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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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(Scottish) History in Scottish Novels: Theory, Practice, Agency (Klaus Peter Müller)

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Klaus Peter Müller (Mainz / Germersheim)

(Scottish) History in Scottish Novels: Theory, Practice, Agency

Abstract: Theories from Smith, Hume, Kant, Schiller and Hegel to Hayden White and Fukuyama are used and compared with the practice they have been put to in historical novels as well as directly in human history. A key focus is placed on the agents bringing about historical change. Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe and James Robertson’s And the Land Lay Still serve as examples for the discussion of the development of human history since the Reformation up to Brexit and the EU crisis. The need for human agency today is highlighted and compared with conclusions from the past.

This article will draw attention to the essential characteristics of a work in progress on history in Scottish novels that I think are crucial at this moment in our own history where we are in the process of huge changes and tremendous transitions. The areas dealt with are, therefore, not only limited to literature and history, but include cultural, media, cognitive, philosophical, and political studies. The intention is to give readers a notion of the vast field of history and of its connections with human life and our current situation. We need to develop a more holistic understanding of ourselves and the scholarly fields we are working in. This text tries to at least hint at the scope of topics, problems, and perspectives that should to be taken account of in such an...

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