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Social and Educational Foraging and Gleaning: Only free open access events and activities get listed on the website…


Click on the event to get more information.  If you have an event or activity in Edinburgh which you want to put on the calendar email in the details.


Please check external event websites to confirm details and get tickets


During this time of the public health crisis this calendar has been suspended and not updated.  For the meantime there are no public Ragged University events and the advice to not gather in public is recommended.  Stay safe, stay social, try to stay at a physical distance, use a mask (like they do in operating theatres). Hopefully this will be behind us soon enough but for the meantime we have to collectively find ways of having meaningful interactions via the digital or at a distance.


Hafez & Burns – Bards Apart? (Performed in English, Scots & Farsi, with English Subtitles)
Jan 12 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Hafez & Burns - Bards Apart? (Performed in English, Scots & Farsi, with English Subtitles) @ Scotland | United Kingdom

Robert Burns: Ploughman Poet, Scotia’s Bard, Master of the Standard Habbie.

Hafez: Master of the Ghazal, his Divan in every Iranian home, his work unsurpassed in Persian literature.

Separated by four centuries and over 4000 miles, by culture, by history, by religion, by language, they can’t really have anything in common – can they?  Are Burns and Hafez “Bards Apart” or have they got far more in common than that which divides? Join us for this genre-defying event in celebration of both these great poets and you – the audience – will decide! In keeping with the traditions of both Scotland and Iran,  the two bards’ key poems and songs will be performed with a bit of context and discussion. For those who don’t understand Farsi – or 18th century Scots – we have English subtitles!

This event will be followed by a complimentary drinks reception.

Leith Labs: Madeleine Long discussing how learning a language will help keep your brain young @ Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal
Jan 14 @ 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Leith Labs: Madeleine Long discussing how learning a language will help keep your brain young @ Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal | Scotland | United Kingdom
An informal discussion over tea and biscuits with Madeleine Long (University of Edinburgh, @PhDLing) discussing that it’s never too late to learn a language and how her work suggests it will help keep your brain young!
She’ll share with us fascinating new research on language learning and ageing and how a new year’s resolution to learn a language may bring a mental boost in as little as one week…especially for those 40 and above! Learn about some of the cognitive mechanisms involved in language learning and how this research ties in with previous findings showing a delayed onset of dementia and better cognitive recovery following stroke for those who speak more than one language.
Part of the monthly community science project Leith Labs which will have activities for the whole family in Ocean Terminal from 12 – 4pm on the same day.
Iranian Music on Harp by Margaret Knight @ Filmhouse Café
Feb 9 @ 10:30 pm
Iranian Music on Harp by Margaret Knight @ Filmhouse Café | Scotland | United Kingdom

This is a free event for those attending the reception of the Iranian Film Season.

Margaret began her musical studies aged 18 and soon became a graduate and prize winner of the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying under Osian Ellis, David Watkins and later Tatiana Tauer in Russia.

Her performance at the reception of the Iranian Film Season will include classical and folk Iranian music, which have become one of her new potions.

Margaret has performed for the Russian Television in the winter palace of Peter-the-Great; in Japan for the Empress at the Soka harp festival, Tokyo; in North and South America; in Istanbul, Scandinavia, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania . She was awarded the Anglo Norse Prize in 1996 and performed for the Yehudi Menuhin “Live Music Now” scheme, and in 2008 she was invited to Buckingham Palace for her services to British music. Here she was greeted by HRH The Queen. Margaret has also performed to Princess Diana, Phillip and Princess Ann. She is harpist for the Hebridean Princess luxury cruises.

To contact Margaret you can email her on: [email protected]

Leith Labs Explores Cell Biology @ Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal
Feb 11 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Leith Labs Explores Cell Biology @ Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal | Scotland | United Kingdom
Leith Labs Explores Cell Biology
Saturday 11th February
Talk: 2 – 4PM
Drop-In: 12- 2PM
Venue: Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal
How do you get 744 million miles of DNA into a single person? (That’s 4 times to the sun & back from the earth!)

Find out how proteins in the body pack that much DNA inside your body through epigenetics. From 2PM at the Living Memory Association, we will be hosting a relaxed discussion into the science of epigenetics and chromosomes, including hands-on activities and tea and biscuits, with PhD Students Ioanna Leontiou and Alina Gukova from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology. All curious adults are welcome and questions and group discussion encouraged!

