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Democracy for Scotland: the referendum experience

Last Friday evening a packed Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum celebrated the opening of a new exhibition of material from the University of Stirling’s Scottish Political Archive. Democracy for Scotland: the referendum experience focuses on the campaign for a Scottish Parliament in the second half of the twentieth century. In particular it chronicles the history behind the two devolution referendums of 1979 and 1997 and explores the nature of the Yes and No campaigns for both referendums, their results and the re-establishment of a Scottish Parliament.

Exhibition poster

Exhibition poster

In conjunction with the exhibition the Scottish Political Archive is hosting a series of lectures at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum on Thursday lunchtimes at 12pm. The full lecture programme is as follows:

3rd May: ‘Scottish literary magazines and devolution’, Linda Gunn

Linda will examine the editorial processes of Cencrastus and The (New) Edinburgh Review.

10th May: ‘Let the People Decide’, Dennis Canavan 

Dennis will give some personal recollections of the Referendum campaigns, the intervening period of 1979-1997 and ask what lessons can be learned from the past to help shape Scotland’s future.

17th May: ‘From 1979 to 2014: Referendum Campaigning and the Future of Scotland’, Peter Lynch

24th May: ‘Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham (1852-1936), Stan Bell, John McIntyre and Willie Thom

A celebration on the 160th birthday of Cunninghame Graham, who first proposed the establishment of a Scottish Parliament in 1888.

31st May: ‘Political Fictions’, James Robertson

James discusses the fictionalising of 20th-century Scottish political history in his novel And the Land Lay Still, and asks why there has been relatively little ‘political’ fiction in Scottish literature.

7th June: ‘The Radical Scotland Project: the making of a magazine’, Kevin Dunion

 Tickets for the lectures are £3 and are available at the Stirling Smith (Tel : 01786 471917). The exhibition runs from 27th April – 10 June 2012.