Centre for Scottish Culture Blog

The Missing Colourist? Searching for John Maclauchlan Milne RSA

  In this guest post, Maurice Millar explores the life and work of the often-overlooked Dundee Colourist painter John Maclauchlan Milne.   John Maclauchlan Milne (1885-1957) – JMM –  was in the same places, at the same times, doing the same thing, as those who would later become known as ‘The Scottish Colourists’, namely the

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Patrick Geddes’s Intellectual Origins

  In this guest post, Murdo Macdonald, Professor Emeritus of the History of Scottish Art at the University of Dundee, tells us about his new book, Patrick Geddes’s Intellectual Origins (Edinburgh University Press, 2020).   My book, Patrick Geddes’s Intellectual Origins (Edinburgh University Press, 2020) explores the interdisciplinary achievement of one of the key thinkers of the

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Who was Expected to go to Church in Early Modern Scotland?

  Samantha Hunter is a first-year PhD researcher at the University of Dundee, exploring governance and control in seventeenth-century Scotland. In this guest post, she discusses early modern expectations of church attendance, and asks when, and for what reasons, certain people might have been excused from attending.   Follow Samantha on Twitter at @sam_hunter95   It

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Scottish History Quizzes

Our steering-committee member, Dr Allan Kennedy, has created a series of unique Scottish History quizzes. Intended initially to help keep people distracted and entertained during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, these quizzes have built up into a unique resource to test and expand your Scottish History knowledge. The quizzes are completely free for public access via gotoquiz.com,

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Confronting the Legacy of Slavery in Scotland

  Dr Michael Morris explores recent efforts to confront the legacy of Scotland’s involvement in Atlantic slavery, and suggests a possible road-map for public commemoration. Follow Michael on Twitter at @M_J_Morris81   Following the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer in 2013, African-American activists developed a new campaign with a name that is poignant in its starkness: Black

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Scottish Women in Early Modern London

  Dr Allan Kennedy explores what life was like for the Scottish women who made their homes in London during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.  Follow Allan on Twitter at: @Allan_D_Kennedy    Since 2018, I, in collaboration with Professor Keith Brown (University of Manchester) and Dr Siobhan Talbott (Keele University), have published a series of

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Patronage and ‘the general taste for Portrait’: David Allan and the Erskine of Torrie Portrait

  In this guest post, Dr Nel Whiting takes a look at the role of gender in shaping the portraiture of David Allan (1744-96), specifically in his family portrait of the Erskines of Torrie. Follow Nel on Twitter at @nel_whiting   Historical portraits are more than likenesses of people from the past; they are artful

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Spring Poets and Public Parks

  In this guest post, Dr Erin Farley explores how the popular ‘spring poetry’ of 19th-century Dundee celebrated the freeing, invigorating effect of the city’s public parks. Follow Erin on Twitter at @aliasmacalias   For many city residents, especially those in flats or tenements with no garden, our local park has become an essential respite

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Charles Maitland, Overlooked Pioneer of Smallpox Inoculation

  Sylvia Valentine is a professional genealogist who is also completing a PhD at the University of Dundee. Her thesis explores opposition to compulsory smallpox vaccination in 19th and early 20th– century Scotland. Follow Sylvia on Twitter at @historylady2013   One of the least recognised figures in the history of smallpox prevention is Aberdonian Charles

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Torture in Early Modern Scotland

  Dr Allan Kennedy explores ideas and practice around the use of judicial torture in early modern Scotland.  Follow Allan on Twitter at: @Allan_D_Kennedy    When we discuss crime and punishment in the past, we often instinctively think about torture. Grisly images of broken, brutalised bodies worm their way into our imaginations, especially when we’re thinking

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