BURNS AT 250:
An International Conference
Thursday, April 2-Saturday, April 4, 2009
at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.
celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns
(1759-1796), the University of South Carolina is hosting “Robert Burns
at 250: Contemporaries, Contexts & Cultural Forms,” a
multi-disciplinary international conference to be held Thursday, April
2-Saturday, April 4, 2009. This will be the only major
university-based event in the U.S. for the Burns 250th
Anniversary. The conference aims
to bring together Burnsians and Burns scholars of different
generations, from North America, Scotland, and elsewhere, to provide
fresh perspectives on Burns’s work and that of his contemporaries, and
fresh appreciation of his achievement and influence.
Program Information: Most events will be held in the University’s Thomas Cooper
Library, home to the G. Ross Roy Collection of Robert Burns &
Scottish Poetry, one of the world’s leading Burns collections.
The library recently received a significant additional group of Burns and
Burns-related manuscripts from Dr. & Mrs. Roy, which will be on
public display during the conference. Conference events will
● an opening conference
keynote lecture, by Prof. Edward J. Cowan (University of Glasgow;
the W. Ormiston Roy Memorial Lecture);
● the exhibition opening,
with remarks by Dr. Roy and an opening reception hosted by the Thomas
Cooper Society, on Thursday afternoon;
● publication of the first full catalogue of Burns materials
in the Roy Collection, compiled by Elizabeth Sudduth, with over 80
illustrations (University of South Carolina Press);
● a full program on Friday
and Saturday morning of speakers and panels on Burns topics,
including talks by Prof. R. D. S. Jack (University of Edinburgh), Dr.
Kenneth G. Simpson (University of Glasgow), Prof. Carol McGuirk
(Florida Atlantic University), and others;
● special panels on Burns manuscripts and rare materials in the
Roy Collection, and on collecting Burns;
● a pre-concert reception for registered conference participants
early Friday evening;
● a Burns concert on
Friday evening with legendary Burns singer Jean Redpath, and a
question-and-answer session on Saturday morning with Jean Redpath about
her experience performing and interpreting Burns's songs (preregistered
conference participants will receive tickets with their registration
● a public program on
Burns on Saturday afternoon at the South Carolina State Museum,
with Prof. Jack, Edward Morgan, Bill Dawson and others, in connection
with the SC Tartan Day celebration.
● a concluding conference
dinner on Saturday evening, with the Immortal Memory proposed by
the President of the Robert Burns World Federation, Bill Dawson.
● conference registration:
this includes reserved tickets for the Jean Redpath concert on Friday
and the Burns Dinner on Saturday evening, an invitation to the special
preconcert reception on Friday, and admission to Tartan Day, as well as
all conference events and materials; this form also has an additional
check-off for participants who want to book lunch at the State Museum
concert & dinner
tickets only: for those in the community who do not want to attend
the full conference, but want to come to the Jean Redpath Concert
and/or the Burns Dinner, we have added a separate booking form.
that registration forms, or
bookings for the concert and dinner, should be received by March 23;
see forms for further information.
Hotel: The conference is on the University of South Carolina's
flagship campus, in Columbia, the state capital. Columbia is at
the intersection of I-20, I-77, and I-26, and Columbia Metropolitan
Airport has direct flights from many major cities, as well as
connections through Charlotte and Atlanta. A block of rooms has been reserved at
the recently-renovated Courtyard by Marriott, 630 Assembly Street,
Columbia, SC 29201, close by the library. To get the conference
rate, book before March 13, 2009, and say you are attending the Robert
Burns Conference (www.marriott.com/caecd or call:
1-803-799-7800; be sure to specify the Courtyard Downtown, as other
Marriott hotels are at a distance). Other nearby hotels include the
Inn at USC (Pendleton St and Pickens), Claussen's Inn (Greene St near
Five Points), and the Clarion Town House (Gervais St at Pickens).
For more information on these alternative hotels, click here.
information: Patrick Scott, Rare Books, Thomas Cooper Library,
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.
Tel: (US) 803-777-1275.
Fax: (US) 803-777-4661 (marked Attn Dr. Scott)