Reading Scotland

Join us at our Virtual Scotland Library!

Scotland Hub’s ‘Reading Scotland’ is a virtual community bringing together Germans and Scots and all who have an interest in Scottish life and literature.

Reading Scotland

Summer Term 2022

Tuesday, 05 Jul 2022: Reading Scotland with Ron Walker
"With Mountains in Mind"

W.H. Murray was an outstanding Scottish mountaineer, writer and environmentalist  The difficult circumstances of his three years of wartime incarceration in POW camps in Italy, Germany and Czechoslovakia left him emaciated and extremely weak, yet also contributed substantially to the highly unusual writing of his classic book Mountaineering in Scotland. This and other classics by Murray, principally Undiscovered Scotland, and his autobiography The Evidence of Things Not Seen will be discussed, with a focus on Murray’s contemplative, poetic observations on mountains, the natural world and self, inviting comparison with Nan Shepherd.From the early 1960s on Murray became heavily involved in conservation issues in Scotland, dedicating himself to preserving the beauty of his beloved Highlands from the damaging influences and pressures of the modern age.
Join us on Tuesday at 6 p.m. (German time) via MS Teams
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Ron Walker was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1955. A graduate of the universities of Stirling and Edinburgh, he recently retired from teaching at the Germersheim campus (Translation Studies, Linguistics and Cultural Studies) of the University of Mainz in Germany where he taught for over 30 years.  His teaching included lectures on British history and culture and seminars on English and Scottish literature.
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Tuesday, 21 June 2022: Reading Scotland with Ian Campbell
"Nothing endures" - Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song

“Nothing endures” is one of the themes which runs through Sunset Song, indeed the whole trilogy of A Scots Quair (1932-34) in which Lewis Grassic Gibbon imaginatively recaptures the Scotland of his youth, the country he left to make his career elsewhere while his imagination worked ceaselessly to transform his memories into great fiction.  By the time he finished his trilogy the Scotland of his youth had vanished, overtaken by world war, by social and economic change, and Sunset Song eloquently manages both to recapture that lost country, and write movingly about its disappearance.  One theme to be considered is how the writer manages to avoid mere nostalgia for his native country, however beautifully recalled, but to focus on its present day development rather than taking refuge in memory of its past.
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Ian Campbell was born in Lausanne, Switzerland where his father was minister of the Scots Kirk; he attended school there, later in Scotland moving on to University in Aberdeen (MA) and Edinburgh (PhD).  He joined the department of English Literature in 1967, and after retirement in 2009 as Professor of Scottish and  Victorian Literature became an emeritus of that title and teaching fellow.  He continues to teach in Edinburgh, and has had visiting appointments in Canada and the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and most recently China.  He holds an honorary doctorate from MUW in Mississippi.

His research concentrates on Scottish literature since the time of Burns, and more widely on Victorian literature.  His main project has been as one of the editors of the Duke-Edinburgh edition of The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle (Durham, NC, 1970 -- ).  Volume 49 is in press, and the series should be complete in 2022.  Volumes published to date can be consulted via the Carlyle Letters Online.  His work on Scottish literature has, among other things, brought him into frequent contact with Professor Sigi Rieuwerts and he has much enjoyed his visits to Mainz and its environs.

Video recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 07 June 2022: Reading Scotland with Sarah Wegener
Gane was the flock o’ the Elfin folkFairy Maidens and Scottish Folklore in the Poetry of Rosamund Marriott Watson

Sarah Wegener explores the legend of the fairy maiden and the depiction of gender and body politics in the works of the Victorian poet Rosamund Marriott WatsonWatson’s work, especially her second volume The Bird-Bride (1889), is crowded by fairies and their encounters with hunters, shepherds and farmers. In Watson’s verse, however, fairies readily evade capture as they fly off, vanish or simply cross the domestic threshold unfettered. Watson’s idiosyncratic use of Scots language in many of her ballads helps her to position her mythological revisions within an intertextual framework of oral tradition and legend. Adding new layers onto older tales, she creates a textual palimpsest that allows her to renegotiate boundaries of the fantastic, of gender and of poetic art. “The ballads,” Watson claims, “have passed beyond the stage of impulsive improvisation(Ballads xiv). Watson’s recourse to Scottish folkloristic ballads can hence be seen as a way of mythologising her views on gender and body politics by integrating them into a larger literary and cultural history.

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Sarah Wegener is currently a research assistant at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. She studied English and French in Mainz and is now working on a PhD thesis on the representation of maternity, reproduction and birth in women-authored poetry from the Victorian period. Other than this, her current research interests include the agential role of poetic forms (New Formalism), literary representations of bodies and materiality, science and literature, as well as the philosophy of the self and the senses.

 

Video recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 24 May 2022: Reading Scotland with Kelly Avon
The Highland Bothy in British Literature

Kelly J. Avon will present on "The Highland Bothy in British Literature”. This begins with a brief explanation of what a bothy is, its historical and cultural background, as well as its current social and practical uses. The main focus of the presentation is on literary texts which, because they include bothies, may form a literary subcategory referred to as bothy literature. Bothy literature texts demonstrate a sense of place in the Scottish Highlands and share the recurring theme of preservation. This includes preservation of the self, subculture hobbies, local culture, and — that which is most universally relevant — the environment. The physical presence of bothies in the natural environment and the means through which people must reach them, either by foot or by bike, inspire questions about the topics of slow travel and environmental preservation within literature.

