Islandness: Identity and Independence Panel MECCSA 2019

Culla 2 CMK cloudsMECCSA 2019 (Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association) Annual Conference, University of Stirling

SCIS blackIslandness: Identity and Independence Panel proposer: Dr Kathryn A Burnett, University of the West of Scotland;  Contributors Mr Tony Grace,  Mr Ray Burnett and Dr Kathryn A. Burnett; Chair: Dr Sarah Neely, University of Stirling.

This Scottish Centre for Island Studies panel contribution is offered in close reflection of the 40th anniversary of MacDiarmid’s death in 1978, and the 90th anniversary of the formation of the National Party of Scotland, which involved both MacDiarmid and Mackenzie. 2019 itself is the 50th anniversary of the release of the iconic island film ‘Whisky Galore’ based on Compton Mackenzie’s celebrated novel. This film continues to offer a set of island tropes that signify both Scottishness and Britishness as well as the ‘national antisyzgies’ of cultural authenticities, the islandness complicities of place and people and the mediated complexities of remoteness, connectedness and independences. A further thematic of ‘island and national liberty’ draws on archival records and new film practice celebrating the ‘father of biography’ James Boswell, and his celebrated accounts of ‘tours’ including the Hebrides (1773) with Johnson, as well as his earlier account of Corsica and most particularly its independence movement.

We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Boswell Trust and hope to revisit aspects of this themed panel later in the year as part of the Boswell Trust’s event and celebrations diary 2019.

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