Discussing the role of arts and humanities in the implementation of the joint Scottish-Irish bilateral review.

This half-day event, co-organised by the Scottish Arts and Humanities Alliance (SAHA), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and the Irish Humanities Alliance (IHA), will explore the progress achieved in implementing the recommendations of the first Joint Bilateral Review of the Irish and Scottish Governments. Arts and humanities will have a major role to play in the successful implementation of the Bilateral Review, and they form the basis for several of the recommendations in the official document. This event will particularly focus on several themes of the review: the Community and Diaspora, Culture and Academic and Research Links.

As human-centred fields of research, the Arts and Humanities are fundamental to fostering creativity, firing the imagination, navigating a shared history, and promoting inter-cultural dialogue. Both the Scottish and Irish governments emphasise that the bilateral review aims to consolidate and expand existing connections, thus acting as a springboard for cultural diplomacy and cultural relations on both sides of the Irish Sea. We will take this opportunity to reflect on the impact of arts and humanities on shaping these interactions and their impact on Scottish and Irish people within and beyond the two countries.

The event will bring together academics, cultural representatives, policymakers and diplomatic representatives with perspectives on culture, diaspora, and cultural diplomacy/relations. It will also reflect on past, present and possible future ways of working together as exemplified by jointly-funded Scottish-Irish research projects.


14:00 – 14:35 | Introductory remarks

  • Angus Robertson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, Scottish Government
  • Jane McCulloch, Consul General of Ireland in Edinburgh, Irish Department of Foreign Affairs
  • Professor Murray Pittock, Bradley Professor and Pro Vice-Principal, University of Glasgow and Co-Chair of the Scottish Arts and Humanities Alliance
  • Professor Chris Williams, Head of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, University College Cork, and Chair of the Irish Humanities Alliance

14:35 – 16:00 | Panel discussion: Culture, collaboration and diaspora

  • Professor Michael Russell, President, Scottish National Party
  • Professor Michael Keating, Emeritus Professor, Aberdeen University and General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Professor Sarah Prescott, Vice-Principal and Head of College for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Gerardine Meaney, Professor of Cultural Theory, University College Dublin

16:00 – 16:20 | Coffee break

16:20 – 17:20 | Scottish–Irish research projects presentations

  • Professor Katherine Forsyth, Professor of Celtic and Gaelic, University of Glasgow and Professor David Stifter, Professor for Old and Middle Irish, Maynooth University
    AHRC-IRC Collaboration in Digital Humanities
    OG(H)AM: Harnessing digital technologies to transform understanding of ogham writing, from the 4th century to the 21st
  • Professor William Lamb, Professor of Celtic & Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh and Dr Brian Ó Raghallaigh, Assistant professor in Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, University College Dublin
    AHRC-IRC Collaboration in Digital Humanities
    Decoding Hidden Heritages in Gaelic Traditional Narrative with Text-Mining and Phylogenetics
  • Professor Mary Modeen, Chair of Interdisciplinary Art Practice, University of Dundee and Dr Ciara Healy Musson, Lecturer in Art & Design, Culture & Heritage, South East Technological University (SETU) Carlow
    Ireland-Scotland Bilateral Network Grants
    The Rural Reimagined: Connecting Irish and Scottish Artists and Writers with Rural Practices and Narratives
  • Professor David Stifter, Professor for Old and Middle Irish, Maynooth University
    UK-Ireland Collaboration in the Digital Humanities Networking Grants
    Developing a Digital Framework for the Gaelic World

17:20 | Concluding remarks, Professor Murray Pittock

17:30 | Event end