School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Provisional conference programme

The conference programme is provisional and may be subject to amendment.

Conference delegates should please enter the conference by the main entrance to the National Museum on Chambers Street.

Friday 4 July 2014

4pm - Opening of the Conference

Rt Hon Dr Gordon Brown MP UN Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the Policy Board of the World Economic Forum. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 2007-2010. Alumnus in History (MA, PhD) of the University of Edinburgh.

Setting the Scene: Diaspora History and the Scottish Diaspora Professor Tom Devine, University of Edinburgh

4.45pm: Voices over the Water - a film by Guy Perrotta and Jane Ferguson. The acclaimed American Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Guy Perrotta, has been preparing a documentary for US public television on the Highland Clearances and the Scottish Diaspora. Recent academic research on the subject is taken fully into account.

Jane Ferguson has worked in New York film and television and on a number of various media projects in the USA.

In this special event excerpts from the forthcoming two hour film will be shown for the first time to a public audience. It employs a polyphonic, docu-memoir approach, showing the historical context of the Clearances, the topic of ‘Highlandism’ and the debates which continue to resonate to this day. The film also sheds light on the ways the diaspora has sought to interpret this history.

Mr Perrotta and Ms Ferguson will make a brief presentation on the objectives of the documentary, discuss its central themes and describe some of the challenges they faced in making the film. Clips from the programme will also be screened.

Eric Richards. Emeritus Professor of History. Flinders University, Adelaide (Chair)

Saturday 5 July 2014

Time Topic Speaker(s)
9–9.30am Registration  
9.30–11.00am The Scottish Diaspora since c. 1600: Profit or Loss for the Homeland? Ewen Cameron, Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Palaeography, University of Edinburgh (Chair). John MacKenzie, Universities of Lancaster and Edinburgh, Andrew Mackillop, University of Aberdeen, Jim Tomlinson, University of Glasgow
11.00–11.30am Tea and coffee break  
11.30am–1pm Scotland and Black Slavery Philip Morgan, Harry C Black Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University USA and Professorial Fellow, the University of Edinburgh (Chair). Nick Draper, University College London. David Alston, Independent Scholar. Dr Eric Graham, The University of Edinburgh.
1-2pm Lunch  
2-3.00pm Heritage Dr Alex Murdoch, Associate Director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies, the University of Edinburgh (Chair). David Hesse, University of Zurich. Tawny Paul, University of Northumbria.
3.00-3.30pm Tea and coffee break  
3.30-5pm Museums, Material Culture and Migration: presentations by senior staff of National Museums Scotland David Forsyth, Senior Curator in Scottish Social History and Diaspora, National Museums Scotland (Chair). Sarah Worden, Friederike Voigt and Stuart Allen.

Sunday 6 July 2014

Time Topic Speaker(s)
9-9.30am Registration and Coffee  
9.30-11am Scottish Migrants and Cross-Cultural Encounters Stuart Macintyre, Ernest Scott Professor of History, University of Melbourne (Chair). Colin Calloway, Dartmouth College, USA. Ann Curthoys, University of Sydney. Angela McCarthy, University of Otago.
11am-11.30am Tea and Coffee Break  
11.30-1.30pm Modern Diaspora: World War Two to the Present Jim Tomlinson, Professor of Economic and Social History, University of Glasgow (Chair). Robin Naysmith, British Embassy, Washington DC. Marjory Harper, University of Aberdeen. Bernard Kelly, University of Edinburgh. Iain Watson, University of Edinburgh. Gus Noble, President of Chicago Scots will join the panel for Q&A session.
1.30-2.30pm Lunch  
2.30-3.30pm Historians and the Scottish Diaspora: Achievements, Challenges, Opportunities Enda Delaney, Associate Director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies, University of Edinburgh (Chair). David Fitzpatrick, Professor of Modern History, Trinity College Dublin and Professorial Fellow, University of Edinburgh. Response from Eric Richards, Emeritus Professor of History, Flinders University, Adelaide. Enda Delaney, Associate Director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies, University of Edinburgh (Chair)
3.30-4.00pm Tea and coffee break  
4.00-6.00pm Scotland Today: Perspectives from the Diaspora Harry McGrath, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver (Chair). Laurie Anderson, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, House of Lords, Stuart Macintyre, University of Melbourne, David Speedie, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, New York, Alan Bain, President of the American-Scottish Foundation (New York City), will join the panel for the Q&A session.
6pm Reception for all in NMS  

Flow: a Diaspora Exhibition

Throughout the conference there will be an exhibition of the work of Catriona Taylor on modern Polish immigration to Scotland.

Catriona was Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies, 2012-13.

Book stall

During the conference Blackwells South Bridge will be selling books written by speakers: an opportunity to have them signed by authors who are present!

Conference brochure

You can download our conference brochure as a PDF.

Contact us

Elaine Philip

Research Centres and Knowledge Exchange Events Administrator

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details



Room 2M.27