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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Propaganda in Renaissance Scotland (PGHC11345)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course description'Propaganda' is an inescapable phenomenon of the modern world. This course is a case-study in how propaganda began.

Propaganda, in the sense of public statements deliberately designed to persuade a target audience to take controversial public action or to support a controversial public cause, seems largely to have arisen with the political and religious disputes of the sixteenth century. This course studies the early propaganda that arose in sixteenth-century Scotland.

Propaganda is identifiable by its function. It addresses itself to a particular type of audience in a particular way - an audience that needs to be persuaded, and that contains members who are sceptical. In the sixteenth century, the exhortation 'Lead a godly life' was evangelical but not necessarily controversial. It was, however, controversial to say 'Lead a godly life because John Knox says so'. This course focuses, not so much on the content of controversial exhortations, as on the media by which they were delivered and the structures of the arguments that they used. Thus, the course is not 'Propaganda in Reformation Scotland'. The Reformation was an important reason why propaganda was produced, as were the civil and international wars of the 1540s and 1570s. But this course is more about media, and about modes of communication and argument. The Reformation was an important thing that people argued about: the Renaissance structured the way in which people argued.

Taken as a whole, Renaissance propaganda was remarkable for its heterogeneity. It could be fiction or non-fiction, verse or prose, written or oral; it could incorporate drama or music; and it need not be textual at all - visual imagery or ritual actions could also be propaganda. Some of the media for propaganda were essentially official - royal proclamations or mottoes on coins; some were essentially unofficial - handwritten poems, cartoons and libels posted up at night; and some could be either - sermons could be preached either for or against the government. The course investigates these media by means of primary sources.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
* demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the most important issues and themes connected to propaganda in Renaissance Scotland;
* independently identify and pursue research topics in this field;
* exhibit an understanding of how primary sources can be used to reconstruct structures of political and religious discourse;
* analyse and contextualise primary source material;
* arrive at independent, well-argued, well-documented and properly referenced conclusions in their coursework essay;
* demonstrate their skills in group discussion and written and oral presentations;
* demonstrate their written, analytical and theoretical skills in coursework;
* prepare and present their work in seminars.
Assessment Information
Assessed work will comprise a 3,000-word essay (on a topic agreed in advance between student and course organiser) and a short written report on a primary document. The written report will also be circulated via an electronic bulletin board and discussed in seminars, but the assessment will be of the written report rather than the subsequent oral presentation of it. These two items will be weighted at 90 per cent for the essay and 10 per cent for the report.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description The three core topics for the course are:
- What people argued about
- How people argued
- The media.

In the first topic, students will learn about the political and religious disputes in which Scots were embroiled in the sixteenth century.

In the second topic, students will learn about the polemical functions of various types of discourse. Propaganda can be differentiated from rhetoric, information, evangelism, intellectual debate and satire. Propaganda can also be embedded in all these other things, or (to put it another way) all these other things can be deployed to serve a propaganda function under certain circumstances.

In the third topic, students will learn about various media for propaganda, such as proclamations, sermons and poems (printed or handwritten).

The difficult topic of audiences for propaganda will be raised throughout the course, and there will be some specific discussion of that and of the concept of the 'public sphere' (which has generated a good deal of conceptual debate). Students will also learn about censorship of propaganda.

Syllabus The indicative weekly programme is as follows:

1. Introduction: definitions of propaganda

Part I: what people argued about
2. Political controversies
3. Religious controversies

Part II: how people argued
4. Propaganda, rhetoric and information
5. Propaganda, evangelism, debate and satire
6. Structures of propagandist arguments

Part III: the media
7. Official media
8. Unofficial media

Part IV: results and contexts
9. Audiences, communities and the 'public sphere'
10. Censorship
11. Conclusions: the persuasiveness of propaganda
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Primary sources

