Courses in Scottish Studies
English 482W - Literature and Cultural Memory
Prerequisites: one 300 division English course. Reserved for English honors, major, joint major and minor students.
The field of Cultural Memory Studies has emerged over the last several decades as an interdisciplinary means of studying the complex intersections between individual and collective understandings of the past. In this class we will explore the ways in which literary texts in particular serve to form and transform cultural memory. Literary texts, as Ann Rigney suggests, “play a variety of roles in the formation of cultural memory,” roles that are “linked to their status as public discourse, to their fictional and poetical qualities, and to their longevity.” The course will begin by offering students a theoretical background to Cultural Memory Studies through the critical reading of seminal texts in the field. We will then situate the theory by considering two case studies of authors whose literary texts have been represented and reinterpreted from the time of their first publication to the present: Robert Burns’s poems and songs and Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. Students will also be guided on developing their own projects involving literature and cultural memory. The class will involve both conventional classroom lecture and discussion as well hand-on work and field trips.
English 206 - Nineteenth Century Literatures in English
Prerequisites: two 100 division English courses
The late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century witnessed remarkable changes in Britain. The American and French Revolutions had raised the possibility of genuinely radical political change. With the emergence of industrialization, vast numbers of Britons left the countryside to take up residence in cities. Scientists investigated the forces at play in the natural world like electricity and magnetism. The ideological foundations of the British Empire were consolidating as the exploration of the New World continued, but within Britain itself, the institution of slavery was coming under fire. These many changes were reflected and challenged in the literature of the era even as the role of the author in society was also altering. This course will provide students with a sampling of the writing of this exciting period as we consider how individual authors—male and female—conceived of and coped with the changing world around them. In addition to using selections from the Norton Anthology, we will also read the novel Frankenstein.
English 357 - Studies in Canadian Literature since 1920
Prerequisites: two 100 division English courses and two 200 division English courses.
The awarding of the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize to Linden MacIntyre for his novel The Bishop’s Man, by a jury which included Alistair MacLeod (“the greatest living Canadian writer”, according to The Globe and Mail), illustrates the continuing pull that Cape Breton Island has on the Canadian literary imagination. This course will offer students an opportunity to explore in depth the literature which has helped to shape and perpetuate the image of a residual Highland Scottish immigrant culture in Cape Breton. We will define the Gaelixploitation genre in terms of its origins, themes, and tropes; we will get a fix on its relationships with wider bodies of regional and diasporic writing; we will try to understand how this locally rooted genre inflects the regionally non-specific sense of Scottish-Canadian identity; and we will examine recent efforts to subvert the genre from within.
Check out the Centre's Field School!
Dr. Stephen Duguid offered a Graduate Liberal Studies course which travelled to Scotland in May-June, 2010. It focused on Scottish history and culture from the Lord of the Isles era to the early nineteenth-century Romantic period. A schedule follows. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.