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Terry Jones’ 600th anniversary lecture

Terry Jones

Graduation week is always a time of celebration, but this year more than ever – with a packed programme of 600th Anniversary events designed to bring graduates, staff, their families and friends, and the whole town together.

Highlights include a 600th Anniversary lecture to be given by comedian, broadcaster, Medievalist and Python Terry Jones; a concert including the world premiere of a specially commissioned organ work by one of Scotland’s leading composers, James MacMillan; and an interactive family science event on Lower College Lawn.

Terry Jones’ 600th Anniversary lecture (5.30pm Tuesday 25 June in Younger Hall) marks the beginning of the Graduation Week celebrations, which will see over 1,600 students graduate from Scotland’s first University, along with Jones himself, Katherine Grainger, Mary McAleese, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival Jonathan Mills, and Glasgow photographer Harry Benson who will all be awarded honorary degrees.

The lecture entitled ‘Columbus, America and the Flat Earth’ also kicks off a four-day conference exploring The Middle Ages in the Modern World – one of the Signature Events of the 600th Anniversary programme.

The medieval world, in which the University has its roots, is modernity’s necessary shadow image, or mirror self. The medieval is everywhere in our films, paintings and literature, in our political rhetoric and public journalism. The image of this ‘medieval other’ defines who and what we think we are in the modern world.

The Middle Ages in the Modern World  conference brings together around 150 delegates from across the world to discuss the invention, use, abuse, and meaning of the medieval and the Middle Ages from the Renaissance to the present day. As such, it is a perfect celebration for an institution with medieval origins celebrating its six-century march into the twenty-first century.

Historians, art historians, economists, musicologists, philosophers, theologists, literary critics, poets, novelists and museum curators will gather to present research on topics as diverse as; the fictionalising of the Middle Ages in Game of Thrones, medievalist motifs in contemporary pop music, Anders Brevik’s perversion of ideals of medieval knighthood, and medievalising responses in Iceland to the collapse of that country’s banking institutions in 2008.

The conference will end with Seamus Heaney reading from and discussing several of his translations of medieval poetry. Tickets for Seamus Heaney will be allocated first-come first served to those who email 600academic@st-andrews.ac.uk or call 01334 461901.

Tickets for Terry Jones’ 600th Anniversary Lecture are free of charge and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis from 6pm on Thursday 6 June by calling 01334 461901 or 01334 461905 from 6pm-8pm.

Over the course of Graduation Week other 600th Anniversary celebrations include:

  • The Middle Ages in the Modern Day conference – Tuesday 25 – Friday 28 June – full programme.
  • St Salvator’s Chapel Choir Graduation Concert, including the world premiere of James MacMillan’s latest organ work – Thursday 27 June 2013, 5.30pm-6.15pm, St Salvator’s Chapel, North Street.
  • 600th Anniversary Chapel Service – Sunday 30 June 2013, 11am, St Salvator’s Chapel, North Street.
  • Across the Universe – family fun exploring the future of the University, sustainability, technology, science and space exploration – Sunday 30 June 2013, 12.30pm-3pm, Lower College Lawn, North Street.

This is a Graduation Week not to be missed, and a last chance to remind the class of 2013 that St Andrews knows how to celebrate.

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