Scottish Studies Newsletter
# 29/30 (Spring 2000)
Germersheim - ISSN 0934 2168
Horst W. Drescher, Joachim Schwend (Editors) - Lothar Görke, Gauti Kristmannsson (Co-editors, Lay-out)
Anschrift: Horst W. Drescher - F.A.S.K. - Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, D-76711 Germersheim - Germany - Fax: + 49 7274 508 35 447 - Tel.: +49 7274 508 35 -224 or -547 - E-mail: email@example.com
Scottish Studies Newsletter, Electronic Edition (SSN-W) is an on-line version of the printed journal. Each article is published electronically when the final text is approved for publication.
You may download, save, print for your personal use, or forward one copy of this journal without permission. For multiple copies, please request permission from the editors.
apologize for the delay in publishing nos. 29 and 30 (Summer 1998 and
Winter 1998/ 99) as a double issue of the Scottish Studies
Newsletter. It may well be the last but X issue of the Newsletter
to appear. There are plans to bring on a new structuring of
curricular elements and research in British Studies, that is a change
of focus away from cultural studies as a prerequisite to achieving
foreign (English) language competence in professional translation and
conference interpretation in favour of a shift of emphasis in the
direction of pure translation studies/theory. Though we are aware
that the idea of British regional studies often seems a contradiction
in terms we believe that it is the sum of regional identities which
constitutes the essence of what is generally understood by cultural
identity in language itself and thus strengthens the ability to
overcome language barriers. The art of translation - literary,
technical or any other special purpose - should, first and foremost,
try to realize and master the extra-linguistic cultural context as an
essential of foreign language training. In contrast to this tried and
tested 'traditional' procedure 'new' elements are being considered,
and the final outcome of these discussions may change curricular
orientation and research fundamentally including, of course, a
redistribution of staff and finances. As a result the Scottish
Studies Centre, its Newsletter and our series Scottish
Studies International are threatened with falling by the wayside
-- for better or worse. When founded in 1984, the Newsletter
as well as Scottish Studies International sought to provide an
international forum for Scottish Studies, incorporating critical
views and scholarly commentary within the thematic scope of British
cultural studies, not forgetting the European dimension. We have
continued to follow this editorial policy but now, with the kind of
development envisaged for the future of the Faculty of Applied
Linguistics and Culture Studies of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität
Mainz in Germersheim, home of the Scottish Studies Centre, it looks
as if our commitment and endeavours to internationalize Scottish
Studies as part of British Studies will be forced to come to an end.
Sorry, friends. We'll keep you up-to-date.
The George IV Bridge Building is once more open to the public following the completion of another phase of the Library’s major safety and refurbishment programme. In the newly re-opened building, the Library’s Manuscript and Rare Books service has resumed (albeit in temporary accommodation on the ground floor, and a new enquiries and admissions service has been set up also on the ground floor. All other services will continue to operate from the Library’s Causewayside Building until March 1999, when the General Reading Room will then transfer back to George IV Bridge from its temporary accommodation at Causewayside. The importance of the re-opening of the George IV Bridge Building is that readers once again have access to most of the manuscript and rare book collections, including music.(Quarto. Newsletter of The National Library of Scotland, 4 Autumn 1998)
Conference will be held in the Boole Lecture Theatres, at University
Further details and registration forms may be obtained from the Secretary, Hume Society Conference, Department of Philosophy, University College, Cork, Ireland. Tel. (353) 21-902588; fax (353) 21-276079.
sixth meeting of the International Scott Conference , including
formal paper presentations, roundtable discussions, seminars,
workshops and plenary lectures.
While the thematic focus of the conference will be on Scott and his literary, cultural, historical and intellectual contexts in late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century Scotland, contributions are encouraged on all aspects of and approaches to Scott’s life, works, sources, reputation and influence, as well as on other writers of the period and related topics.
Proposals are invited for individual 25 minute papers (1-page abstract) or sessions consisting of 2-3 papers (2-3 pp.) Please send all proposals [hardcopy only] to: Ian Duncan, English Department, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1286, U.S.A. Fax: 541 346-1509. E-mail [inquiries only, please]: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tenth Enlightenment Congress promises to be an exciting event, and ECSSS will be there in full force. In addition to the six sessions listed below, it is intended to sponsor a reception with a special lecture by T.M. Devine of the University of Strathclyde, on Irish and Scottish Diasporas in the Eighteenth Century.
1. Berkeley and Hume
2. Celticism and Literary Nationalism
3. Economic Improvement and Enlightened Identities in Ireland & Scotland
4. Hutcheson and Moderation: Enlightened Presbyterianism in Glasgow & Ulster
5. The Metropolis and the Millenium: Provincial Radicalism under the British Crown.
The following session is being co-sponsored by ECSSS and the Irish-Scottish Academic Initiative of Aberdeen University; Strathclyde University, and Trinity College, Dublin. Proposals should be sent to the session organizer: Murray G. H. Pittock, Dept. Of English Studies, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1YH, Scotland, U.K. Tel.: 44-141-548-4490, fax: 44-141-552-3493, e-mail: email@example.com
6. Image and Identity in Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Ireland.
Guest speakers: Tom Nairn and one other to be confirmed. This is the second conference in the Scotland Today series. It is intended to foster theoretical approaches to Scottish literature and the arts. Contributors are encouraged to show the relevance - or irrelevance - of modern literary and critical theory to Scottish studies. Submissions concerning the work of twentieth-century Scottish theorists are particularly welcome. Abstracts (300-300 words) for 20-minute papers should be sent to Gavin Miller, Department of English Literature, University of Edinburgh, David Hume Tower, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JX. Enquires to Conference Organiser: Eleanor Bell. EBell75449@aol.com, Gavin Miller firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abroad" is the third part of the seminar series "Scotland
Today", which is a forum for postgraduates and researchers
working in Scottish Studies, literature and the arts, encouraging
debate and new ideas. Part three, "Scotland Abroad", will
be held at Glasgow University on Saturday 20 November 1999. The aim
of the conference is to open up the discussion of Scotland and
Scottishness toward Europe and beyond, with a particular focus on
contemporary Scottish literature and the arts. Is contemporary,
devolving Scotland now looking abroad more than before?
Possible topics for discussion are:
"Beyond Caledonian Antisyzygy": the possibilities of discussing Scottishness in wider terms than the struggle with England and the postcolonial framework.
"Scotland in Europe": from Scotland’s historical links with the nations and cultures of the Continent to the SNP’s slogan, Independence in Europe.
"Travelling Scot": the significance of place and/or alternative geographies in defining self and community.
of 200-300 words for twenty minute papers should be sent to:
Ingibjorg Agustsdottir, Department of Scottish Literature, 6 University Gardens, University of Glasgow G12 8QQ
email: email@example.com by August 31st 1999.
conference is organised by the Department of Scottish Literature at
Glasgow University, in association with the Glasgow School of
Scottish Studies. Conference Organisers:
Ingibjorg Agustsdottir - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Amanda J. McLeod - e-mail: email@example.com
Johanna Tiitinen - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Department of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow 6 University Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QH
National Archives of Scotland. General Register House. Princes
May-December 1999. Open 10.00am - 4.00pm, Monday-Friday. Admission free.
medieval period onward, the contribution of Scots authors to
philosophy has been considerable. Thinkers of the calibre of Duns
Scotus (1266-1308) and John Mair (c. 1467-1550) were followed by the
flourishing of philosophy teaching in Scotland’s four ancient
universities. The ‘golden era’ of philosophy in Scotland, the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, stirred debates which continued
in the nineteenth century and remain important for many issues of
contemporary philosophical discussion.