Beforehand, the team will be running drop-in activities for families outside Debenhams in the Leith Lab’s unit, including interactive light glass sculpture, crafting your own and finding out how scientists model infections and use of antibiotics on our Leith Labs patient
Iranian Dance Workshop with Anna Tabe and the Colours of Life.
Feb 12 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Iranian Dance Workshop with Anna Tabe and the Colours of Life. @ Scotland | United Kingdom

Join Anna and The Colours of Life from the Maryhill Integration Network, for an amazing experience, a journey through Iran via the motif of dance. The workshop will start by a performance by The Colours of Life and then continue with traditional dances from different regions in Iran. There will also be a special workshop tailored for our younger audience, at 10am, which welcomes kids of all ages. All workshops are suitable for both males and females.

For Kids and Adults)
Date: Sunday 12th Feb 2017
Time (Kids Class): 10:00 – 11:00
Time (Adults Class): 11:00 – 12:00
Venue: 21 St Leonard’s Ln, Edinburgh EH8 9SH
Entry: FREE Admission

Brian Catling: The Erstwhile @ Blackwell's Bookshop Edinburgh
Mar 17 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Brian Catling: The Erstwhile @ Blackwell's Bookshop Edinburgh | Scotland | United Kingdom

Blackwell’s Bookshop is extremely excited to welcome Brian Catling, who will be in store to chat about his forthcoming book The Erstwhile, the second in The Vorrh series.

Brian will be in conversation with literary critic and fellow writer Stuart Kelly.

About the Book

In London and Germany, strange beings are reanimating themselves. They are the Erstwhile, the angels that failed to protect the Tree of Knowledge, and their reawakening will have major consequences.

In Africa, the colonial town of Essenwald has fallen into disarray because the timber workforce has disappeared into the Vorrh. Now a team of specialists are dispatched to find them. Led by Ishmael, the former cyclops, they enter the forest, but the Vorrh will not give them back so easily.

To make matters worse, an ancient guardian of the forest has plans for Ishmael and his crew. Meanwhile a child of mixed race has been found abandoned in a remote cottage. Her origins are unknown, but she has powers beyond her own understanding. Conflict is coming, as the old and new, human and inhuman are set on a collision course.

Once again blending the real and the imagined, The Erstwhile brings historical figures such as William Blake and places such as the Bedlam Asylum, as well as ingenious creations such as The Kin (a family of robots) together to create unforgettable novel of births and burials, excavations and disappearances.

About the Author

Brian Catling RA is an English sculptor, poet, novelist, film maker and performance artist. He was educated at North East London Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. He now holds the post of Professor of Fine Art at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford and is a fellow of Linacre College.He has been exhibiting his work internationally since the 1970s. In 2001 he co founded the international performance collective WitW. He has published poetic works, including one compendium, A Court of Miracles, in 2009. His first prose book Bobby Awl was published in 2007. Currently he is writing novels and has just completed The Vorrh trilogy.

For more information or if you would like a signed copy because you can’t make it to the event, please contact Ellie Wixon on 0131 622 8229 or [email protected]

Reformation 500: Protestants and their Bibles from the Reformation to the Present @ Martin Hall, New College, Edinburgh
Oct 31 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Reformation 500: Protestants and their Bibles from the Reformation to the Present @ Martin Hall, New College, Edinburgh | Scotland | United Kingdom

A Public Lecture from Professor Alec Ryrie, Durham University.

All welcome – Refreshments provided  afterwards in the Rainy Hall

Ragged University: ‘What is Feminism’ plus ‘Teachers in Bangladesh’ @ The Castle Hotel
Nov 14 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'What is Feminism' plus 'Teachers in Bangladesh' @ The Castle Hotel

Come along to The Castle Hotel (66 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE) from 7pm. Come along for some food, some socialising and a two talks in an informal setting…


What is Feminism ? by Brigitte Lechner

What is feminism? Ask ten people this question and you might get ten different answers. It’s not that I claim to have the one right answer but rather that I do have one I have settled on and I am pleased to share it with Ragged members. My generation of women has seen enormous changes in our lives. I hardly recognise myself as the young woman who always sat quietly in one corner or another. To me, that is proof of feminism as an agent of personal growth and empowerment; one more reason to share what I know about it.