David Calderwood, History of the Kirk of Scotland, 8 vols., eds. Thomas Thomson and David Laing (Wodrow Society, 1842-9)
Calendar of State Papers relating to Scotland and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1547-1603, 13 vols., eds. Joseph Bain et al. (Edinburgh, 1898-1969)
Francis J. Child (ed.), English and Scottish Popular Ballads, abridged by H. C. Sargent and G. L. Kittredge (London, 1904)
The Complaynt of Scotland (c.1550), ed. A. M. Stewart (Scottish Text Society, 1979)
J. Cranstoun (ed.), Satirical Poems of the Time of the Reformation, 2 vols. (Scottish Text Society, 1891-3)
The Gude and Godlie Ballatis, ed. A. F. Mitchell (Scottish Text Society, 1897)
Robert Keith, History of the Affairs of Church and State in Scotland, from the Beginning of the Reformation to the Year 1568, 3 vols., eds. J. P. Lawson and C. J. Lyon (Spottiswoode Society, 1844-50)
John Knox, Works, 6 vols., ed. David Laing (Wodrow Society, 1846-64)
Thomas G. Law (ed.), Catholic Tractates of the Sixteenth Century, 1573-1600 (Scottish Text Society, 1901)
The Maitland Quarto Manuscript, ed. W. A. Craigie (Scottish Text Society, 1920)
Roger A. Mason and Martin S. Smith (eds.), A Dialogue on the Law of Kingship among the Scots: a Critical Edition and Translation of George Buchanan's De Jure Regni Apud Scotos Dialogus (Aldershot, 2004)
[Richard Mocket,] God and the King: or, A dialogue shewing that our Soueraigne Lord King Iames, being immediate vnder God within his dominions, doth rightfully claime whatsoeuer is required by the Oath of allegeance (Scottish edition, London, 1616: STC (2nd edn.) no. 14420)
Rob Stene's Dream, ed. William Fleming, William Motherwell and John Smith (Maitland Club, 1836)
'To the Nobility', c.1591, in The Warrender Papers, 2 vols., ed. Annie I. Cameron (Scottish History Society, 1931-2), ii, 154-64
Louise Yeoman, Reportage Scotland: History in the Making (Edinburgh, 2000)

Theories and definitions

Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: the Formation of Men's Attitudes, trans. Konrad Kellen and Jean Lerner (New York, 1973)
Bertrand Taithe and Tim Thornton (eds.), Propaganda: Political Rhetoric and Identity, 1300-2000 (Stroud, 1999)
Mark Knights, Representation and Misrepresentation in Later Stuart Britain: Partisanship and Political Culture (Oxford, 2005)
Andrew Pettegree, Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion (Oxford, 2005)
Andrew Pettegree and Matthew Hall, 'The Reformation and the book: a reconsideration', Historical Journal, 47 (2004), 785-808
Andrew Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance (New Haven, Conn., 2010)
Peter Lake and Steve Pincus, 'Rethinking the public sphere in early modern England', Journal of British Studies, 45 (2006), 270-92
Conal Condren, 'Public, private and the idea of the "public sphere" in early-modern England', Intellectual History Review, 19 (2009), 15-28
Alasdair A. MacDonald, 'Early modern Scottish literature and the parameters of culture', in Sally L. Mapstone and Juliette Wood (eds.), The Rose and the Thistle: Essays on the Culture of Late Medieval and Renaissance Scotland (East Linton, 1998), 77-100

Political and religious issues

Jane E. A. Dawson, Scotland Re-formed, 1488-1587 (Edinburgh, 2007)
Jamie Cameron, James V: the Personal Rule, 1528-1542 (East Linton, 1998)
Marcus Merriman, The Rough Wooings: Mary Queen of Scots, 1542-1551 (East Linton, 2000)
Gordon Donaldson, All the Queen's Men: Power and Politics in Mary Stewart's Scotland (London, 1983)
Julian Goodare, 'Scottish politics in the reign of James VI', in Julian Goodare and Michael Lynch (eds.), The Reign of James VI (East Linton, 2000), 32-54; reprinted in Bob Harris and Alan R. MacDonald (eds.), Scotland: the Making and Unmaking of the Nation, c.1100-1707, vol. iv: Readings, c.1500-1707 (East Linton, 2007), 20-40
Alec Ryrie, The Origins of the Scottish Reformation (Manchester, 2006)
Clare Kellar, Scotland, England, and the Reformation, 1534-1561 (Oxford, 2003)
Ian B. Cowan, The Scottish Reformation (London, 1982)
Michael Lynch, 'Preaching to the converted? Perspectives on the Scottish Reformation', in A. A. MacDonald, Michael Lynch and Ian B. Cowan (eds.), The Renaissance in Scotland (Leiden, 1994), 301-43