Proposals (max. 200 words) for papers on the tradition of philosophy in Scotland and its relevance for contemporary philosophical enquiry should be sent to Dr M. Rosa Antognazza, Director, The Reid Project, Dept. of Philosophy, King’s College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland AB 24 3UB. E-mail: email@example.com by 1st February 2000.
For further information on the ‘The Reid Project’: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/philosophy/reidstu.htm
poets have been as widely translated as Robert Burns or have
exercised as profound an influence on other national poetic
traditions. His translators have included some of the major world
poets of the last two centuries. To date, however, no bibliographical
source exists which provides a comprehensive guide to translations of
Burns. The standard bibliographies list the most important
book-length translations but give little indication of the mass of
material published in journals, anthologies, and songbooks.
In 1996, BOSLIT (Bibliography of Scottish Literature in Translation), an externally funded project based at the National Library of Scotland, began compiling an online bibliography of this scattered material to mark the bicentenary of the poet's death. The aim was to provide an invaluable research tool for scholars, translators, publishers, performers, and the reading public through an Internet-accessible database.
Translations were sought in national bibliographies, library catalogues, and indices to journals and anthologies, and through letters o f enquiry to research libraries, institutes of literature, and university departments. To date, BOSLIT has recorded almost 3,000 translations of Burns into 51 languages ranging from Afrikaans to Ukrainian, from Albanian to Attar. The earliest dates from 1795, the latest from autumn 1997.
In addition to the discrete Burns project, BOSLIT has recorded over 16,000 post-1945 translations of Scottish writing since its inception in 1994. The combined database may be viewed at: http://www.nls.uk
BOSLIT is currently looking for new funding to permit work on the bibliography of Burns translations to continue. It is seeking a sum between £15,000 ($24,750) and £20,000 ($33,000) in order to complete the bibliography by the Millennium.
We should welcome all suggestions, advice, and assistance which might permit us to obtain the needed funding.
Please contact: Dr Paul Barnaby, BOSLIT, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1EW. Tel: (+44) 1431 226 4531, Fax: (++ 44) 131 220 6662, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
catalogue of Thomas Reid's papers.
Thomas Reid's surviving manuscripts (the bulk of which is held by the University of Aberdeen's Special Collections) have never been adequately catalogued. The Reid Project has been awarded a substantial grant from the Carnegie Trust in order to hire a full-time Research Assistant working on the creation of a new catalogue under the supervision of a committee of experts. The University of Aberdeen will cover additional costs related to this project. Work on the catalogue is scheduled to begin in February. The result will be a full and publicly available analytic and annotated catalogue, in both printed and electronic form, of all Reid's extant manuscripts (including the few in other locations).
Back-up copy of the manuscripts in electronic form.
As part of the Special Collections' programme of transferring manuscripts to digital storage (funded by a SHEFC grant), a back-up copy of Reid's papers in electronic form will be created. This will insure against loss and reduce the risk of damage to the originals due to the increasing use of the collection. As a result, the complete Reid's papers will be available in Aberdeen on CD-ROM. Images of lesser resolution will be available on the Internet. The first page of each group of documents will be on open access, but the full text will be accessible only with a password
3) Reid Studies: An International Review of Scottish Philosophy. Number 1 of volume 2 has now appeared.
Research Visitor Scheme.
The Reid Project welcomes research visitors and, upon application, will accord suitably qualified visitors official status with a number of benefits.
Information and application forms are available on the Internet (http://www.abdn.ac.uk/philosophy/reidstu.htm).
The Reid Project is consolidating a comprehensive research collection of all the works listed in the updated Reid bibliography (see Reid Studies, vol. 1, no 2: 'Reid's Works'; vol. 2, no 1: 'Critical Studies') together with other basic reference materials in this field.
Critical edition of Reid's works (Edinburgh University Press; general
editor: Knud Haakonssen).
Please note that two more volumes are forthcoming: Reid's Correspondence, ed. Paul Wood; and the Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, ed. Derek Brookes.
in Scottish Philosophy.
The University of Aberdeen offers a one-year MLitt by examination and dissertation in Scottish Philosophy, designed to provide an opportunity for intensive study of Scottish philosophy from the mediaeval to the modern period and to serve as a basis for doctoral level research.
Further details and application forms may be obtained from Dr J Friday, Department of Philosophy, King's College, Old Aberdeen, Scotland AB24 3UB. Email: email@example.com. Application may be made via the Internet: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/philosophy/applic.htm
James Hogg Society
You may already know about the Stirling/South Carolina Research edition of the Collected Works of James Hogg; general editor: Douglas S. Mack, University of Stirling. Edinburgh University Press Limited. This is to keep you up-to-date with the progress of the series, and to let you know that as a Hogg Society member, you are entitled to a special price for each volume - over 25% off the published price.
After a hundred years of relative obscurity, James Hogg now ranks alongside Scott and Stevenson as one of Scotland’s leading writers. Highly regarded in his own lifetime, Hogg’s reputation suffered as a result of bowdlerised posthumous editions of his work. Edinburgh University Press is proud to present the first modern authentic edition of Hogg’s work, uncovering the full extent of his literary talents. Full introductions, explanatory notes and editorial comment accompany each text, making this collected edition the standard work on one of Scotland’s leading nineteenth century writers.
Titles available to date are:
á The Three Perils of Woman, eds. David Groves, Antony Hasler and Douglas S. Mack
á Lay Sermons, eds. Gillian Hughes and Douglas S. Mack
á Tales of the Wars of Montrose, ed. Gillian Hughes
á A Queer Book, ed. Peter Garside
á The Shepherd’s Calendar, ed. Douglas Mack
á Queen Hynde, eds. Suzanne Gilbert and Douglas S. Mack
Anecdotes of Scott, ed. Jill Rubinstein.
The Grassic Gibbon Centre, Arbuthnott
The Grassic Gibbon Centre celebrates the life and writings of James Leslie Mitchell, the novelist of the Mearns, better known by his pen name of Lewis Grassic Gibbon. The centre stands within two miles of the firm croft where Mitchell spent his boyhood, and only yards from the parish school where his talent first flowered. When he died, his ashes were laid to rest in nearby Arbuthnott churchyard. Sunset Song, his best loved novel, is set in the Mearns around the Centre, and was a success right from its first publication in 1932. Today, after adaptations for TV, radio, theatre and music, it remains one of the most popular of all Scottish stories. Visitors can trace Gibbon’s life through the exhibition. On display are rare and valuable books, many of which belonged to the author, as well as other personal effects and photographs kindly donated and loaned by his family and friends. The Grassic Gibbon Centre exists to help and encourage students of his work, of all ages and abilities, and maintains contacts with academic who have a special interest in Gibbon. Visits of school parties and larger groups are welcome by arrangement.
