Sojourn in St. Andrews
St. Andrews, Scotland is home to the oldest university in Scotland and the third-oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of St. Andrews. Founded in 1413, it embraces centuries of history within its walls, and the renowned university counts Nobel Prize winners, notable politicians and other public figures among its alumni. In 2014, Scotland held a referendum to decide whether it should become an independent country, and narrowly decided to remain part of the United Kingdom. Regardless of result, this landmark political moment would have been unimaginable a century before. This lecture will argue that Scotland’s political evolution is heavily influenced by the ways in which writers have engaged with national history and identity in their work. We will look at authors from the early twentieth century who celebrated regional diversity and folk culture in a range of Scottish languages, and who debated the pros and cons of Scottish independence. We will then explore how more recent writers, from lyric poets to the bestselling authors of ‘tartan noir’ crime fiction, have helped create modern Scotland.
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