IASH at 50


The Institute for Advanced Studies was founded in 1969 within the then Faculty of Arts at the University of Edinburgh by Professor John MacQueen, Professor of Scottish Literature and Oral Tradition and Professor Conrad Hal Waddington, Professor of Animal Genetics. In 1970, IASH began to host visitors, and more than 1,200 researchers and creative practitioners from around the world have since undertaken IASH Fellowships.
The academic year 2019-2020 therefore marks the 50th anniversary of the Institute, and we are delighted to offer a wide range of events to celebrate this milestone:

Humanities of the Future: perspectives from the past and present: a symposium

23rd to 25th April 2020

All IASH alumni are invited to join us for a three-day celebration of the humanities. Events will include a one-day conference at the historic Playfair Library on Thursday 23rd April 2020, a reunion dinner, visits to IASH (both at Hope Park Square and our former home at 17 Buccleuch Place), a concert at St Cecilia's Hall, presentations by current IASH Fellows, an exhibition of material drawn from our extensive archive, and much more.
The Call for Papers for the conference is available here. To register your interest, please email iash50@ed.ac.uk.


Fellows in the garden of 17 Buccleuch Place


IASH@50: an Oral History of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

From its earliest days under Professor William Beattie, IASH has served as a springboard for scholars from around the world. We have collected the stories and successes of the IASH community since 1970. Perhaps you completed your first monograph with us, or made an exciting discovery in the archives, or met life-long friends. Whatever your story, we would love to include it in our online oral history.
Contributions might include memories, photographs, audio recordings, short videos, reflections and anecdotes. You can email iash50@ed.ac.uk or send by post to IASH, 2 Hope Park Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9NW.

I may have been the youngest Fellow and the only American at the Institute in 1973, invited there to complete a project on Old English poetry that was meant to evolve into a book. I did complete the first chapter, published as an article in 1975, picked up and republished in 1978, and the core of my 1980 applicant’s lecture for a permanent position at UC Davis, where I’ve been ever since. But that particular book was never completed as I moved on to write many other books and articles, mostly on medieval English subjects. My IASH Fellowship was a huge step up into a long and successful academic career, and my gratitude to the Institute is profound.

Professor Marijane Osborn, Visiting Research Fellow 1973


50th Anniversary Fellowship

In September 2019, we launched a new Fellowship scheme to mark the anniversary. One Junior Anniversary Fellow and one Senior Anniversary Fellow will be appointed each year to conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in the arts, humanities and / or social sciences. If you would like to support the scheme, please contact the Development & Alumni Office at supporter@ed.ac.uk or on +44 (0)131 650 2240.


Scottish Playwrights in the 21st Century

Since 2003, we have collaborated with the Edinburgh International Festival and the Traverse Theatre to commission new works from some of Scotland's most exciting playwrights. Creative Fellows have included Douglas Maxwell, David Harrower, Rona Munro, Jo Clifford, Linda McLean and Clare Duffy. We will celebrate our many playwrights-in-residence at a very special evening of readings during the 2020 Edinburgh Festival. The exact date will be confirmed soon.