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Outlander TV series that has helped boost Highland tourist trade to come under spotlight of Scottish conference; Castle Leod in Strathpeffer amongst hot spots on visitor trail


By Alasdair Fraser

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Academics at the University of Glasgow are to scrutinise the history, customs, politics, culture, clothes and music featured in Outlander.

US author Diana Gabaldon, whose novels the hit TV series is based on, has given the event her seal of approval and will give a keynote speech at the four-day conference in June next year.

Outlander time travels 200 years between the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the end of the Second World War and brings local scenery, history and folklore to the screens of millions of avid viewers around the globe.

Local locations attracting special interest from Outlander fans include Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns, Fort George, Beauly Priory and Castle Leod near Strathpeffer.

Clava Cairns is a big draw for Outlander fans.
Clava Cairns is a big draw for Outlander fans.

As well as academic talks, the university is working with partners to plan a programme of events open to the general public throughout the four days.

They say it will provide an exciting, vibrant and highly-popular conference which will ensure Outlander fever hits Scotland.

Professor of renaissance studies Willie Maley said: “The globally successful Outlander 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, 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: hosting a major international Outlander conference in 2020 will offer the chance to debate, discuss and dissect the elements that make up this remarkable phenomenon.”

The Outlander TV series features English nurse Claire Randall, played by Catriona Balfe, who tumbles two centuries backwards through time to the eve of Culloden, where she falls for the Scottish Highlander Jamie Fraser, played by Sam Heughan.


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