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Course content

With debate continuing over Scotland’s political status, this Masters degree in Scottish Literature examines the role of literature in shaping the image and reality of the nation. You’ll learn to view Scottish writing, from a perspective shaped by critical theory, as well as traditional literary history.

Ranging across four centuries of the Scottish literary imagination, this course explores key figures, texts and debates from the period of Regal Union (1603) to the present – often placing literary writing at the heart of cultural and political debate.

You’ll look at a full range of writers, texts and debates from the early modern period to the present – including the works of Robert Burns, Walter Scott and James Hogg, right through to contemporary authors such as James Kelman, Janice Galloway and Kathleen Jamie. We’ll also explore the work of Robert Louis Stevenson, Nan Shepherd, Muriel Spark and too many others to mention.

Class discussion examines the complex means by which national literary identity is sustained, renewed and reconsidered – as well as the role of novelists and poets in integrating Scottish identity into the ever-evolving project of ‘Britishness’. There’s an emphasis on critical debate, and we’ll question some of the assumptions that go along with studying a national literary tradition.

No previous experience in studying Scottish Literature is required. Leading Scottish writers and critics feature prominently in assigned reading, alongside key insights from book history, literary criticism and political theory.


Visit the Scottish Literature MLitt page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

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