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EL40QT: HISTORICAL NATION: WRITING SCOTLAND'S PAST (2014-2015)

Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27


Course Overview

This course will consider the ways in which Walter Scott and other Scottish writers record key moments in Scotland's past. Concentrating on pivotal events in Scotland's history it  will explore how Scott and those who have developed the form of the historical novel approach these events. The course will end by by examining how the legacy of Scott's fiction remains in the ways in which we engage with Scotland's history today. Writers to be discussed will include Walter Scott, James Hogg, John Galt, Robert Louis Stevenson and a selection of modern Scottish writers

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Professor Alison Lumsden

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

None.

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Alluding to Scotland's reputation for writing history the philosopher David Hume claimed that it was the 'historical nation'. In the nineteenth century this legacy was taken up by Walter Scott and those who followed him as they too explored Scotland's relationship to the past and the ways in which this could be mediated via fiction. This course will consider the ways in which he and other Scottish writers imaginatively record and commemorate key moments in Scotland's past. Concentrating on pivotal events in Scotland's history such as the Covenanting Wars, the Jacobite Risings and the aftermath of Culloden, the course will explore how Scott and those who have adapted and developed the form of the historical novel approach these events. Drawing on theories of historical fiction, commemoration and memory, the course will examine the relationships between history and story and the ways in which fiction can engage with and enhance our understanding of the historical process. The course will end by considering the enduring role of the historical novel in modern Scottish writing and by examining how the legacy of Scott's fiction remains evident in the ways in which we engage with Scotland's history and identity  today. Writers to be discussed will include Walter Scott, James Hogg, John Galt, Robert Louis Stevenson and a selection of modern Scottish writers.

Reading List for 2015-16

Walter Scott, The Tale of Old Mortality (Oxford World’s Classics, 2009)

James Hogg, The Brownie of Bodsbeck

Several paperback editions are available on-line and from the library and any complete edition will do. If you have trouble sourcing this text please contact the course co-ordinator.

John Galt, Ringan Gilhaize (Canongate Books, 1995)

Several paperback editions are available on-line and from the library and any complete edition will do. If you have trouble sourcing this text please contact the course co-ordinator.

Walter Scott, Waverley (Penguin Classics: London, 2011)

Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped ( Penguin Classics: London, 2007)

Robert Louis Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae (Penguin Classics: London, 1996).

Many editions of Stevenson are available and you will find these novels both in the library and second hand. If you buy editions other than these make sure that you do not have abridged versions designed for children.

You will also be asked to participate in a group project on one of the following novels. Your groups will be assigned in week 1 so you may wish to wait until then to purchase this text.

James Robertson, The Fanatic  (FourthEstate, 2001)

John Buchan, Witchwood (Canongate, 2010 or any other edition available)

Iain Crichton Smith, Consider the Lilies (Orion Publishing, 2001)

 

Further Information & Notes

This course will count as 30 credits of Scottish literature for those students on the MA in English with Scottish literature.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers


Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 x 3000 word essay 40 % 1 x 3000 word essay 40% 1 x group presentation 10% 1 x Seminar Assessment Mark 10% Resit: For honours students only: candidates achieving CAS mark of 6 - 8 may be awarded compensatory level 1 credit. Candidates achieving a CAS mark of less than 6 will be required to submit a new essay.

Formative Assessment

Oral feedback will be given throughout seminar discussion. Written and oral feedback will be given on the first essay in good time to be of benefit before the second essay is submitted

Feedback

Feedback will be given in both written and oral form and using the standard programme feedback sheet.

Course Learning Outcomes

None.

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