The Rishta and the Rèiteach: Scotland’s non-Christian weddings

A history of modern Scotland in weddings #2: This post explores the legal and cultural history of non-Christian religious weddings in twentieth-century Scotland, in the hope of offering a glimpse of a little-known but vital strand of our national story. My thanks to Diljeet Bhachu (@DijleetB_Flute) for talking to me about Sikh weddings, and for the … Continue reading The Rishta and the Rèiteach: Scotland’s non-Christian weddings

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Here Comes the Boss: Workers, weddings and paternalism in mid-century Scotland

A History of Modern Scotland in Weddings #1: This is the first instalment in an occasional series in which I'll be exploring aspects of twentieth- and twenty-first century Scottish history, using weddings as a lens on wider social, economic, cultural and political forces. On Saturday 23 April, 1938, over 160 mill workers from the Borders … Continue reading Here Comes the Boss: Workers, weddings and paternalism in mid-century Scotland

Weddings and the Church of Scotland: Community, Ritual, and the Law, c. 1931 to 1978

This is the text of paper I gave at the Scottish Church History Society conference on 17 March, 2018. Whatever stance we take on the overall trajectory of secularisation in Scotland, the middle decades of the twentieth century undeniably present a pretty stark rise and fall in popular church connection. However, one aspect of popular … Continue reading Weddings and the Church of Scotland: Community, Ritual, and the Law, c. 1931 to 1978

Contexts for consent: the liberalisation of wedding provision since 1977

This is an adapted version of a work-in-progress presentation I gave at the seminar 'Some issues on marriage and divorce' at the School of Law, University of Glasgow, on 11 December 2017. It's a potted history of the development of the categories used in marriage registration in Scotland, followed by a speculative exploration of some … Continue reading Contexts for consent: the liberalisation of wedding provision since 1977

MSc Thesis: Community Life and Political Culture in Hawick, c. 1945-75

I've been meaning to upload this for a while, but it was the Scottish Historical Conversations panel on modern history the other night that convinced me it might actually be of some interest to someone other than me. At that event, W. Hamish Fraser answered a question on the future of Scottish historical research by … Continue reading MSc Thesis: Community Life and Political Culture in Hawick, c. 1945-75

How to (maybe eventually after initial failure) Get PhD Funding

A couple of weeks back, Séan Richardson (@Southldntabby) put out a request for suggestions for an article he was putting together on how to get PhD funding (the result of which was an extremely detailed and useful guide which you should go read now). This clearly triggered some kind of mild trauma response in me, … Continue reading How to (maybe eventually after initial failure) Get PhD Funding

Workers and Whist Drives: on Class, Culture, and Unpromising Sources

We are frequently told now that anyone who enjoys a cheeky americano or saves up for Glastonbury tickets has no business in the Labour movement. This post, adapted from an essay written during my Masters, reflects on the apolitical aspects of politics in an era before 'authentocracy'; hopefully it provides some food for thought regarding our … Continue reading Workers and Whist Drives: on Class, Culture, and Unpromising Sources

‘Wan language – mair or less’: On Scots, the Arts, and the Uses of Ambiguity

With a regular column in 'The National', the Scots language has definitively joined the ranks of the myriad important topics reduced to proxies for a binary - and therefore circular - debate on national identity. Much of the discussion of Scots seems to hinge on the question of whether it is or isn't a language, … Continue reading ‘Wan language – mair or less’: On Scots, the Arts, and the Uses of Ambiguity