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Kelly J. Avon is originally from California and received her Bachelor degree in Comparative Literature and French from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her Master degree in European Literatures and Cultures at the Albert-Ludwig-Universität, Freiburg. Freiburg, Germany has been her place of residence and work since autumn 2014. She currently works with the Sustainable Tourism department at the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg in Lörrach, specializing in research on slow travel and sustainability in contemporary literature. Her first trip to Scotland was in June 2019 and helped to inspire the topic of both her Master thesis and her current research project. 

Video recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 10 May 2022: Reading Scotland with Matthias Berlandi
Birthplace of Valour

Matthias Berlandi is going to present his prize-winning Dissertation: Birthplace of Valour. Violence and Conflict Resolution in later medieval Scotland”. “Birth-Place of Valour” is focussed on four central questions. It aims to explore how land-distribution and property transfer correlated with political interests, and its contribution to the self-organization of the landed nobility. It wants to examined whether or not by this self-organization some kind of political order was established, and whether or not transfer of property was more important to the protagonists than personal loyalty, expressed by the bonds of manrent.
The regional scope offers the possibility to find evidence for the increasing centralisation under the Stewart-Kings James I, II, and III. Aside from that it will be asked, in how far the lower nobility and the church were instrumentalised and functionalised by the king – at times directly aimed against magnates – in order to assert royal authority in the different regions of Scotland. Next to the higher nobility, lairds and clerics were important agents in the examined regions. They provided officials for the administration and offered military and economic potential enabling the high nobility to establish political control of regions. The medieval nobilities’ authority was based on disposition of land and its income. This holds true for late medieval Scotland. It is striking that neither practices of allocation and distribution of land nor territorial policies of the late medieval high nobility, lairds or ecclesiastical prelates have been studied.
Newly discovered and unpublished sources from the archives in Aberdeen, Perth, St Andrews, Edinburgh and Hawick will be examined supplemented by the published tradition. Especially the charters of the lower nobility are ascertained in the archives, but transcription, analysis and edition of the material still remains. Since lands and their respective transfers are central to the project, the focus will be on charter sources but other material such as chronicles or administrative writs are included in the study.

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Matthias Berlandi studied history and political studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University. His PhD-Project „Birthplace of Valour. Landvergabe und Gewaltbewältigung im schottischen Spätmittelalter“ was finished in 2021 and funded by the German Research Council within the framwork of a larger project „Man-Rent or Land-Rent. Zur Bedeutung von Wirkung und Landvergabe in der Herrschaftspraxis von Königen sowie geistlichen und weltlichen Adeligen in Nordost Schottland im Spätmittelalter.“

Focus points of his work are neglected topics in Scottish medieval studies such as social and economic history together with charter diplomatics and palaeography. The findings are drawn from a corpus of over 600 neglected and/or new found Scottish medieval charters. He was employed at the federal-German project „Die Deutschen Inschriften des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit“ at the academy of science in saxonia in 2017/2018. Currently, he is employed at the "Impact of the English grain trade (1314-1815) in Northern Germany and the Baltic region", which is a cooperative project of Utrecht and Sheffield University.

Video recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 26 April 2022: Reading Scotland with members of Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz and the University of Glasgow
A Fearful Hope - The Challenge of Writing About Natural Catastrophes

Reading Scotland kicks off the new term with a conversation of four Scottish and German writers who took part in the Scotland HUB’s 2021 GO initiative “A Fearful Hope: Imagining a Blueprint for a Sustainable Future”. Led by Leonie Jungen, Lea Dick, Shay Fallon, Theresa Krebs, and Aysha Sohail faced the challenge of combining natural sciences with creative writing in poetry and prose centring on the Tambora eruption of 1815 and the current climate crisis. Just returned back from the exhibitions in Glasgow and Edinburgh, they will present their works for the first time and discuss their experiences with writing activism and ecocriticism.
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Lea Dick is currently studying Human Geography: Globalisation, Media and Culture in the Master of Arts programme at JGU Mainz. Her Bachelor thesis incited personal interest in futuristic and future-cautious writing with focus on human-environment relations, titled “A Comparison of H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine and William Morris’s News from Nowhere: Evolution, Socialism and Gender in Utopian and Dystopian 19th-Century Literature”. In her creative writing, Lea aims to channel her interest in human-environment relations and how climate change affects society in a more creative way and engage with a more personal approach.

Shay Fallon is a student from the University of Glasgow, currently studying Scots Law and Politics. He was a participant in the GO Project: A Fearful Hope and wrote a poem for it.

Theresa Krebs is a German student of film studies and audio-visual publication at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. Since she was a child storytelling has played a huge part in her life. Either she was reading and listening to books or started her own attempts at writing stories. When she was 14 years old, she wrote a crime novel together with her best friend – a novel that was handwritten and contained all in all 99 pages. Today she really enjoys the creative process in film, tv and journalism that comes with her studies. During the GO-Project she was able to not only write creatively, but also to put the written text into a different medium and explore her poem on an audio-visual level.

