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Introduction to Scottish Literature

Class at Faculty of Arts |



This course is designed as a primer in the key texts and movements in Scottish Literature. Covering major authors from the 16 to 21st centuries, it provides students with a basic feel for the texture, themes and distinctiveness of literature in Latin, English, Scots and Gaelic in Scotland. Students are exposed to a variety of Scottish texts, ancient and modern spanning 500 years of the nation's literature. Reading is compulsory and students will expect to cover approximately one of the listed texts (selected with brevity in mind) per week.


Classes are organised around discussion/micro-lectures of the assigned texts and assessment is on the basis of attendance (max 3 absences) participation (presentations) and submission of two position papers(1000 words each). MA students must submit a longer paper(details on application).


Henryson-Testament of Cresseid/Dunbar- The Tretis of the Twa Mariit Wemen and the Wedo

George Buchanan-Elegy for John Calvin/Arthur Johnston- Edinburgh/Glasgow

Robert Burns - Tam O'Shanter/To a mouse/Ae fond kiss +various verse epistles

Sir Walter Scott-Waverley

James Hogg-The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

T.S.Eliot- Was There a Scottish Literature?(The Athenaeum,1919)

Hugh MacDiarmid- A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle/On a Raised Beach/The Watergaw

Sorley MacLean-Spring Tide/Neap Tide

Liz Lochhead- Mary Queen of Scots got her Head Chopped off

James Kelman- How late it was, how late

Irvine Welsh- Filth

Janice Galloway- The Trick is to Keep Breathing

Ian Banks- The Wasp Factory

* Texts are supplemented with ancillary readings where appropriate. The core texts listed as the basis of class discussions and must be read.