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 2024

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Tuesday, 18 June 2024: Reading Scotland with Leonie Jungen
Once There Were Humans: Surrealism and Post-Anthropocentrism in Contemporary Fiction

Since the 2010s, climate fiction (cli-fi) as genre has seen a stark increase on bookshelves in stores worldwide, balancing topics of science fiction and anthropogenic utopian and dystopian visions. In her novel Once There Were Wolves (2010), Charlotte McConaghy blurs the lines between surrealism and climate activism against the backdrop of the Scottish Cairngorms. Centred around the rewilding of wolves in the Scottish Highlands, the novel negotiates the importance of empathy with nature and animals through the employment of surrealist narrative elements and challenges (wo)men's place in the ecosystem. In her talk Leonie Jungen will discuss visions of the post-Anthropocene, gender violence, and climate activism in contemporary fiction.
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Leonie Jungen is currently a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Department of English and Linguistics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. She studied Communication Sciences and English and Scottish Literature and Culture at the University of Mainz and the University of Edinburgh. In her PhD thesis, she focusses on female identity and transgenerational storytelling in Scottish national tales. Her recent publications include the editing of the 2022 conference proceedings for the German Association for the Study of English. Recently, she was awarded a three-year PhD scholarship by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. She is PG and ECR representative for the International Association for the Study of Scottish Literature and is also a member of the Scientists for Future regional group in Mainz/Wiesbaden. 

Tuesday, 11 June 2024: Reading Scotland with James Robertson
Does the Land Lie Still? People and Sense of Place in My Fiction

In this talk James Robertson will look at the geographical, historical, and cultural background to five of his novels. He will discuss the significance of Scotland's landscape for himself as a writer, as well as  for the fictional characters in his work. Distinguishing between actual locations and imagined ones, he will explain why he sometimes chooses to invent places rather than set a fictional story in a real place. He will talk about historical and contemporary Scotland, and also about the relationship between urban and rural places and how that is represented in his fiction. In addition, he will illustrate some of this with readings from his work. Join the session here! or use the following link: https://tinyurl.com/ReSco-Robertson
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James Robertson is a poet, editor, and publisher, but is mainly known for his fiction. He has published seven novels to date. They are The Fanatic (2000), Joseph Knight (2003, Scottish Book of the Year in 2004), The Testament of Gideon Mack (2006, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize), And the Land Lay Still (2010, Scottish Book of the Year), The Professor of Truth (2013), To Be Continued (2016), and News of the Dead (2021, winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction in 2022). He grew up near Stirling, midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow, has lived and worked in both of those cities as well as elsewhere, and now lives in a village in Angus, ten miles north of the city of Dundee.

Tuesday, 28 May 2024: Reading Scotland with Dietmar Böhnke
Poor Things, Rich Adaptation? Aladair Gray's 1992 Novel                                                     and Yorgos Lanthimos's 2023 Film Adaptation

By collecting a series of prizes and awards earlier this year, including four Oscars, Yorgos Lanthimos's 2023 adaptation of Alasdair Gray's Poor Things has arguably become the highest-profile adaptation of a Scottish novel since Danny Boyle's Trainspotting in 1996. In contrast to this earlier example, though, the Scottish character of the film is negligible (apart from Willem Dafoe's fake Scottish accent, allegedly based on Gray's own), and Alasdair Gray's name and novel were decidedly marginal in most reviews and discussions of the film. This talk will briefly discuss the film version before proceeding to a re-evaluation of the 1992 novel and its varied literary, local/national (i.e. Glasgow/Scotland) and political dimensions. It may also touch on Gray's works and reputation more generally, and on his love of adapting his own work, including a film script he wrote for Poor Things in 1993, which is rather different from the 2023 version. 
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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 (1999) and Alasdair Gray (2004). Most recently, he co-authored a book on the nineteenth-century publisher Bernhard Tauchnitz (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.

