SAHA Conversations


Join us for the new podcast series that celebrates Arts & Humanities across Scotland! The SAHA Conversations series brings together Arts & Humanities enthusiasts from different industries: from business to design, from politics to media and many others. Wherever their careers might have led them, they all share a passion for arts and humanities and recognise their important contribution to society today.

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SAHA Conversations Promo
Oct 22 2021
1 min
A SAHA Conversation with Jane McCulloch
We are delighted to bring you a new SAHA Conversation. Our guest this week is Jane McCulloch. Jane McCulloch is the Consul General of Ireland in Edinburgh, having taken up her post in July 2019. Jane is a career diplomat who has served Ireland at home and abroad for fifteen years. Jane has served abroad as Deputy Head of Mission and Consul at the Embassies of Ireland in Warsaw and Copenhagen, and at home in various roles across the Department of Foreign Affairs, including as Head of Integrity in the Passport Service, in the Humanitarian Unit of Irish Aid, and on State Visits in DFA’s Protocol Division. Before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs, Jane worked in the events industry, delivering major outdoor public events. She graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2002. Our SAHA Conversation includes Jane’s reflections on her career and on the contribution of arts & humanities to international relations. As this conversation was recorded in the first week of February 2022, and St Patrick’s day on March 17th was just around the corner, we also discussed St Patrick’s Day and what it means for Ireland and the Irish diaspora. Resources mentioned: Consulate General of Ireland in EdinburghIreland-Scotland Bilateral ReviewBoyne to Brodgar projectThe Book of KellsColmcille - An Naomh Dána (TG4 and BBC Alba documentary)Athbheatha: Colm Cille Ildánach (A celebration of the 1500th anniversary of Colmcille's life through works of art - TG4 documentary)An Irish - Scottish celebration of St Brigid's Day 2021The 2022 St Brigid's Day event Women’s Voices in Arts & Media (organised by the  Consulates General of Ireland in Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Manchester)Causeway Ireland - Scotland Business Exchange Young Professionals Network
May 5 2022
35 mins
SAHA Insights: Ukraine
SAHA brings you a new special edition podcast with historical insights into the invasion of Ukraine. Our speakers, drawn from across the Scottish higher education sector, are authorities on the history and culture of the region. In this discussion, grounded in an arts and humanities perspective and independent historical inquiry, the speakers explore contested narratives of the past and what these mean for our understanding of the current conflict. They also discuss the importance of narratives of national identity and why religious, economic, and political legacies still matter if we are to reach greater insight into this complex region and into the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. We would love to hear your thoughts about this podcast – please get in touch with us via the website, Twitter @SAHA_voice - #SAHAInsights, LinkedIn or Facebook. The podcast participants are: Dr Jon Blackwood (podcast host) – Reader and Research Lead, Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon UniversityDr Murray Frame – Interim Dean of the School of Humanities, University of DundeeProfessor Robert Frost FRSE – Burnett Fletcher Chair in History, University of AberdeenProfessor Anthony (Tony) Heywood – Chair in History, University of AberdeenDr Thomas Marsden – Lecturer in European History, University of StirlingProfessor Catherine O’Leary –  Professor of Spanish, University of St Andrews & SAHA Co-chair The full transcript is available on our website. Please find below some of the resources mentioned in this episode and further reading recommendations shared by the guests and Dr Asya Kudlenko: Aleksei Miller, The Ukrainian Question: The Russian Empire and Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century (2003) (freely available)Geoffrey Hosking, Russia: People and Empire, 1552-1917 (1998)Mykhailo Hrushevsky, History of Ukraine-Rus’Robert Frost, The Oxford History of Poland-Lithuania vol. 1 The
Mar 29 2022
50 mins
A SAHA Conversation with Fiona HillA SAHA Conversation with Catherine Stihler
We are delighted to bring you another SAHA Conversation. Our guest this week is Catherine Stihler, CEO of Creative Commons.  Catherine Stihler OBE has been an international champion for openness as a legislator and practitioner for over 20 years. Born in Scotland, Catherine was educated at the University of St Andrews, where she was awarded a Master of Arts (MA) with Honours in Geography and International Relations, and later a Master of Letters (MLitt) in International Security Studies. She also has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Open University. In October 2014, Catherine became the 52nd Rector of the University of St Andrews, and today serves as the Chair of the governing body, University Court. In 2018 she was awarded an honorary doctorate (DLitt) in recognition of her service to the university. She stood for election as a Member of the European Parliament for Scotland in 1999, representing the Labour Party. At the European Parliament she became one of Scotland’s longest-serving and most respected legislators. Catherine was elected Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, founded the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform and the Parliament’s All-Party Library Group, and was instrumental in securing graphic health warnings on cigarette packets across the EU. In 2019, Catherine was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of her services to politics. That same year, she stood down from the European Parliament to become the Chief Executive Officer of the Open Knowledge Foundation. During her 18-month tenure at the Foundation, Catherine redefined its vision and mission to produce a new strategic direction, re-engaged its global chapters and increased the worldwide profile of the organisation. In August 2020, Catherine was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Creative Commons, a non-profit organisation that helps overcome legal obstacles to the sharing of knowledge and creativity to address the world’s pressing challenges. This SAHA Conversation covers several subjects, including reflections on Catherine’s career trajectory and her role as Chair of the University of St Andrews' Court. We also discuss the link between arts, humanities and digital technologies, open data, sharing knowledge and the creative commons. Resources mentioned in this episode: Creative Commons Creative Commons licences Galleries, Libraries, Arts and Museums (GLAM) Programme Climate change and biodiversity research campaign (Podcast cover profile photo: "Catherine Stihler" by Martin Shields (martinshields.com) licensed under CC BY 4.0)
