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Home > Conferences > ASLS Annual Conference 2015




R. B. Cunninghame Graham and other Scottish writers on Globalisation
and Democracy

3–5 July 2015
Golden Lion Hotel, Stirling

Delegate accommodation rates are available: please contact the Golden Lion Hotel for details

The European age of empires is marked by encounter, exchange, conflict and mobility on an unprecedented global scale, which launched a process of globalisation that continues to the present day. However, the expansion of authoritarian empires and capitalist systems across the world is also inextricably linked with the birth and diffusion of revolutionary discourses (in terms of race, nation or social class): the quest for emancipation; political independence; economic equality.

R. B. Cunninghame Graham (1852–1936), in both his life and his oeuvre, most effectively represents the complex interaction between imperial and revolutionary discourses in this dramatic period. Of mixed Scottish and Spanish family background, he was bilingual in English and Spanish, lived in Britain, Belgium and Argentina, and travelled in South and North America, Spain and North Africa. His travels and migrations correspond with current interest in Scottish involvements with European imperialisms. At the same time, Cunninghame Graham’s involvement in the Scottish Home Rule movement and the nationalist parties can be seen as part of an ‘anticolonial’ initiative which sets these Scottish political trends in relation to international anticolonial movements in Ireland, India and Africa.


Friday 3 July
16:00 Registration
16:30–17:30 Keynote lecture:
The local and the global: understanding the multiple contexts of Cunninghame Graham (John M. MacKenzie)
17:30–17:45 Break
17:45–18:45 The Empire in Cunninghame Graham’s parliamentary speeches and early writings 1886–1898 (Lachlan Munro)
White-skinned barbarians in three tales by R. B. Cunninghame Graham (John McIntyre)
19:00–20:00 Film: The Adventures of Don Roberto (directed by Les Wilson)
20:00 Finger buffet

Saturday 4 July
9:30 Registration
10:00–11:30 Keynote lectures:
‘Remote and quite unfriended’: Graham and Millenarianism (Laurence Davies)
Cunninghame Graham: Janiform Genius (Cedric Watts)
11:30–12:00 Break
12:00–13:00 ‘Looking at nothing with her eyes wide open’: Robert Cunninghame Graham and the Argentinean angelito (Jennifer Hayward)
Nineteenth century Argentine literature in the writings of Cunninghame Graham (Richard Niland)
13:00–14:00 Lunch
14:00–15:30 RLS and RBCG: parallel lives (Joseph Farrell)
‘If we Scotchmen joined hands, I believe we might dance round the world’: John Francis Campbell’s world tour My Circular Notes (1876) (Jessica Homberg-Schramm)
‘The strongest nations are made up of different racial elements’: a revision of John Buchan’s contribution to Canadian multiculturalism (Pilar Somacarrera)
15:30–16:00 Break
16:00–17:00 Paternalistic ‘emancipation’? Anti-slavery discourse in the adventure stories of R. M. Ballantyne (Jochen Petzold)
A Scottish writer’s search for space to expose and oppose racism, imperialism, militarism and religious intolerance, 1880–1914 (Lindy Moore)
17:00–18:30 ASLS AGM
18:30–19:30 Writing social change: the foundation of Scotland as global social movement in the works of Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham (Nadja Ben Khelifa)
The Great Glen of the world: Hamish Henderson’s Ballads of World War Two and Elegies for the Dead at Cyrenaica as models for Scottish internationalism (Dorothy Lawrenson)
20:00 Conference dinner

Sunday 5 July
10:00–11:00 Capital flows and exchanges in Scotland and beyond: Violet Jacob’s critique of the financial imagination (Arianna Introna)
Collective amnesia: the Scottish renaissance and the Caribbean connection (Michael Morris)
11:00–11:30 Break
11:30–13:00 Roundtable: Re-reading R. B. Cunninghame Graham
Jenni Calder – writer and literary historian
Billy Kay – writer, broadcaster and language activist
Alan MacGillivray – Scottish literature scholar and writer
Les Wilson – writer, journalist and documentary maker
13:00 Lunch and close of conference



For further information please contact

Staff: Duncan Jones
Address: ASLS
Scottish Literature
University of Glasgow
7 University Gardens
Glasgow G12 8QH
Phone/Fax: +44 (0) 141 330 5309

Last updated 7 July 2015.