Outlander Conference Glasgow 2020


University of Glasgow, 2-6 June 2020



Outlander (2014-) is a major US television series based on the historical fantasy novels of Diana Gabaldon, combining time travel with 18th-century Scottish politics and post-war British and American culture. The globally successful series has triggered more interest in Scotland and its history than any other cultural artefact in recent years. Interest continues to grow as Outlander moves into its fifth season.


While hundreds of fan-based gatherings and interest groups around the world promote and encourage Outlander fandom, and thousands of media articles ponder its reach and appeal, there has not yet been an event which takes an academic approach to the series and brings together the multiple areas of expertise involved in its creation. The University of Glasgow plans to do just this: it will host a major international Outlander conference in June 2020 which will offer the chance to discuss the elements that make up this remarkable phenomenon.


Outlander establishes new perspectives on a wide range of topics. As yet, scholarship has particularly focused on the Highland image, time travel, temporality, genealogy and the Scottish diaspora (Clarke 2015, Cateridge 2018, Noorda 2018, Potter 2019); race, gender, sexuality and feminism and the female audience (Frankel 2016, Donelan 2018, Lagerwey 2018, Byrne and Taddeo 2019); transnationalism, media distribution and ideology (Shacklock 2016) and the effect of Outlander on international tourism to Scotland (Herrero Bas 2018).


The Outlander Conference Glasgow 2020 intends to be an inclusive showcase of exciting research and diverse contributions from all academic disciplines. We are seeking submissions on all themes relating to Outlander, including the topics presented below.


Contributions can include:

  • individual papers: max. length 15 minutes, to be panelled by the conference committee

  • pre-constituted panels: 15-minute papers + Q&A

  • roundtables: pre-constituted or individual interest to participate, duration: 1 hour

  • poster presentations: A1-sized posters


We also welcome creative input and alternative formats of presentation such as:

  • workshops: Scottish arts and crafts, warfare/weaponry, props and costume-making etc.

  • performances: theatre, music, recitals of 18th-century poetry, storytelling, historical re-enactments etc.

  • artwork: short films, paintings, sculptures etc.


To complement the academic programme, we are planning additional events that will take place in the week of the conference. Both the academic and the additional events will be open to members of the public, as we intend to share the scholarly interest in Outlander beyond academia and promote the cross-disciplinary discourse on the series among all audiences.


Scotland is the main focus of the series, and not just the rural Scotland of tourist brochures with castles, islands, lochs and mountains, but towns and cities also play a part, and none more notably than Glasgow. The Outlander Conference Glasgow 2020 will take place in Scotland’s biggest city that has become a focal point for Outlander and the themes that it develops: Glasgow Cathedral, St Andrews in the Square and George Square have all been used as locations for key scenes, while West End streets and Kelvingrove Park stand in for Boston.


The University of Glasgow has a unique place in Outlander: it doubles as Harvard in the series, and several academics from a range of disciplines have been directly involved in the production of the series as researchers, advisors and even cast members. There is a vast range of research and consultation involved in the making of the series, and an equally diverse array of potential areas for future exploration as we seek to build Outlander Studies as an interdisciplinary field.


We cordially invite you to participate in the Outlander Conference Glasgow 2020, which will generate vibrant interdisciplinary discussions around one of the most influential TV productions ever made and which promises to be a highly popular event.

Please send proposals (200 words max.) including a short biography (100 words max.) to by 31 January 2020.

Click here to download the Call for Papers as a PDF document.