Aysha Sohail is a second-year student at the University of Glasgow, studying International Relations. She has enjoyed creative writing as a hobby since childhood, but has not had much practice since leaving school, as her university studies took over. She joined this team on the GO Project because she wanted an opportunity to write again, and on a subject, she is very passionate about – the environment.

Video recording on YouTube

 

Opening of the JGU Scotland Library

Schottlands Wissenschaftsminister Jamie Hepburn eröffnet Schottland-Bibliothek an der JGU

Die Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (JGU) steht seit vielen Jahren in engem Austausch mit Partnerinstitutionen in Schottland – insbesondere in den Bereichen Bildung, Kultur und Spracherwerb, zunehmend auch in Wissenschaft und Forschung. Dreh- und Angelpunkt ist seit jeher der Scotland Hub an der JGU, der bereits 1981 als Schottlandschwerpunkt etabliert wurde. Heute unterhält die JGU offizielle Partnerschaften mit sieben schottischen Universitäten, in der Forschung erstrecken sich die Beziehungen bislang insbesondere auf die Geisteswissenschaften, die Rechtswissenschaft und die Physik. Seit rund zwei Jahren verfügt die JGU über eine eigene Schottlandbeauftragte.

Ein weiterer Meilenstein ist nun die feierliche Eröffnung der neuen Schottland-Bibliothek im Philosophicum auf dem Gutenberg-Campus im Beisein von Jamie Hepburn, Schottlands Minister für Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung, Jugend- und Berufsbildung. Die neue Bibliothek ist für die Weiterentwicklung des Schottlandschwerpunkts an der JGU von großer Bedeutung, denn viele der dort eingestellten Werke sind nur schwer in Deutschland zugänglich, weil sie zum einen in kleinen schottischen Verlagen herausgekommen sind, zum anderen auch in so kleinen Auflagen, dass sie heute nicht mehr zu beschaffen sind. "Besonders gefreut hat es uns deshalb, dass unsere schottischen Partner geholfen haben, diese Lücke zu füllen. Viele der eingestellten Werke sind Schenkungen", erklärt PD Dr. Sigrid Rieuwerts vom Scotland HUB. "Bei den Studierenden sind vor allem lokale Werke zu Traditionen und Mythen Schottlands beliebt sowie Publikationen zu Schottlands Suche nach der eigenen Identität."

Mit der Schottland-Bibliothek ist jetzt die Basis gelegt, um an der JGU den ersten interdisziplinären Masterstudiengang in Scottish Studies in Deutschland aufzubauen.

Wir laden Sie als Vertreterinnen und Vertreter der Medien herzlich ein zum

Abendempfang zur Eröffnung der Schottland-Bibliothek der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
durch Schottlands Minister für Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung, Jugend- und Berufsbildung, Jamie Hepburn,
am Dienstag, 5. April 2022, ab 17:00 Uhr (Beginn 17:30)
im Philosophicum I, Treppenhaus E (Westeingang), 1. Stock Galerie, Jakob-Welder-Weg 18, 55128 Mainz.

Programm:
• Eröffnung durch den Dekan des Fachbereich 05: Philosophie und Philologie, Prof. Dr. Arne Nagels
• Grußwort von Minister Jamie Hepburn, Schottlands Minister für Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung, Jugend- und Berufsbildung
• Grußwort des Vizepräsidenten für Studium und Lehre der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Prof. Dr. Stephan Jolie
• Einführung in die Scotland-HUB-Aktivitäten
• Präsentation des GO-Projekts „A Fearful Hope” durch Studierende und Dozierende der JGU
• Präsentation des Scotland Hub der JGU durch PD Dr. Sigrid Rieuwerts
• Offizielle Eröffnung der Bibliothek durch Minister Jamie Hepburn
• Networking und Empfang mit Getränken

Eine Anmeldung per E-Mail an scotland@uni-mainz.de bis 04.04.2022, 14:00 Uhr, ist unbedingt erforderlich. Es gelten die 2G-Regeln.

Download the invitation

Read the full press release

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Winter Term 2021/22

Programme

In our winter term 2021/22, the Scotland HUB at Mainz University continued with our Walter Scott 250 focus and giving a platform to our own researchers.

In this section, you can find information on past sessions as well as audio recordings of each session.
© All rights reserved.

Monday, 8 November 2021: Poesie der Nachbarn
Unter der dünnen Mondsichel - Gedichte aus Schottland

Poesie der Nachbarn
A reading in cooperation with Künstlerhaus Edenkoben and Staatstheater Mainz of "Unter der dünnen Mondsichel - Gedichten aus Schottland" (Ed. Sigrid Rieuwerts and Hans Thill) - a collection of Scottish German poetry. I
Join us Monday, 08 November 2021, 8pm at Kakadu Bar.I
Learn more about the book!
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Tuesday, 9 November 2021: Reading Scotland with Poesie der Nachbarn
Unter der dünnen Mondsichel

Unter der dünnen Mondsichel
Reading Scotland continues with a report on yesterday's Book Launch at the Staatstheater in Mainz of "Unter der dünnen Mondsichel" (Ed. Sigrid Rieuwerts and Hans Thill) - a collection of Scottish German poetry, published in the series "Poesie der Nachbarn: Schottland" and funded by Kulturstiftung Rheinland-Pfalz.
In cooperation with Künstlerhaus Edenkoben.
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Video recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 23 November 2021: Reading Scotland with Dr Sally Garden and Priv. Doz. Dr Sigrid Rieuwerts
Reading Scott through Music

