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News and events archive

News archive

Professor McDermid on RNZ's Saturday Morning show with Kim Hill

Monday 7 October 2019

Best selling Scottish crime writer Val McDermid has sold more than 15 million copies of her work worldwide. She's arrived in New Zealand to take up a role as a visiting Professor of Scottish Studies and Crime Fiction at the University of Otago.

Reclaiming our Celtic festival

Thursday 3 October 2019

Halloween may now be perceived by many people as an American event but in fact, Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is a Celtic festival that originated as Samhain.

CISS featured in Celtic Life Magazine

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Popular Canadian magazine Celtic Life International carried a feature on CISS's Celtic Noir festival in its October 2019 issue.

Celtic Noir 2019

Wednesday 11 September 2019

To mark its tenth anniversary, the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies is partnering with the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival and the Dunedin City Library to present 'Celtic Noir 2019', a festival of Irish, Scottish and New Zealand crime fiction.

Two Otago academics nominated for prestigious writing award

Wednesday 5 June 2019

It may be a long way from the grimy back streets of Glasgow or Edinburgh, where many of their victims fall prey to foul play, but there’s no doubt “tartan noir” crime writing is in good health at the University of Otago.

'Great Scots' series of lectures

Monday 4 March 2019

To mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the University of Otago, the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies is sponsoring a series of public lectures on ‘Great Scots: Otago Men and Women Who Shaped New Zealand.’

Events archive 2007 to 2018

Events between 2016 and 2018, with the most recent listed first

"Whaur Extremes Meet": A Tale of Two Burnses in Early Otago, Professor Liam McIlvanney (Stuart Chair, Scottish Studies, Otago), 29 May 2018

For Honest Poverty: Robert Burns and the poetry of the early New Zealand Labour movement, Dr Dougal McNeill (Victoria University of Wellington), 30 November 2016

Scotland, Independence and the Ethics of Nationalism: Post-Referendum Reflections, Dr Doug Gay (University of Glasgow), 5 September 2016

"Film and Irish Revolution." This talk explored cinema relating to the 1916 uprising and War of Independence, and considered British and Republican views of the period and films made in subsequent decades, Professor Kevin Rockett, 17 August 2016

The Los Angelesation of Ireland: Censorship, Culture and Film from the 1910s to the 1970s, Professor Kevin Rockett, 16 August 2016

"The Panorama and Ireland." This powerpoint presentation focused on picture-going in Ireland prior to the invention of cinema, Emer Rockett, 10 August 2016

New Zealand premiere screening of the Keough-Naughton Institute of Irish Studies (University of Notre Dame) documentary 1916 The Irish Rebellion was held at the Auckland War Museum – Professor Judith Fox, Professor Chris Fox, Briona Nic Dhiarmada (from the Keough-Naughton Institute) and University of Otago Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies Peter Kuch, 21 June 2016

'Murder in the Library'– A panel of crime writers, Vanda Symon, Paddy Richardson, Matt McGuire, Jane Woodham, 11 May 2016

The national longing for form: from Scotland to Ireland, Ian Rankin to Seamus Heaney, Dr Matthew McGuire (University of Western Sydney), 10 May 2016

Conference – Yet no clear fact to be discerned': the New Zealand response to the 1916 Easter Rising, 22–23 March 2016

Events from 2007 to 2015


Visit of the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, 1 Oct 2007


Inaugural Professorial Lecture: Thinking about Irish Studies, Professor Peter Kuch, Eamon Cleary Chair and Director, Irish Studies programme, 20 Aug 2008


Literary Resurrectionism: Bringing Walter Scott's Texts Back From the Grave, Professor Graham Tulloch (Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia), 7 October 2009

What is Scottish Literature Doing in Australia?, Professor Graham Tulloch (Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia), 8 October 2009

Ten Years of the Scottish Parliament: The Evolution of Devolution, Alex Fergusson, MSP (Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament), 22 October 2009

Scotland and Empire, 1707-53: Securing the Union?, Professor Allan I. Macinnes (University of Strathclyde, Scotland), 16 November 2009


