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67580-01 - Seminar: Scotland's Languages and Literatures: An Introduction 3 KP

Semester Frühjahrsemester 2023
Angebotsmuster einmalig
Dozierende Silke Stroh (silke.stroh@unibas.ch, BeurteilerIn)
Inhalt This course provides a general introduction to Scottish cultural and literary history from the early Middle Ages to the present, combined with more detailed academic study of selected texts and themes. One key theme that will frame our discussions, and guide the selection of texts, is the country’s linguistic diversity – which, of course, reflects other kinds of diversity as well (e.g. in terms of ethnicity, region, class and religion). We will get a taster of this linguistic diversity by studying Scottish anglophone texts in both Standard English and Scots (the latter is sometimes considered as a regional/national variant of English and sometimes as a separate language, though a closely related one). In addition, we will study anglophone translations of several texts which were originally written (or orally composed) in Gaelic (widely considered as Scotland’s third major language) from the Middle Ages until today. Our sample texts from these three ‘core’ linguistic traditions will illustrate major features and developments in Scottish culture.
In addition to the three main languages, we may also take a brief look at other languages that have been important to Scottish culture at different times, such as Welsh in the early Middle Ages, Latin throughout the medieval and early modern period, or Punjabi, Arabic and Urdu among contemporary diasporic authors. We’ll also look at linguistic diversity as a literary topic: How have our primary texts portrayed speakers from other language groups, for instance? What does this say about their sense of self and about their views on national identity, cultural differences and civilisation? There are also opportunities for comparisons to language debates in other parts of the world, e.g. in relation to indigeneity, orality and literature, modernity and progress, stereotyping and othering, hybridity, mono- versus multiculturalism, nativism and cosmopolitanism, imperialism, ethnocide, language decline and revival, tourism and cultural branding. In addition, we’ll discuss how mono- and multilingualism have been handled by literary studies as an academic discipline.
The precise weighting of individual themes will be determined in consultation with the students.
If students are interested, we can also combine the analytical components of the course, and the language practice in Scots, with a small taster course in the Gaelic language.
Lernziele Students will gain a good overview knowledge of Scottish society and culture. They will also gain a deeper understanding of Scotland’s linguistic diversity, practical skills in reading Scots and, if desired, an introductory knowledge of Gaelic. They will also be able to relate their knowledge of Scottish socio-cultural phenomena to international debates about linguistic and cultural diversity.
Literatur We will read a wide range of primary and secondary texts. All set texts will be made available on ADAM. If you would like to do some preliminary reading, or if you would like to do extra background reading during term time, I recommend:

- Lynch, Michael. Scotland: "A New History". 1991. Rev. and repr. London: Pimlico, 1992. (Obviously does not cover the last 30 years, but for the time before that, it is still one of the best introductory histories available.)
- Macinnes, Allan I. "A History of Scotland". Macmillan Essential Histories. London: Red Globe 2019.
- Harvie, Christopher. "Scotland: A Short History". New ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2014.
- Watson, Roderick. "The Literature of Scotland". Macmillan History of Literature series. Basingstoke & London: Macmillan 1984. Rev. 2nd ed. in 2 vols., Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2007.
———, ed. "The Poetry of Scotland: Gaelic, Scots and English 1380–1980". Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1995. (Anthology. Like Lynch’s history, not the most recent, but still an invaluable resource on what happened before its publication date.)
- Imlah, Mick; & Robert Crawford (ed.). "The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse". Harmondsworth: Penguin 2006. (Good anthology.)
- McClure, J. Derrick. "Why Scots Matters". Edinburgh: The Saltire Society in assoc. with The Scots Language Society, 1988. Rev. ed. Edinburgh: The Saltire Society 1997. (Again not the most recent, but a classic from one of the greatest experts on Scots language and literature.)
- MacThòmais, Ruaraidh (Derick S. Thomson). "Why Gaelic Matters: A Short Discussion of the History and Significance of Gaelic and its Related Arts in Scottish Life". Saltire Society & An Comunn Gaidhealach 1984. (Like McClure, a bit old but a classic from a major critic. MacThòmais is also a key poet.)
- "Dictionary of the Scots Language / Dictionar o the Scots Leid". https://dsl.ac.uk/
On both older and modern forms of the language. Not only a dictionary, but also offers other information on the Scots language and its history.
- "Learn Gaelic" website. https://learngaelic.scot/. Many great Gaelic language learning resources for free.
- "Duolingo" website & app. Have a passable free Scottish Gaelic language course for beginners.
- Robertson, Boyd; & Iain Taylor, "Teach Yourself Gaelic" (book & CD). London: Teach Yourself Books 2005. Still one of the best books for beginners.
Weblink ADAM


Teilnahmebedingungen This seminar is for BA students on the advanced level who have completed ALL three introductory modules (including the proseminar papers).
Anmeldung zur Lehrveranstaltung Ideally, this course should not have more than 25 participants. Thus, to ensure that you will have a place, please pre-register by sending an e-mail to silke.stroh(at)unibas.ch by 1 February 2023. Please also indicate whether you already have specific thematic preferences (incl. your stance on the Gaelic language-learning option) – this will facilitate planning.

Students who have already pre-registered and then change their minds are kindly requested to send a brief de-registration e-mail to the same address, so that their place on the course can be allocated to other students.
Unterrichtssprache Englisch
Einsatz digitaler Medien Online-Angebot obligatorisch


Intervall wöchentlich
Datum 20.02.2023 – 22.05.2023
Zeit Montag, 14.15-16.00 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Datum Zeit Raum
Montag 20.02.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Montag 27.02.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Fasnachstferien
Montag 06.03.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Montag 13.03.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Montag 20.03.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Montag 27.03.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Montag 03.04.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Montag 10.04.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Ostern
Montag 17.04.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Montag 24.04.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Montag 01.05.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Tag der Arbeit
Montag 08.05.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Montag 15.05.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Montag 22.05.2023 14.15-16.00 Uhr Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 104
Module Modul: Advanced Anglophone Literary and Cultural Studies (Bachelor Studienfach Englisch)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
Hinweise zur Leistungsüberprüfung Regular and active participation, reading assignments, oral presentation.
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala Pass / Fail
Wiederholtes Belegen nicht wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft