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Taiwan Research Programme
London School of Economics and Political Science
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London, WC2A 2AE


Professor Stephan Feuchtwang

Dr Fang-Long Shih

Early History and Recent Events in Scotland within the Context of European Culture and Politics: Possible Perspectives for East Asia

With Mr Ivan Hume-Carter

Series:  Seminar on Taiwan in Comparative Perspective 

Date: Wednesday 7 December 2016, 6–8pm

Venue: Seligman Library, 6th Floor, Old Building, LSE

Chair: Dr Fang-long Shih (LSE)

Speaker: Mr Ivan Hume-Carter

Panellists: Stuart Thompson (SOAS)


Mr Ivan Hume-Carter shares with the audience his understanding of the early history of Scotland viewed from languages and music, followed by a comparison with recent events in Scotland. He presents Scotland not, as conventionally, in a British context (as Pope Martin V said: "The Scots... are an antidote to the English"), but in a European context. It is as Caledonia - Scotland's formation as a European nation - that Scottish culture is European culture and Scottish history is European history. Unfortunately, the failure of the political class and self-interest of the elite resulted in the loss of independence.

Concerned by the recent rise of fascism in England, the US and parts of Europe, Mr Hume-Carter argues that Scotland’s experience of democratic participation and deliberation during the 2014 Referendum Campaign signified an alternative for the world, in which the defence of a nation’s identity is compatible with values of openness and diversity. Mr Hume-Carter describes the 2014 Scotland Referendum as not only an antithesis to the dominating narrative of “Britishness”, but also as a process characterized by progress and openness toward various influences from the European Continent.

Mr Hume-Carter also makes some intriguing comparisons between the languages and music of Scotland and Korea and Japan. Regarding the case of Taiwan, he emphasizes that in order to develop a distinct Taiwanese identity, a robust yet independent high culture is necessary.

About the Speaker

As a passionate advocate for Scottish nationalism, Mr Ivan Hume-Carter sees the Scottish Independence Campaign as a democracy movement. He is a musician who specializes in Scottish traditional and contemporary music. As an avant garde artist with expertise in Korean folk music, he is a frequent traveller to various parts of Europe and East Asia.

The photo on the home page was taken by the speaker in Seoul in January 2016. South Korea is hosting the next Winter Olympics and this shows a Korean sportswoman playing a sport of Scottish origin, curling. Placing her inside a bubble could be seen as an apposite comment on Korean society.