Feb 24 2022
33 mins
A SAHA Conversation with Adam Bruce
We're delighted to bring you a new SAHA Conversation podcast. Our guest this week is Adam Bruce.  Adam is Head of Corporate Affairs at the global renewable energy company, Mainstream Renewable Power. He leads a team responsible for managing political and regulatory risk, public policy and analysis, sustainability, and the company’s brand, reputation and communications. He joined Mainstream in 2008 following the £1.8bn sale of Airtricity, where he was UK Chief Executive. Prior to Airtricity he worked as a solicitor in private practice for twelve years. He was appointed by the Scottish and UK governments as the first chairman of the Offshore Wind Programme Board, is a former chairman of RenewableUK and a former vice-chairman of WindEurope. He is a Board member of the Global Wind Energy Council. He has previously served on the advisory boards of RE100 and the Coalition for Action of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Adam is a Trustee of the National Museums of Scotland. He sits on the Development Board of Oxford University’s Maths, Physics and Life Sciences Division. In 2008 he was appointed Unicorn Pursuivant at the Court of the Lord Lyon, and was promoted in 2012 to Marchmont Herald. He read history at Balliol College, Oxford and law at Edinburgh University. In our SAHA Conversation Adam reflects on his career and education as well as on the types of insights a humanities graduate could bring to work in different contexts. We also discuss the important contribution of arts and humanities to policy making and important debates such as climate change. Resources mentioned in this episode: Mainstream Renewable PowerMuseum of the Scottish Shale Oil IndustryNational Museums ScotlandParker, 2013, Global Crisis: War, Climate and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century
Feb 3 2022
27 mins
A SAHA Conversation with Christine Wilson
In this new SAHA Conversation we are joined by Christine Wilson, Interim Director of Research and Policy Insight at the British Council. Christine has been with the British Council since 2004. She is responsible for a global research and insight portfolio spanning education, arts, youth and skills, as well as exploring the role of cultural relations in supporting the UK’s soft power and foreign policy. She is series editor of the Cultural Relations Collection, which encourages new thinking in this field. She was previously Head of Research, responsible for global standards and practice, ethics and networks. She led the Next Generation research series, which aims to engage youth voices around the world and contribute to improved policy making, and has covered countries including Nigeria, Myanmar, Lebanon, Poland, the UK and Vietnam. In 2016-17, Christine was Director of the Hammamet Conference, an international platform for leaders from North Africa and the UK to engage in dialogue following the Arab Uprisings. In 2018, she co-chaired the steering group for Peace and Beyond, an international conference to encourage new thinking and research in peacebuilding and reconciliation, and edited the conference publication. Christine is an Advisory Board member at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). She has previously served on the board of the Scotland-Malawi Partnership, and on the Scotland Committees of the UNESCO UK National Commission and of the RSA. She has studied at the Universities of Edinburgh and Ulster, and the Open University. Prior to joining the British Council, Christine was a journalist focusing on politics and civil society in Scotland. As it has become customary by now in this SAHA conversations we ask Christine to reflect on her career trajectory but we discuss other subjects also, such as her work on international cultural relations, decolonisation and ongoing research exploring young people’s ambitions and aspirations across the world. Resources mentioned in this episode: Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) Next Generation research series The Climate Connection International Cultural Relations Research Alliance Conference 2021
Jan 17 2022
41 mins
A SAHA Conversation with Sally MapstoneA SAHA Conversation with Bridget McConnellA SAHA Conversation with Clark McGinn
Our first guest for the SAHA Conversation series is Dr Clark McGinn. Clark is a leading consultant in the global mission-critical helicopter industry, based in London but advising international clients. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, where, in addition to graduating MA (Hons) in Philosophy, he was a noted student debater, founding the World Student Debating Competition, winning the Observer Mace and selected to represent the UK in the annual ESU Debate Tour of the USA. After university, he embarked on a thirty-year career in corporate banking and capital markets in London and New York, which pivoted in 2004 into helicopters. After creating RBS’s rotary wing business, he built the Captive Dublin lessor for the largest helicopter operator (CHC) and later, the global sales and relationship team for Waypoint Leasing. He has worked as an independent subject matter expert and consultant to leading investors and operators since 2018. Clark holds the Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Bankers. He is also known as a speaker and writer on Robert Burns, having earned his PhD from Glasgow on the history of the Burns Supper. He is currently an Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies and was awarded Fellowship of the University of Glasgow for his charitable support of its alumni Burns Supper programme over many years.  In this SAHA Conversation Clark reflects on the value of an education in philosophy today and he explains how this degree has helped him in his career in the banking sector. We discuss his passion for Robert Burns also and the bard’s role in bringing people together the world over also. Resources mentioned in this episode: Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow  Interactive map of Burns Suppers  If you enjoyed this episode please leave a rating and a review. Subscribe to be the first to know when new episodes are released.
Oct 28 2021
13 mins
SAHA Conversations Promo