 

Tuesday, 14 May 2024: Reading Scotland with Lena Krochmann
Technical Texts and Terminology in Scottish Gaelic

With increased efforts to revitalise Gaelic in Scotland, it has also been promoted in areas where specialised registers and terminologies are required. Various parties have been involved in developing vocabulary for these purposes, and the issue of corpus planning and developing new registers has been covered in the literature to some extent. At the same time, corpus planning for technical text production does not seem to be a priority in the language policy for Gaelic. This talk outlines the main domains and subject areas in which technical or specialised texts are produced and their relevance for the language. It also examines how technical text production has been discussed in academic literature and the role it has played in official language planning so far, discussing some of the problems faced in this respect. 
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Lena Korchmann studied translation at Leipzig University and took an interest in Scottish Gaelic while spending a semester in Edinburgh in 2016. She has since become a fluent speaker and is passionate about the language and its culture. Connecting her interest in Gaelic and language planning back to her translation studies, she wrote her M.A. on Gaelic political terminology used by the Scottish Parliament. She is now a PhD student at Leipzig University and a freelance translator. She also teaches Gaelic at the university's language institute. 

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2024: Reading Scotland with Billy Kay

Billy Kay will explore a lifetime of working in the field of promoting Scottish culture, both at home and abroad through his work in radio and television. He will discuss the trials and tribulations of being a prominent advocate for his native language, Scots, and the language's importance in his own sense of identity. Having met and often interviewed many of the great figures in 20th century Scottish culture, he will share some of his recollections of poets and writers like Hugh MacDiarmid, Norman MacCaig, Sorley MacLean, William McIlvanney, Iain Crichton Smith, Janice Galloway, Hamisch Henderson etc. He will also tell stories collected around the world for his programmes and books on the Scottish diaspora, and do one or two readings from Born in Kyle, to give the audience the opportunity to hear contemporary Scots. 
Join the session here! or use the following link: https://tinyurl.com/ReSco-Billy-Kay 
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Writer and broadcaster Billy Kay was born in Galston, Ayrshire in 1951, and educated at Galston High School, Kilmarnock Academy and Edinburgh University. He produced and presented documentaries on Scottish cultural history for BBC Radio Scotland, winning five international awards for series like The Complete Caledonian Imbiber. He is co-author, with Cailean Maclean of the book Knee Deep in Claret. He is a passionate advocate of the Scots language and author of the classic work Scots: The Mither Tongue. His book on the phenomenal global influence of the Scottish diaspora The Scottish World was published in 2006. In November 2023 he published his memoir in Scots, Born in Kyle, which he describes as a love letter to an Ayrshire childhood. In addition to his native languages, Scots and English, Billy speaks French, German, and Portuguese. He is married to Maria João de Almeida da Cruz Diniz and they have three children and four grandchildren. 

 

Tuesday, 16 April 2024: Reading Scotland with John D. Burns
A Sense of Place - The Battle of Hearts and Minds in the Scottish Landscape

Scotland is famous for the beauty of its landscape and the tranquillity of its hills but beneath these apparently natural scenes is a history riven by conflict and oppression. What appears green and idyllic is in reality a battlefield that bears the scars of conflict. This seminar will explore how historic patterns of land ownership and changes in land use have profoundly affected the Highlands of Scotland we see today. It will also explore the current struggles over the future of Scotland’s land and consider what changes could bring about a rich natural heritage. The battles taking place for Scotland’s future are taking place in the minds of its people. The challenge for writers and artists is to capture the imagination of the Scottish people and take them on a journey that will show them what our future could be.
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Growing up amongst the shipyards of Birkenhead, John’s passion for the outdoors was ignited by a school trip to the Lake District where he discovered a world of freedom in the hills. Mountains became a lifelong interest and took him to places like the Rockies and Mount Kenya.
John’s first book, shortlisted for The Great Outdoors magazine’s book of the year, The Last Hillwalker, is a classic in its genre. His second book, about his love of simple shelters, Bothy Tales, remains a best seller. John’s ability to take the reader with him on his adventures makes him stand out as an author. His novel, Sky Dance, takes the reader into the remote Scottish hills and shows them how traditional hunting practices have damaged the landscape. Through the eyes of two hill walkers, he explores the need for rewilding and captures a passion for wild places.
John continues to travel his beloved and hills and performs and writes about his passion for them as he invites others to explore the magic of wild Scotland.