Scotland's great man of letters, Walter Scott, though he loved music, didn't think much of his own musical abilities. Should we believe him? To find out what really lies behind the writer's modesty, Sigrid Rieuwerts and Sally Garden delve into the little-known, home-made tune settings of the 'Minstrelsy', explore the sound-world of Scott's Abbotsford home, and discover a realm of music-making neither 'folk' nor 'classical' in style, but beautifully and ambivalently both!
Chaired by Professor Ali Lumsden, Director of the Walter Scott Research Centre, University of Aberdeen, and Curator of the University's online exhibition 'Walter Scott and Song: Retuning the Harp of the North' this event takes up the exhibition's theme and re-'tunes in' to the 'lesser-known' Scott and his relationship with music, song and singing.
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Video recording on YouTube

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Tuesday, 7 December 2021: Reading Scotland with Leonie Jungen
A Gendered Nation: Scottish National Identity in the Works of Sir Walter Scott and Margaret Oliphant

Over the course of the 19th century, Scottish national identity underwent a rapid re-gendering process from the female subordinate to the hypermasculine Highlander image. How did this transformation happen and why was Sir Walter Scott involved in it? Leonie Jungen explores the depiction of gender and nation in Scott’s novels The Heart of Midlothian (1818) and The Bride of Lammermoor (1819) and delves into the fictional world of Margaret Oliphant’s Kirsteen (1891) and The Library Window (1896) to make sense of a nation on its literary journey to find its own identity.
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Video recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 11 January 2022: Reading Scotland with Sebastian Weil
Good Shepherds, Sheep and Wolves. Clerical Lordship in the Dioceses of Aberdeen and St. Andrews, c. 1380-1513.I

Scottish historiography has often limited the role of the late medieval bishops of Aberdeen and St Andrews to their pastoral duties, thereby neglecting how the prelates managed vast territories and therefore wielded considerable powers. The regional study of clerical lordship can not only show the "Handlungsspielräume" of Scottish bishops, abbots and priors, but also offers insights into economic and social developments of the 14th and 15th centuries. The rural society was the backbone of the clerical lord's wealth and prosperity and they shall therefore be the focus of this talk. It has been proclaimed that the Wars of Scottish Independence did not only free Scotland from English rule, but also led to the emancipation of the peasants in the 14th century. Sebastian Weil will revisit this narrative and challenge the notion of a "march of the Scottish peasant towards freedom".
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Sebastian Weil studied History and American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz. During the studies he worked as assistant at the "Forschungsschwerpunkt Historische Kulturwissenschaften". After an ERASMUS-year at the University of Glasgow he acquired the M. A. with a thesis covering "Monasteries in the Anglo-Scottish Borders during the Wars of Independence". Afterwards he worked as a researcher in the DFG-funded project "Man Rent or Land Rent" at JGU Mainz, in the course of which he finished his Phd-thesis.
His research interest are not only the history of Scotland and the British Isles in the middle ages, but also the organization of the late medieval church, lay piety and social/economical history.

 

Video recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 25 January 2022: Reading Scotland with Dominik Wallerius
Muriel Spark The Driver's Seat - Scottish storytelling beyond boundaries

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Muriel Spark’s (1918-2006) most famous novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie has been hailed as evoking the spirit and setting of a realistic 1930s Edinburgh. Yet, her own favorite among her novels, The Driver’s Seat (1970), is a text that is very much remote from anything authentically Scottish. Here, Spark seems to avoid any notions of a stable identity, whether personal or communal, and she rather plays with the constructed-ness any such category. Rather than acknowledging the borders and limit(ation)s that identity poses, The Driver’s Seat attempts to question and move beyond these borders by exposing them as mere textual surfaces. Rather than simply celebrating a postmodern poetics, however, Spark treats these metafictional textual strategies with a healthy portion of irony, suggesting actual limits to postmodernism’s attempts to go beyond all limits.

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Dominik Wallerius studied English Philology, History and Philosophy at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz and University of Glasgow at Crichton Campus, Dumfries. In 2018 he submitted a PhD thesis on the narrative constructions of masculinity in the works of James Joyce. He has been teaching literary and cultural studies classes at Mainz University since 2010. In 2020 he became project manager of the GET-Across-Borders initiative at the university’s Scotland HUB, and since 2021 he has in addition been coordinating the LPlus project, which is engaged with the internationalization of teacher education. His research interests are, among others, the literature and culture of anglophone Modernism, narrative theory and gender studies, adaptation studies and neo-Victorianism, and the aesthetics of ugliness in the literature of the Long 18th century in Britain.

Video recording on YouTube

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Summer Term 2021

For the Walter Scott 250th anniversary, we have devised a special programme of readings and discussions devoted to Scott.

Programme: Reading Scott with...

In this section, you can find information on past sessions as well as audio recordings of each session.
© All rights reserved.

