Scott Hames (University of Sterling): 'Scotland Can Be Ours: Literary Nationalism Before and After Indyref 2014‘
A brief overview of how literature and politics have intersected in Scottish constitutional debate, from the 1960s to the present. How can we read the paradoxes of devolutionary nationalism into a text such as Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting?
Chloe Ashbridge (Newcastle University): ‘To us all and to the North - where we do what we want!’: The Literary North and the Politics of Devolution
Why has the North of England dominated British politics during the first two decades of the twenty-first century? Following the devolution of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, what role has the North-South divide played in maintaining the British Union? And why might England’s political future rest upon addressing regional inequalities between North and South? This talk wagers that these questions are both literary and political. Taking Thatcher’s premiership and Brexit as two watershed moments, the talk identifies the development of a distinctively ‘devolved’ Northern literary imaginary since 1980. It suggests that the literary North provides new ways of reading Britain’s ongoing fragmentation and growing calls for political autonomy across the UK.