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Byre World: Human Zoos in Scotland

Wednesday 25 April, 6pm
Free (Ticketed)
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The School of Modern Languages, in collaboration with The Byre Theatre, offers an exciting programme of events related to the literature, film and cultures of the world. Our Byre World programme showcases some of the research being carried out by the School of Modern Languages and brings together artists, filmmakers, writers and academics. All events are open to university staff and students and the general public.


The World Fairs and International Exhibitions that recorded human achievements, scientific and industrial innovations, and introduced visitors
to other cultures and peoples are most readily associated with Paris, Chicago and London. Yet Scotland hosted its own flurry of shows in the early 1900s and even held one of the last fairs in Europe, the famous Empire Exhibition of Glasgow, in 1938. These shows were controversial, since they
often saw people shipped across the world to perform stereotypically ‘indigenous’ rituals or produce craftwork for the amusement of visitors.
This illustrated talk by Dr Emma Bond (Dept of Italian, University of St Andrews) complements the Human Zoos: Putting People on Display exhibition at The Byre and explores the stories behind the images displayed in the exhibition posters, which all relate to ethnographic displays that took place in Scottish cities just one hundred years ago, from alleged romances between Somali villagers on display in Portobello to the feats of Buffalo Bill in Glasgow.