20 April 2021
Reading Scott with Sigrid Rieuwerts
Scott – Made in Germany


Priv-Doz. Dr Sigrid Rieuwerts is the Commissioner for Scotland at JGU Mainz and teaches in the English Department. She was educated at the universities of Giessen, Lancaster and Mainz and was awarded fellowships at the universities of Riga, York, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Her teaching and research interests are in Scottish literature and culture, especially ballads. She is the author of a book on cultural narratology (Kulturnarratologie), and the (co-)editor of more than a dozen books, among them Ballads into Books: The Legacies of Francis James Child; The Ballad Repertoire of Anna Gordon, Mrs Brown of Falkland and Unter der dünnen Mondsichel: Gedichte aus Schottland (2020). Her first critical edition of Walter Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border for Edinburgh University Press is forthcoming. Her talk is on 'Scott - Made in Germany. Flyer download

Video recording on YouTube

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Tuesday, 18 May 2021: Reading Scott with members of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz and the University of Aberdeen
The importance of Scott for Paul Arant, Rosa Ciminello, Leonie Jungen and Ainsley McIntosh

Paul Arant
Paul Arant is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Aberdeen. His PhD thesis is on transnationalism and national identity in the works of Walter Scott. His talk is on "Guy Mannering, a novel whose popular appeal belies a literary complexity and enduring relevance. The novel was a bestseller upon its publication due to the intrigue, romance, high drama and action that entertained audiences, while the intertwined fates of its diverse cast, in both nationality and ethnicity, reveals a narrative that questions our understanding of place and identity".

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Rosa Ciminello
Rosa Ciminello studied at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz and the University of Edinburgh. Her talk is on "The Heart of Midlothian, which is important to me because of Scott's impressive historical interpretation, contrasting cultural attitudes and legal systems as well as dialects".
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Leonie Jungen
Leonie studied at JGU and the University of Edinburgh where she specialised in Scottish Literature, Ethnology and Creative Writing. In her Master's thesis, she discussed, amongst others, Scott's importance for the gendering of Scottish national identity. Her talk is on "The Bridge of Lammermoor which is important to me because it centres around Scott's engagement with Scotland's gendered intensity and status within the UK. Due to the rising support for Scotland's independence attempts in post-Brexit Britain, his novel remains timeless and important".
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Ainsley McIntosh
Ainsley McIntosh is volume editor of 'Marmion' (2018) and 'Rokeby' (forthcoming) for the Edinburgh Edition of Walter Scott's poetry. She is currently Research Fellow at the Universityof Aberdeen's Walter Scott Centre. Her talk is on "Marmion which is important to me because it showcases Scott's genius, his imaginative engagement with history, and his centrality to Romanticism".
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Chaired by Ali Lumsden and Sigrid Rieuwerts
Ali is a Professor of English and Scottish Literature at the University of Aberdeen where she directs the Walter Scott Research Centre. She has published on many aspects of Scottish writing including Nan Shepherd.
Sigrid is the Commissioner for Scotland at JGU Mainz and teaches in the English Department. She was educated at the universities of Giessen, Lancaster and Mainz and was awarded fellowships at the universities of Riga, York, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
Flyer download

Video recording on YouTube

Tuesday, 15 June 2021: Reading Scott with Lee Simpson

Lee Simpson
Lee Simpson is a member of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club committee and has been the Hon. Treasurer of the Club since 2003. Originally working in IT, Lee is now a wedding DJ and photographer. In his talk, he will tell us about his work for the Scott Club, the history of the Club and its achievements. Additionally, he is going to give insight into his own connection to Scott that came about 25 years ago.

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The Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club Website

Audio recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 13 July 2021: Reading Scott with Stuart Kelly

Stuart Kelly
Stuart Kelly is a Scottish critic and author. Next to his most recent novel The Minister and the Murderer (2018), his works include The Book Of Lost Books: An Incomplete Guide To All The Books You’ll Never Read (2005) and Scott-Land: The Man Who Invented A Nation (2010) (which was longlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. In our (virtual) Scotland Library, he will be reading from his work The Minister and the Murderer (2018).
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Video recording on YouTube

 

Winter Term 2020

Programme: Reading Scotland with ...

In this section, you can find information on past sessions as well as audio recordings of each session.
© All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020: Reading Scotland with Tony Freeth
Beyond Hadrian's Wall – The New-Scot Experience

What view do people south of Scotland’s border hold about the country? How do they perceive the relationship between Scottish and English culture and everyday life? How different exactly is life north of England’s border? To explore these questions and more through a lived experience we have invited Tony Freeth. He will give students insight into a non-Scot view of Scotland. As an Englishman living in Scotland, Tony Freeth will offer his unique perspective on his favourite works of Scottish fiction and how they relate to his experience of Scotland.

Tony Freeth (BSc Eng Hons (Sussex), MBA(Heriot-Watt)) is an engineer and entrepreneur who recently retired from corporate life to spend more time on research. His professional experience started in Nuclear and Biomedical science but has spent the last 25 years on developing Internet technology for commercial and community applications, most recently coworking. Tony comes from Cornwall or Kernow, which is the most southerly outpost of the Celtic fringe. He has, though, adopted Scotland as his home and nationality. He believes practising engineering without literature is to travel without a map. Also known to have used the term ‘dialectic’ to a conference of real estate investors and yet survived.

