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Inspiring Views from «a' the airts» on Scottish Literatures, Art and Cinema

The First World Congress of Scottish Literatures in Glasgow 2014

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Edited By Klaus Peter Müller, Ilka Schwittlinsky and Ron Walker

Where do Scottish literatures, art, and cinema stand today? What and how do Scottish Studies investigate? Creative writers and scholars give answers to these questions and address vital concerns in Scottish, British, and European history from the Union debate and the Enlightenment to Brexit, ethnic questions, and Scottish film. They present new insights on James Macpherson, Robert Burns, John Galt, J. M. Barrie, Walter Scott, James Robertson, war poetry, new Scottish writing, and nature writing. The contributions highlight old and new networking and media as well as the persistent influences of the past on the present, analyzing a wide range of texts, media and art forms with approaches from literary, cultural, media, theatre, history, political, and philosophical studies.

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The Scottish Enlightenment: Home and Away (Andrew Hook)

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Andrew Hook (Glasgow)

The Scottish Enlightenment: Home and Away

Abstract: This paper was delivered as a contribution to the conference’s Eighteenth Century Scottish Studies Society’s Susan Manning Memorial Panel: ‘The Scottish Enlightenment in Regions and Nations’. It consists of two distinct parts. In the first I provide a historiographical account of the Scottish Enlightenment emphasising two main points: how the impetus for scholarly study of the historical phenomenon came largely from outside Scotland, and how Scottish Nationalism moved from rejection to celebration of its achievement. In the second section I suggest that the Scottish Enlightenment contributed to the emergence of the Second Amendment to the American Constitution in a manner that has gone unrecognised by American constitutional historians.

I

No student of Scottish history today would deny that Archibald Campbell, Earl of Ilay, 3rd Duke of Argyll, was a hugely important figure in eighteenth-century Scottish history. Rather than some kind of minor aristocrat who dabbled in politics, and took an interest in a range of subjects addressed by the Enlightenment, Argyll, from the 1720s until his death in 1761, was beyond question the dominant figure in Scottish affairs – and indeed a powerful player in English politics. For almost four decades in the period soon after the Union of 1707, that is, Argyll exercised major influence over the public life of his native country. Supervising day-to-day Scottish politics, but also contributing to the development of Scottish commerce and industry, Scottish agriculture and science,...

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