Migration is perceived as a uniquely modern phenomenon, but Scotland has a long experience of inward and outward migration, including a history of commercial enterprise in other countries. Join our panel as they discuss Scotland’s commercial diaspora past and present.

This panel discussion will bring together speakers with expertise in the heritage of former Scottish commercial communities in Poland, the Netherlands and East Asia. Drawing comparisons across place and time, they will consider questions about networks, identity and memory in a transient environment with a particular focus on whether an understanding of past commercial migration can be of value in building relationships among communities coming to Scotland today.

  • Silk jacket that was part of a wedding outfit worn by Mrs Grace Ho (nee Young) at her wedding in Hong Kong

    Silk jacket that was part of a wedding outfit worn by Mrs Grace Ho (nee Young) at her wedding in Hong Kong
  • Porcelain figure of Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, modelled by Johann Joachim Kändler in 1743

    Porcelain figure of Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, modelled by Johann Joachim Kändler in 1743
  • The Wo Kee Cup, silver wine ewer, presented as a shooting trophy to Captain Peter Maclean, Shanghai Volunteer Corps, November 1864, made in London, 1864

    The Wo Kee Cup, silver wine ewer, presented as a shooting trophy to Captain Peter Maclean, Shanghai Volunteer Corps, November 1864, made in London, 1864
  • Model of a full rigged ship made by Chinese sailors on board the lightship Lang Shan, near Shanghai, c. 1875

    Model of a full rigged ship made by Chinese sailors on board the lightship Lang Shan, near Shanghai, c. 1875
  • Silver-gilt chalice decorated with symbols and scenes relating to the Passion of Christ and the Eucharist: Netherlands, Hoorn, 1653

    Silver-gilt chalice decorated with symbols and scenes relating to the Passion of Christ and the Eucharist: Netherlands, Hoorn, 1653

Speakers

Stuart Allan
Stuart is Principal Curator of Modern and Contemporary Collections at National Museums Scotland. He has published widely on the military tradition and its place in Scottish history and the culture of imperialism, including recent work on Scottish military identities, material culture and migration.

Peter Blom
Peter studied at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He has been head of the record office of the ministry of General Affairs in The Hague, municipal archivist of Veere, chairman of the Veere-Scotland organisation and curator for the museum collections of Middelburg and Veere. His published work concerns the six centuries of shared past between Scotland and Zeeland.

Tanja Bueltmann
Tanja is Professor in History at Northumbria University. Tanja has lived and studied in Germany, Scotland and New Zealand. Her research interests are in diaspora and migration history, especially the history of ethnic associationalism.

Lidia Krzynowek
Lidia is a Director of the Polish Cultural Festival Association. She has delivered a number of successful projects promoting Polish-Scottish integration and Polish culture. Lidia has lived and worked in Scotland for 12 years, and is proud to be a part of Edinburgh’s multicultural community.

Esther Mijers
Esther is Senior Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh. Her research on Atlantic history explores the relationship between Britain, especially Scotland, and the wider world in the seventeenth century, with a focus on the movement of people, goods and ideas.

Iain Watson
Iain was raised in the Scottish expatriate environments of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. He pursued a career as a banker and worked in Hong Kong for 16 years from 1981 to 1997. His research interests focus on the history of contemporary settler and sojourner migrations, and the responses and adaptations of migrants to their changed environments.

David Worthington
David is a historian of Scotland, Britain and central Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and has published two single-authored books and an edited volume in that field. He is a lecturer at the University of the Highlands and Islands and is head of its Centre for History in Dornoch.


Martin Stepek
This event will be chaired by Martin Stepek, former director of the Scotland Top 500 business J. Stepek Ltd - famous for their groundbreaking cult TV adverts with fellow retailers Glens, Hutchison and Robertsons. Martin co-founded the Scottish Family Business Association to share global best practices and in 2011 he won the prestigious UK Family Business Ties lifetime award for services to family businesses. Martin researches and promotes awareness of Polish-Scottish heritage and commercial links. 

#TradingPlaces

This event is part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Workshop Trading Places: comparing and collecting the Scottish commercial diaspora, which is a collaboration between National Museums Scotland, Northumbria University and a range of academic and museum historians.  

Trading Places is generously supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


Header image: Textile design, showing an East Asian influence. Part of the Turkey Red Collection.  

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Event information

When

25 Oct 2017
18:30 – 20:00 (doors open 18:15)

Where

Auditorium. Entry via Lothian Street.

How much

Free, booking required

Booking information

Book online or call 0300 123 6789. 

Online booking available soon

Book now
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