Video recording on YouTube

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Tuesday, 24 November 2020: Reading Scotland with Andrew Crumey

This is our second session to our Virtual Scotland Library: Reading Scotland! For our second session today we have invited Andrew Crumey, a Scottish author. He will read to us from his latest work The Great Chain of Unbeing and will also be available for a Q&A afterwards. Furthermore, he will talk about his inspirations and other things that have influenced him and his unique style.

Andrew Crumey
Andrew Crumey born 1961 in Glasgow, studied at the University of St Andrews and is an author, schoolteacher, a Doctor of Physics and the former editor of “Scotland on Sunday”. His novel Sputnik Caledonia (2008) has been shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Award and won him the Northern Rock Foundation Writers’ Award in 2006. Among his works is Music in a Foreign Language (1994), Pfitz (1995), D’Alembert’s Principle (1996), Mr Mee (2000), Mobius Dick (2004), Sputnik Caledonia (2008) and The Secret Knowledge (2013). For Reading Scotland, he will draw on his most recent book, The Great Chain of Unbeing (2018) which was shortlisted for the Saltire Society Fiction Award.

Audio recording on YouTube

No presentation available

Visit Andrew Crumey at Dedalus Books
Andrew Crumey at Northumbria University

 

Tuesday, 1 December 2020: Reading Scotland with Malachy Tallack

For the third session of our virtual Scotland Library, Reading Scotland, we have invited Malachy Tallack, a writer and singer-songwriter from Shetland. Malachy is the author of three books, which focus on the connections between people and places. Sixty Degrees North (2015), was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award; The Un-Discovered Islands (2016) won an Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award; and The Valley at the Centre of the World (2018) was shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize. Malachy will introduce and read from his work, and the reading will be followed by a Q&A.

Malachy Tallack
Malachy Tallack is an award-winning author and singer-songwriter. His first book, Sixty Degrees North (2015), was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and his second, The Un-Discovered Islands (2016), was named Illustrated Book of the Year at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. His most recent book, The Valley at the Centre of the World (2018), was his debut novel. It was shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize and longlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. Malachy is from Shetland and currently lives in Dunblane.

Both Sixty Degrees North and The Valley at the Centre of the World are due to be published by btb Verlag in 2021.

 

Audio recording on YouTube

No presentation available

Visit his official website to find out more
Malachy Tallack at btb

 

Tuesday, 8 December 2020: Reading Scotland with Alison Lumsden & Wayne Price

For the fourth session of our virtual Scotland Library,Reading Scotland, we have invited Alison Lumsden and Wayne Price. Alison is Professor of English and Scottish Literature at the University of Aberdeen where she directs the Walter Scott Research Centre. Wayne is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen. Wayne will introduce and read from his work Fossil Record (2015), while Alison will introduce and talk about Nan Shepherd. The reading and introduction will be followed by a discussion and a Q&A.

Ali Lumsden
Ali is Professor of English and Scottish Literature at the University of Aberdeen where she directs the Walter Scott Research Centre. She has published on many aspects of Scottish writing including Nan Shepherd.
Wayne Price
Wayne Price was born and brought up in south Wales but has lived and worked in Scotland since 1987. He has published short stories and poetry in many journals and anthologies in the UK, Ireland, Australia and America and has won major prizes in numerous international competitions including the Edwin Morgan International, the Bridport, the Yorkshire Open and Poetry on the Lake. He was a finalist in the Manchester Poetry Prize in both 2013 and 2104 with the short folios Nightfishing and Prayer. His first collection of stories, Furnace, was long-listed for the Frank O'Connor Prize and nominated for the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year 2012. His debut novel, Mercy Seat, was long-listed for The Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker Prize’ in 2015. He teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Aberdeen.
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Listen to Alison Lumsden's Talk:

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Listen to Wayne Price's Reading:

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Tuesday, 15 December 2020: Reading Scotland with Karine Polwart
Singing with Scottish Landscape - Folksong, Folklore, and Ecology

For the next session on Reading Scotland, we have invited artist Karine Polwart who will be doing a combination of reading, talking and singing. The main projects she will talk about are COP 26 in Glasgow, A Pocket of Wind Resistance, and Spell Songs. She will also tell us about her journey into writing as a folk musician.

Karine Polwart is a Scottish singer, composer, theatre-maker, storyteller and writer. Much of Karine’s music and writing is steeped in place, hidden histories, scientific curiosity and folklore. As a singer and songwriter, she is a multiple award winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including three times for her original songs. She has written to commission for theatre, animation, radio documentary and choir. In 2019, her Scottish Songbook celebration of Scottish pop music reached the UK Top 40 Album Charts. Karine’s debut work for theatre Wind Resistance was produced in collaboration with the Royal Lyceum Theatre for the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival. The show is rooted in the landscape, ecology, and history of Midlothian and The Scottish Borders. Enough is Enough is her latest large-scale participative commission, for street bands and community choir, centred on the COP26 Climate Conference which Glasgow hosts in November 2021.

Video recording on YouTube

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To visit her webpage click here!

Listen to her work here

 

Tuesday, 22 December 2020: Reading Scotland with Dr Sally LK Garden
Time travelling in Scotland’s song

What does it mean to read Scotland as a singer? To turn the soft yellowing pages of your native Scots song literature and give voice to the past? Where will you find yourself, what landscapes will you see, what language hear, and emotions feel? And how far can you journey beyond the page, and beyond what others, if they have said anything at all, have said about the page, and deep into your own reading? Mezzo-soprano and recitalist, Sally Garden, shares her personal artistic experience as a traveller in the space and time of Scotland’s song.