Debating the Highland Clearances, Professor Eric Richards (Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia), 25 January 2010

Immigration to Australia Since 1901, Professor Eric Richards (Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia), 26 January 2010

Transnational Tartanism, Professor Ian McKay (Queen's University, Canada), 8 March 2010

Eddi Reader in Conversation, Eddi Reader, 17 March 2010

Visit of Ali Bowden, Director of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, 6 May 2010

Formal Opening of the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, 8 June 2010

The Gaelic Culture in Nova Scotia – concert and talk, Friday 11 June 2010

Scottish Gaelic Workshops, 11 June 2010

Reading from award-winning Scottish crime writer Val McDermid of her novel Trick of the Dark, 21 August 2010

Poetry and Science: Not So Different?, Iggy McGovern (Trinity College, Dublin), 14 September 2010

Imagining Scotland and the Scottish Diaspora, Professor Liam McIlvanney (Stuart Professor of Scottish Studies, University of Otago), 13 October 2010

Genealogy Workshop: 'Routes to the Roots' of your Scottish ancestry, Professor Marjory Harper (University of Aberdeen), 24 November 2010

Voices from the Scottish Diaspora, Professor Marjory Harper (University of Aberdeen), 25 November 2010

Joanna Baillie: A Scottish Playwright in 19th-century London, Dr Thomas McLean (University of Otago), 26 November 2010

Dead Man's Ember': James K. Baxter and Robert Burns: A one-day symposium exploring James K. Baxter's imaginative engagement with the poetry and personality of Robert Burns, 30 November 2010


A New Approach to the Origins of Medieval Scotland, Professor Dauvit Broun (University of Glasgow), 7 Feburary 2011

Global Scots symposium, 23–24 February 2011

Modern Scottish Poetry and Paintings: Arts of Resistance, Professor Alan Riach (University of Glasgow), 28 February 2011

The Scottish Wars of Independence, Professor Edward J. Cowan (University of Glasgow), 1 March 2011

The Polar Twins: Scottish History versus Scottish Literature in the Study of the Diaspora, Professor Edward J. Cowan (University of Glasgow) and Professor Alan Riach (University of Glasgow), 1 March 2011

Poetry reading, Professor Alan Riach (University of Glasgow), 2 March 2011

Louis MacNeice among the Islands, Professor John Kerrigan (University of Cambridge), 14 March 2011

"By Crish Law" and "By Jeshu": Binding Language in Henry V, Professor John Kerrigan (University of Cambridge), 15 March 2011

Devolution and the Diaspora, Dr Duncan Sim (University of the West of Scotland), 21 July 2011

Northern Irish Addresses? Form and Language in Kathleen Jamie, Don Paterson and Other Contemporary Scottish Poets, Dr John McAuliffe (University of Manchester), 15 September 2011

The Islands of Scotland: Life on the Edge, Dr Colleen Batey (University of Glasgow), 29 September 2011

Devolution: The Story So Far and Scotland’s Constitutional Future, Professor Tom Mullen (University of Glasgow), 19 October 2011

‘In Search of Scotland’ Exhibition, Special Collections, de Beer Gallery, 30 September to 16 December 2011

Unveiling of plaque on Robert Burns statue, Professor T. M. Devine (University of Edinburgh), 19 November 2011

The "Death" and Reinvention of Scotland, Professor T. M. Devine (University of Edinburgh), 19 November 2011

The Lowland Clearances and the Scottish Exodus to New Zealand, Professor T. M. Devine (University of Edinburgh), 21 November 2011

Unveiling of the Dunedin-Edinburgh stone, esplanade reserve beside Waters of Leith, Ravensbourne Road, Professor T. M. Devine (University of Edinburgh), November 2011

The Puzzle of Scottish Sectarianism, Professor T. M. Devine (University of Edinburgh), 22 November 2011

Reading by Alistair MacLeod, 29 November 2011

Holding Fast: From Scotland to the New World, 1791-2011, Alistair MacLeod, 30 November 2011


Scotland's Radical Exports: How Scots Abroad Shaped Politics and Trade Unions, Pat Kelly, 29 February 2012