Winter Term 2023/2024

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Tuesday, 6 February 2024: Reading Scotland with Frank Winter
The Art of Crime Comedy Novels: Angus MacDonald, Fearless Fighter for Authentic Food and Drink

How a gourmet detective keeps on saving the world of food and drink. Frank Winter presents his Scotland crime novels.
Angus Thinnson MacDonald is a slightly overweight food journalist and gourmet. He lives in Edinburgh and loves cooking, especially Scottish meals. While there are many hobby detectives who love their food, none of them ever restricted themselves to crimes which go against authentic food and drink. Though Angus can be a somewhat reluctant detective, once he gets started, he turns into a tireless fighter for justice.
His character was inspired by the late Clarissa Dickson Wright (one of the "Two Fat Ladies"). Co-detective Alberto Vitiello, on the other hand, resembles one of the author's friends, who owned an Edinburgh guest house together with his wife.
Frank Winter will present all of his seven crime comedies. In contrast to many contemporary serial killer novels (which he doesn't mind at all) the books are supposed to be suitable for anybody who likes not so violent crime stories and a good laugh. In fact, the publisher Oktober Verlag calls the books crime comedies. It does not hurt if one fancies good (Scottish) food and whisky too!

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Frank Winter lives in Frankfurt/Main, where he studied German literature, sociology, and philosophy. He graduated in 1991 as Magister Artium (M.A.). The trained journalist regularly contributes to the two German whisky magazines "Highland Herold" and "Whisky-Botschafter", as well as the other magazines and newspapers.
So far he has published 13 books: 9 novels and 4 non-fiction books. In spring 2014 his book on Scottish cuisine "Schottisch kochen" with 172 recipes and an extended part of the history of food and drink in Scotland was published. Winter won the most important German cookbook prize for it, a silver medal by the Gastronomical Academy Germany (GAD).
Frank Winter has been travelling to Scotland for the past 30 years. In his spare time he chairs whisky and gin tastings.

Video recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 23 January 2024: Reading Scotland with Ian Campbell
A Life in Letters. The correspondence of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle

Thomas (1796-1881) and Jane Welsh Carlyle (1801-66) were outstanding figures in Scottish literary writing, above all in their correspondence, which covered the early years of their relationship and their lives in Scotland and in London. This correspondence was very fortunately preserved after their deaths, which has provided a unique archive throwing light on the early years of the nineteen century in Scotland, including working-class life which has even fewer written traces, and then in London from 1834 with their arrival in Chelsea. While Thomas became a major figure in Victorian prose literature, they were both at the centre of a dazzling circle, which is reflected in unique detail in their letters. Now available and online, their correspondence is a window into a century of transformation for both Scotland and England.
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Ian Campbell was born in Lausanne. He was educated there as well as in Scottish schools and Universities: MA (Aberdeen), PhD (Edinburgh), D Litt. (MUW). Since 1967 he has been with the English Literature department at the University of Edinburgh, with visiting appointments in USA, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, and China. Since 2009 he has been Professor Emeritus of Scottish and Victorian Literature. He is one of the senior editors of the Duke-Edinburgh edition of the Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle (Duke University Press, completed in 2023 in 50 Volumes).

Video recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 16 January 2024: Reading Scotland with Cleo O'Callaghan Yeoman
National stereotypes and improvement in the early nineteenth century Scottish novel

'She is a most superior woman, though she has rather too many of her English prejudices yet to be all we could wish.'
In their study of Scottish women fiction writers of the early nineteenth century, Carol Anderson and Aileen M. Riddell (1997) observe of Susan Ferrier's work that '[t]here are many self-conscious references to the differences between Scottish and English culture; Marriage, most famously, is structured on the contrasts between them.'
This paper expands on this observation, analysing the representation of stereotypes pertaining to English and Scottish national identities within the early-nineteenth-century novels of Scottish authors Ferrier, Mary Brunton, and Elizabeth Hamilton. I argue that these novelists engage with these stereotypes in ways that both substantiate and subvert common prejudices that prevailed before, throughout, and beyond the eighteenth century. I contend that, in so doing, these novelists employ ubiquitous national stereotypes, with which readers of their novels would have been familiar, as a means of introducing these readers to a framework that foregrounds notions of 'true' and 'false' improvement.
Critics including Leith Davis (1998), Evan Gottlieb (2007), Juliet Shields (2010), and Benjamine Toussaint (2016) have often analysed novelistic representations of Scoto-English national stereotypes within these Scottish novels alongside the formation of a cohesive 'British' identity (or lack thereof) following the Act of Union in 1707. By reframing these representations as a means of comprehending nuanced models of improvement, this paper builds on previous studies to posit that nation and improvement represent symbiotic ways of talking about each other within the early-nineteenth-century Scottish novel.
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Cleo O'Callaghan Yeoman is a SGSAH/AHRC-funded PhD candidate at the Universities of Stirling, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. Her research focuses on the relationships between novel reading and ideas of 'improvement' in the early nineteenth-century Scottish novels. Cleo is Newsletter Editor for Romance, Revolution & Reform and Postgraduate Representative for the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS). Her work has been published in The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation and The Burney Journal.

