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Home > Conferences > ASLS Annual Conference 2018




Explorations of Islands in
Scottish Literature and Culture

29 June–1 July 2018
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig,
Isle of Skye, Scotland


Photo by Ian Campbell on Unsplash

This conference will investigate the many portrayals, both historical and contemporary, of the rich, distinctive cultures of the Scottish islands or islands with Scottish connections through poetry and song, fiction and non-fiction, drama, film, art and music.

If you have any queries please contact the ASLS office.


(all bookings include teas/coffees and Saturday lunch)

• Full rate: £70
• Reduced rate (ASLS Members/Speakers/Students/Unwaged): £50

There will be a Conference dinner on Saturday 30 June at 7 p.m. The dinner will cost £40 per head.

Book online now via PayPal:

Conference rates

or DOWNLOAD a booking form.

Accommodation (including breakfast) is available for delegates within the college at preferential rates:

  • Single Room: £45 per night
  • Twin Room: £78 per night

To book accommodation, contact:

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
Isle of Skye
IV44 8RQ

Tel: +44 (0)1471 888 000
email: fios@smo.uhi.ac.uk


18:00 Optional buffet
19:45 Opening of conference and welcome (Boyd Robertson)
20:00–21:00: Three Points of a Compass
• Somhairle MacGill-Eain and Iain Crichton Mac a’Ghobhain: imagining islands (Peter Mackay)
• The “small green world” of Orkney: the land and seascapes of George Mackay Brown (Linden Bicket)
• The Shetlandic literary tradition: a writer’s personal response (Robert Alan Jamieson)

9:00–11:00: Session 1A
• Contrasting cultural perspectives in Sue Glover’s The Straw Chair (John Hodgart)
• The representation of Scottish islands in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century travel accounts (Marion Amblard and Sabrina Juillet Garzon)
• Bàrdachd baile: ath-mheasadh (Township poetry of the Western Isles: a re-evaluation) (Iain Howieson)
  Session 1B
• Robert Louis Stevenson’s creative archipelagos: mapping the territory between Scotland and Samoa (Caroline McCracken Flesher)
• “I went to stay in Orkney …”: the influence of Orkney in Ian Hamilton Finlay’s work (Alistair Peebles)
• Islands and identity in the drama and fiction of J. M. Barrie and S. R. Crockett (Cally Phillips)
11:00–11:30: Coffee
11:30–13:00: Session 2A
• Scottish islands and Norse settlements in the novels of Vilborg Davíðsdóttir and Margaret Elphinstone (Ingibjörg Ágústsdóttir)
• “Poor Peedie Grottie Buckies”: literary language in twenty-first-century Orkney (Simon Hall)
• Description of a practical creative project in North Uist (Linda Cracknell)
  Session 2B
• Halfway between Canaan and Garrabost: religion in Derick Thomson’s Lewis poetry (Petra Poncarová)
• “If anything appear Questionable”: John Brand’s account of his 1700 visit to Zetland (Anne McKim)
• From Scottish isles to South-sea islands: exploring Robert Louis Stevenson’s archipelagic writing (Julie Gay)
13:00–14:00: Lunch
14:00–15:30: Session 3A
• Iain Crichton Smith’s permanent island (Jean Berton)
• Transcriptions of landfalls: voyages to the island of St Kilda (Ian Stephen)
• Knit your own Atlantic archipelago: representations of Scottish islands in instructional knitting literature (Siún Carden)
  Session 3B
• Transatlantic parallels: Shetland and Newfoundland in early nineteenth-century travelogues (Pam Perkins)
• Marjory Kennedy Fraser’s Celticising of Hebridean music (John Patrick Pazdziora)
• Auld Rock meets Nordic Noir: a Danish gaze on Shetlandic Scandinavian-ness (Gunhild Agger and Hanne Tange)
15:30–16:00: Coffee
16:00–16:45: Dreaming of Islands
• The art of marrying the musical with the poetic: compositional techniques (John Purser)
19:00: Conference Dinner
21:00: Ceilidh

9:15–10:45: Session 4A
• The portrayal of the St Kilda parliament in poetry, photography and historical narratives (Philippe Laplace)
• A microcosm of a wider wicked world: Inchcolm in Simon Taylor’s Mortimer’s Deep (Ian Brown)
• Isobel Wylie Hutchison: a female insight into the Scottish islands and their people (Hazel Buchan-Cameron)
  Session 4B
• Innis-mhuir na Gaidhlig/Innis-mhuir nan Gaidheal (The Gaelic Sea of Islands/The Gaels’ Sea of Islands) (Nathaniel Harrington)
• The Isle of Rum: community development on a national nature reserve (Andrew Samuel)
• John Murdoch and nineteenth-century Islay (Calum Cameron White)
10:45–11:15: Coffee
11:15–12:15: Archives and archipelagos: a panel conversation
(Nicholas Allan (chair), Alan Riach, Fiona Stafford, David Wheatley)
12:15–12:30: Conclusion of conference
(Alan Riach)
13:00: Optional buffet lunch


Last updated 15 May 2018.