The Centre also acts as a focus for the study of bygone life in the area and has become the repository of a rich local history collection, including farming tools, household items and photographs. A local reminiscence group has assisted greatly in this collection, and the Centre is grateful to the many visitors who have taken trouble to provide valuable information and show us objects of special interest. The Grassic Gibbon Centre is run by the local community on an entirely non-profit making basis. Admission to the Centre is free, with a charge only for the exhibition. All of Grassic Gibbon’s books which are currently in print are kept in stock and the Centre has already published limited editions of some of his work, available exclusively from the Centre. There is also a mail order facility.
The Centenary of the birth of James Leslie Mitchell will be celebrated in February 2001 and in advance of same, the Directors of the Grassic Gibbon Centre have proposed the establishment of a Group to be known as "Friends of the Grassic Gibbon Centre". This will enable those interested in the life and work of Grassic Gibbon to support the Centre and to be kept informed of its activities.
The Membership fee will initially be £10 per annum. The benefits of membership will include free admission to the Exhibition at the Centre, a half-yearly Newsletter with articles on the Centre and Grassic Gibbon, details of books and publications available from the Centre and an opportunity to participate in special events organised by the Centre, including the celebration of the Centenary in 2001.
Mrs Isabella Williamson, Manager, The Grassic Gibbon Centre, Arbuthnott, Laureneekirk, AB30 1LX.
The Darien Adventure, General Register House, Edinburgh
To mark the 300th anniversary of the Darien scheme, the National Archives of Scotland, in conjunction with the National Library of Scotland, have compiled an exhibition bringing together for the first time archives on Darien from several institutions. Original documents will be on display in General Register House, Princes Street, Edinburgh, from 14 December 1998 until April 1999. A travelling exhibition, sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland, will then tour Scotland, providing access to the material in libraries and galleries throughout the country.
In the exhibition we look at the reasons behind the Darien scheme: the Scots' wish to improve their economic position, William Paterson's ambitious plans for the project and comments on his proposals. You will see the type of people who contributed to the project, from tradesmen to nobility. There are also letters from the colonists themselves, describing life in Darien, the problems they encountered and the reasons they left the settlement.
We also show the ramifications of the failure of the project: the furious reaction in Scotland to English opposition to the colony; the seizure of the Worcester and the hanging of its crew in retaliation, the end of the Company of Scotland by the Union of 1707 and the paying out of the shareholders. Further information: General Register House, Princess Street, Edinburgh.
Association for Scottish Literary Studies, Conference on Children's Literature, Falkirk College of Further & Higher Education. 8 May 1999
The annual conference/AGM of the ASLS will take place in Falkirk on Saturday 8 May 1999. The subject will be literature for children, either written and set in Scotland or written by Scottish authors. As well as discussing individual texts, the conference aims to address a range of issues relating to the creation of imaginative or creative works for children in Scotland. Papers, of approximately 30 minutes in duration are invited on any aspect of writing, publishing, marketing and consuming children's literature. Please send abstracts (max. 200 words) to Dr Elaine Petric, School of Communication & Media, Falkirk College of Further & Higher Education, Grangemouth Road, Falkirk, FK2 9AD by 31 January 1999.
Centre d’Etudes Ecossaises Georges Prudhomme
A new Centre dedicated to Scottish Studies was opened on 7th November 1998 at the University of Nantes, France. The Centre hosts the books the late Professor George Prudhomme left to the Modern Language Department through its Research Centre on National Identities and Interculturality. Georges Prudhomme, whose doctoral thesis, "The Revival of Scottish Nationalism in the 20th Century, 1844-1928", submitted to the Université Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle in 1991, represents a very exhaustive study of Scottish political culture, died shortly after his election to the Chair of Scottish Studies in 1994. The Centre’s main objectives are mainly to provide a collective image to a field of studies and research which in France consists mainly in the individual works of scholars scattered in various academic institutions. Symbolically located on the Atlantic Bow that spans from Glasgow to Lisbon, in the historic capital of the Duchy of Britanny whose Union with France was effected through an Art of 1532, the Centre will aim at building awareness of the existence of an active field of research and studies not sufficiently acknowledged in this country. Together with Professor Pierre Morère's Grenoble unit of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and with Professor Bernard Sellin’s Brest Centre at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale, the Georges Prudhomme Centre will aim at co-ordinating research and provide help for teaching in the field of Scottish Studies.
An annual Memorial Lecture is also likely to be instituted in order to provide a focal point for this type of research in France. The Centre already received support from the Franco-Scottish Association in Paris. Enquiries to: Pierre Carboni, Département d'Anglais, U.F.R. de Langues, Université de Nantes, F-44312 Nantes, France.
Literature of Region and Nation Conference, July 1998.
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Scottish Studies Centre in Germersheim
The Literature of Region and Nation Association held its biannual conference in July 1998 at the Faculty of Applied Linguistics and Cultural Studies of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz/Germersheim. The conference was excellently organised by Dr. Susanne Hagemann and her assistant Dyrken Ottmers. The small university town of Germersheim on the Rhine provided a compact environment for delegates from around the world. The range of subjects was considerably varied, but as the society was founded in Scotland and the faculty houses Germany's only Scottish Studies Centre, it should not come as a surprise that a high proportion of the papers given was on Scottish literature, albeit from many different perspectives. Scottish subjects were discussed in sections that focused on European identities, place and gender, questions of the canon and other matters relevant to regions and nations, their dialectic and dialogic relationships. It was of course impossible for one person to attend all the papers on Scottish subjects, but the speakers included Julian Meldon D'Arcy on Wilkie Collins and Scotland, Dietmar Böhnke on Alasdair Gray and Science/Scottish fiction, Ingibjörg Ágústsdóttir on Robin Jenkins from a postcolonial perspective, Manfred Malzahn and Joseph Yang on the strange bedfellows Scotland and Taiwan, Kirsten Stirling on woman as a nation in Alasdair Gray's fiction, Johanna Tiitinen on Gray's Poor Things, Zsusanna Varga on spinsterhood and feminism in Mrs. Oliphant and Douglas Gifford on the remapping of the Scottish Renaissance, to name only those who this writer was able to hear. Other speakers included J. Derrick McClure, Reiko Aiura-Vigers, Eloisa Nos Aldás, Eleanor Stewart Bell, Margaret Elphinstone, Katherine H. Gordon, Andrew Nash, Alan Riach, Margery Palmer McCulloch, Gertrud Szamosi, Aileen Christianson, Sarah M. Dunnigan, Amanda J. Macleod, Glenda Norquay, A.E. Christa Canitz, Gauti Kristmannsson, Heike Jüngst, Andrew Nash, Alan Riach, Klaus H. Schmidt, Hanne Tange and Andrew Young. This list presents only the Scottish "minority" at the conference and as the names and subjects show, indicate the ongoing internationalisation and diversity in modern Scottish literature research. The poet Alan Riach gave a reading of modern Scottish poetry added to his own and Margaret Elphinstone read from her Islanders and an unpublished novel she is working on. Both readings were very well received by delegates. Professor Douglas Gifford from Glasgow University came with a group of Ph.D. students working on Scottish literature, a group that enlivened the conference both academically and socially. They gave papers and participated actively in the two forums and represented what is new and fresh in Scottish literature studies at the time being. (Gauti Kristmannsson)
On 6 May
1999, Scottish voters will elect the first Scottish Parliament in
nearly three hundred years. "There shall be a Scottish
Parliament" reads Clause 1 (1) of the Labour Government's
Scotland Bill, published on 18 December 1997, three months after the
overwhelming endorsement of Devolution in the Scottish Referendum. 'I
like that', Donald Dewar, Secretary of State for Scotland, said when
he presented the Bill in Glasgow, obviously savouring what the Herald
termed "the bold simplicity of the opening clause". He
certainly had that Bill in mind when he addressed the CREST (Centre
for Research on Elections and Social Trends) Conference in Edinburgh
on 21 November 1997, laying out some of the contours the new
Parliament is going to take, encouraging a more co-operative and
consensual approach to parliamentary politics than Westminster,
symbolised in a horseshoe-shaped chamber rather than the
confrontational arrangement of the House of Commons, with government
and opposition "two sword lengths apart."
