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Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture

From April 7-9, 2009, the Centre for Scottish Studies hosted the first ever conference and workshop investigating Robert Burns’s impact on and representation in the Americas.  Built around an academic conference, “Robert Burns in a Transatlantic Context” also featured a public talk by Burns’s biographer, Robert Crawford; a concert by Kirsteen McCue and David Hamilton; a Community Research forum; and a public talk by Michael Russell, who was then MSP in charge of Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution.  For more details, click here.

The conference/workshop also led to the publication of the following book:

Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture

Published February 2012. Edited by Sharon Alker, Whitman College, USA, Leith Davis, Simon Fraser University, Canada, and Holly Faith Nelson, Trinity Western University, Canada. Series: Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies. To purchase the book, click here.

This new book re-orients critical understanding of Robert Burns by examining his reception and representation in the Americas. While recent scholarship has usefully positioned Burns within the context of British Romanticism as a spokesperson of Scottish national identity, Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture considers Burns's impact in the United States, Canada, and South America, where he has served variously as a site of cultural memory and of creative negotiation. Ambitious in its scope, the volume is divided into five sections that explore: transatlantic concerns in Burns's own work, Burns's early publication in North America, Burns's reception in the Americas, Burns's creation as a site of cultural memory, and extra-literary remediations of Burns, including contemporary digital representations. By tracing the transatlantic modulations of the poet and songwriter and his works, Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture sheds new light on the circuits connecting Scotland and Britain with the evolving cultures of the Americas from the late eighteenth century to the present.