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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Old Bards and Antiquaries (ENLI10343)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEnglish Literature Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course will encourage critical reflection upon the construction of Scottish literary histories, and their role in defining conceptions of British literary tradition and 'national' cultures. The first seminar will consider critical perceptions of Scottish literature, examining how recent work, such as The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature, interrogates the conventional assumption that Scottish literature begins with John Barbour¿s Bruce (1375), as the first substantial work surviving in Scots. The course will prompt consideration of the extent to which such critical narratives are anticipated in literary texts, as we explore the ways in which these works invoke and reimagine the literary past. We will consider how these texts articulate changing conceptions of vernaculars, of the implications of their use in literature, and of the idea of a ¿national¿ culture. The function of the genre of the literary testament within texts which emphasise their role in transmitting a cultural heritage will also be considered. Study of the Bannatyne Manuscript (c. 1568), both in its original context and in its later role as cultural icon, will provide an opportunity to examine how individual texts and the notion of literary tradition are reshaped by the processes of transmission.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisites A MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as civilisation or other interdisciplinary classes, Freshman Year Seminars or composition/creative writing classes/workshops are not considered for admission to this course. Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having 4 literature classes at grade A.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students successfully completing the course will develop:
¿ critical insight into the various ideologies informing language choice and rhetorical practice in Scottish literature, and informing the development of critical conceptions of Scottish literary history.
¿ an ability to reflect on the changing relationships between literary practice, literary history, and ideas of nationhood across conventional period boundaries.
¿ an ability to analyse the ways in which writers on the course engage with the work of their literary predecessors, and how their works develop and respond to ideas of literary tradition.
¿ critical awareness of the diverse ways in which processes of transmission can alter texts, including the roles of scribes and editors.
Assessment Information
One course essay of 2,500 words (25%)

One examination essay of 3,000 words (75%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Primary Texts:
Hogg, J.(2002). Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Ed. P. Garside. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Scott, W.(2002) The Antiquary. Ed. N. J. Watson. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Other texts to be made available in the course reader.
Online primary sources:
Ramsay, A. (1724). The Ever Green: Being a Collection of Scots Poems, Wrote by the Ingenious Before 1600. 2 vols. Edinburgh: Ruddiman. Vol. 1:
Vol 2: [1876 reprint].
Scott, W (ed.) (1829). Memorials of George Bannatyne MDXLV¿MDCVIII. Edinburgh: Bannatyne Club, Available as a download via google books:
Selected further reading:
Ash, M. (1980). The Strange Death of Scottish History. Edinburgh: Ramsay Head Press [esp. ¿The age of clubs¿, 59-87].
Bell, B. (ed.) (2007). The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland. Volume 3: Ambition and Industry 1800-80. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Clancy, T. O., and M. Pittock (eds.) (2007). ¿The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature. Volume 1: From Columba to the Union (until 1707). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, especially 3-31.
Crawford, R. (2000). Devolving English Literature (2nd edn). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Elliott, E. (2010). ¿Scottish Writing¿, in Elaine Treharne and Greg Walker (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 574-93.
Ferris, I. (2005). ¿Printing the Past: Walter Scott¿s Bannatyne Club and the Antiquarian Document¿, Romanticism 11 (2): 143-60.
Fielding, P. (2008). Scotland and the Fictions of Geography: North Britain 1760-1830. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Matthews, D. (1999). The Making of Middle English. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Muir, E. (1936). Scott and Scotland: The Predicament of the Scottish Writer. London: Routledge.
Smith, G. G. (1919). Scottish Literature: Character and Influence. London: Macmillan.
Wittig, K. (1958). The Scottish Tradition in Literature. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd.
Wogan-Browne, J., N. Watson; A. Taylor, and R. Evans, (eds.). (1999). The Idea of the Vernacular: An Anthology of Middle English Literary Theory, 1280¿1520. Exeter: University of Exeter Press
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsScottish literature, cultural history, book history, nationalism
Course organiserDr Elizabeth Elliott
Tel: (0131 6)50 4285
Course secretaryMs Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619
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