Beltane researchers at upcoming humanities and social science festivals

Updated 30th October 2015 to include the Being Human festival.

November is the month of Previously…Scotland’s History Festival, the ESRC Festival of Social Science and the Being Human festival of the humanities. Here’s what our peeps are appearing in. (Events take place in Edinburgh unless otherwise stated.)

Previously…Scotland’s History Festival 

The Dead Sea Scrolls: a very short introduction (18th November)

Everyone has heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but amidst the conspiracies, the politics, and the sensational claims, it can be difficult to separate the myths from the reality. Timothy Lim (The University of Edinburgh) presents the true facts.

Martyrdom: a very short introduction (19th November)

Jolyon Mitchell (The University of Edinburgh) provides a historical analysis to shed light on how the concept and practice of martyrdom has evolved, as well as the different ways in which it is used today.

The life and opinions of Professor Sir Tom Devine, gentleman & historian (20th November)

Professor Sir Thomas Martin Devine, Kt OBE FBA FRSE HonMRIA FRHistS, is more than Scotland’s most famous historian. He is a myth slayer. Kevin McKenna, one of our most incisive inquisitors, puts the good professor in the spotlight and finds out what makes him tick.

Knox unbound (20th November)

Join Jane Dawson (The University of Edinburgh), author of the acclaimed new biography of John Knox as she casts a surprising new light on the public and private personas of a highly complex, difficult, and hugely compelling individual.

Behind the black faced minstrel’s smile (21st November) 

Groundbreaking historian Dr Eric Graham (The University of Edinburgh) wipes away the makeup of this ‘family entertainment’ to reveal a story of how ‘the minstrelsy’ introduced the appalling American style racial stereotyping of the African American into Scotland in the 1840s.

Women who widnae haud their wheesht – Scotswomen who fought for equality (21st November)

Dr Lesley Orr (The University of Edinburgh) looks at the lives of the women who fought in those first battles for equality, and plots the course from those early days through to more recent campaigns.

Ghosts, fairies and second sight in Early Modern Scotland (22nd November)

Are you interested in Scottish ghost, fairy and second sight beliefs from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries? Martha McGill (The University of Edinburgh) shares some of this period’s popular supernatural stories.

Churches in a landscape (22nd November)

Audrey Scardina (The University of Edinburgh) spends a lot of time climbing over ancient ruins, struggling with obtuse German sources, and making colourful maps. She studies ancient Lycia, in southwest Turkey, which is now most famous for relaxing holidays and being the birthplace of Father Christmas.

Unicorns: a zoological analysis (22nd November)

Elyse Waters (The University of Edinburgh) examines how real animals influenced the creation and evolution of the unicorn myth.


ESRC Festival of Social Science

CafeMED special: science in British Sign Language (9th November, Aberdeen)

Audrey Cameron (The University of Edinburgh) and Gary Quinn (Heriot Watt University) discuss the development of new British Sign Language signs for specific terms related to scientific disciplines.

Social inequalities in higher education (11th November)

This event will bring international comparative research into the debates about the remit of Scottish Government’s Commission on Widening Access. Organised by AQMeN, The University of Edinburgh.

Governance and data access an interactive approach (13th November)

An interactive exploration of the ethics of reusing data from existing patient records. Organised by the Longitudinal Studies Centre Scotland, The University of Edinburgh.

Using maths for social and political studies (13th November)

This afternoon of interactive workshops will use fun group activities and mini-lectures to give S5/S6 pupils a flavour of how they can combine an interest in social science with mathematical ability and interest (The University of Edinburgh).


Being Human: a festival of the humanities

Lost+Found: seeing Edinburgh through the eyes of its people (19th November)

Edinburgh, like every city, is a divided one. Join humanities researchers, creative practitioners, urban activists, policy makers and fellow citizens for the launch of online exhibition Lost+Found in Edinburgh, which features images of the city’s quirky and contested places.