Fàilte gu Dùn Èideann
Welcome to Scottish Studies at the University of Otago. The Scottish Studies programme is headquartered in the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies at 99 Albany Street, Dunedin.
We are delighted to offer a suite of undergraduate papers in Scottish Studies, as well as graduate supervision at the Masters and Doctoral level.
Scottish Studies at Otago is an interdisciplinary study of the history, literature, and culture of Scotland since the late seventeenth century. Reflecting Scotland's history as one of the most mobile societies in Europe, our research and teaching possess a global scope, encompassing both the internal development of Scotland and the international impact of the Scottish diaspora.
Here in Otago, the impact of Scottish mobility is tangibly present. Founded by Scottish settlers in the 1840s, the city of Dunedin takes its name from Dùn Èideann, the Gaelic term for Edinburgh. With thoroughfares like Princes Street and Heriot Row, and suburbs like Abbotsford (named after Walter Scott's estate in the Borders), Waverley (named after Scott's first novel), and Mosgiel (named after Robert Burns's farm), the 'Edinburgh of the South' is saturated in Scottish heritage. Like many of the city's institutions, the University of Otago was itself founded by Scots, and its first Chancellor was the Revd Thomas Burns, the poet's nephew.
Through Scottish Studies at Otago, you will increase your knowledge of a nation whose historical experience is critical to a proper understanding of the modern world. Indeed, the Scottish experience is central to a wide range of current areas of enquiry in the Humanities, including: international migration; the 'pooling' of sovereignty in supranational political bodies; the invention of tradition; urbanisation and the culture of cities; the phenomenon of stateless nationhood; and the performance of national identity. These and other topics will be explored by Scottish Studies staff and researchers in a variety of research projects to be carried out over the coming years.
Scottish Studies at Otago aims to explore the impact of Scottish settlement in Australasia and beyond. It also aims to explore the analogies and parallels thrown up by the Scottish experience. Like New Zealand, Scotland is a small, geographically peripheral country often overshadowed by a larger neighbour. Both Scotland and New Zealand have been affected by the ebbing of Empire, and in recent years have sought to redefine themselves in relation to a 'Britishness' that in earlier decades might have gone uncontested. Each has been coming to terms with cultural diversity, and wrestling with the challenge of giving due recognition to minority language and culture. They have much to learn from each other.
Please contact us if you would like to take any of the undergraduate papers, or pursue postgraduate work in Scottish Studies.
Goals and Objectives
Scottish Studies at Otago aims to:
All images of Scotland on this website are provided courtesy of Andy Hall: http://www.asenseofbelonging.com and the Burns Statue image is supplied courtesy of David Wall: http://www.davidwallphoto.com.
St Andrew's Day Public Lecture by
Dr Dougal McNeill
(Victoria University of Wellington) 'For Honest Poverty: Robert Burns and the poetry of the early New Zealand Labour movement', Wednesday 30 Nov, 1pm,
University of Otago Scottish Writers Fellowship