CFP: Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Scottish Literature (4/15/05; collection)

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In The Scottish Novel since the Seventies (1993) Gavin Wallace describes contemporary Scottish literature as ‘a grey and morose beast prone to lengthy fits of self-pity.’ As one plausible reason for the pathos and disaffection pervading late twentieth-century Scottish culture Wallace cites the general deplorability and political listlessness of Scottish affairs in the aftermath of the unsuccessful referendum on national self-rule in 1979. The COMPANION revisits Wallace’s characterisation of Scottish literature and culture from a post-devolution perspective, taking its cue from Christopher Whyte’s proposition in 1998 that ‘in the absence of an elected political authority, the task of representing the nation has been repeatedly devolved to its writers.’ In what ways could Scottish writing indeed be said to have changed after devolution? Has it come true that, as Whyte predicted, ‘the setting up of a Scottish parliament [would] at last allow Scottish literature to be literature!
 and foremost, rather than the expression of a nationalist movement’? And if so, what exactly might this mean and, more importantly, in what way would such a shift be desirable?


The COMPANION, which is scheduled for publication by Edinburgh University Press in 2007 to coincide with the ten-year anniversary celebrations of the new Scottish Parliament, currently comprises around 45 essays. The editor is looking to commission an additional three chapters on

(1) the poetry (and critical work) of Robert Crawford;

(2) the reception of Scottish literature in the world, and the impact of Scottish writing beyond Scotland;

(3) Scottish literature, non-print media and the new creative technologies.


Individual chapters are to be about 5,000 words in length and the submission deadline for completed manuscripts is December 2005. The editor is now calling for 300-word abstracts to be submitted by 15 April 2005 to


Professor Berthold Schoene

English Research Institute

Manchester Metropolitan University


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Received on Thu Mar 24 2005 - 08:58:20 EST

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