Call for Papers

Indyref shop display on Cockburn St, Edinburgh, 2014. Courtesy Scottish Political Archive -
IF SCOTLAND is a two-day conference exploring how the referendum on Scottish independence will be remembered, discussed and explained a few decades from now, once the uncertainties of September 2014 have set and hardened into historical facts. The event is hosted by the Stirling Centre for Scottish Studies at the University of Stirling, and takes place over the weekend of 23-24 August 2014.

Print-friendly PDF version of this CFP

Viewed in retrospect, what happens in 2014 will quickly come to seem mundane, even inevitable. So while the question is still ‘liquid’, uncertain and up for grabs, we mean to imagine how the current debate might appear in 20-30 years’ time – a few decades after either a Yes or No result on September 18.  Both possibilities will be explored fully, by a distinguished group of speakers engaged with both sides of the debate.

Questions we may pursue:

What, in 2034 or 2044, will be celebrated or lamented about today’s debate, and the possibilities it opens?

What will be difficult to explain to future generations, for whom the 2014 result might well seem unremarkable?  (What, on the other hand, will future generations find bizarre and unbelievable?)

What (and whom) will our grandchildren be chortling at?

Clearly our answers to these questions will be shaped by our own hopes and expectations for September 18. But this conference is not a campaigning occasion and will not be focused on arguments for and against independence; rather we hope to explore, in serious and unserious ways, how ‘the enormous condescension of posterity’ might colour the main issue of today.

‘Scotland is British’ campaign material (against devolution), 1979.

We aim for an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere closer to a festival than an academic conference, and registration is FREE for postgraduate students and members of the public.

The programme includes a number of plenary sessions from our invited speakers, an evening of literary conversation, and daily set-piece debates with a panel of lively respondents (focused on post-Yes scenarios Saturday 23rd, post-No on Sunday 24th).

Cover of Punch magazine, April 1974.

For the main academic sessions, papers are invited from scholars, postgraduates and independent researchers engaged with any relevant aspect of the theme, working in fields including:

  • Scottish literature
  • Scottish history
  • Scottish politics
  • Scottish language
  • Scottish film
  • Scottish media

Panel proposals (for 3 papers) are especially welcome; all papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes. We plan to publish a selection of papers and lectures.

Please send abstracts of 250 words to by 15 June.


Images courtesy the Scottish Political Archive.

Posted April 22, 2014 in: Call for Papers by shames

You must be logged in to post a comment.