Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture

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  • Edited by Sharon Alker, Whitman College, USA, Leith Davis, Simon Fraser University, Canada, and Holly Faith Nelson, Trinity Western University, Canada
  • Series: Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies
  • While recent scholarship has usefully positioned Burns within the context of British Romanticism as a spokesperson of Scottish national identity, Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture considers Burns's impact in the United States, Canada, and South America, where he has served variously as a site of cultural memory and of creative negotiation. Ambitious in its scope, the volume is divided into five sections that explore: transatlantic concerns in Burns's own work, Burns's early publication in North America, Burns's reception in the Americas, Burns's creation as a site of cultural memory, and extra-literary remediations of Burns, including contemporary digital representations. By tracing the transatlantic modulations of the poet and songwriter and his works, Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture sheds new light on the circuits connecting Scotland and Britain with the evolving cultures of the Americas from the late eighteenth century to the present.
  • Contents: 'Ae ['electric'] spark o' nature's fire': reading Burns across the Atlantic, Leith Davis, Holly Faith Nelson and Sharon Alker; Part I Burns's Transatlantic Concerns: Slavery as a political metaphor in Scotland and Ireland in the age of Burns, Murray Pittock; Burns, Scotland and the American Revolution, Andrew Noble. Part II Burns and New World Print Networks: Tracing the transatlantic bard's availability, Fiona A. Black; 'Guid black prent': Robert Burns and the contemporary Scottish and American periodical press, Rhona Brown. Part III Reading Burns in the Americas: Burns's political reputation in North America, Gerard Carruthers; America's bard, Robert Crawford; The presence of Robert Burns in Victorian and Edwardian Canada, Carole Gerson and Susan Wilson; Robert Burns and Latin America, Nigel Leask. Part IV Robert Burns and Transatlantic Cultural Memory: Robert Burns's transatlantic afterlives, Susan Manning; Burns and aphorism: or, poetry into proverb: his persistence in cultural memory beyond Scotland, Carol McGuirk; The Robert Burns 1859 centenary: mapping transatlantic (dis)location, Leith Davies. Part V Remediating Burns in Transatlantic Culture: Burns in the park: a tale of three monuments, Michael E. Vance; 'Magnetic attraction': the transatlantic songs of Robert Burns and Serge Hovey, Kirsteen McCue; Transatlanticism and beyond: Robert Burns and the world wide web, