Bardachd Cogaidh 1930-1950 GAELIC4002

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The course will examine the beginnings of modernity and anti-Imperialism in Gaelic poetry, in the context of other cultural currents in the first half of the 20th century such as the Celtic Twilight and the Scottish Renaissance movement, before concentrating on the groundbreaking contributions of Sorley MacLean and George Campbell Hay in the late 1930s and the 1940s. The work of these two poets will be studied in detail, in relation to contemporary socio-political concerns (the Spanish Civil War, anti-Fascism, anti-British Imperialism, Scottish Nationalism) and in the context of contemporary literary developments in Scotland and Europe. A briefer account of MacLean's and Hay's later poetic output will also be given.


Class will meet twice weekly for ten weeks, provisionally Tuesdays at 1000 and Thursdays at 1600

Requirements of Entry

Normal requirements for Honours


The mark for this module will be determined on the following basis:

■ 5% seminars - 5%

■ Written textual analysis of a poem (1,250 words) - 15%

■ Essay (2,250 words) - 30%

■ Examination (2 hour-duration) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course will provide the opportunity to:

■ develop intellectual, analytical and literary skills; to deepen understanding of the development of Gaelic poetry in the 20th century; to situate the poetry of MacLean and Hay in the context of contemporary literary currents in Scotland and Europe

■ situate the poetry of MacLean and Hay in the context of contemporary political currents, and examine their differing promotion of a Gaelic anti-Imperialist stance

■ examine the critical responses to both poets' work during the period in question and in more recent times, and assess their impact on Gaelic and Scottish literature.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

■ discuss in some detail the published works of Sorley MacLean and George Campbell ay and trace the development of each man's poetic career; to compare and contrast the themes, styles and poetic personae of both poets

■  to express an informed opinion on the influences operating on each poet's work from within and outwith the Gaelic tradition

■ give an account of both poets' political philosophies and of the socio-political contexts to which they responded; to assess the innovatory nature of each man's work, and his contribution to Gaelic and Scottish literature.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75%, by weight, of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.