Dr Sally LK Garden
Dr Sally LK Garden (mezzo-soprano and musicologist) was born in Angus, north east Scotland, and was educated at the Universities of Aberdeen, Heriot-Watt, and Edinburgh. Performing under the banner ‘Mons Graupius’ (a playful borrowing from Tacitus!), her portfolio includes international collaborations, festival appearances, concert promotion, publishing, editing, recording, new media work, and composition. Best known for her interpretations of Scottish and Scandinavian art song, she has given recitals in concert halls, castles and kirks all over Scotland, appeared in island and mountain-top venues in Norway, and enjoyed the honour of performing at Grieg’s villa, Troldhaugen. Her formal postings and affiliations include work on The Music of Scotland publishing project at the University of Glasgow, three years as Historical Musician in Residence at the Wighton Heritage Centre, Dundee, and an Honorary Research Fellowship at the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, University of Aberdeen. She is currently a member of the Walter Scott Minstrelsy Project (JGU), working on classical settings associated with the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders.

Video recording on YouTube

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Tuesday, 12 January 2021: Reading Scotland with Dr Wolfgang Funk
Artful Connections – Ways of Looking at/in Ali Smith’s How to Be Both

In this presentation Dr Wolfgang Funk will talk and think about one of the most intriguing novels of the 21st century – Ali Smith’s How To Be Both. After briefly introducing the author and her various claims to literary fame, he will try to offer a reading of the novel which focuses of two central issues: First he wanst to think about the unusual narrative situation in the book, which interlinks two apparently free-standing storylines – one set in Renaissance Italy, the other in contemporary Britain – while leaving the reader ultimately free to draw their own connections between them. Having thus established the topic of connectivity, which he will briefly situate in an aesthetics of (post-)postmodernism, he will then shift the focus to the role of art in the novel, arguing that the incorporation of various kinds of art(works) both in storylines and in the layout and design of the book facilitates an innovative form of connection, between author, text and novel, but also between the ‘sister arts’ of literature and painting.  

Interview with Ali Smith about How to Be Both in the Guardian

Dr Wolfgang Funk
Dr. Wolfgang Funk is currently Assistant Professor (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. He studied English, German and History at Universität Regensburg and has taught at Regensburg, Hanover and Leipzig. He is currently working on a post-doc project on late Victorian women poets and their use of evolutionary imagery. His other current research interests include the New Formalism, the representation of artificial intelligence, questions of authenticity in contemporary fiction as well as fictional representations of Brexit. He has published articles on Bryony Lavery (2007), Jasper Fforde (2010), Martin McDonagh (2010), Dave Eggers (2011), Jez Butterworth (2011), Hilary Mantel (2013), Peter the Wild Boy (2015), May Kendall (2015), Max Müller (2016) and Louisa Sarah Bevington (2017). He is the co-editor of Fiktionen von Wirklichkeit: Authentizität zwischen Materialität und Konstruktion (2011) and The Aesthetics of Authenticity: Medial Constructions of the Real (2012). His Ph.D. thesis, The Literature of Reconstruction: Authentic Fiction in the New Millennium was published with Bloomsbury in 2015 and has been awarded the ESSE First Book Award in 2016. He is also the author of An Introduction to Gender Studies (in German; utb, 2018).

Video recording on YouTube

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Tuesday, 19 January 2021: Reading Scotland with Meg Bateman

Meg Bateman
Meg Bateman is a Professor of Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye (University of the Highlands and Islands). She learned Gaelic in South Uist and Aberdeen University where she taught for many years. Her teaching and research interests are in literature, philosophy, language, art and Gaelic mythology. She has co-edited four anthologies of historical Gaelic verse and has published several volumes of her own poetry. In our (virtual) Scotland Library, she will present her most recent academic book Window to the West: Culture and Environment in the Scottish Gàidhealtachd (2020)
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Video recording on YouTube

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Meg Bateman and John Purser:

Window to the West: Culture and Environment in the Scottish Gàidhealtachd

Window to the West / Uinneag Dhan Àird an Iar

 

Tuesday, 26 January 2021: Reading Scotland with Dietmar Böhnke 
Screening Scotland – Scottish Film and the Representation of Scottish Identities

Are you a fan of Outlander, Brave, Trainspotting or Braveheart? What about Brigadoon and Whisky Galore? Have you ever heard of the cinematic traditions of Tartanry, Kailyard or Clydesidism? Is there a Scottish film industry? Do you want to discuss your (least) favourite Scottish film? This talk will introduce the broad field of film representations of Scotland by outlining some important thematic traditions and stereotypes, and then focus on a few selected examples of films from the 1990s to the present (possibly including Young Adam, Ae Fond Kiss, Stone of Destiny, Neds, Sunset Song, and the recent Mary Queen of Scots) in order to debate how Scotland and Scottish identities are represented there, by whom and for which audience.

