TCS Conference | William Robertson Smith | May 13th 2022

The Traditional Cosmology Society, in partnership with the School of Celtic and Scottish Studies, has organised a one-day conference to celebrate the legacy of Scottish orientalist and biblical scholar William Robertson Smith (1846-1894).

William Robertson Smith’s influence on anthropology ranged from his relationship with John Ferguson McLennan, to advising James George Frazer to write about “Totem” and “Taboo” for the Encyclopaedia Britannica that he edited.

Through his discussion of myth and ritual, Smith shaped the agenda for generations of scholars. His focus on connections among the people, their God, and the land they inhabited inspired many of the concepts later developed by Émile Durkheim.

Image of William Robertson Smith taken from ‘The Bailie,’ Vol. XII, No. 293, 29th May 1878. Cambridge University Library MS Add.7476/L22

The event will take place on May 13th 2022 in Edinburgh, at 50 George Square. Attendees are invited to Project Room 1.06 from 12pm to 4pm. Places can be reserved from the event page on Eventbrite, while tickets can purchased at the door for the price of £10 (concessions available for students and TCS members). Please note that the event manager will not be able to accept card payments.

During the course of the day, three scholars will address different aspects of Robertson Smith’s legacy. The panellists and their presentations are:

Professor Aleksander Bošković (University of Belgrade), ‘One of “Anthropology’s Ancestors’

Professor Bernhard Maier (University of Tübingen), ‘W. R. Smith and the Scottish Psalter’

Professor Robert Segal (University of Aberdeen), ‘Ancient Religion versus Modern Religion’

Unfortunately, Professor Segal had to withdraw from the programme. Professor Milne will read his planned intervention on his behalf. In addition, Salma Siddique (University of St Andrews) will deliver additional remarks. A draft of the full programme is available here.


14th Annual Conference of the International Association for Comparative Mythology

A message from TCS President Louise Milne, concerning the upcoming Annual Conference of the International Association for Comparative Mythology, which this year will take place online, August 23rd to August 27th.

Full details here.

Dear Members and Friends!

I am writing to tell you about the 14th Annual Conference on Comparative Mythology, titled Death and Migration in World Mythology, which will be held online via Zoom from August 23-27. It will be an excellent conference full of interesting and stimulating ideas.

The International Association for Comparative Mythology is the sister organisation of the Traditional Cosmology Society and both I, as current President, and Emily Lyle, as President Emeritus of the TCS, will be presenting papers at this conference. Additionally, among the people giving papers are also those who have presented at TCS events in the past. Please see the program for dates and times.

To participate as an audience member, ask questions, and contribute to the discussion, please register using this form.

The conference fee is $10 for participants from US, Canada, Australia, EU, EEA, Switzerland, Israel, and Northeast Asia; $5 for students and participants from all other regions.

If  you cannot pay the conference fee online or are unable to pay due to financial hardship and still want to participate in the conference, please write to this address:

Please note that a Zoom link to the conference sessions will only be sent to those who register.


Programme Announced for the 2019 Thinking About Mythology Colloquium

The seventh edition of the annual Thinking About Mythology in the 21st Century Colloquium, jointly organised by the departments of Celtic and Scottish Studies and Scandinavian Studies in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) at the University of Edinburgh, has been announced.

Led by Emily Lyle, founder of the Traditional Cosmology Society and author of Ten Gods: A New Approach to Defining the Mythological Structures of the Indo-Europeans (extensively reviewed in a recent issue of Cosmos), the colloquium will focus this year on the interrelations between History and Myth, with keynote addresses by Joseph Nagy (Harvard) and Emily Lyle herself.

The event will take place at Room 1.06, 50 George Square, Edinburgh, on 19th–20th October 2019.

The full programme is available here.

2017 Annual Conference of the International Association for Comparative Mythology

we are happy to draw your attention to the Annual Conference of the International Association for Comparative Mythology, which this year will take place at our home base, here in Edinburgh, from June 8th to June 10th.

The conference, which recently announced its call for papers, picked a rather intriguing primary theme for this edition: ‘Creatures of the Night: Mythologies of the Otherworld and Its Denizens’. Papers may also also include Myth, State and Nationalism, as well as ‘free topic’ submissions.

Further information will be posted regarding locations nearer the time.