It was timely that Dewar's opening address to the CREST Conference was published this spring, along with the proceedings of the Conference, just when the triumphant vision of the devolution referendum seemed to have plunged to the pits of parochialism over the temporary and permanent sties of the Parliament and the shenanigans surrounding Sean Connery's knighthood. "Change is now imminent," Donald Dewar had stated. The Conference attempted to analyse what the process of constitutional change entailed.
Tom Nairn was rather more sceptical than Dewar, arguing that what was on offer or intended for Scotland was "virtual liberation" rather than real sovereignty, yet he expressed his belief that "serious home rule" will find it hard to avoid de facto sovereignty", which could clear the way for "a new start to sovereignty" rather than - in "ancestrally configured" British practice "trying forever to upgrade it with ingenious twists and turns."
In their piece, based on electoral surveys on constitutional reform, John Caurtis and Roger Jowell show the extent of the "muddle". There is widespread public support fore reforming the House of Lords and a Scottish Parliament (support of the latter having, in fact, grown in England since the referendum!), but a much more lukewarm response to electoral reform for Westminster and extension of powers to the European Union.
Analysing the Scottish Election Study, Paul Surridge, David McCrone, Alice Brown and Lindsay Paterson, in turn, come up with what many would find surprising results: they show conclusively that the Scottish desire for a Parliament was not driven by identity or ethnicity, but rather by issues of social and economic welfare. The resounding yes to the question of tax-raising powers, was seen as the tool to achieve grater benefits in those areas. While it was to be expected that those who felt Scots would be in favour of devolution, it might come as a surprise that those who felt either British or even English were not significantly less in favour of a Scottish Parliament! The authors also show that the Conservatives lost, perhaps less surprisingly, because of their intransigent stance on the constitution.
Pippa Norris takes a look at Labour's conversion to constitutional charge, but questions whether this conversion, which "receives the widespread backing of Labour, Liberal Democrat and nationalist politicians", will be fully sustained while in office. If so, she argues, "this promises a great reform parliament" and, she concludes cautiously, "the end of Beefeater, Britain may, perhaps, possibly, be nigh".
Anthony Heath and James Kellas show the complexities involved in the "many nationalisms in contemporary British society". Although they expect "a further evolution of national identities" in England. Wales and Scotland, they point out, citing the Spanish/Catalonian example, that "Labour's establishment of a Scottish parliament may, by meeting Scottish aspirations, limit the rise of exclusive identities".
This special issue of Scottish Affairs ends, as the Conference did, with Neil MacCormick's British Academy lecture in which he emphasises the current process of change as one "of switching from inconspicuous anomaly to highly visible anomaly in Scotland's constitutional position". Yet, even if the English unwritten constitution, in the "unexhausable pragmatism of English public life", were allowed to evolve further, MacCormick, poses the question "whether Scotland should continue to be wedged into a northern corner of it in the shape of a somewhat uncomfortable anomaly". As a system of managed quasi-federalism is being replaced by a system of democratic quasi-federalism, construction of a genuinely British constitution", or the Scots reclaiming, in a confederation on the European level, "the right to determine their own constitutional structures", while desisting "from claiming an apparent unilateral right to rewrite England's constitution as a by-blow".
Both presentation and analyses of important data make this special issue of Scottish Affairs an indispensable source for anyone interested in the Scottish devolution process and, in a wider context, in constitutional change in Britain. It is an invaluable contribution to the current constitutional debate, both, in terms of stock-taking in what is a breathtaking current of events, and as a pointer towards the directions the debate might take. Yet it is also a timely reminder, shown clearly in the findings based on the Scottish Election Study, nor to overestimate constitutional debates to the neglect of "bread and butter" questions and the very concrete hope the overwhelming majority of Scots have of the role their Parliament should play in making Scotland what Iain MacWhistler has called "one of Europe's sunrise nations".
It might be more important than theorising about the constitution to address issues like local government reform and education, creating people centred policies in the Scottish parliament - on crime, housing, transport - to take an impact on everyday-life in Scotland. This could, MacWhriter argues, restore respect for politics, Devolution, he contends, offers the opportunity to create "dynamism out of diversity", if that thistle is grasped, the future is indeed promising: "In ten of 15 years, Scotland will be regarded as one of the many autonomous nations of the EU.... The fact that Scotland will not have achieved formal separation from the UK will be seen as irrelevant. Scotland will discover, as Catalonia has, that as one of the historic nations of Europe, formal separatism is an anachronism in the context of Europe Union. (The Scotsman, 24 March 1998)
(N.B. Scottish Affairs is published quarterly by the unit for the Study of Government in Scotland/The University of Edinburgh under the editorship of Lindsay Paterson. The annual subscription rate is £25 for individuals, £40 for institutions. (Further information: Lindsay Adams, Chicholm House, High School Yards, Edinburgh EH1 1LZ; Phone 0131-650 2456// Fax 0131-650 6345; http://www.ed.ac.uk/-Iaa; e-mail: Ladams@afb1.ssc.ed.ac.uk)
two volumes in Stirling's exciting enterprise of recovering a less
corrupt and more immediate text of all of James Hogg's work continue
the Edition's policy of tactful annotation and light pointing which
allows the author's direct, vigorous language and muscular sentence
structure to emerge uncluttered by heavy Victorian punctuation. Once
again, all those interested in Scottish studies will find themselves
grateful to the imaginative scholarly labours of Douglas Mack,
Gillian Hughes and their team.
In what counts as only the second true edition of the Tales of the Wars of Montrose, Gillian Hughes expertly establishes the genealogy of the text and Hogg's processes of composition and combination of the stories finally included in the first collection of 1835. Written over a span of nearly a decade, they chronicle one of the most turbulent eras of Scottish history through the escapades of a series on individually vivid figures across the social spectrum from the melodramatically evil Marquis of Huntly of "Wat o' the Yair". The present edition follows Hogg's own detailed plan for the collection and, as Hughes argues cogently in her introduction, reads in consequence as "a much more coherent and shapely work" than the original 1835 publication. The five tales she includes are presented (as Hogg intended them to be) in chronological order by setting, each one linked to a specific battle fought by Montrose, who acts as a kind of shadowy thread weaving through the structure of the stories and holding them together in thematic focus. The civil war, confusion and anarchy which are the subject of this group of tales are mirrored in the near-dizzying profusion of its narrative methods and perspectives. Disparities of mood and treatment - documentary against romance, the comic against the bitterly sardonic - generates a challenging series of juxtapositions which put the reader into perplexity. Of the five tales, only the last, 'Wat Pringle ö' the Yair', resolves itself in the traditional comic union of antagonistic parties, the others, finish in suspended moments that carry the reader forward to the next in this series of related but self-contained narratives of the effects of war on ordinary lives.
