Professor Gerry Carruthers

Robert Burns and 18th Century Thought

Professor Gerard Carruthers

Professor of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow

Gerard Carruthers FRSE is Francis Hutcheson Professor of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. He is General Editor of the Oxford University Press edition of the multi-volume edition of the Collected Works of Robert Burns and Principal Investigator of two projects under the rubric of ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century’ awarded more than £2M from the Arts & Humanities Research Council.
‘Robert Burns & Scottish Thought’. This lecture brings into focus the debt owed to the Scottish Enlightenment by Scotland’s national poet. As well as the influence of philosophy and history on Burns through the work of Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart, William Robertson and others, considered also is the related cultural context of the regional ‘Ayrshire Enlightenment’. Here Burns became very involved in the long theological or ‘party’ dispute in his home county between the Moderates (to whom Burns adhered) and the more traditionally conservative Popular Party. Arguably, this intellectual hinterland in Burns remains under-appreciated amid a predominant couching of Burns’s iconicity as a ‘folk’ artist.

Sir Charles Wilson Building

Address: 1 University Avenue, Glasgow – at the corner of University Avenue and Gibson Street.

This lecture theatre is very atmospheric, as you can see in the picture above. It has all modern facilities but retains many original features in a beautifully refurbished church building. There are good public transport links, free parking very close by in the University grounds from 5pm, plus nice places to eat or drink before the lecture if you want to make a night of it.

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