Video recording on YouTube

 

Tuesday, 12 December 2023: Reading Scotland with Christine Weil
Characterisation and symbolism in Neil Gunn's three historical novels

In this talk, I will examine three novels by Neil M. Gunn (1891-1973), Sun Circle, Butcher's Broom, and The Silver Darlings, focussing on the manner in which the author describes characters and makes use of symbols. These three books have in common the fact of being the writer's only historical novels and belonging to his early period of writing. Characterisation and symbolism are two topics in which Gunn's originality can best be shown, as the characters acquire a universal dimension, and the symbols point to a spiritual reality beyond appearances.
All three novels portray a Scottish community at a time of transition induced by historical events. Sun Circle is about a Pictish village in the ninth century, in which a Viking raid takes place. Butcher's Broom is set in the time of the Highland Clearances, during which crofters were evicted by their landlords to give the place to sheep and had either to make a living in the barren setting of the coast, or to emigrate. It describes how the community is affected by this event. The Silver Darlings is set in the time of the herring boom in the North Sea at the beginning of the 19th century and describes the changes brought about for the people who had been driven away by the Clearances. It tells the story of Catrine, whose husband has been taken by the press gangs, and of her son Finn, as he grows from childhood into manhood and becomes a fisherman in his turn.
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Christine Weil (born Küpfer) grew up in Moudon (Switzerland). She studied English, French and Geography at the University of Lausanne and worked from 1984 till 1985 as a French language assistant at Crieff High School (Perthshire). She graduated in 1986 with a master's thesis about Neil M. Gunn, on which this talk is based. From 1986 till 1992, she worked as a teacher of French and English in Switzerland, Ghana (West Africa), and Germany. Since 1990, she has been living in Mainz with her husband and has worked in various administrative positions. She now is a secretary at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies of the JGU Mainz (www.ifeas.uni-mainz.de), and teaches yoga and meditation in her own studio: www.yoga-in-der-adlergasse.de

Video recording on YouTube

 

Wednesday, 29 November 2023: Celebrating St Andrew's Day in Rheinland-Pfalz
Scotland's National Day with Catherine Reeves and Jenny Sturgeon

To join us digitally, click here!

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Tuesday, 14 November 2023: Reading Scotland with Ilka Schwittlinsky
"Scotland's a Sense of Change": History in Lewis Grassic Gibbon's A Scots Quair and James Robertson's And the Land Lay Still

Nations, especially stateless nations like Scotland, are held together by their identities and by the people that adhere to these identities and identify themselves with them. These identities, the stories the nation tells of itself, of its people, its territory, and its history are disseminated by different media, among which the novel plays an important role. This presentation, accordingly, focuses on two texts, Lewis Grassic Gibbon's A Scots Quair and James Robertson's And the Land Lay Still and analyses the changing Scottish identity in the twentieth century by looking at their depiction of Scottish history and life in Scotland.
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Ilka Schwittlinsky gained her Ph.D. in British studies from the University of Mainz with a thesis on "Scotland's a Sense of Change": History and the Land in Lewis Grassic Gibbon's A Scots Quair and James Robertson's And the Land Lay Still". She studied "Language, Culture, Translation" at the University of Mainz in Germersheim and now works at the University of Stuttgart. Her research is mainly concerned with how (national) identities are formed in and through literature.