Feminism to me is a political sisterhood because it aims to challenge the dominant social force generally known as patriarchy. Some people get very precise and define it as capitalist patriarchy or imperialist capitalist patriarchy, even imperialist patriarchal capitalism. I suppose one’s view is always determined by where one stands.

My talk therefore aims to clarify what a plain and simple patriarchal society is, how it is structured and how feminists have over time risen to the challenge of the ways in which patriarchy disempowers and even harms women as a sex class; a thing feminists call patriarchal oppression. Moreover, whilst women are doing different things differently today than they did fifty years ago they are still doing it for themselves and often for men as well. Mine will be a whistle-stop tour through an immensely rich and complex cultural landscape but I hope there will be enough time left to take questions.



During the break we have a bite to eat and a chance to socialise.  Everyone is welcome to bring an item of food to put on the table to share and take away what is left at the end so nothing goes to waste


Teachers in Bangladesh; Ways of Seeing and Expressing Reality by Taslima Ivy

In this presentation I hope to share my story of researching ICT integration in education with rural female teachers from an island in Bangladesh. I will particularly focus on how I attempted to tap into teachers’ own ways of seeing, feeling and expressing life.

Firstly, I will talk about how I used multimodal artefact production- a method through which teachers have shared significant day to day experiences with me,- through a mode and genre of their choice-sometimes they chose images, sometimes video clips, audio clips while sometimes poems and journal entries.

Then I will talk about the distinct Bengali genre of ‘golpo/ adda’ (informal chatting) which I used in my research as an attempt to enable my participants’ experiences to emerge through their own discursive style. I will conclude by sharing how these two processes made me aware of my own ‘gaze’ and maybe helped me understand my participants from the position of a female-the position of a teacher- rather than the power position of a researcher.




Ragged University: ‘The Art of Not-Knowing’ – plus – ‘Medical Imaging Physics’
Nov 27 @ 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'The Art of Not-Knowing' - plus - 'Medical Imaging Physics'

Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 6.30pm and the talks start from 7pm. Come along for two talks, a chance to socialise and a bite to eat.  The two talks are ‘The Art of Not-Knowing’ by James Clegg – plus – ‘Medical Imaging Physics; Seeing Beyond the Skin’ by Tommy McMullan.  All are welcome….

The Art of Not-Knowing by James Clegg

I would like to talk about how it is okay not to know what you feel about an artwork or even contemporary art in general. That it isn’t your problem or failure if you don’t ‘get it’. BUT, how feeling uncertain can be the start of a really interesting set of questions and the beginning of you genuinely finding your creative self. ‘Getting it’ might turn out not to be such a good thing after all!

In order to make a convincing case I will need to draw from a broad set of reference points. So, more formally, I would like to talk about: How contemporary art practice is driven by a process of discovery, a not-knowing relationship to materiality that delights in the unexpected coming-together of disparate ideas.

Some of the roots of contemporary art practice, particularly those that emphasise experience, a transient not-knowing that is distinct from structural thinking. A not-knowing set of concepts drawn from thinkers like Giles Deleuze, Karen Barad, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Donna Haraway and Jacques Rancière. AND, how you might defend not-knowing (as a life-affirming position that enables a much richer understanding of the world) against a context in which it is often being politically, economically and culturally undermined.

All events are free and open to everyone but people who do come along are warmly invited to bring an item of food along to put on the table and take it away at the end.

Medical Imaging Physics; Seeing Beyond the Skin by Tommy McMullan

With advances in technology, doctors no longer need to perform surgery to see inside the human body. Today we have imaging technology which provides a safe, non-invasive way of seeing complex anatomy and physiological function. The imaging technologies can be split into two groups, which are characterised by the type of radiation used – ionising or non-ionising.

The modalities that use ionising radiation are X-ray, computed tomography (CT), and Nuclear Medicine. And the modalities that use non-ionising radiation are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. Each modality is suited to different clinical situations, and knowledge of each is crucial to ensure proper diagnosis and patient care.

During my talk I will introduce the listener to the basic principles behind each of the imaging techniques mentioned. The talk will be presented with minimal technical jargon and will be illustrated throughout using images to tell the story.