There is no additional charge to participate in a workshop, but there is limited space. You will receive further information on workshops immediately after your registration is complete, and you may reserve a place at that time.
Walter Scott as Sheriff
What would it mean to think about Scott as, literally, a sheriff? Specifically as the Sheriff of Selkirkshire under the patronage of the Duke of Buccleuch? Most debates about Scott’s political allegiance turn on broad questions of his ambivalently Tory loyalties as the rub up against an apparent faith in progressive history. This workshop gives us a change to think in more specific terms about how local politics, in a period of radical protest on the borders, resonate in his work. We will focus particularly on The Law of the Last Minstrels, but also discuss Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border and Rob Roy.
Penny Fielding teaches Scottish Literature in the English Department at Edinburgh University, and heads Edinburgh's Centre for Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century. Her books include Writing and Orality: Nationality, Culture, and Nineteenth-Century Scottish Fiction, and Scotland and the fictions of Geography: North Britain 1760-1830. She edited The Monastery for the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, and is now a general editor for the New Edinburgh Edition of Robert Louis Stevenson. Her recent work focuses on fiction and espionage from the French Revolution to the Cold War.
The Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels has revolutionized our understanding of Scott's fiction and offered us texts that are fresh and critically invigorating. The aim of the Edinburgh Edition of Walter Scott's Poetry is to revitalize his poetry in a similar way. Work is now ongoing to establish the range and scope of this edition and to formulate a methodology for producing it. This workshop will investigate the rationale for an edition of Scott's poetry, and discuss the editorial questions that are being explored as it is developed. It will report the findings of the preliminary stages of investigation and invite discussion of features of the edition that will make it most appropriate for scholarship in the twenty-first century.
Dr Alison Lumsden leads The Walter Scott Poetry Project. Dr. Lumsden is a senior lecture in English and Scottish literature at the University of Aberdeen, and co-director of the Walter Scott Research Centre. Her publications include numerous volumes in the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, she is co-editor of Contemporary Scottish Women Writers (2000), and is currently developing the book Walter Scott and the Limits of Language.
Image and Experience
In 1936, Edwin Muir attacked Walter Scott as the ruinous icon of an extinct Scottish literary tradition. However, in mimicking Scott's own tendency to reduce history to types and narrate it through images, Muir tacitly renovated Scott for a modern--and modernist--age. Our workshop will examine Scott in this light. Central here will be Muir's association of Scott with the emptiness of images and, by extension, of experience at the very moment when Scottish documentary artists (literary, photographic, and cinematic) were forging new ideas of the nation's past on the basis of precisely that logic.
Matthew Wickman is senior lecturer of Scottish literature at the University of Aberdeen and associate professor of English at Brigham Young University. He is the author of The Ruins of Experience: Scotland's "Romantick" Highlands and the Birth of the Modern Witness, and is currently at work on two projects which, together, address the pre- and post-history of Scottish modernism.
As Edinburgh University’s Illustrating Scott website has aptly demonstrated, the illustrated Waverley novels heavily influenced popular visual representations of Scotland in the nineteenth century. Illustrated versions of Scott’s novels produced a powerful public image of Scotland and its history that gradually undermined his original intentions as an historical novelist. Scott encouraged the appropriate illustration of his fiction, but after his death, this particular Waverley industry assumed a life of its own. Popular illustration of the novels subsequently influenced aesthetics in theatre sets and costumes, and ultimately cinema adaptations, fixing forever Scotland’s historicized identity as tourist destination, while helping to denigrate Scott to “children’s author” by the end of the century. This workshop will look at a variety of Waverley illustration from the nineteenth century and address why literary scholarship needs to take account of the effects of popular visualization on the cultural capital of the novel.
