- Scottish Literary Review
SCOTTISH LITERARY REVIEW is the leading international journal for Scottish literary studies, committed to approaching Scottish literature in an expansive way through exploration of its various social, cultural, historical and philosophical contexts, and of literary forms, both traditional and new. We are interested in comparative work with literatures from beyond Scotland, the interaction of literature with expressive media such as theatre and film, and in encouraging debate on issues of contemporary significance related to Scottish literary studies, so that SLR is both responsive to, and creative of, new readings and approaches. The journal is listed in the MLA International Bibliography and issues from 2013 onwards are accessible online as part of Project MUSE’s Premium Collection.
This issue of the Scottish Literary Review contains an essay by Neil Curtis on ‘The Place of History, Literature and Politics in the 1911 Scottish Exhibition’, a foundational moment in Scottish Studies and, indeed, in the rise of modern Scottish Literary Studies. One of the consequences of the 1911 Exhibition was the endowment in 1912 of the Chair of Scottish History and Literature (which remains the rubric of that professorship today) at the University of Glasgow. Not only is Mr Curtis’s text instructive, but so too are the illustrations that accompany it. Patrick Scott’s piece on Robert Burns’s ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’ represents a distinct ‘moment’ in Burns Studies, re-writing (as it does), the publication history of one of the poet’s most powerful poems. Andrew Nash’s ‘Better Dead: J. M. Barrie’s First Book and the Shilling Fiction Market’ continues Dr Nash’s revisionist efforts in reading ‘Kailyard’ authors both by actually looking closely at the material evidence (something too little attended to by many earlier denigrators of Barrie et al.) and by mounting a seriously nuanced critical reading. The current vibrancy of Kelman criticism is demonstrated by SLR carrying an article on the author for a second time in a row, Carole Jones’s ‘James Kelman’s Melancholic Politics’. In ‘The Ecology of Iain Crichton Smith’s “High Hills” ’, Jon Sanders provides a welcome piece on one of Scotland’s greatest twentieth-century poets through a very contemporary critical lens. Another hotspot in current Scottish criticism, attention to the Gothic, is highlighted by Fiona McCulloch in ‘Daughter of an Outcast Queen: Defying State Expectations in Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon’ (currently a collection of essays, The Edinburgh Companion to Scottish Gothic, is being edited [End Page v] for publication by Carol Davison and Monica Germana). Among ‘Shorter Essays and Notes’, Sandro Jung’s ‘Illustrated Glasgow Editions of Robert Burns’s Poems, 1800–1802’ demonstrates not only current boundary-pushing in Burns Studies but in Scottish Book and Publishing History, more generally. Our annual ‘Year’s Work’ in three period sections rounds out ‘Shorter Essays and Notes’.
The next issue of SLR will feature a series of essays on Walter Scott, and will be co-edited by Professor Alison Lumsden (University of Aberdeen). A number of other themed ‘special’ issues are planned for the future.
G. Ross Roy Medal
The G. Ross Roy Medal, awarded annually by the Universities Committee for the Teaching of Scottish Literature for the best postgraduate thesis in the subject was won for 2014 by Barbara Leonardi (University of Stirling) for her dissertation, ‘An Exploration of Gender Stereotypes in the Work of James Hogg’. This is the fifth year the award has been made. See: ucsl-scotland.-com/ross-roy-medal. Dr Leonardi was presented with the medal at the Saltire Society Book Awards.
John Galt Society
As reported in the last issue of SLR a John Galt Society was to be inaugurated in December 2014. By the time this issue appears the Society will have taken part in a wreath-laying commemoration at Galt’s grave in Greenock, led by one of Ayrshire’s and Scotland’s most famous contemporary writers, Andrew O’Hagan, who is now the Honorary President of the John Galt Society. This will have taken place on 8 May, with Alison McNeill playing a violin lament at the graveside and Professor Douglas Gifford speaking at a lunch afterwards. For further...