Late medieval propaganda

John J. McGavin, 'Robert III's "rough music": charivari and diplomacy in a medieval Scottish court', Scottish Historical Review, 74 (1995), 144-58
Stephen Boardman, 'Chronicle propaganda in fourteenth-century Scotland: Robert the Steward, John of Fordun and the "Anonymous Chronicle"', Scottish Historical Review, 76 (1997), 23-43
James E. Fraser, '"A swan from a raven": William Wallace, Brucean propaganda, and Gesta Annalia II', Scottish Historical Review, 81 (2002), 1-22
Eleanor Commander, 'Andrew Wyntoun, historiographical propagandist: the four kingdoms in his "Original chronicle"', in Alasdair A. MacDonald and Kees Dekker (eds.), Rhetoric, Royalty and Reality: Essays on the Literary Culture of Medieval and Early Modern Scotland (Leuven, 2005), 1-16
R. J. Lyall, 'Politics and poetry in fifteenth and sixteenth century Scotland', Scottish Literary Journal, 3:2 (Dec. 1976), 5-29
Anthony J. Hasler, Court Poetry in Late Medieval England and Scotland: Allegories of Authority (Cambridge, 2011)
Suzanne F. Cawsey, Kingship and Propaganda: Royal Eloquence and the Crown of Aragon, c.1200-1450 (Oxford, 2002)
James A. Doig, 'Political propaganda and royal proclamations in late medieval England', Historical Research, 71 (1998), 253-80
Adrian Ailes, 'Heraldry in medieval England: symbols of politics and propaganda', in Peter Coss and Maurice Keen (eds.), Heraldry, Pageantry, and Social Display in Medieval England (Woodbridge, 2002), 83-104
Charles Ross, 'Rumour, propaganda and popular opinion during the Wars of the Roses', in Ralph A. Griffiths (ed.), Patronage, the Crown and the Provinces in Later Medieval England (Gloucester, 1981), 15-32
Colin Richmond, 'Propaganda in the Wars of the Roses', History Today, 42:7 (July 1992), 12-18
Michael Hicks, 'Propaganda and the first battle of St Albans, 1455', Nottingham Medieval Studies, 44 (2000), 167-83

Political debate

Marcus Merriman, 'War and propaganda during the "Rough Wooing"', Scottish Tradition, 9/10 (1979-80), 20-30
James Emerson Phillips, Images of a Queen: Mary Stuart in Sixteenth-Century Literature (Berkeley, Calif., 1964)
Alexander S. Wilkinson, Mary Queen of Scots and French Public Opinion, 1542-1600 (London, 2004)
David Parkinson, '"A lamentable storie": Mary queen of Scots and the inescapable querelle des femmes', in L. A. J. R. Houwen, A. A. MacDonald and S. L. Mapstone (eds.), A Palace in the Wild: Essays on Vernacular Culture and Humanism in Late-Medieval and Renaissance Scotland (Leuven, 2000), 141-60
Roger A. Mason, 'Scotching the Brut: politics, history and national myth in sixteenth-century Britain', in Roger A. Mason (ed.), Scotland and England, 1286-1815 (Edinburgh, 1987), 60-84
Roger A. Mason, Kingship and the Commonweal: Political Thought in Renaissance and Reformation Scotland (East Linton, 1998)
Roger A. Mason, 'George Buchanan's vernacular polemics, 1570-1572', Innes Review, 54 (2003), 47-68
Mark Loughlin, '"The Dialogue of the Twa Wyfeis": Maitland, Machiavelli and the propaganda of the Scottish civil war', in A. A. MacDonald, Michael Lynch and Ian B. Cowan (eds.), The Renaissance in Scotland (Leiden, 1994), 226-45
Amy Blakeway, 'The response to the Regent Moray's assassination', Scottish Historical Review, 88 (2009), 9-33
J. H. Burns, The True Law of Kingship: Concepts of Monarchy in Early-Modern Scotland (Oxford, 1996)
Ian F. Stewart, 'Coinage and propaganda: an interpretation of the coin-types of James VI', in Anne O'Connor and D. V. Clarke (eds.), From the Stone Age to the 'Forty-Five (Edinburgh, 1983), 450-62