The first and longest tale, "Some Remarkable Passages in the Life of an Edinburgh Bialy. Written by himself", chronicles in the first person the affronts and humiliations suffered by the pride of Archibald Sydeserf at the hand of the aristocratic and Catholic Huntlys, his triumph over the limiting conditions of lowly degree, and his tragic involvement in the covenanting cause. Its tone veers from the comedy of the self-deluding lover attempting to convert the young mistress of the Huntly family to "true religion," to astute narrative analysis of the psychology of social climbing, to an altogether sombre account of the last days and execution of Sydesert's patron the Marquis of Argyle. This tale is followed by the "Adventure of Col. Peter Aston", a more conventional third-person romance of a gallant young hero of unknown degree Her. Here too, the vigour of Hogg's direct speech leaps from the page in full colloquial vitality to counter any tendency to sentimentality. Again, issues of class and privilege underpin a narrative of martial valour and personal worth. The brief, compelling story of Julia M, Kenzie which follows shows Hogg's narrative powers as a folklorist at their best. Less politically centred than the other tales, it makes Scotland's troubled history a backdrop to a dramatic tale of loyalty and domestic affection". A Few-remarkable Adventures of Sir Simon Brodie" takes up the narrative of Montrose, here disguised as a groom and endeavouring to escape to Scotland following the battle of Marston Moor. Again, Hogg follows his characteristic practice (which was also, with differences, that of Scott) in filtering the history of great events through the stories of minor players in the national drama, coloured by these characters' ambitions, vanities and eyes to the main change. The heroic never escapes unscathed from the sardonic, reductive humour of Hogg's interest in the minutiae of human motivation. The final tale, of Wat Pringle, is at once the broadest and the most optimistic of the collection, as ordinary life re-asserts itself in the subsiding of turbulence and faction. Hogg's writing is perhaps more at home with the vigorous characterization of Wat and Robin than anywhere else in the Tales, and the irrepressible vitality of ordinary Scots folk under the most oppressive of circumstances lends a fittingly comic and triumphant note to the close of the collection.
Altogether, this volume justifies its editor's claim that "this is one of Hogg's most important prose works, and a major contribution to the Scottish tradition of historical fiction". Unfortunately the same can hardly be said of its companion volume, Hogg's Lay Sermons, an apparently unironic series of moral reflections on a Coleridgean model. These secular "Sermons on Good Principles and Good Breading" address themselves to "Young Women'", "Young Men;" Soldiers" and "Parents" on topics such as "Marriage," "Reason and Instinct" and "Deistical Reformers", one would love to find evidence of satire, but apart from a strangely disconcerting and wayward Preface which seems to act as a sort of disclaimer of all that follows, it is hard to read these essays as other than a fairly dismal bid on Hogg's part for middle-class respectability and moral gravitas. They are a curiosity, filling in a useful corner of Hogg's complex literary profile, but not a major rediscovery. The prose lacks the exhilaration of his characteristically bewildering swervings of mood and tone, abrupt modulations from sober documentary to high farce, and exuberant neglect of narratorial decorum. Never reprinted since their initial publication in 1834, and with no extant manuscript, the first edition of Lay Sermons with obvious errata noted and corrected is the inevitable copytext, so there is little potential even for textual controversy in relation to this volume. This is a welcome addition to the Stirling-South Carolina Edition of the Collected Works of James Hogg, essential to its completeness and matching the exemplary editorial standards of the earlier volumes, but not one which is likely to initiate a new wave of critical discussion in Hogg studies.
the third of Elizabeth Grant’s diaries published under the
editorship of Patricia Pelly and Andrew Tod. The earlier two volumes,
Memoirs of a Highland Lady and The Highland Lady in
Ireland, appeared in the Canongate Classics series in 1988 and
1991 respectively. The present instalment (under the aegis of
Tuckwell Press) covers the period spent by Grant - by this stage
married to Colonel Henry Smith - in France between 1843 and 1845.
This sojourn was motivated, as the introduction makes clear, by a
combination of health and financial considerations - France was
believed to be both a cheaper and a more salubrious environment than
either Ireland or Scotland. So the family went to Pau in the
Pyrenees, a location favoured by self-exited Britons, much as certain
areas of Provence might be today, and subsequently to Avranches in
Normandy, which they preferred. Though she commented approvingly that
Pau seemed "like Edinburgh in miniature", Grant chafed
against the enforced idleness of this expatriate society life in
comparison with her self-imposedly strenuous round of duties on the
Irish estate. Throughout the French sojourn, the family remained
energetically involved with both Scottish and Irish affairs, the
introduction to this edition provides useful contextual detail about
Irish political developments in the relevant years, but is less
informative about Scottish affairs.
The editorial hand extended by Patricia Pelly and Andrew Tod is appropriately light: Grant was the most meticulous of self-presenters, and her diary entries need little in the way of rectification to prepare them for print. A useful "Dramatic Personae" orientates the reader amongst figures familiarly referred to in the diary, and the explanatory notes are helpfully clear and succinct. All of this seems entirely consonant with the kind of accessible reading edition presented here. In some areas, however, one would have welcomed a little more. Informative though it is, the introduction makes little attempt to analyse of assess Elizabeth Grant's particular qualities as a diarist. These are significant not simply the wife of an Irish landlord and a woman with a strong sense of the position and duties of landed proprietors, grant was also - quite apart from her extensive habit of diary-keeping - a professional writer who published among experiences in Chambers' Edinburgh Journal throughout the 1840s, the period partly covered by these journals.
Grant's stylistic and descriptive talents are considerable observant as Mrs Delany, she can also be witty and economically acerbic, the baby of a fellow-passenger is described as 'a good little dolly on the whole, when it had not got the stomach ache from overfeeding.' If less scholarly in her references than Mary Wortley Montagu, she nonetheless has some of the latter's feel for the character of place and for cultural comparison, and her delight in the exotic. A sharp eye for social pretension produces passages reminiscent of Jane Austen, while at times her frank xenophobia (confided perhaps only to her diary) and distaste for the discomforts of travelling produce remarks worthy of Smollet’s learned Smelfungus. "How arrange that with such luxory in furniture, such excellent cooking, attention and civility, there should lurk dirt in every corner, vermin in every bad, and an odour upon the staircase from the disgusting impurity of an apartment, the cleanliness of which is of first-rate importance in British comfort, really sufficient to crate typhus fever".
