CFP: [General] Scottish Gothic, 1764––Present: A One–day Symposium, University of Stirling, Scotland.

full name / name of organization: 
Dale Townshend
contact email: 
dt8@stir.ac.uk

Scottish Gothic, 1764–Present: A One-Day Symposium
Department of English Studies, University of Stirling, Scotland.
Saturday 24th October, 2009.
Confirmed Plenary Speakers: Peter Garside (University of Edinburgh) and
Angela Wright (University of Sheffield).
Scottish culture and the Gothic have interacted fruitfully with one
another ever since the rise of this literary mode during the late
eighteenth century. Writers and thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment
such as David Hume, Adam Smith, Henry Mackenzie, James Thomson and James
MacPherson were crucial to the discursive foundations of the Gothic
aesthetic, while, during the 1790s and early 1800s, Scottish histories
and landscapes, however highly mythologised, served as the setting for
numerous Gothic romances written and published throughout the British
isles. In the first few decades of the nineteenth century, Scottish
writers such as James Hogg and Walter Scott interacted with, and
modified, Gothic conventions in intriguing and innovative ways, and in
the latter part of the century, Robert Louis Stevenson would write and
publish what has subsequently become an iconic Gothic text of the fin de
siècle. In the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, manifestations of
Gothic convention in Scottish literature are no less profound, and
contemporary Scottish writers such as Alasdair Gray, Irvine Welsh, Iain
Banks and Louise Welsh continue to employ aspects of the Gothic in their
work. But these are only some of the best-known names in a rich
tradition of Scottish Gothic that stretches back to the latter half of
the eighteenth century. The conference aims to bring to light scholarly
work on the Gothic in a range of lesser-known, understudied Scottish
authors. To these ends, Norbert Besch of Udolpho Press will provide an
informal introduction to the life and works of the Scottish-born Gothic
novelist Isabella Kelly, launching two new scholarly editions of her work
in the year that marks the two-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of her
birth. Aiming to move beyond a mere consideration of the Gothic in
fictions by writers of Scottish nationality, this conference aims also to
solicit papers that explore the use of Gothic conventions in texts about
Scotland, its histories and its landscapes, irrespective of their
particular cultural provenance. How might the terms ‘Scottish’
and ‘Gothic’ be brought together? Is ‘Scottish Gothic’ distinctive from
other national manifestations of the mode? What, politically speaking,
is at stake in the notion of a ‘Scottish Gothic’?

Possible topics might include, but are by no means limited to, the
following:
• Scotland in/and the romance revival
• Ann Radcliffe’s Scotland
• Robert Burns and the Gothic
• James Hogg, Walter Scott and the Gothic
• Mary Shelley in/and Scotland
• Gothic appropriations of Macbeth
• Scottish Doubles
• Robert Louis Stevenson
• Alasdair Gray’s Gothic
• Contemporary Scottish Gothic: Iain Banks, Louise Welsh, John
Burnside,
• Evolution, Devolution and the Gothic
Please email a 250-word abstract for a 20-minute paper to Dale Townshend
dt8_at_stir.ac.uk by 1 September 2009.

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Received on Mon Jan 26 2009 - 13:31:20 EST

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