Richard Hill teaches English at Chaminade University of Honolulu. His Ph.D. thesis from Edinburgh University examined the production of the lifetime illustrations to the novels of Sir Walter Scott in Scotland, and the influence they had on nineteenth century illustrated fiction. He is the author of Picturing Scotland through the Waverley novels: Sir Walter Scott and the Origins of the Victorian Illustrated Novel (Ashgate Publishing), and is now turning his attention to the illustrations of Robert Louis Stevenson.
exploiting the EEWN
A paper discussing the textual, linguistic, and literary “discoveries” of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels will introduce a workshop investigating how the edition and its resources can be used as a basis for future research. We will consider a range of topics. For instance, what opportunities arise in the dual role of the textual editor as critic? Then what to make of the EEWN’s discoveries from a critic’s perspective? Here we will consider Scott and the dictionaries. A much cited author in the OED, Scott’s presence raises questions. Some unique readings from Scott are textual errors; he uses words in senses not covered by the OED or SND; he provides readings much earlier than those cited; he adopts a words and senses from America, etc. Then what to make of Scott’s intertextuality? Scott is one of the great borrowers. Indeed, a quotation may signal a huge importation of an outlook, an intellectual approach, a way of seeing or understanding. We will consider ways of recognizing, evaluating and discussing such latitudinal enrichment. Scott also borrowed from himself. For instance, he revisited The Lady of the Lake in Rob Roy. He also reuses quotations, and indulges in self-quotation. This can signal intellectual reassessment achieved by recontextualizing texts, phrases, and even individual words. And what about Scott’s contemporary context? P. D. Garside has shown that the first chapter of Waverley is full of precise reference to the fiction of the early nineteenth century. In the novels as a whole there are also many references to newspaper stories and advertisements, current events, writers, and writings which to a contemporary reader must have made Scott’s novels appear to be situated both in the past and in the present. Finally, we may consider Scott and the language. Discussion of Scott’s language seldom advances beyond the old observation that “lower class characters speak Scots and upper class characters and narrators speak English.” The EEWN has shown this dichotomy to be false. The application of the methodologies of corpus linguistics could transform our appreciation of Scott. This workshop shall be assisted by members of the EEWN team.
David Hewitt was Regius Chalmers Professor of English Literature when he retired from the University of Aberdeen in 2008. He has been editor-in-chief of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels since its inception, and the final two volumes of the thirty-book set, published by Edinburgh University Press and available from Columbia University Press in North America, will appear in 2011.
the Mississippi and the Wild Frontier
Christopher Harvie leads discussion on the combustible Mark Twain, arguing that Walter Scott was more of an influence on the USA’s westward expansion than on stoking up the Civil War. He was influenced throughout his oeuvre by Professor Adam Ferguson of Raith (father of one of his closest friends) and Ferguson’s “stadial” analysis of society was evident in the westward movement—from hunter-gatherer to pastoralist, farmer and merchant, often compressed into a couple of decades. I will try to “speir oot” the hand of Ferguson behind the Turner Thesis and, indeed, its challenge by the growth of the great city with “Luxury and Corruption” on tap, engaging with the political and literary debate from Fenimore Cooper to the crime classics of the 1930s.
This workshop also gives the chance of running branch lines to Robert Louis Stevenson in Across the Plains and to that all-but-forgotten poet Thomas Campbell, father (perhaps) of Wyoming...
Christopher Harvie comes to us from Motherwell via Edinburgh University—where he studied History—Tübingen, and the Scottish Parliament. He is an expert on “academic liberalism in Victorian Britain,” has taught at the Open University, and served as Professor of British Studies and directed the British regional studies element of the International Economics faculty at Tübingen. He is Honorary Professor of Politics at Aberystwyth, and of History at Strathclyde. His publications include Fool’s Gold: the Story of North Sea Oil (1994), Deep-Fried Hillman Imp: Scotland’s Transport (2001), Floating Commonwealth: Politics, Technology and Culture on Britain’s Atlantic Coast, 1860-1930 (2008), Broonland: the Last Days of Gordon Brown (2010), and Scotland the Brief: a Short History of a Nation (2010).
In 1988 he left the Labour Party for the SNP and Plaid Cymru. He stood for the SNP in the 2007 Holyrood elections, and was returned as List Member for Mid Scotland and Fife. He was an MSP until parliamentary dissolution on 22 March 2011, and served as a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee and as Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the First Minister.