SGSAH Summer School 2020, 22nd-26th June

Keynote Speakers

Please note that this event has now passed. You can read an overview here, or watch a couple of the keynote presentations on our youtube channel.

A special guest (or more) will be delivering a keynote every day of the week between 1:30pm and 2:15pm. Explore the keynote sessions below. 

A picture of Jo Sharp and Val McDermid and the title of their keynote speech for SGSAH Summer School 2020

Read more about this keynote – Val McDermid & Professor Jo Sharp

Monday 22nd of June, 1:30pm - 2:15pm 

This SGSAH keynote, in association with the University of Glasgow’s Creative Conversations, presents Val McDermid and Jo Sharp speaking about their co-edited book, Imagine a Country: Ideas for a Better Future. The book offers visions for a new future from comedians to economists, writers to musicians. It is a collection of ideas, dreams and ambitions aiming to inspire change, hope and imagination.


Val McDermid is a writer and broadcaster. Jo Sharp is Professor of Geography at the University of St Andrews. The keynote will be chaired by Dr Zoë Strachan and Professor Louise Welsh (University of Glasgow), who have also contributed to Imagine a Country.

Twitter@valmcdermid @ProfJoSharp 

A picture of Tanjua Bueltmann and the title of her keynote speech for SGSAH Summer School 2020

Read more about this keynote – Professor Tanja Bueltmann

Tuesday 23rd of June, 1:30pm - 2:15pm 

Drawing on research of British immigrant communities, this keynote examines how insights into historical diasporas and their ethnic associational culture can inform current debates, policy and advocacy efforts in relation to EU citizens living in the UK. They, like the historical subjects of past research, chose to come together to form associations to represent their group interests and to address problems through collective action. Past research on Scottish and English ethnic associations has demonstrated, for example, the central role that diaspora networks play as social hubs or anchors that foster a collective sense of belonging. This function was particularly important at times of crises, when the associational structures that had been set up, and immigrant-led activism, became vital. The keynote will draw on examples from past and current research to draw out parallels and highlight longitudinal patterns. The keynote also serves as an illustration of how historians can engage in meaningful knowledge exchange, highlighting work with policymakers and NGOS, particularly the EU citizens’ group the3million. 

This work – particularly concerning themes of belonging and exclusion – has informed a variety of knowledge exchange and engagement activities, so will also shed light on how historians can generate impact. 


Tanja Bueltmann is Professor of History at Northumbria University, specialising in migration and diaspora history. Her main research interest is in immigrant community life, especially ethnic associational culture. In her current research, Tanja examines the role of associations in shaping EU citizens’ collective action in the context of Brexit. Tanja will take up a Chair in International History at the University of Strathclyde in the summer. 

Twitter: @cliodiaspora 


This keynote is now available to watch here

A picture of Dr Kieran Fenby-Hulse and the title of his keynote for the 2020 SGSAH Summer School

Read more about this keynote – Dr Kieran Fenby-Hulse

Wednesday 24th of June, 1:30pm - 2:15pm

Academia is not open. It is closed – contained within walls and halls layered with history, entombed by tradition. Academia controls. Through metrics, targets, and precarious employment, academia cajoles us into writing and thinking in certain ways, to accept tradition, norms, and methodologies. Academia is conservative. It is exclusionary and those on the outside have to work doubly hard to have their voices heard within its walls. 

The increasingly diverse student population and staff base, though, means that this needs to change. The increasing value attributed to expertise beyond the walls of the academy means that this needs to change. 

In this performative paper (which will take place in my home and may or may not involve unintentional contributions from my family), I will bring together some of the insights from critical race theory (Collins, 1999), outsider theory (Eburne, 2018), and queer theory (Ahmed, 2006, 2012) to consider the relationship between the academy and to difference (Smith, 2015). Drawing on my own lived experience and knowledge as a practitioner working in research support and development, this paper combines musical extracts, poetry and literary fiction with insights from sociology, philosophy, education studies, and management studies to destabilise understandings of diversity and inclusion and, perhaps also, research itself. By dismantling some of the mythology that surrounds diversity work within Higher Education, I will explore the role individuals, leaders, and institutions can play in fostering more inclusive research environments that stretch well beyond the confines of the ivory tower. 


