr

This article examines the political engagement of three Scottish women—Anne Hamilton, Duchess of Hamilton; Katherine Hamilton, Duchess of Atholl; and Katherine Skene, Lady Murray—during the negotiations that led to the 1707 Anglo-Scottish Union. The letters of these women reveal an active female involvement in Scottish politics during the pivotal debates over Union with England. They also serve to demonstrate the importance of family-based power among the landed elites in early modern Scottish politics. Challenging the continued absence of women from early modern Scottish political histories, this article argues that women, exemplied by the three discussed here, must be incorporated into political history if we want to fully understand the history of the Scottish nation.

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The Memorialisation of the Highland Clearances in Scottish Museums

Economic and Socio-Political Uses of Heritage

Laurence Gouriévidis

This article focuses on the representation of the Highland Clearances – one of the most painful and controversial themes in modern Scottish history – in Scottish museum spaces. It brings to light the social, economic and political implications of the interpretation of this period through a survey of twelve independent local museums and two national museums. It argues that the Clearances have become a crucially defining landmark at a local but also national level. Yet the way the Clearances are represented in narratives differs significantly, showing the extent to which the meaning ascribed to the clearing process and its consequences is socially and historically conditioned. Whilst the symbolic and emotional resonance of the period as a traumatic rupture prevails, it has also come to articulate a political vision intrinsically linked with land reform in a devolved Scotland, and a transnational identity owing much to the imaginary of the Scottish diaspora.

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Rutger Henneman

In the past, land agitations have had a clear spiritual and theological dimension. The morality of ownership over land itself is often questioned. Many see land as a community resource, and community ownership is an emergent 'model' of land tenure, both in word and in practice. This project on the role of spirituality and theology in Scotland's modern land reform is linked to research into the spirituality of community regeneration, supported by WWF International in Geneva. The findings show that for contemporary Scottish land reformers spiritual and theological dimensions are very important.

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Oili Pulkkinen

Newtonian science and mechanics left an important imprint on the Scottish Enlightenment. Even though the usage of mechanical metaphors, especially that of a “state machine” per se, were rare in Scottish philosophy, its conception of the human, animal and political bodies as mechanisms that function according to regular principles, or laws, helped to shape many of the theories that have now become popular in various fields of Scottish studies. Most research in these fields focus on the conceptions of history related to theories of economic advancement. In this article the author suggests that the theories produced in the Scottish Enlightenment were also nuanced attempts to describe how historical mechanisms operate.

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Jeffrey B. Griswold

This article complicates scholarship on Macbeth that understands political attachment in terms of an autonomous subject and attributes Macbeth’s demise to an over-susceptibility to natural or supernatural forces. By putting early modern accounts of the humoral constitution of the night air in conversation with modern theories of apostrophe, I argue that the Macbeths’ experiences of night theorise political action as inseparable from the nonhuman forces in the play. Shakespeare reworks his source material to explore the borders of the human, imagining a more complex relationship between treasonous violence and the darkness that enshrouds Scotland.

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Allison Macleod

As I enter the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow for the opening night of the Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF), two giant pink poodles (actually festival volunteers dressed as characters from the festival