Society Spotlight: History Society

With more than 800 members, four intramural sports teams, and a busy events schedule, the History Society is one of the largest and most vibrant societies on our campus.

Ruby Trudgen, involved in the society since her early days at university and incumbent president, describes “an extremely pro-active, dedicated and enthusiastic committee” that is constantly working on making history as accessible and tangible a discipline as possible to anyone.

Part of this accessibility involves some not-strictly-academic events, such as the well-known annual winter ball at the Balmoral Hotel which attracts approximately 350 ceilidh fans every year.

However, on a more academic note, the society frequently invites renowned academics to give guest lectures in their specialised field, and organises more hands-on encounters with history, such as trips to historical sites in and outside the UK. The next upcoming trip will lead 40 members of the society to Lisbon during the Festival of Creative Learning (20 – 24 February), once known as Innovative Learning Week. A recent guest lecture on the Carnation Revolution delivered by a historian from the University of Stirling provided a foretaste.

The History Society is cooperating with the Careers Service this semester, and organises an event at which history graduates from last year will convey how diverse and exciting the first year with a history degree can be. “We thought this would be useful to our members, as many careers events are put on by people five or 10 years into their careers, whereas we wanted to highlight options in the short term, available to students straight after graduation,” president Ruby Trudgen told The Student.

She also highlights that the society’s activity is not confined to the university campus. A particularly interesting novelty in the society’s repertoire is the History for Schools programme, developed together with Dr Adam Budd from the School of History, careers services, and three local primary schools last semester. The programme is being piloted by 10 history or joint-honours students who have the opportunity to use their knowledge and skills in a practical and professional environment, and to get an insight into one popular career path of history graduates. Such History Society events are always open to new members.

Image: Edinburgh University History Society

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