Robert Burns & the Scottish Diaspora
International Conference, Edinburgh 10-11 July 2009

Confirmed keynote speakers are:

Richard Finlay
Professor of History, Head of the History Department, University of Strathclyde

Graeme Morton Professor and Scottish Studies Foundation Chair,Centre for Scottish Studies, Department of History, University of Guelph

Interest in the Scottish Diaspora has grown substantially in recent years. Fresh perspectives and new material have added to our understanding of the Scots abroad. Though the Scots overseas fostered a range of cultural activities which identified them as an ethnic group, the one recurring theme within all sites of settlement was remembrance of the national Bard, Robert Burns. Abroad, as well as at home, from the nineteenth century to the present, the iconic figure of Robert Burns is central to the celebration of a Scottish cultural identity. Indeed, initiatives such as “Tartan Day” and “Homecoming Scotland 2009” emphasise the ongoing global appeal of Burns. The 250th anniversary of the birth of the “ploughman poet” offers an opportune moment to take stock of what Burns means to the Scots Diaspora.

The conference is sponsored by Napier University, the Centre for Scottish Studies, University of Guelph & the Institute of Ulster Scots Studies, University of Ulster.

Call for Papers
June 2008
We welcome proposals for individual papers of 20 minutes, or for panels of up to four papers of that length. Possible themes include:
• National and regional perspectives in the British World
• Scots and Ulster-Scots in Ulster or the Irish and Scottish Diasporas
• Gender and the Burns cult
• The iconography of Burns
• Generational aspects: Scots and their descendants
• Tensions around integration or maintaining a distinct ethnic identity
• The contested politics of Burns
• Nationalism and national identity
• Language and literature beyond Scotland.
• Tourism and Heritage
• Scottishness, ethnicity and social classes.

It is anticipated that a selection of the papers will be published in an edited volume.

Please email proposals (300 words maximum per paper) and brief CV (one page maximum) to:

Dr John Burnett, Napier University, Edinburgh


Tanja Bueltmann, Victoria University, Wellington