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. Since then it has evolved into a centre that is interested in all aspects of Scotland's rich and complex cultural life and heritage. It actively seeks to foster the exchange of ideas between researchers -- from early career scholars through to senior academics -- working on a range of topics pertaining to Scotland, from the Enlightenment to the present day.
In line with the specialisms that characterise the Fachbereich 06 at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz/Germersheim, the Centre is particularly keen to explore the role that translation and translators have played in Scotland to encourage the transmission and circulation of ideas to international audiences. In this context, we are interested not only in how genres, styles and forms of fictional writing (such as novels, poetry and drama) have gained new readerships through translation. We also recognise the importance of exploring how works from non-fictional genres (such as travel accounts and scientific treatises) have been subtly, or sometimes more radically, reworked by their translators to position them differently for new markets and readerships. Another key research area is the reception of Scottish writing beyond the British Isles in translated, imitated and adapted forms.
With a second, related focus on the history of publishing, the Centre also seeks to advance research into the material culture of text by bringing together scholars of literary and cultural history, media studies specialists, cultural geographers, historians of science and art historians. It does so to investigate the influential agency of a whole range of figures -- editors, illustrators, translators, publishers, reviewers, critics, booksellers and readers -- in the processes by which books and periodicals acquire significance in a given period and culture.