Thomas Muir Lecture 2018 by Gerda Stevenson

“I have devoted myself to the cause of the people. It is a good cause. It shall ultimately prevail. It shall finally triumph.” – Thomas Muir’s speech from the dock, Edinburgh, August 1793.

The 169th episode of The Scottish Independence Podcast features the Thomas Muir lecture for 2018, which was given by Gerda Stevenson.

As well as being an actress and a musician, Gerda Stevenson is the author of Quines: Poems in tribute to women of Scotland and in the lecture you can find out which Scottish woman was an inspiration to Walt Whitman and Mary Shelley, and which Scottish woman is known in Serbia as “Our Mother from Scotland”?

Listen to “Scottish Independence Podcast 169 – Thomas Muir Lecture 2018 by Gerda Stevenson” on Spreaker.

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  1. Roland Stiven says:

    Great choice of lecturer and great lecture

  2. William Habib Steele says:

    This was inspiring!

  3. SleepingDog says:

    Democratically-vital uncovering of silenced history. I have recently discovered writers and campaigners like Elizabeth Heyrick whose pamphlet Immediate, Not Gradual Abolition is much better stuff that the typical abolitionist fare of the time (she mentions draconian punishments and horrible conditions at Demerara).

    I notice that Frances ‘Fanny’ Wright makes it into the Verso Book of Dissent (while Thomas Muir does not) with her Address to Young Mechanics.

    Connecting the first and last themes, during Shakespeare’s time it was illegal for women to act on stage, but even today among the few “over-35” female characters in popular entertainment a significant number are played by men. Is this another form of “blackface”?

    I think the examples in the lecture were well-chosen in the sense that they portray women who were better than the times they lived in. It would be a poor sort of equality if women were to behave as badly as the previous holders of power and authority once they obtained positions of influence. These are appropriate role models.

    The warnings about the victors’ justice of the Treaty of Versailles are telling, yet in mainstream UK culture we seem to ignore what happened after WW2. Vera Brittain was one of few public voices systematically criticizing the bombing of German and other European civilians and cities in Seed of Chaos, and how children were coopted into a campaign of hatred.

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