Kieran Fenby-Hulse strongly believes that research needs to be inclusive, open and engaged and that now, more than ever, we need to create workplace environments that are fair, equitable and that enable all to excel. With over 15 years experience working in research and research management, Kieran has an in-depth experience of research policy, impact and engagement, and research capability development. 

Kieran is currently the managing editor for the Journal of Research Management and Administration, a member of ARMA's Professional Development Committee and EDI Advisory Board, external examiner for the University of Strathclyde's PGCerts in Researcher Development and Knowledge Exchange, and External Advisor on Middle Career Development for the Society for Research into Higher Education. Recent publications include a study of the experiences of LGBTQ doctoral researchers and an edited collection on Research Impact and the Early Career Researcher. Currently, Kieran is working on a book on Inclusion in Higher Education. 

Twitter: @KFenbyHulse 


This keynote is now available to view here

A picture of Priyamvada Gopal and the title of her keynote speech for SGSAH Summer School 2020

Read more about this keynote – Dr Priyamvada Gopal

Thursday 25th of June, 1:30pm - 2:15pm

Where diversity might make a certain sense, is ‘decolonisation’ relevant at all to the university situated in Europe, broadly defined? Can the erstwhile coloniser decolonise? Must they? Answering broadly in the affirmative, I situate the project of ‘decolonising’ the metropolitan Anglophone university—by which I largely mean British and North American institutions of higher education — within a wider historical and political context while delineating some of the specific contextual and geopolitical imperatives such an endeavour might pose. At the heart of this talk is the relationship between ‘decolonization’ and ‘anticolonialism’ as it applies to scholarship in the arts and humanities in the erstwhile metropole.


Priyamvada Gopal is Reader in Anglophone and Related Literatures, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge. Her published work includes Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence (Routledge, 2005),  After Iraq: Reframing Postcolonial Studies (Special issue of New Formations co-edited with Neil Lazarus) and The Indian English Novel: Nation, History and Narration (Oxford University Press, 2009) and Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent (2019). Her work has also appeared in The Hindu, Outlook India, India Today, the Times Literary Supplement, The Independent, The New Statesman and The Guardian and she has contributed occasionally to the BBC's Start the Week and Newsnight as well as programmes on NDTV (India),  Al-Jazeera, National Public Radio and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 


A picture of a stack of books and the words 'Guerrilla Plenary: Eight 'Think Pieces' from our doctoral researchers

Read more about the plenary session

Friday 26th of June, 1:30pm - 2:15pm
"It could be worse. It could be raining!" How I'm doing fieldwork without leaving the house.

James Johnson, Stirling University
PhD Title: A Comparative Study of Gaelic and Welsh as languages of Commemoration c1600-1914

Ethics and methods of conversation in arts and humanities research

Kirsty Kernohan, University of Aberdeen
PhD Title: Leisured Colonialism in the Keith-Falconer family collections

The Purpose of Disability History during the age of COVID

Jessica Secmezsoy-Urquhart, University of St. Andrews
PhD Title: The Book of the Disabled Courtier: Neurodiverse Fools and Bodilydiverse Wonders at the Renaissance English and Scottish Royal Courts

Losing Touch: Installation art in lockdown

Victoria Evans, University of Edinburgh
PhD Title: Where Do I End and You Begin? Exploring Entanglement through moving image installation

I'm Not Here

Michael Henry, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
PhD Title: I'm Not Here: Embodied Methods for Ecological Selfhood

Rethinking Impact: Social Care and the Pandemic

Eliska Bujokova, University of Glasgow
PhD Title: Counting Care in 18th c. Britain

Anna McEwan, University of Glasgow
PhD Title: Gendered Citizenship and Women's Relationship to Systems of Social Care: Investigating the GDR's Frauenparadies (1971-1990)

Call the army! Democracy (?) and El Salvador in times of pandemic

Luz Cáceres, University of Glasgow and Stirling University
PhD Title: Verbatim theatre: Advancing testimonial justice and inclusive deliberation in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador

A Distant Memory? Up Close and Personal in the Museum

Alison Hadfield, University of St Andrews
PhD Title: In Touch with the Past: A Sensory Approach to Objects, Memory and Wellbeing

This keynote is now available to watch here.