50th Anniversary Programme of Events

With great regret, we have taken the decision to cancel the IASH 50th Anniversary Symposium Humanities of the Future: perspectives from the past and present, along with the associated reunion celebrations from 23 to 25 April.

Due to the ongoing global spread of COVID-19, not least causing the withdrawal of numerous international delegates, we have taken the decision to cancel the symposium. However, we are still hopeful that the research due to be presented can be made accessible to Fellows, alumni, supporters and the wider public. In the first instance, we are pursuing options to video record, edit and present the papers via our YouTube channel or other online portals. We are also planning to go ahead with the publication of papers as an edited collection, printed under our 'Occasional Papers' banner.


Registration is now closed for Fellows and alumni of IASH for the 50th Anniversary Symposium and IASH Reunion in April 2020.

 All activities, including the Symposium dinner and ceilidh, are free to attend. If you will be accompanied by a partner, please complete the form for each person individually, so we have all necessary information about dietary and access requirements.


Thursday 23 April: Humanities of the Future: perspectives from the past and present (Playfair Library)

09:00 Registration

09:30 Welcome by the Principal and IASH Director

10:00 Keynote by Professor Rosi Braidotti: Posthuman Knowledge: the Transversal Humanities in the 21st Century

11:00 Panel 1

Natalie Goodison and Deborah Mackay - A Medievalist and a Geneticist: An Unlikely Research Partnership

Soraya de Chadarevian - DNA and history

Sam Cohn – The future of history and its recent past

Chaired by Janus Hansen

12:00 Lunch

13:00 Panel 2

Elizabeth Ford - Lost venues: How virtual reality can help us understand historic performance practice

Kate Simpson - The digital archive as space and place in the constitution, production and circulation of knowledge

Colin Johnson - “The Idea becomes a Machine that makes the Art”: Artificial Intelligence and the Visual Arts

Chaired by Eric White

14:00 Panel 3

Andrew Wells - Can the Subaltern Squeak? Hearing Non-Human Animals in Historical Studies

Catherine Crompton - The role of the humanities in the neurodiversity movement

Noémie Fargier - Global sound archive: Sound maps projects and the perspective of the future

Chaired by Asha Varadharajan

15:00 Tea and coffee

15:30 Panel 4

Michael Paye - New Directions in the Blue Humanities

Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko - The Dimming and the Light: Smoke, Ritual Purification and Climate Crisis in Mongolia

Tomasz Łysak - Holocaust studies in the era of climate change

Chaired by André Krebber

16:30 Musical performance

Margaret McAllister - Music, Words and Meaning: An Exploration

Followed by a musical performance of texts by Rumi, Words of Rumi: Casting the Intangible (mezzo-soprano & cello)

17:00 Symposium ends

19:00 Dinner and ceilidh at Rainy Hall (ends 23:00)



Friday 24th April: Reunion at IASH, Day 1

10:00 Coffee and pastries

10:30 Presentation by Charlotte Lauder: The Foundation of IASH

11:00 Lecture by David Purdie: The Life and Career of David Daiches

12:15 Buffet lunch at St Cecilia's Hall

13:00 St Cecilia’s Hall - a concert featuring Scottish Voices with the Kentigern String Quartet

14:30 Coffee and cake at IASH

15:00 Presentations of current research by IASH Fellows – lightning talks

16:00 Publishing roundtable: Nicola Ramsey (EUP); Jamie McIntyre (CUP)

17:15 Whisky tasting


Saturday 25th April: Reunion at IASH, Day 2

11:00 BBQ in garden of Hope Park Square

Optional Activities:

  • Black History Walk
  • Walking tour of the Meadows
  • Tour of the National Library of Scotland
  • Tour of the National Museum of Scotland
  • Tour of the Anatomical Museum
  • Backstage tour of the Traverse Theatre