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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


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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Mapping Post-Devolution Scottish Fiction (Robert Morace)


Robert Morace (Amherst)

Mapping Post-Devolution Scottish Fiction

Abstract: Cosmopolitanism characterized the early years of post-devolution Scottish literature and Scottish literary studies. Scottish literature has subsequently become much more local in production and consumption and, rather than view this movement with alarm, Scottish Studies should embrace this literature’s ex-centricity and the advantages of a largely self-produced and self-consumed literature whose merit can be measured in local impact rather than its apolitical place in the neo-liberal world republic of letters and global literary marketplace.

The 2014 independence referendum offers an opportunity to look back over Scottish literature – particularly fiction – published after the 1997 devolution referendum. How has it fared since Christopher Whyte issued his declaration of literary independence on behalf of Scottish writers whom, he maintained, devolution had freed from “the task of representing the nation” so that Scottish literature could finally “be literature first and foremost rather than the expression of a nationalist movement” (Whyte 1998, 284)? Whether this 1998 declaration signaled a newfound literary self-confidence or another example of the Scottish cringe – post-devolution Scotland’s fear of appearing provincial – is difficult to determine. This much is clear: for Whyte and others, 1998–1999 marked the beginning of a long deferred dream. As Joy Hendry wrote in 1983, with the failure of the 1979 referendum still fresh, and as Eleanor Stewart Bell reminded us in 1998 when she quoted Hendry,

The predicament of Scotland, the State of Scotland, is a preoccupation which is admittedly...

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