Throughout, Elizabeth Grant's alert intelligence, sharp discriminativeness and appreciation of all things orderly and well-run rule her observations. She is as rigorous with herself as she is stringent with the behaviour of others, if she can censure her sister's thoughtlessness as the product of a mind not "rightly disciplined", her record is equally able to register moments where she is "Dissatisfied with myself, because Hal [her husband] was displeased with me", and to acknowledge of herself that "few reasonable people commit errours, glaring errours - but they omit, they don't forbear, they are impatient, or they tease or they some way irritate ". It is from her own account that we surmise that Grant must at times have been a demanding companion. Not everything is subject to control, however, family tragedy (her beloved sister Mary died in 1844 after protected illness, and much of the diary is preoccupied with her slow decline and the numerous futile efforts to prolong her miserable existence) gives these journals a darker tone than the earlier volumes, with the sadness comes reflection and a new note of stoicism. Without Boswell's torturing inwardness of self-analysis, surrounding Mary's death are moving precisely in their quietly controlled articulacy catharsis, death is looked on, lamented, and accepted. References to Mary, and to Grant's continuing grief at her loss, punctuate the remainder of the diary, though gradually the incisive observations creep back to testify to the returning fascination of life. This is an important work of Victorian prose by an undervalued Scottish woman writer, its re-publication is very welcome.
Sarah Dunnigan and Andrew Nash
and Impositions is the fruit of the Fifth International Conference of
the Literature of Region and Nation held in Bratislava in 1994. Since
the first of these books arrived in 1989, the Region and Nation
volumes have become widely regarded as the standard forum or debate
on one of the most pervasive themes in literature, highly pertinent
in regard to the currently controversial place of 'Scotland' and
'Scottish literature' in post-colonial debates. The polemical
identities of 'Region and Nation' and their relationship with
creative writing is suitably extended by the present volume, although
a number of conceptual questions are thrown up by both the
introduction and the individual papers.
The introduction is an odd mixture of insightful comments and bizarre aphorisms. Beginning with an account of the rise of nationalism, the editors point out that, although the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries are commonly considered to have witnessed the birth of nations, 'there had been noble nationalist ideologies long before' (xiii). In discussion of Polish, Czech, and Slovak history, the word 'noble' assumes an apparent neutrality before we are told that 'Human nature does not change' (xiv) and, in the footnotes, that 'a consideration of the effects of alcohol are vital to any study of identity' (xx). Relevant maybe, but perhaps not vital. The introduction is more interesting when it offers information on the etymology and cultural histories of words and ideas like 'identity' and 'oppressed', though the terminologically fraught nature of the debate is also made clear by their attempts to secure fixed, unambiguous definitions for the notoriously elusive terms 'nation', 'identity' and 'regionality'. Some of the essays are tied in similar theoretical knots. The editors arrive at the conclusion that 'nationalism in its heyday had very few practical benefits for any society.' (xvii). If nothing else, this introduction is provocative.
Readers of SSN will inevitably be most interested in the chapters devoted to Scottish authors and topics (Irish, Welsh, Caribbean, Indian and Slovak literatures are also embraced), but it is here that a few question marks arise. Whereas chapters on Hardy, Lawrence, Bennett and other English authors helpfully address the question of 'region and nation' in discussion
of the specific author or text, some chapters seem rather unrelated to the overall design of the book. For instance, at the end of her learned account of 'Elements of Chivalry in Phantastes', Reiko Aiura-Vigers asserts that 'Fairy Land is also a region, albeit a region of the imagination.' (19), which reads like an attempt to justify the essay's inclusion in a volume devoted to National, Regional and Sexual Identity in Literature. Does MacDonald automatically qualify simply because he hails from a remote corner of a remote region? Are Scottish authors inherently regional enough to allow the discussion of the theme of regionality to be suspended? Or are the parameters of 'Region and Nation' within which the book, conference and association sets itself in danger of becoming dissolved? John Banville's essay on J.M. Synge eloquently crystallises the small nation cultural paradox: 'if we are a region, then where is the centre?' (75)
In some chapters, this possible tension between theoretical and practical approaches proves an enabling factor in the discussion. Carla Sassi's chapter on Grassic Gibbon and the 'nomadic myth' argues clearly and convincingly that his vision is mythical rather than political or national, but shows how this mythic base enables Gibbon in A Scots Quair to undermine the conceptual centre on a number of levels: a rejection of 'History', the authority of the written word, and of conventional narrative structures merges with the theme of resistance to the imposition of English traditions and language. In this essay, an exploration of the 'regional' or 'national' aspects of Gibbon's writing is not precluded by the more central dynamic of the argument: that those very aspects are only one part of Gibbon's panoramic myth.
Susanne Hagemann offers a typically incisive reflection on the parallel linguistic hegemonies created by gender and nation, reintroducing and persuasively defending the comparison between the marginalisation of women and Scotland (the dominance of the universalising masculine pronoun and of an imperialist, indiscriminatory use of 'English' as a synonym for British; male is to female what English is to Scots (and Gaelic, though arguably there is cultural tension between Scots and Gaelic too). Drawing on literary examples from the early c20 'Renaissance' writers (MacDiarmid, Gunn, Fionn McColla), Hagemann examines the motif of linguistic silence ('associated with women in patriarchal culture', 111) in the face of the cultural oppressor. Feminist and nationalist debates are finally aligned through their utopian efforts at linguistic reform (language in this sense is 'omnific', to use the resonant MacDiarmidian term of the essay's title). Both are examples of revolutions from the margin compelled by the desire for self-definition: 'Replacing he by they or speaking of the Caledonian Antisyzygy...help[s] to attract attention and provoke thought' (115). One might add to this beware the dangers of linguistic and cultural essentialism which tends to afflict Scottish criticism, and about which Hagemann also strikes a note of caution.
Joss West-Burnham and David Robert's essay on 'Nationhood as Otherness in Contemporary Scottish Fiction' is to be welcomed for its consideration of the often and unjustly overlooked Agnes Owens, here aligned with the critically beloved Alasdair Gray. Unfortunately, in striving for theoretical cachet (there are dutiful, brief allusions to Bhabha and Said), the writers blur their own critical definitions of nation and region, ironically so given that attention is drawn to Gray's problematising of Scottish imaginative and physical landscapes (whose Glasgow? whose culture? whose Scotland?). The 'otherness' of and in Gray and Owens's fiction is argued to lie in their 'regionality' (Glasgow a region?): the identical topographies of A Working Mother and Poor Things constitute the first tenuous relationship between both writers. The thread of connection wears ever more fragile as comparisons of the idea of woman and sexuality in each are used to demonstrate the inevitable alterity of the feminine: woman is Other, woman is Scotland. The essay is peppered with interesting, incidental observations which are never developed (for example, Gray and Owens's subversion of prevailing urban realist tendencies), and the complex (and not inevitably interlinked) concepts of 'class', 'gender', 'power', 'Scotland', are far too seamlessly linked.
J. Derrick McClure contributes a sensitive and scrupulous analysis of Alexander Gray's relatively unknown translations of German folk songs, with interesting remarks on the influence of German romanticism on Scottish writers and emphasis on the creative importance of translation to Gray's other contemporaries of the twentieth century 'renaissance'. Gary Kelly's dense, skilful essay on the historical novel in Europe (east as well as west), and its part in the ideological creation of 'civil society', offers suggestive comments on Scott's role in Romantic historiography: Scott 'masculinises' the genre by assuming, in true Enlightenment style, 'the authoritative narrative voice of "philosophical history" (25) (though one might quibble with any essentialised concepts of masculinity, and suggest the importance of Scott's female readership in the midst of these ideological interventions). The Magnum Opus edition of the Waverley novels is cited as instrumental in the construction of 'post-revolutionary civil society' (26), a publication event which sealed the creation of the 'national' literature.