Religious debate

Roger Mason, 'Covenant and commonweal: the language of politics in Reformation Scotland', in Norman Macdougall (ed.), Church, Politics and Society: Scotland, 1408-1929 (Edinburgh, 1983), 97-126
A. A. MacDonald, 'On first looking into the Gude and Godlie Ballatis (1565)', in Sally Mapstone (ed.), Older Scots Literature (Edinburgh, 2005), 230-42
C. Marie Harker, 'John Knox, The First Blast, and the monstrous regiment of gender', in Theo van Heijnsbergen and Nicola Royan (eds.), Literature, Letters and the Canonical in Early Modern Scotland (East Linton, 2002), 35-51
Roderick J. Lyall, 'Alexander Montgomerie, anti-Calvinist propagandist?', Notes and Queries, 49 (2002), 210-15
Jane E. A. Dawson, 'The Scottish Reformation and the theatre of martyrdom', in Diana Wood (ed.), Martyrs and Martyrologies (Studies in Church History, no. 30: Oxford, 1993), 259-70
Crawford Gribben and David G. Mullan (eds.), Literature and the Scottish Reformation (Aldershot, 2009)
W. Ian P. Hazlitt, 'Playing God's card: Knox and fasting, 1565-66', in Roger A. Mason (ed.), John Knox and the British Reformations (Aldershot, 1998), 176-98
Margo Todd, The Culture of Protestantism in Early Modern Scotland (New Haven, Conn., 2002)
J. H. Burns, 'Nicol Burne: "plane disputation bayth at libertie, and in presone"', Innes Review, 50 (1999), 102-26
Martin H. Dotterweich, 'Conciliar authority in Reformation Scotland: the example of the Kennedy/Davidson debate, 1558-63', Studies in Church History, 33 (1997), 289-306
R. W. Scribner, For the Sake of Simple Folk: Popular Propaganda for the German Reformation (Oxford, 1981)
Donald Kelley, The Beginning of Ideology: Consciousness and Society in the French Reformation (Cambridge, 1981)
Luc Racaut, Hatred in Print: Catholic Propaganda and Protestant Identity during the French Wars of Religion (Aldershot, 2002)
Arnold Hunt, The Art of Hearing: English Preachers and their Audiences, 1590-1640 (Cambridge, 2009)


Priscilla Bawcutt, 'The art of flyting', Scottish Literary Journal, 10 (1983), 5-24
C. Marie Harker, '"Chrystis Kirk on the Grene": dialoguic satire in fifteenth-century Scotland', in Graham Caie et al. (eds.), The European Sun: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Scottish Language and Literature (East Linton, 2001), 300-8
Roderick Lyall, 'Complaint, satire and invective in Middle Scots literature', in Norman Macdougall (ed.), Church, Politics and Society: Scotland, 1408-1929 (Edinburgh, 1983), 44-64
Gregory Kratzmann, 'Political satire and the Scottish Reformation', Studies in Scottish Literature, 26 (1991), 423-37
Tricia A. McElroy, 'Imagining the "Scottis natioun": populism and propaganda in Scottish satirical broadsides', Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 49 (2007), 319-39


John J. McGavin, 'Faith, pastime, performance and drama in Scotland to 1603', in Jane Milling and Peter Thomson (eds.), The Cambridge History of British Theatre, vol. i: Origins to 1660 (Cambridge, 2004), 70-86
John J. McGavin, Theatricality and Narrative in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland (Aldershot, 2007)
Sarah Carpenter, 'Performing diplomacies: the 1560s court entertainments of Mary queen of Scots', Scottish Historical Review, 82 (2003), 194-225

Court culture and literature

Douglas Gray, 'The royal entry in sixteenth-century Scotland', in Sally Mapstone and Juliette Wood (eds.), The Rose and the Thistle: Essays on the Culture of Late Medieval and Renaissance Scotland (East Linton, 1998), 10-37
A. A. MacDonald, 'Mary Stewart's entry to Edinburgh: an ambiguous triumph', Innes Review, 42 (1991), 101-10
A. R. MacDonald, 'The triumph of Protestantism: the burgh council of Edinburgh and the entry of Mary queen of Scots, 2 September 1561', Innes Review, 48 (1997), 73-82
Michael Lynch, 'The reassertion of princely power in Scotland: the reigns of Mary and James VI', in Martin Gosman, Alasdair MacDonald and Arjo Vanderjagt (eds.), Princes and Princely Culture, 1450-1650, vol. i (Leiden, 2003), 199-238
Michael Lynch, 'Court ceremony and ritual during the personal reign of James VI', in Julian Goodare and Michael Lynch (eds.), The Reign of James VI (East Linton, 2000), 71-92
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsPropaganda Renaissance Scotland
Course organiserDr Julian Goodare
Tel: (0131 6)50 4021
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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