Recent years have seen significant advances in the study of Scottish culture, politics, history and society, yet practitioners in adjacent fields are seldom in dialogue. This lack of interdisciplinary research is impeding the growth of critical and engaged scholarship. Scottish Critical Heritage aims to draw together researchers and practitioners from across disciplines and cultural practices to offer new critical perspectives on Scotland’s political, cultural and literary heritage.
We are open to novel approaches which recognise patterns of both empowerment and disempowerment, which emphasise popular experience without heroising it, and which critically acknowledge the agency of elites in shaping narratives of Scotland. Rather than ‘busting’ or endorsing familiar myths and narratives in our respective fields, we will seek instead to discern the source of their power and enduring influence.
Lucy Brown is a PhD student based at the University of Strathclyde’s Scottish Oral History Centre. Her research looks at the history of community art, film and video in Scotland in relation to the wider fields of community action and urban policy during the 1970s and 1980s. Her research interests include popular culture, the development of the welfare state, housing politics and material culture. Prior to starting her PhD, Lucy worked as a researcher for a range of health and education charities.
Erin Farley is a third year PhD candidate at the University of Strathclyde on the Collaborative Doctoral Award project “Poetry, Song and Community in the Industrial City: Victorian Dundee,” in partnership with Dundee Central Library. Her research explores how the composition, performance and reception of poetry and song reflected the changing social contexts of the 19th century. Other research interests include the interactions between folklore and literature, how technological changes are reflected in culture, and the relationship between what are too often considered separate spheres of ‘tangible’ and ‘intangible’ heritage. She has previously worked in the fields of oral history and heritage outreach, and is also a traditional storyteller.
Dr. Ewan Gibbs lectures in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of the West of Scotland. His research centres on the Scottish experience of deindustrialisation, focusing on the political impact of changing labour markets and memories of employment and industrial and community protest. Ewan completed a PhD studying deindustrialisation in the Lanarkshire coalfield during 2016. He has since published on memorialising industrial work and how a moral economy of industrial employment shaped colliery closures.
Dr. Scott Hames lectures on Scottish Literature at the University of Stirling. He writes mainly about the cultural politics of Scottish writing since 1979. Related interests include literary nationalism, devolution, and the politics of voice, class and authenticity. He co-founded the International Journal of Scottish Literature, and is the editor of Unstated: Writers on Scottish Independence and The Edinburgh Companion to James Kelman.
Rory Scothorne is a PhD candidate in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh. His research concerns the relationship between the radical left and nationalism in Scotland in the post-WWII era, exploring in particular how the Scottish radical left – understood in a broad sense – engaged with movements for devolution and independence, alongside its own ‘nationality’, between 1968 and 1992. He has published research on the emergence of left-wing Scottish nationalism between 1956 and 1981.
Dr. Valerie Wright is a historian of modern Scotland with particular expertise in gender, social and political history. She is currently Research Associate in Economic and Social History, University of Glasgow. Her current research focuses on the long-term and wide-ranging effects of deindustrialisation on communities and individuals in post-war Scotland. She has previously completed research on interwar feminism and women’s involvement in politics, women’s employment in the post-war years and the effects of UK post-war housing policy in the West of Scotland.
Images courtesy of the Scottish Political Archive, University of Stirling.