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Imagining Scotland

ENGL 393.601
instructor(s):
W 4:30-7:10

What does it mean to write from a provincial place, a conquered place, a marginal rather than a central cultural locus? "Imagining Scotland" looks at a variety of writers, and at some historical and cultural sources, as well, asking this question with specific reference both to Scotland and ways in which English-language writers from the far north of the British isles have depicted themselves over time. We will read writers in many genres chosen from among Robert Henryson, James Thomson, James Beattie, Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, John Galt, Robert Louis Stevenson, J. M. Barrie, John Buchan, Edwin Muir, Wilma Muir, Christian Miller, David Daiches, Nan Shepherd, Irvine Welsh, Paul Johnston, and Ian Rankin. (Emphasis will fall on more recent writers rather than older ones.) Students will be expected to read a brief history of Scotland, Christopher Harvie's *Scotland and Nationalism*, as well as some theoretical essays on literature and geographical/cultural marginalization, alongside the primary texts for this class. Two short papers and a final, longer essay will be required; the class will have no final exam.