Video recording on YouTube

Tuesday, 31 October 2023: Reading Scotland with Anna Fancett
Supernatural Stories and Scott

Explore the wondrous, unhallowed, and spooky side of of Walter Scott with storyteller and academic, Anna Fancett. The session will begin with a re-telling of a supernatural tale form the Scottish oral tradition. Dr Fancett will then share some of the insights from her upcoming book chapter, 'Scott's Seers: Predicting the Future in the Works of Walter Scott,' investigating how Scott's poetry and fiction rests on a paradoxical position in which the supernatural must be simultaneously accepted and rejected. In this lively and insightful session, you will be introduced to selected texts by Scott from across genres and throughout his literary career. There will be time for questions at the end.
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Exploring how narrative works has been the driving force of Anna Fancett's academic and storytelling careers. From her PhD, which explored how representations of the family reinforce and challenge narrative expectations in the novels of Walter Scott and Jane Austen, to her award-winning article on Chinese translations of Scott's works, Anna has investigated how the push-and-pull of expectation works within Romantic era texts. After becoming a member of the Scottish Storytelling Centre's directory in 2009, Anna has told stories and taught workshops in schools, universities, festivals, heritage centres and more. She is currently working with the North-East Culture Collective to run storytelling sessions at Grampian Regional Equality Council's language café.

 

Summer Term 2023

 

Tuesday, 11 July 2023: Reading Scotland with 2023 GO Wald
From the Living Mountain to the Living Forest

Education for global citizenship involves awareness-raising, and knowledge and activities which aim to equip all participants with the skills and understanding to take responsibility, to value diversity and to play an active part in European democratic life today. To this end, the Scotland HUB at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (JGU) is organising a Global Outreach – Global Citizenship Project called “2023 GO Wald”.
Forests cover about 30 per cent of the Earth’s land surface and they are essential for our fight against climate change. Since 2000, each year forests are estimated to have removed an average of 2 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. However, forests are also heavily affected by climate change. Extreme storms, droughts and wildfires are going from bad to worse, breaking records with ever alarming frequency. This is leading to deforestation, loss of wild-life and the destruction of CO2 reservoirs. A forest is not only a natural space, but also part of our identity, culture and literature. We are going to examine this with experts from many different disciplines at JGU Mainz in our first week and will then provide an opportunity to explore the biosphere of the Pfälzerwald and see the effects of climate change in our National Park. In this session of Reading Scotland you will be able to see some of the results from the participants project work.

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Tuesday, 27 June 2023: Reading Scotland with Kelly Schmidt
Literature and art in 21st century Scottish landscape management and preservation

Kelly Schmidt 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 projects. 2023 she joined the team at the JGU Scotland HUB and is working towards her doctorate.

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Tuesday, 13 June 2023: Reading Scotland with Richie McCaffery
Scotland's Harvest - Scottish Poetry and World War Two: A tour of a soon-to-be-published book and a poetry reading

This talk intends to offer the listener/viewer a guided tour of the first substantial critical study of the impact of World War Two on Scottish poetry. This book is due to be published by Brill in September but here I will introduce not only some of the most important voices of the battlefield, but also of the home-front experience, from conscientious objectors through to the overlooked role of women and their poetries. This will be followed by a reading of my own poetry from my three main collections: Cairn (2014), Passport (2018) and Summer / Break (2022).
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Richie McCaffery is a freelance scholar, living in rural Northumberland in the UK. He has a PhD in Scottish literature from the University of Glasgow. He has edited Sydney Goodsir Smith, Poet: Essays on His Life and Work (Brill, 2020) and his monograph Scotland's Harvest: Scottish Poetry and World War Two is forthcoming, also from Brill. As a poet he has published a handful of pamphlets as well as three main collections: Cairn (Nine Arches Press, 2014), Passport (Nine Arches Press, 2018) and Summer / Break (Shoestring Press, 2022).

Video recording on YouTube

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Tuesday, 23 May 2023: Reading Scotland with Geraldine Parsons
Medieval (Scottish) Gaelic literature: the case of Finn mac Cumaill

This talk introduces the corpus of medieval prose, poetic and prosimetric works centred on the legendry hero Finn mac Cumaill and his warband (fian). The earliest texts are written in Old Irish, the common ancestor language of modern Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx, and textual transmission and narrative settings alike prioritise Ireland over Scotland in the early history of this literature. Yet, for those who do not access the figure via the Gaelic tradition, Finn is often seen as a particularly Scottish literary creation – not least because of the complicated legacies of James Macpherson’s imagining of him as Fingal in the eighteenth century. What role Scotland plays in the early Finn Cycle texts will be considered here, along with more general questions about how usefully we can talk about a specifically medieval Scottish Gaelic literature.
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Dr Geraldine Parsons is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Celtic and Gaelic at the University of Glasgow. Her research is mainly concerned with the literature of the medieval Gaelic-speaking world, written in Old and Middle Irish, particular the works focussed on the legendary hero Finn mac Cumhaill. Her work also takes in more modern iterations of Finn Cycle literature, such as in eighteenth-century Scotland and modern Ireland. From Ireland, she gained her education at the University of Cambridge before coming to Glasgow.

