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EL30QA: SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL: SCOTTISH SHORT STORIES (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04


Course Overview

While the short story is often said to have developed in America, nineteenth-century Scottish writing is in fact instrumental in the emergence of the form. Often drawing on oral and folk traditions Scottish writers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries employ the supernatural, or our fear of it, to explore subjects such as guilt, fear, remorse and the extent to which we can control our own destinies. This course will explore the ways in which the short story in Scotland develops from the early nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth. It will include writers such as Walter Scott, James Hogg, John Galt, Margaret Oliphant, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Findlater and Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Professor Alison Lumsden

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

  • English (EL) (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

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

While the short story is often said to have developed in America, nineteenth-century Scottish writing is in fact instrumental in the emergence of the form. Often drawing on oral and folk traditions Scottish writers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries employ the supernatural, or our fear of it, to explore subjects such as guilt, fear, remorse and the extent to which we can control our own destinies. This course will explore the ways in which the short story in Scotland develops from the early nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth. It will include writers such as Walter Scott, James Hogg, John Galt, Margaret Oliphanz, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Findlater and Lewis Grassic Gibbon. This course will examine a century of Scottish short stories, their relationship to the Gothic and the supernatural and the themes they raise through this approach.


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

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 8 - 16, 18

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

1 x 3000 word essay (70%) 
1 x project/presentation (20%) 
Contribution to discussion threads (10%) 

Alternative Resit Arrangements for students taking course in Academic Year 2020/21

1 x Resit Essay (3,500 words)

Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment will be provided via seminar discussion and during a close reading workshop.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualEvaluateStudents will be able to analyse a range of thematic impulses at play within selected short stories
ReflectionEvaluateStudents will be able to reflect upon their own knowledge and how it develops throughout the course
ConceptualEvaluateStudents will be able to offer a critique of the effectiveness of narrative strategies in a range of stories
ConceptualCreateStudents will be able to produce coherent arguments and communicate these both in written form and verbally.
ConceptualUnderstandStudents will be able to understand a range of strategies adopted by writers in the period studied
ConceptualCreateStudents will be able to construct coherent and cogent arguments to support their hypotheses concerning a selection of short stories

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