Join us
No event found!
No event found!
Next event
James Dalrymple, from the Archives of Glasgow Archaeological Society

Dalrymple Lectures

James Dalrymple, from the Archives of Glasgow Archaeological Society
James Dalrymple, from the Archives of Glasgow Archaeological Society

This prestigious lecture series was instituted by James Dalrymple Gray of Dalrymple. He was born in July 1852 in Newcastle – upon – Tyne to the Reverend Thomas Gray and his wife Mary Dalrymple. He later assumed his mother’s family name when, on the death of his uncle, he succeeded to the estates belonging to the family. He studied law at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities, and subsequently practised in Glasgow.

In 1877 he became the honorary Secretary of Glasgow Archaeological Society which was in decline at that time. With the help of others he succeeded in reinvigorating the Society and held the post of Secretary for some 25 years. He introduced the regular monthly meeting on the third Thursday of the month (a practice still in force today) and often presented papers on a range of topics, particularly castles and churches. He became President of the Society in 1904.

In 1908 he instituted the Dalrymple Lectureship in Archaeology in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Society. By means of a generous bequest in his will he ensured its continuation to this day. The subject of the lectures was to be ‘some branch of European archaeology’.

The annual Dalrymple Lectures have been given by many of the most distinguished figures in 20th and 21st century archaeology and is administered by a committee of Curators drawn from the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Archaeological Society.

2023-24 session

Minimum Monument art installation by Nele Azevedo in Chamberlain Square, Birmingham UK. An art installation that represents a range of wicked problems, including social injustice, conflict and the changing climate. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

The Dalrymple lectures in the 2023-24 session will be given by Professor John Schofield, Director of Studies in Cultural Heritage Management in the Archaeology Department at the University of York (UK) on 18th – 21st March 2024. The lecture series will be entitled Wicked Problems for Archaeologists: Can archaeology help us solve the world’s most urgent challenges? 

The four evening lectures in this series will be delivered from 18-21 March 2024 in the Sir Charles Wilson Building at the University of Glasgow (18, 19, 21 March) and Boyd Orr lecture theatre A (20 March). All lectures begin at 6.30pm with doors opening half an hour before each lecture starts. These lectures will be free for all to attend, fully accessible, with BSL and hearing loops available.

This lecture series will explore how archaeology can help us tackle some of the world’s most urgent and complex challenges, or ‘wicked problems’. Wicked problems are those that have many interdependent factors and seem impossible to solve. Examples include climate change, poverty, and social injustice. Archaeologists have a unique perspective on human history and culture, which can be invaluable for addressing wicked problems. By studying how past societies have responded to challenges such as climate change and environmental degradation, we can gain valuable insights into how to address them today. Equally, by participating in archaeological and heritage activities, we can improve people’s health and wellbeing and social cohesion, factors which often underlie other wicked problems. This lecture series is based on the speaker’s new book on this topic. Like the book, these lectures aim to provoke and inspire people to think about archaeology and heritage in new ways, recognizing their potential to play an important and distinct role in finding ‘small wins’ solutions to these wicked problems. Small wins are incremental successes that can help to build momentum and progress towards solving a wicked problem. They can be as simple as raising awareness of a problem, developing new tools and technologies, demonstrating good practice, or changing public perceptions. 

Click here for more details.

March 2024
No event found!

The Dalrymple lecture series in 2022-23 was given by Professor Lin Foxhall, the Rathbone Chair of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology from the University of Liverpool. The topic was ‘Polity to polis? The development of Greek communities, c.1450-c.500 BCE‘.

More information here.