Video recording on YouTube

 


Tuesday, 9 May 2023: Reading Scotland with Richard Morrison
Rantin Rovin Robin: the life of Scotland’s favourite son, Robert Burns, in music, song and verse.

“Rantin Rovin Robin” is a theatrical production celebrating the life and work of Scotland's greatest literary figure, Robert Burns. Burns wrote the world famous, “Auld lang syne”, and this show tells his remarkable story through his own songs, verse and letters. Rabbie loved life, he loved rhyme and he loved good company - especially the company of women. This production, featuring German and Scottish singers, actors and musicians, is a loving portrayal of a brilliant and enigmatic genius - Scotland's Favourite Son, Robert Burns.
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Richard Morrison is an international baritone singing in opera houses and concert halls throughout Europe, such as the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, the Royal Albert Hall and the Berliner Philharmonie. On CD he has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos and Warner Classics. He received an MA in Arts and Social Sciences at Aberdeen University and is a prize-winning graduate of the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied under the distinguished Italian soprano, Graziella Sciutti. He was born and brought up in Glasgow and comes from a musical family. His father, the Scottish singer and entertainer, Peter Morrison, presented his own BBC television show, Songs of Scotland, throughout the ‘70s and Richard grew up in television studios and theatres among Scotland’s leading musicians and artists of the time. Here he formed a love of Scottish music and Scottish culture. Richard has released two CDs of Scottish songs, with the Scottish independent label, Corban Recordings, “Songs of my Home” and “Isle of Arran”, where he collaborates with some of Scotland’s leading traditional and classical artists.

Video recording on YouTube


Tuesday, 25 April 2023: Reading Scotland with Silvia Mergenthal
Prisons, Graveyards, Battlefields: Scott(ish) Traumascapes

Traumascapes, according to Australian historian Maria Tumarkin, are places marked by traumatic legacies of violence, suffering, and loss. They remind those who visit them that the past cannot simply be erased, or for that matter, reconstructed; rather, at traumascapes, events are experienced and re-experienced across time.
This talk will, first of all, discuss whether the concept of the traumascape can usefully be applied to some of the settings of what is arguably the bleakest, as well as the most violent, of Scott's Scottish novels, The Tale of Old Mortality (1816): its prisons, graveyards and battlefields.  In a second step, and more speculatively, the question will be asked whether Scott's novel, in the process of representing traumascapes, does, in fact, become one itself (at least metaphorically speaking), that is, a cathartic location which confronts its Scottish readership with the violent past(s) of their country. In this reading, eponymous Old Mortality becomes a figure of his historiographer, as both busy themselves "cleansing the moss from the grey stones, renewing with their chisel the half-faced inscriptions, and repairing the emblems of death with which these simple monuments are usually adorned."
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Silvia Mergenthal read English and German at the universities of Erlangen/Germany, Austin/Texas and St Andrews/Scotland. From 1997 until her retirement in 2022, she was professor of English and Literary Theory at the University of Konstanz/Germany. She has published extensively on 18th and 19th century Scottish literature, but she is also interested in contemporary literature, with a particular focus on constructions of identity at the interface of gender and nation, in crime fiction across the centuries, and in the spatial turn in literary and cultural studies.

Video recording on YouTube


Winter Term 2022/2023

Tuesday, 24 Jan 2023: Reading Scotland with Davina Hachgenei
Targeting Nation? A narratological analysis of the Scotichronicon and The Bruce.

In modern (historical) research, both Walter Bower’s Scotichronicon (ca. 1445) and John Barbour’s The Bruce (1375), are deemed Scottish national treasures. Not only are they early witnesses to Scotland’s sovereignty and independence, but also the only surviving written sources for the times they give an account of. Even today, research on these texts is concerned almost exclusively with the topic of nation and nationhood (with the focus often placed on Scotland’s rivalry with its English neighbour) thus narrowing down the texts’ broad scope. A text-based, i.e. narratological, analysis opens up the perspective and takes into account the historical-cultural dimension of the respective artefacts. Thus evaluated, both texts are revealed as diverse and complex cultural products that deal with contingency and create meaning far beyond mere notions of nation and nationality.
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Davina Hachgenei studied German philology and history at Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz. In 2018, she gained her PhD in history with a thesis on “Narratology and History. An analysis of Scottish Historiography by the examples of Scotichronicon and The Bruce”. After some years in science administration, she is now project lead of Organizational Development at Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz.

