Why has Scotland had such a considerable cultural and political effect on the wider world, and what does it mean for Scotland today? Professor Murray Pittock joins the Centre to discuss his new book, Scotland, the Global History, which seeks to answer precisely these questions. The event will cover the Acts of Union and their effect on the British ‘composite monarchy’ of Britain, the relationship between Union and Empire, and the tension between Scotland’s global presence and what Pittock argues to be the marginalisation of Scotland that resulted from the construction of a post-imperial ‘British’ identity after the Second World War. As the future of the UK Union remains uncertain, it is crucial that the presence of Scotland as both a distinct nation and as a part of the United Kingdom is explored, to provide context for the debates that the whole United Kingdom faces in the coming months and years.

Murray Pittock is Bradley Professor of Literature at the University of Glasgow and Pro Vice Principal at the University. He was previously Professor of Scottish and Romantic Literature at the University of Manchester, and before that held posts at Edinburgh, Oxford, Aberdeen and Strathclyde. His research covers a wide range of Scottish history and literature, including studies of Culloden, the global and European impact of Robert Burns, the Scottish Enlightenment, and Jacobitism.

Chaired by Hugo Bromley