Scottish Studies Centre

(Update 21 September, 2018)

Scottish Studies Newsletter no. 47 (September 2018) is available here

Unsere Partner-Uni Glasgow bietet allen, also auch unseren Studierenden, einen Kurs über Robert Burns an (

Celebrate Robert Burns with this free online course.

This free course from the Centre for Robert Burns Studies <>, University of Glasgow, will introduce you to the life, works and global celebrity of Robert Burns.

You’ll examine poems, songs, manuscripts, and objects used to commemorate the poet.
You’ll also develop your understanding of Robert Burns’s posthumous reputation - from Burns Suppers and Burns Night through to Hogmanay.

What topics will you cover?
* The cultural reputation of Robert Burns as patriot, lover, and man of the people
* Robert Burns as poet and songwriter
* Major works such as ‘Scots Wha Hae’, ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, ‘A Man’s a Man’, ‘The Vision’, and ‘Auld Lang Syne’
* The commemoration of Burns in material culture
* The international celebrity and legacy of Burns

*When would you like to start? * - * 23 July 2018

*What will you achieve? * - By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

* Explore the poems, songs and legacy of Robert Burns
* Discuss the reputation of Burns as a national and international poet
* Collaborate with other learners in researching and mapping examples of Burns's global reach
* Develop an understanding of Burns's place in Scottish literary tradition
* Engage with diverse media related to the study of Burns, including poems, song recordings, videos, images, maps, and manuscripts

Who is the course for?

No previous experience or qualifications are required for this course - just an interest in Robert Burns, Scottish history and culture, or poetry and song in general.

It is ideal for anyone considering further study in the field, such the courses offered by the Centre for Robert Burns Studies
<>at the University of Glasgow.

Latest publication in the Scottish Studies International series:
Vol. 41, edited by three members of the English Department in Germersheim: Klaus Peter Müller, Ilka Schwittlinsky and Ron Walker, Inspiring Views from "a' the airts" on Scottish Literatures, Art & Cinema. The First World Congress of Scottish Literatures in Glasgow 2014, Frankfurt: Lang 2017. The book raises significant questions, such as where do Scottish literatures, art, and cinema stand today? What and how do Scottish Studies investigate? Creative writers and scholars give answers to these questions and address vital concerns in Scottish, British, and European history from the Union debate and the Enlightenment to Brexit, ethnic questions, and Scottish film. They present new insights on James Macpherson, Robert Burns, John Galt, J. M. Barrie, Walter Scott, James Robertson, war poetry, new Scottish writing, and nature writing. The contributions highlight old and new networking and media as well as the persistent influences of the past on the present, analyzing a wide range of texts, media and art forms with approaches from literary, cultural, media, theatre, history, political, and philosophical studies.

Exemplary results of the conference on the 2014 independence referendum are available in:

The Scottish Studies Centre was set up in the English Department of the Germersheim faculty of the university of Mainz in 1981 by Professor Horst W. Drescher as a centre for interdisciplinary research and teaching, with emphasis on the study of Scottish literature in its socio-cultural context. Its main objective was and still is to encourage an international approach in Scottish studies by maintaining contacts with similar institutions and university departments in other countries as well as by organizing conferences and workshops on Scottish topics. When it was founded, it was one of only two research departments outside the UK focusing on Scot­tish life and letters, the other was the 'Groupe de Recherche Études Écossaises' at the Univer­sité de Stendhal, Grenoble.

The number of Scottish Studies Centres around the world has hardly increased since then. There are only four new ones, three of them created in Canada at the universities of Guelph and Victoria as well as at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Vancouver. The fourth one is the 'Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies' at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. As the Canadian cen­tres have a strong emphasis on the traditional and historic links between Canada and Scotland due to immigration, the centres in France (where Grenoble has now been replaced by Tours), Dunedin, and Germersheim are still unique in their 'neutral' outsiders' perspective on Scotland. Our website with the most important links for Scottish Studies gives you information on these existing centres and on eleven kinds of sources relevant for Scottish Studies research:
1) Asso­ciations, Institutions, Societies;
2) Journals;
3) Libraries;
4) Bibliographies;
5) Language & Learning;
6) Literature & Publishing;
7) Governments, Museums & Factual Information;
8) Information on the Scottish (SNP) governments from 2007 till today;
9) Charities, Social, and Environmental Organisations,
10) Civic Society & Cybernet Scotland,
11) Further Useful Links & Sources.

Scottish Studies formerly had a focus on literature, and as Scotland has a very rich sophisticated as well as popular literature, this still is a strong part of the teaching and re­search in Germersheim and at the Centre. The focus of the Centre has, however, been ex­panded in order to include all areas of cultural studies. A recent conference here, e.g., dealt with 'Scotland's Cultural Standing and Identi
ty', investigating the different ways in which Scotland has been represented and defined itself in various media. Next to literary experts there were talks by cultural critics and representatives of Scottish museums. ( The publication of that conference will come out early next year.

The third area to which the Centre pays particular attention is that of the (new) media. Film and television are investigated as extremely significant media for the creation of everybody's understanding of Scotland. The same is, of course, true for the computer, the world wide web, and the converging media. Research and teaching at the Centre and in our classes at Faculty 06 of Mainz University has been taking account of the strong links between media and people's awareness of their own as well as foreign cultures. The topics dealt with at the 2010 conference here on 'British Film 2000 – 2010: Crossing Borders, Transferring Cultures' give ample proof of this. ( Even though it seems banal to say that one needs media in order to understand a culture, as this is so evidently true, there is nevertheless little precise knowledge available about how exactly the (new) media work, which medium is the most important one, and where the concepts and mental schemata come from that we use when we talk about Scotland (or anything else). In these and several other contexts, the Scottish Studies Centre is strongly connected with the special Research Unit 'Media Convergence' of Mainz University. (

Translation is the fourth area dealt with in the Centre. It is always a topic in classes in Ger­mersheim, it was prominently discussed at the two conferences mentioned, and we, e.g., have had cooperations with people working at the University of Glasgow on the journal Transla­tion and Literature. The focus here is on historical and contemporary translation of Scottish works into German (and the other way round, i.e. into English), the history and theory of lit­erary translation, adaptation, and imitation as well as all problems connected with translating the newer media, esp. film, television, and converging media.

Teaching and research are thus intricately connected at this Centre. In addition to the per­manent influx of research interests and results into our classes in Germersheim, the Scottish Studies Newsletter has in its new form a section called Education Scotland, which gives information on and discusses important issues connected with education, which is quite evi­dently a key topic today with enormous potential for improvement.