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Tuesday, 10 Jan 2023: Reading Scotland with Melissa Walker
Building the Nation: An analysis of 'Scotland is Now'

As a small substate nation, Scotland finds itself faced with substantial challenges when it comes to gaining international recognition and legitimacy. However, what the country lacks in military ‘hard’ power and political autonomy, it attempts to compensate by means of soft power. In her talk, Melissa explores the elements of nation building that were used to construct the image of Scotland as projected in the campaign Scotland is Now (2018) and how this image was and still is being used for public diplomacy efforts in response to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
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Melissa Walker studied English Studies & Spanish (BA Hons) and Strategic Communication and Public Relations (MSc) at the University of Stirling, Scotland. In 2018, as part of her master’s thesis, Melissa analysed the Scottish Government's ‘Scotland is Now’ campaign and how it was used to position Scotland on the international stage in response to Brexit.

 


Tuesday, 20 Dec 2022: Reading Scotland with Alastair Mackie
Betwixt and Between Brexit: Meanings of Europe in the Scottish Independence Movement after the EU referendum

Following Brexit, symbols and narratives of Europe have become common in the Scottish independence movement and are often aligned with their Scottish equivalents. Are these just a reflection of the larger debate on Europe in the United Kingdom, or are they incorporated into the argument for Scottish independence? And does everyone in the movement agree with them? Reflecting on ethnographic fieldwork on meanings of Europe, undertaken during 2018-2020, Alastair will explore whether within the debate on Scottish independence, Europe is an ideology, nothing more than a strategy in a high-stakes political debate, or if its meaning can be found hidden in local experiences.
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Dr Alastair Mackie is an independent post-doctoral researcher and facilitator based in Berlin. He wrote his PhD on meanings of Europe in the Scottish independence movement following Brexit, which he completed at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He has previously studied at Edinburgh University and the University of Iceland, and has worked for the Scottish Government. His research interests are European identity and creative ethnology.

 

Video recording

 


Tuesday, 6 Dec 2022: Reading Scotland with Graeme Morton
Leaving the Cold Country: Scottish emigration under cloudy skies

In the next session of Reading Scotland we will show you the recording of Graeme Morton's talk at the ESSE 2022 in Mainz. The nineteenth century was a period consistently cooler than now, and Scotland remains the coldest of the British nations. Early meteorologists looked to environmental determinism to explain the persistence of agricultural shortage and to identify the atmospheric conditions that exacerbated the incidence of death and disease in the towns. What, then, was the climatic rationale for Scotland’s high per capita rates of emigration?
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Prof Graeme Morton (University of Dundee) is an historian of Scottish nationalism, emigration and the nation’s weather. He is the author or editor of twelve books, including William Wallace: A National Tale; The Scottish Diaspora; and Weather, Migration and the Scottish Diaspora.

Video recording

 

Tuesday, 22 Nov 2022: Reading Scotland with '2022 GO Ahrtal'
Dreams, Hopes and Futures

The short-term exchange project ‘2022 GO Ahrtal’ continued the long-standing tradition of connecting German and Scottish university students across borders and helping them face local challenges as global citizens. After a week of interdisciplinary lectures in Mainz by staff from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the University of Aberdeen, which dealt with topics such as climate justice, floods in Europes history, the geologic background of climate change and even floods in literature, the Scottish and German students were well prepared for their project work with two schools in Ahrweiler. The group travelled to the Ahr Valley, where they were housed in a helper camp. The Ahr region was flooded heavily in July 2021 and is still reliant on support from donors and volunteers to rebuild houses and lives. At two schools in Ahrweiler, Gymnasium Calvarienberg and Peter-Joerres-Gymnasium, the GO project worked together with groups of students to create stunning texts, podcasts and videos dealing with their hopes and dreams for the future. In this session of ‘Reading Scotland’ you will hear of their experiences first hand and see some of the projects they produced.

