Guns, Violence and Toxic Masculinity in the USA – Tuesday 1st October 2019, 6pm

Frequently, the reports that reach our shores from the other side of the Atlantic tell the story of a country dealing with the aftermath of a tragic mass shooting. The USA’s complex relationship with guns can be traced back to the Empire, the fight for independence and the American constitution.

But there are many reasons why after 200 years, the number of people killed by guns in the US is larger than in any other country.

Historian, Dr Matthew Ward (University of Dundee) has studied how guns and violence were depicted in the culture and mass media of the time. These images and stories were linked closely with ideas of masculinity, influencing the way men acted and the roles they played in society. Today these traditional views on what it means to be a man are still commonplace and this toxic masculinity is harmful to men and society.

At this event Dr Ward shared his insights on the links from the past to present day, and what we can learn about guns, violence and masculinity in today’s troubled America.


Memories of Food in Dundee – Tuesday 4th October 2016

Food plays an essential part in our everyday life, but is much more than a necessity, as we create culture and places where food takes centre stage. From trusted food shops that visit time after time, to our favourite eating places where we spend time with friends and family, our experiences and memories of food help us build a sense of belonging to the places we live in and call home.

This talk explored the social, space and time aspects of food and show how food acts as a trigger for memories, focusing on the city of Dundee and its people.

Jackie Malcolm, University of Dundee, discussed her research with elderly people who lived in sheltered housing across the city. Their shared memories provide insights into Dundee life, past and present, and the relationships formed through food.

Hosted at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum this fascinating talk reached out to new visitors to Dundee Arts Cafe from our local communities.


Stories from the Past: Women working in Dundee – 5th March 2013

real rosie woman factory

This arts cafe talk by Laura Paterson used oral history recollections to explore aspects of women’s work in Dundee from 1945 to 1970. With the audience, Laura reminisced on Dundee’s past, particularly memories of homes, housing conditions, housework and the effect of labour saving devices.

“I’d a’ liked tae been a Teacher, But I never got the chance” – Mary Brooksbank.

A copy of the video of Laura’s talk will be available shortly.


Negotiating the Past:Shakespeare’s Medieval Inheritance – 4th September 2012

A portrait of William Shakespeare - close-up This  superb and topical talk on Shakespeare’s legacy was timed to coincide with the World Shakespeare Festival, which had been all over the TV screens.

Dr Jo George, from the English dept at the University of Dundee, discussed the medieval mystery and morality plays that inspired Shakespeare. Short scenes from these early dramas were performed by members of the JOOT Theatre Company.

This event was kindly hosted by the cafe at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum.

You can view the full talk as a playlist of six shorter clips here on YouTube.

First Talk of the New Season – Dundee and Globalization, 1850-2010

The new season of Dundee Arts Cafe starts on Tuesday 6th September at 6pm in the McManus Cafe. Our first speaker this year is Professor Jim Tomlinson, a lecturer in History from the University of Dundee.

By the first world war Dundee was one of the most economically globalized cities in the world, above all because of its striking dependence on one industry, jute, which drew its raw materials from Bengal and found its markets across the globe.  But as jute declined the city’s dependence on the rest of the world decreased, and there followed a long process of ‘de-globalization’, most recently evident in the huge rise in employment in the public sector. This means that today Dundee’s economic fortunes rest much more on political decisions in London and Edinburgh than on international events.  This talk will explore how and why this change came about, and ask what significance it has for the city’s prosperity in the face of the current world economic crisis

This talk will take place on Tuesday 6th September at 6pm in the McManus Cafe, Albert Square.

Dundee Arts Cafe talks are held on the first Tuesday of every month at 6pm in the McManus Cafe, inside the McManus at Albert Square, in the City Centre of Dundee. The McManus is Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum, and the cafe is located at the entrance and will be open before and throughout the talk serving hot drinks, wine or beer and snacks.

This is a FREE talk and everyone is welcome, there is no requirement to book, but there is limited seating for 60 people so please arrive early to ensure a seat.

The McManus Cafe will be open before the event serving hot meals and snacks. If you want to have a meal in the McManus before the talk you have to pre-book by calling 01382 307 201. You can view the menu at

The City That Lost its Memory – 1st February 2011

Join us at the stunning surrounding of the recently re-vamped McManus Cafe for our first Dundee Arts Cafe talk of 2011 with Professor Charles McKean. Charles will focus on describing Dundee during its peak period as a port in the 17th Century during the renaissance and enlightenment period, and return to the city in the early 19th Century before the jute trade transformed Dundee.

Charles’ talk will shed light on the most important buildings and how they helped Dundee flourish as a port to become Scotland’s second city during these times.

Doors open at 5.30pm and beers, wine and food are all served in The McManus Cafe, see here for a full menu. This is a FREE event, but there is limited seating available for 60 people so please do arrive early to avoid disappointment.