‘Scots in Asia’ – 26 & 27 June
Keynote: Sir Tom Devine

This seminar explores the historical and contemporary experiences of Scots in Asia,  with a keynote lecture by Professor Emeritus, Sir Tom Devine and a range of  impressive speakers. 

The keynote lecture from Sir Tom Devine entitled Addicting the Dragon: China, Opium, and Scotland’ will be held in the Meadows Lecture Theatre, William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, University of Edinburgh from 5.30pm on Friday 26th .

Tom DevineProfessor Emeritus, Sir Tom Devine graduated from Strathclyde University and hold honorary doctorates from The Queen’s University, Belfast and the University of Abertay, Dundee. At Strathclyde he rose through the academic ranks from assistant lecturer to Professor of Scottish History (in 1988), Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and, finally, Deputy Principal of the University from 1994 to 1998. From 1999 to 2004 he was a member of staff at Aberdeen University, being successively University Research Professor in Scottish History, Director of the AHRC Research Centre in Irish and Scottish Studies and Glucksman Research Chair of Irish and Scottish Studies. He joined Edinburgh University in January 2006. In addition to these appointments in the UK, he hold Honorary Professorships across the Atlantic at North Carolina (USA) and Guelph (Canada). Between 1992 and 1993 he was a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow.

The event Opening on Friday 26th with a keynote lecture at 5.30pm and the remaining talks will take place from 9.45am until 6pm on Saturday 27 June.

The seminar on Saturday 27th June runs from 09.45am till 6pm. The programme features:

  • Dr Tom Barron, independent historian: ‘Scots coffee planters in nineteenth century Ceylon’
  • Dr Tanja Bueltmann, Northumbria University: ‘From ethnic associational-ism to social networking: A longitudinal comparison of formal sociability in Scottish communities in Asia, c.1870 to the present’
  • Professor Emeritus Sir Tom Devine, University of Edinburgh, ‘Addicting the dragon: China, opium, and the Scottish factor’
  •  Ellen Filor, University College London, ‘Death or a Pension: Scots and the End of the East India Company, 1800-1857′
  •  Dr Joanna Frew, University of Essex, ‘Agricultural improvement and order in the Baramahal, South India, 1792-99′
  • Dr Isabella Jackson, University of Aberdeen, ‘The Shanghai Scottish: Scottish, imperial, and local identities in the Scottish Company of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps’
  • Professor Angela McCarthy, University of Otago, ‘James Taylor and cross-cultural encounters in Ceylon’
  • Dr George McGilvary, honorary postdoctoral fellow, Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies, University of Edinburgh, ‘Commercial exploits of the Scottish elite in India and South-east Asia, 1760-1830, with special reference to David Scott, MP (1746-1805)’
  • Professor Emeritus Patrick Peebles, University of Missouri – Kansas City, ‘Governor James Alexander Stewart Mackenzie and the making of Ceylon’
  • Iain Watson, University of Edinburgh, ‘The right kind of migrants: Scottish expatriates in Hong Kong and South-East Asia since 1950 and the preservation of human capital’.

The lectures will take place at Meadows Lecture Theatre, William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, University of Edinburgh EH8 9AG. All are welcome to attend either the Friday or Saturday only sessions or both.  Admission is free but booking is required at:  https://eventbrite.co.uk/event/15925511634/ Please select tickets as appropriate.

The event is sponsored by the ESRC Seminar Series ‘Scotland’s Diasporas in Comparative Perspective’ and the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies, University of Edinburgh in partnership with the University of Otago and the University of Hull.