Dietmar Böhnke is Senior Lecturer in British Cultural Studies at the University of Leipzig, as well as Study Abroad coordinator at the English Department. His research interests include Scottish literature and culture, especially of the present; the Victorian Age and its contemporary rewritings; book history (esp. Tauchnitz); and the British media, especially film. He has published various articles on these topics, as well as two books on contemporary Scottish authors: James Kelman (Berlin 1999) and Alasdair Gray (Berlin 2004). Most recently, he co-authored a book on the nineteenth-century publisher Bernhard Tauchnitz (Leipzig 2017). He also occasionally works as a presenter/interpreter of readings by high-profile contemporary writers (e.g. John Burnside, John M. Coetzee, Teju Cole, Howard Jacobson, Rachel Kushner, Deborah Levy, Tim Parks). In 2005, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. In our (virtual) Scotland Library, he will be talking about Scottish films.

Video recording on YouTube

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Tuesday, 2 February 2021: Reading Scotland with Rainer Emig
“Yr Hen Ogledd/The Old North – Early links between Wales and Scotland and their modern afterlives”

Rainer Emig is Chair of English Literature and Culture at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. He was educated at Frankfurt am Main, Warwick, and Oxford, and taught at Cardiff, Regensburg and Hanover. His research focuses on 19th- to 21st-century literature and culture. His publications include Modernism in Poetry (1995), W.H. Auden (1999) and Krieg als Metapher im zwanzigsten Jahrhundert (2001) as well as edited collections on Stereotypes in Contemporary Anglo-German Relations (2000), Ulysses (2004), Gender <-> Religion (with Sabine Demel, 2008), Hybrid Humour (with Graeme Dunphy, 2010), Performing Masculinity (with Antony Rowland, 2010), Commodifying (Post-) Colonialism (with Oliver Lindner, 2010), and Treasure in Literature and Culture (2013). In our (virtual) Scotland Library, he will cover the Early links between Wales and Scotland and their modern afterlives.

Video recording on YouTube

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Tuesday, 9 Feburary 2021: Reading Scotland with Steve Byrne
The Importance of Place – Dig Where You Stand

Steve Byrne
Steve is a folklorist, singer, and researcher from Arbroath on Scotland's east coast, best known for his work with the award-winning folksong band Malinky.
He is a graduate of Scottish Ethnology from the School of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University and has worked in various cultural roles over the past 20 years. He has been Traditional Arts Officer for the city of Edinburgh, cataloguer for the folklore sound archive digitisation project Tobar an Dualchais / Kist o Riches, a community educator through the organisation Local Voices, and led the adult education traditional music teaching project Scots Music Group for almost a decade. He is a native Scots speaker and advocate for minority languages with a European perspective. In 2019, he was named Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards. Steve will discuss how place and locality has shaped his work as a performer, community educator, activist and academic. Through poems, songs, archives, workshops and advocacy for local language, he will outline his personal philosophy of 'Dig Where You Stand' - seeking to encourage others to do the same, wherever they are.

Audio recording on YouTube

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Are you a Scotland fan? Have you been to Scotland? Or are you wanting to go?
And what do you associate with Scotland? Are you reading any books about Scotland?
Or can you name more than three Scottish authors?
Are you aware that there is a Scotland Library on our campus?
If not, our project Reading Scotland is for you!
We, Margun Schmitz and Rosa Ciminello - assisted by Priv.- Doz. Dr. Sigrid Rieuwerts and supported by the Gutenberg Lehrkolleg - would like to invite you on Tuesday evenings (6.00-7.30pm CET) to our (now virtual) Scotland Library at JGU Mainz. Each week we will recommend texts to read and have an author or academic discussing his or her work with us. A wonderful way to explore Scotland's literature, history and culture together! Don't you think? Do come and join us! Every Tuesday we will have a guest talking about literature and/or films and/or Scottish culture, some are Scottish authors, others are academics working on Scottish literature and still others are just Scotland fans. Think of it as a grade and pressure-free, enjoyable book club!

 

Winter Term 2019/2020

October 2019
Poesie der Nachbarn - Poetry of the neighbours

Tuesday, 15 October, 19.00
at Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Rheinland-Pfalz
Am Kronberger Hof 6, 55116 Mainz
Poesie der Nachbarn - Poetry of the neighbours
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Summer Term 2019

30 June 2019
Poesie der Nachbarn - The Spirit of Edenkoben

Sunday, 30 June, 11.00 (Künstlerhaus Edenkoben)
Monday, 1 July, 19.00 (Theaterkeller FTSK Germersheim)
Scottish-German readings by
- Meg Bateman,
- Cheryl Follon,
- Iain Galbraith,
- Peter Mackay and
- Peter Manson
» Read more

25 June 2019
Scottish Poets Reading

Meg Bateman (University of the Highlands and Islands)
and
Peter Mackay (University of St Andrews)
6.15 PM - 7.45 PM
in Room 00.212
Philosophicum II
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Summer Term 2017

Summer 2017
Lecture Series "Mainz meets Scotland - Negotiating European Identities"

This series of lectures is designed to shed light on the manifold issues affecting Scotland’s identity in the context of Europe – in the past as well as the present and the future. The interdisciplinary lectures will permit different disciplines, e.g. History, Literary, Book and Cultural Studies, Education, Politics, Economics, Theology, Law, but also the Natural Sciences, to present their particular views on Scotland and its connections with Europe, Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Mainz, links that in some cases go back to Roman times and even earlier.   » Read more