Regrettably, the volume has been carelessly produced. There are numerous typographical errors, and as far as we are aware Lewis Grassic Gibbon did not write a novel called Gay Hunks, exciting though it may sound.
November, Saltire President Paul Scott attended a special conference
on the Europe of the Cultures in Austria. This is his report.
A conference in Vienna on 12th and 13th November on the place of culture in the new Europe had important implications for Scotland. It was organised by the Europe of the Cultures Foundation and by the Assembly of Regions of Europe and was attended by, members of parliaments, ministers, diplomats, academics and members of relevant organisations from many countries. Scotland was represented by Kenyon Wright as Chairman of the executive of the Constitutional Convention, Bill Adam, a Scottish resident in Brussels who is a member of the Foundation and myself as President of the Saltire Society.
I shall explain in a moment why the Saltire Society is involved, but first a word about the Foundation itself. It was established in Brussels in 1992 and this was the 13th conference which it has held in various parts of Europe. The idea behind it is that one of the great strengths of Europe is the diversity of its cultures and that they do not at present necessarily coincide with existing states. Flanders is an example and so is Scotland. Indeed it is encouraging to find that objectives for which many of us have been arguing for years are so widely shared throughout Europe. The Minister-President of Flanders, Mr Luc Van den Brande, shares these views and his Government have supposed the Foundation. This is probably one of the reasons why it has established itself very quickly as a serious play in European affairs and why it evidently has the ability to attract substantial sponsorship.
The Parliament and Government if Flanders have more power than we shall have in Scotland after devolution, but the status of the two countries, is broadly similar. Flanders, for instance, is responsible for cultural matters but not for international affairs. Van den Brande has used the opportunity which culture presents to escape from international isolation by concluding agreements on cultural co-operation with Poland, the Baltic States, the Catalans and the Basques and even with Brazil and South Africa. Such agreements tend to erode the distinction between sovereign states and stateless nations.
Since Flanders and Scotland have a very close association historically, Scotland was one of the first countries to which Van den Brande turned to propose an agreement of this kind. Michael Forsyth was Secretary of State for Scotland at the time and, was to be expected, he refused to listen to any such idea. The Foundation then turned to the Saltire Society as a national body in Scotland which for the time being at least, could ensure that Scotland was not entirely excluded.
The Saltire Society is, of course, like the Foundation, an entirely unofficial body. It is part of civil society, a conception developed by the thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment. As it happens, this is another Scottish idea which is now widely shared in Europe. Many of the speakers at the conference referred to it. There were two main themes: that whatever was harmonised in Europe, the diversity of cultures should be upheld; and the belief that politics are too important to be left to the politicians and that civil society has a vital contribution to make.
Kenyon Wright explained the ways it is proposed that the Scottish Parliament should be open and responsive to the views of the public. I said that at present opinion seemed fairly evenly divided between devolution and independence, although the polls suggested that most people expected independence, although the polls suggested that most people expected independence within about ten years. In either event, we should want to establish close links with the rest of Europe. We should remain part of the European Union without having to seek re-admission. From the response of the conference, it appears that Scotland can count on a friendly reception in Europe. Mr Van den Brande, who was one of the speakers in Vienna, was in Edinburgh on 20th November when he spoke at a seminar of the Europa Institute and met Government ministers and other political parties. He told us he would like to make an agreement with Scotland on culture, trade and other matters, but he realised that this will have to await the formation of a Scottish Government after the election next May. In the meantime, Margaret Hilton, the Convenor of the Saltire International Committee, is calling a meeting of representatives of other interested organisations with a view to establishing a boy which could affiliate to the Foundation in Brussels
Report they refuse to publish
Members of the Society will be aware of the debate in the press about the fate of a report commissioned a couple of years ago by the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum from a group they themselves established called the Review of Scottish Culture Group. Having gathered evidence from over 400 individuals and organisations - including the Society - the group repaired a detailed report analysing the current situation and making recommendations for the future. This report which ran to 42 pages makes a very powerful case for change in the present situation with adequate resources and guidance being made available to ensure that Scottish children at every stage of their education are given the foundation in Scottish culture which is their entitlement and essential if Scottish society is the counteract the serious omissions of the past.
In June 1998 it was revealed that the SCCC had decided to delay publication and the Society was among many protestors who urged immediate and complete publication. In December it became clear that a much watered down version running to just five pages would now be published in January. The Council of the Society has expressed its grave concern at these developments to both the Government and the press and will continue to campaign with others for this most important document to be published in the original form. Members who are anxious to read the original report in full can do so on the Internet at http://www.snp.org.uk under the library section. What follows here is a summary of the most important findings.
The report begins by defining the curriculum as encompassing: "all aspects of the learning experience of young people in schools" and culture as "the transmitted, ever-changing, but distinctive customs, achievements, products, outlooks, ideas, ways of life etc. Of a society or group."
There follows an analysis of the responses is the questionnaire which show that 97% of the 418 respondents recognised the existence of a distinct Scottish culture and that 83% "agreed totally" that students should be given a curriculum with a Scottish emphasis, while accepting that it should encompass UK, European and wider world perspectives and fully value the diversity of both Scottish indigenous and multiethnic culture. Over three quarters of those questioned though that the Scottish emphasis should be "fairly well pronounced".
The respondents had been asked to estimate the importance of the Scottish content of a variety of school subjects. The following that shows the percentage who indicated that it was either "very important" - this was the top rating out of six possibles - or "fairly important"; History 97%, English (including Scots) 94%, Geography 92%, Music 90%, Environmental Education 89%, Modern Studies 83%, Drama 82%, Visual Art 80%, Dance 80%, Personal and Social Education 70%.
Using evidence from the questionnaire, their own special knowledge and individual interviews they conducted, the Review Group go on to identity the distinctive features of Scottish culture which they believe should be reflected in the curriculum. These are ideas; achievements; ways of life, out look and products, and customs. They propose that the "distinctive nature of the Scottish experience should be at the centre of the Scottish curriculum" and assert that "Scottish culture provides a robust platform from which to explore and accommodate the larger world, its messages and instructions." They recognise, of course, that culture is always in a state of change but believe that "this very process of change requires a well grounded sense of place and time and a distinctive culture to guard against the dangers of dissociation and dislocation."
The Report looks at the principal subject areas and how they could and should incorporate this overall Scottish dimension. They are particularly strong in their support for Scots as well as Gaelic and English saying that "well-resourced attention to Scotland's three main languages and their literatures would be of immeasurable benefit to students of all ages."
Some of the man benefits to flow from a Scottish curriculum would, the Report argues, engender a sense of stewardship- of the physical, social and cultural environment, promote innovation, create critical intelligence, foster a sense of heritage and promote sensibility by which the Group means emotional, spiritual and aesthetic feelings and a sense of the sacred. These five "cultural outcomes" should be key educational goals in a curriculum designed to "stimulate creative thought about what it means to be associated with a rich and varied national culture, what it contains and how it should be valued, understood and managed". The Group "strongly believes that the national education system should, as a matter of policy, cherish and promote Scottish culture and identity" and propose a statement of entitlement which says that young people should be entitled to a curriculum which recognises the value of Scottish culture and helps to promote:
A knowledge of Scotland and the histories of its peoples; feelings of belonging and of shared experience; Scotland's languages, their texts and an understanding of the parts they play in the creation of personal, social and cultural identity; the Scottish arts and their expression; innovation, creativity, enterprise, initiative, and a Scottish community alert to their claims; senses of emotion, the spiritual and the aesthetic, the faiths and beliefs found in Scotland, their practices and the conditions which have shaped them; an appreciation of the Scottish natural and built environment and of the concept of Scottish culture and the debates surrounding it; a knowledge of Scotland as a nation with distinct cultural characteristics established within UK; European and world perspectives.
