Culture and Union
This weekend, instead of working on that book review I keep promising, I found myself at The Burn, a former great house (I won’t even attempt to write the name of the former propieters of this country house because it has a [ʃ] sound in it and, this being Scotland, they probably spell that with a ‘y,’ or a consonant cluster, or the number 4, or something), now retreat centre for educational events, off in the Scottish countryside, nestled on the border of Aberdeenshire and Angus, in the charming little town of Edzell, very near the Highland Fault, for a conference. I’d been brought there on a training program on conference chairing, where the conference organisers paid to have some of Aberdeen’s history PhDs chair panels, to gain some experience in a more structured way than there is usually opportunity for, in this important-but-underplayed part of academic life. I chaired the very first panel, nominally on law but including a paper on early modern Genevans’ (before Geneva became a canton of the Swiss Federation) attitudes to the notion of union in light of commercial society, as well as papers on Polish-Lithuanian legal culture and the Scottish courts during the Cromwellian commonwealth. My more senior colleagues presenting papers all praised my performance but I think my favourite comment received was that my chairing was “disciplined,” since this was simultaneously the most honest and most euphemistic praise I think I’ve ever received.
The conference, as you can likely guess from the title of the post and my own research activities, was on the culture of early modern political unions…
Continued at The Molinist.