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Video recording

 

Tuesday, 08 November 2022: Reading Scotland with Susanne Boersma
Exhibiting Scotland in Europe

Since August 2022, Scotland has been the focus of the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (MEK) in Berlin. Through an exhibition and events programme, the museum presents the breadth of Scotland rather than a simple offering of its clichés. Curator Susanne Boersma collaborated with several institutions and different people in Scotland to show that Scotland is more than the Highlands, whisky and bagpipes. In this presentation, she describes the curatorial process, discusses the themes and ideas for the exhibition and programme and points to the minimal role of the museum’s collection in developing ‘Document Scotland – Reflections on a Changing Country’. With work by photographers Sophie Gerrard, Stephen McLaren, Colin McPherson and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, the museum introduces a European audience to divergent perspectives on modern-day Scotland.
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Susanne Boersma is a curator and researcher at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (MEK) in Berlin. She received her MA in Art Museum & Gallery Studies at the University of Leicester and curated several projects with LifeSpace Science Art Research Centre in Dundee. She recently completed her PhD thesis on participatory museum work with forced migrants (soon to be published with Transcript Verlag), whilst working on exhibitions and other projects at the MEK. One of these exhibitions is ‘Document Scotland – Reflections on a Changing Country’, which is the focus of this talk as part of Reading Scotland.

Video recording on YouTube

 

Summer Term 2022

 

Tuesday, 05 July 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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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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, 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, 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

Presentation download

 

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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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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Summer Term 2021

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

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag,
Sir Walter!
In 2021-22 we are celebrating the 250th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott's Birthday. JGU Mainz Scotland Hub is proud to be an official partner of Walter Scott 250.

Join us and take part in the wide range of events that is dedicated to honouring Sir Walter Scott. Events include storytelling, theatre productions, opera, exhibitions and talks. Due to the ongoing pandemic, many of these events will be online, enabling those of us who are in Germany to join the celebrations. The year of celebration will start with a light show at Scott’s paternal home in the Scottish Borders.

Reading Scotland - Reading Scott
In honour of Sir Walter, the JGU Scotland Hub will continue our “Reading Scotland” series of talks with “Reading Scott”.
‘Reading Scotland’ is a virtual community bringing together Germans and Scots and all who have an interest in Scottish life and literature. For the Walter Scott 250th anniversary, we have devised a special programme of readings and discussions devoted to Scott (Walter Scott 250).

Visit our Reading Scotland page for more information on each session!

 

A warm welcome to the Launch Event

A spectacular light show will launch the international celebrations for the 250th anniversary of the life and works of Sir Walter Scott on Saturday 20th March, World Storytelling Day. The night sky at Smailholm Tower, in the Scottish Borders, will be lit up by the world premiere of a brand-new short film of the Young Scott, created by video artist, Andy McGregor. The launch event is being funded by EventScotland and organised by Abbotsford, home of Sir Walter Scott, on behalf of the global Walter Scott 250 Partnership. An online broadcast of the event will introduce the Smailholm Tower light show to a worldwide audience from 6pm (GMT) on Saturday 20th March.

And why not join us for a drink while you watch...

Glenkinchie Distillery is joining us to celebrate the launch with their own unique serve, created by Glenkinchie bartender Sam Clark, and Inspired by the hills and meadows that backdrop the distillery: the Lammermuir Hills Highball.

Here’s how to make it:
Ingredients:
50 ml Glenkinchie 12
15 ml Chamomile Simple Syrup
25 ml Crisp Apple Juice
150 ml Bottle Green Sparkling Elderflower
 
Homemade Chamomile-Infused Simple Syrup
This simple syrup will keep in the fridge for up to a month
-1 cup water
-1 cup white sugar
-1 cup fresh chamomile blossoms or x2 chamomile tea bags
 
Method:
Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and simmer until sugar has dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add chamomile blossoms. Allow mixture to steep for 15 minutes and then strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
 
Enjoy!

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.

 

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

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, 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

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

Presentation download

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

Presentation download

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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Flyer download

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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Flyer download

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, 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

Presentation download 1

Presentation download 2

 

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

Presentation download

 

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

Presentation Download

 

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

Presentation Download 

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, 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

Presentation Download

 

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

Presentation Download

 

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

No presentation available

To visit her webpage click here!

Listen to her work here

 

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:

Video recording on YouTube

Presentation Download

Listen to Wayne Price's Reading:

Video recording on YouTube

Presentation Download

 

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, 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, 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

Presentation Download

 

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
Dichter übersetzen Dichter
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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