Turning to conclusions and recommendations the Review Group reject any suggestion that a Scottish dimension "should be left to emerge in the curriculum by some kind of gradual process of permeation since the track record of this approach to planning has not been good. The Group firmly believes that at all stages and in all main areas the possibilities for Scottish content and context should be specified clearly in national programmes and syllabuses, and where appropriate, in their attainment targets". This, they say, will require sustained encouragement and support, both nationally and locally and the changes they suggest should be made manageable for teachers, schools and other organisations over an appropriate time-scale. The Group are anxious to combat factors which they think have inhibited such innovation in the past, namely lack of resources, they "patchy and spasmodic" staff development in these areas and, what they choose to call, "cultural apathy" which they believe has resulted from "that slow erosion of any sense of Scottish cultural identity" which must now be addresses.
The Review Group concludes by inviting the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum (SCCC) in endorse their report as the basis for discussion and consultation across a wide range of interests. They also suggest that in the short term guidance should be issued to encourage teachers to exploit the opportunities which already exist in current pre-school and 5-14 guidelines. They recommend, too, that the SCCC should begin working in partnership with others to identify, gather, adapt and, if necessary, commission useful learning resources and to disseminate examples of effective practice and produce material for stuff development.
Écosse autonome? Towards Scottish Autonomy? Ed. Keith Dixon. Numéro 5, Etudes Écossaises. Université Stendhal, Grenoble, 1998.
Avec ce numéro d’Etudes écossaises notre revue s’aventure sure le terrain de la civilisation contemporaine, de l’analyse politique et sociologique.Il nous a semblé utile de demander á un certain nombre de spécialistes de la société écossaise moderne - politologues, sociologues, critiques littéraires - d'analyser les perspectives ouvertes par le vote très largement majoritaire des électeurs écossais au mois de september 1997 non seulement en faveur d’une forte autonomie politique mais aussi pour doter le nouveau gouvernement écossais d’une certaine marge de manoeuvre en matière fiscale et donc en matière d’élaboration d’une politique économique et sociale. (Avant-propos)
Articles by Cairns Craig (Scotland’s "Failure of Nerve"), David McCrone (The Sociology of Scotland in Transition), Gilles Leyier (L'Écosse et la dévolution: d’un référendum à l’autre), Lindsay Paterson (Scottish civil society and the Scottish parliament), Esther Breitenbach (Women in Scotland and constitutional change), John Fairley (Local Government in Scotland), Jean-Pierre Simard (Autour de l’autonomie, la part du théàtre écossais), Ian Brown (A new spirit abroad in the North: MacDiarmid and cultural identity in contemporary Scottish theatre), Tom Nairn ("De facto independence"), Tom Normand (J.D. Fergusson and the culture of nationalism in Scotland), Philippe Laplace (De l'autre côté de la vitre. Le discours nationaliste de Neil Gunn dans The poaching at Griana); Jean Berton (<<Poèmes à Eimhir>>. Cherchez la femme!), Robin Spittal (Transpotting - A new Scottish icon)
Recently published from the Scottish Studies Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz in Germersheim:
H. Gustav Klaus. Factory Girl. Ellen Johnston and Working-Class Poetry in Victorian Scotland.
It is at last being recognized that, contrary to common understanding, there were working-class women poets in the nineteenth century. Yet this growing awareness is rarely accompanied by a sustained engagement with their poetry. Painstaking research into the life and work of an author remains constricted to the Brownings and Rossettis of both sexes. The present study breaks with this academic habit. It is the first critical biography of the Glaswegian writer who signed her poems as 'The Factory Girl'. It is an essay in recovery and exploration, situating Ellen Johnston at the intersection of gender, class and nation. It documents her range of subjects, styles and voices. The book is concluded by a selection of Ellen Johnston's verse.
Peter J. Diamond. Common Sense and Improvement. Thomas Reid as Social Theorist.
This book provides a comprehensive account of Thomas Reid's social thought. Although he is increasingly seen as a central figure in the Scottish Enlightenment, there is still a tendency among historians to view Reid principally as David Hume's chief critic. By relating Reid's writings to their contemporary social and intellectual contexts, Peter Diamond seeks to qualify this traditional image. He argues that in fact Reid understood himself to be engaged to the Humean project of tendering the study of man systematic, and improvable, by ascertaining the laws of human nature. Diamond also demonstrates that Reid's well-known appeal to the principles of common sense was not just a metaphysical response in Humean skepticism, it was also a rhetorical attempt to teach men to live virtuously in an emerging commercial society.
Cornelia Jumpertz-Schwab. The Development of the Scots Lexicon and Syntax in the 16th Century under the Influence of Translations from Latin.
Linguistically, the importance of Latin decreased during the 15th and 16th centuries for the benefit of an increase in the importance of the vernaculars. In Scotland, as all over Europe, it was the intention of scholars to make the works of the classical authors accessible to an audience with insufficient knowledge of Latin. Moreover, it was the translators' aim to show that the Scots vernacular was an adequate means to render classical texts and to transform. Scots into a full literary language. This book demonstrates how and to what extent the Scots lexicon and its syntax were influenced by translations from Latin in the 16th century.
Sebastian Bott. 'Friends and lovers of virtue'. Tugendethische Handlungsorientierungen im Kontext der Schottischen Aufklärung 1750-1800.
This study in the Scottish Enlightenment centres on the Edinburgh Moderates and their lifelong debate about the workings of civil society. It combines source research with sociological analysis, as political science and the history of ideas. Different patterns of behaviour and conduct are examined as to their effect on socio-ethical attitudes.
Craig W. McLuckie. Researching McIlvanney. A Critical and Bibliographic Introduction.
Researching McIlvanney's a distinguished critical overview of William McIlvanney's oeuvre. Professor McLuckie establishes the centrality of McIlvanney's Remedy is None, A Gift from Nessus, and Docherty to his subsequent development as a writer and social conscience. The engagement with literary and cultural politics in Scottish writing is followed by an exhaustive annotated bibliography of primary and secondary material. This second part to Researching McIlvanney defines the field and opens up new scholarly possibilities.
Literature and Literati. The Literary Correspondence and Notebooks of Henry Mackenzie. Vol. II Notebooks 1763-1824. Ed. Horst W. Drescher.
John Gibson Lockhart. The History of Matthew Wald. Ed. With an Introduction and Notes by Isabelle Bour.
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Bort, University of Edinburgh
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Susan Manning, University of Cambridge
Sarah Dunnigan, University of Glasgow
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addition to the printed version, there is an electronic version of
SSN on the World Wide Web.
Issues (from no.22) up to no. 27 are under http://www.fb06.uni-mainz.de/inst/ssc/ssn22w.html etc.
Later issues are available under "29-30" etc.
For e-mail correspondence, please use firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: 17 June 2000
HTML version developed, edited, and updated by Lothar Görke
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