Teaching Packages: A Guide to Scottish Literature


This is an electronic course in Scottish Literature.

The material is divided into three sections:

Medieval and Renaissance Literature 1375-1700;
Poetry and Fiction 1700-1900; Poetry,
Poetry, Fiction and Drama Since 1920.

The essays are followed by notes, questions, and topics for discussion, and are suitable for use in courses from sixth-year studies upwards.

A Guide to Scottish Literature

This computer package covering the entire period of Scottish Literature in English and Scots (but not Gaelic) is based on Glasgow University's unique distance-taught MPhil course, comprising some twenty book-length volumes ranging from the medieval period through the period of the Scottish Enlightenment and of Burns and Scott and the nineteenth century to the twentieth century Scottish Renaissance and contemporary Scottish literature.

The original impetus for the distance-taught MPhil came from Professor Roderick Lyall, then Head of the Department of Scottish Literature - the only completely separate Department of Scottish Literature in existence. The Project was then assisted by colleagues; Douglas Gifford, Alan MacGillivray, Rowena Murray in the early stages, and then Carol Anderson and Christopher Whyte. Beth Dickson was appointed for two years as Development Officer for the Project in 1993. Thereafter other colleagues and postgraduate students assisted with completion. Attribution is given at the beginning of each section or essay, indicating the author.

That said, many colleagues and contributors have assisted in adding to and refining the materials; in particular, Jean Anderson, Manager of STELLA (Software for Teaching English and Scottish Literature and Language) and Pepi Sarvary, the software developer, have worked long and hard to adapt the lengthy written materials into coherent and usable computer format.

The materials for the MPhil have also been deployed in book format; Edinburgh University Press is in the process of producing three volumes under the General Editorship of Professor Douglas Gifford, together with an Advisory Team made up of practising teachers, schools advisers and many other well qualified educationists. The volumes cover the teaching and study of Scottish Language (John Corbett, Language and Scottish Literature (1997)), the use of Scottish language and literature materials in the classroom (Alan MacGillivray ed, Teaching Scottish Literature (1997)) and the last volume, A Guide to Scottish Literature edited by Douglas Gifford and Beth Dickson to be published in 1998.

The overall aim of the computer package, the three volumes, and the more extensive materials of the distance-taught MPhil are principally to assist students and teachers of Scottish literature to engage with language and literature studies in a user-friendly, practical and helpful way, indicating the main sources of help in terms of bibliographies and resources. The challenge, of course, comes from the new contemporary attitudes to the study and teaching of Scottish literature and culture - as evidenced by the compulsory Scottish literature component in the new schools Higher Still, and in the projected specialist modules on Scottish literature and Scottish language in the Advanced Higher. In addition to this, in the light of current political and social developments, the time is right that students in Scotland, Britain and in the rest of Europe and overseas should be able to study Scotlands unique history and literature. This computer package and the other materials are hopefully basic materials for that study.


A Guide to Scottish Literature
Unit Three, Poetry, Fiction & Drama from 1920

Book A MacDiarmid and the Scots Renaissance
1. State of Scottish Literature in 1919
2. Catherine Carswell: Open the Door!
3. MacDiarmid's Early Poetry
4. A Drunk Man Looks at The Thistle
5. MacDiarmid's Later Poetry
6. Edwin Muir & the Renaissance
7. Lewis Grassic Gibbon: A Scots Quair
8. Neil M. Gunn: The Silver Darlings

Book B The Modern Novel
1. What is a Scottish Novel?
2. N.Mitchison: The Bull Calves
3. M.Spark: The Ballad of Peckham Rye
4. G.Mackay Brown: Greenvoe
5. Alasdair Gray: Lanark
6. G.Friel: Mr Alfred M.A.
7. R.Jenkins: The Cone-Gatherers
8. J.Kennaway: Household Ghosts
9. J.Kesson: Another Time, Another Place
10. W.McIlvanney: Docherty

Book C Poetry Since World War ll
1. Late Muir & MacDiarmid
2. From the Apocalyptic to the Metaphysical
3. The New Scots Poets
4. Rural Scotland in Change
5. The Poet in Contempoary Society
6. Peripheral or Universal

Book D Twentieth Century Drama
1. The Legacy
2. Highland and Lowlands
3. Scots or English
4. Bridie uber alles
5. A Scottish People's Theatre
6. Scotland's Oil & Scotland's Theatre
7. Ethnic Lovelies
8. Slab Boys and Hard Men

Professor Douglas Gifford, Department of Scottish Literature
Jean Anderson, STELLA
University of Glasgow January 1998