Robert Burns in the 21st Century, Professor Gerard Carruthers (University of Glasgow), 21 August 2012

The Unspeakable Scot: The Image of the Scot in the Media, Professor Gerard Carrurthers (University of Glasgow), 23 August 2012

Ireland and Scotland: From Partition to Peace Process, Professor Graham Walker (Queen's University Belfast), 7 November 2012

Debate chaired by Dougal Stevenson: 'An Irish Identity is Better than a Scottish Identity' (Team Ireland v Team Scotland), 8 November 2012

Reading with Ian Rankin, 14 November 2012

A Celebration of John Buchanan: New Zealand Artist, Botanist & Explorer, 29-30 November 2012


Perceptions of Empire in Inter-war Scotland: Alliances, Trade and Friendship between the British Commonwealth of Nations, Dr Esther Breitenbach (University of Edinburgh), 21 February 2013

Landscapes of Care: Uncovering the Locational Histories of Scotland's Lunatic Asylums, Kim Ross (University of Glasgow), 18 April 2013

Benjamin Britten and Scots Song, Professor Liam McIlvanney (University of Otago), 19 April 2013

Places that history can’t reach: using literature to reconstruct obscure lives in nineteenth-century rural Scotland, Professor Rod Edmond (University of Kent in Canterbury), 14 May 2013

The Great Cover Up: Ladies' Pipe Bands in the British World, Erin Grant (University of Otago), 29 May 2013

Reading by Doug Johnstone, 28th August 2013

Limits of the Visible: Representing the Great Irish Famine, Professor Luke Gibbons, 5 Sept 2013

Remembering Seamus, The Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies hosted a ‘wake’ for Seamus Heaney, 9 Sept 2013

Joycean Worlds' Conference, 3-6 October 2013

Panel Discussion on Scottish Independence, 26 November 2013

The Scottish Referendum: A Question of Conscience, Professor Will Storrar (Centre of Theological Inquiry, Princeton), 28 November 2013


Robbie Rocks Dunedin: Robert Burns Song Competition 2014 (in partnership with Toitu Otago Settlers Museum), 2014

Introduction to Gaelic Language, An immersive course in Scottish Gaelic for beginners, 3-8 February 2014

Scotland's Choice: The Referendum on Independence, Michael Russell MSP, 25 March 2014

Robert Louis Stevenson and the South Seas, Professor Joseph Farrell (University of Strathclyde), 16 April 2014

An Evening with Adrian McKinty, 30 April 2014

Poetry, Politics and Patronage: Editing Robert Burns's Scottish Tour for the new Oxford Edition, Professor Nigel Leask (University of Glasgow), 6 May 2014

"Sung Versions of Pastoral": Robert Burns's Songs of Love and Courtship, Professor Nigel Leask (University of Glasgow), 8 May 2014

Janice Galloway in conversation with Liam McIlvanney, 10 May 2014

Scottish Symposium on Robert Burns, Professor Michael Schmidt (University of Glasgow); Dr Peter Matheson; Professor Lawrence Jones; Professor Liam McIlvanney, 3 September 2014

Is Dunedin Still a Scottish City? – Panel discussion, Prof Liam McIlvanney; Mayor Dave Cull; Seán Brosnahan (Toitū Otago Settlers Museum curator), 3 September 2014

Kirsty Gunn in conversation with Vincent O’Sullivan, 13 October 2014


Yeats, Heaney & Pastoral, Bernard O'Donoghue, 1 Oct 2015

The Art of Citizenship: The Role of Artists in the Scottish Independence Referendum, Professor Will Storrar (Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton), 2015

Rēweti Kōhere and Ropata Purana: Reading Robert Burns in Te Reo Māori, Dr Nikki Hessell (Victoria University of Wellington); Tai Ahu (Waikato and Te Paatu), 2015

“Sailing to an Island”: The poetry of Irish and Scottish islands, Dr Lucy Collins of University College, Dublin, 20 March 2015

Fighting for readers: Swift’s Dublin publishers in the 1750s, Emeritus Professor Andrew Carpenter of University College, Dublin, 17 March 2015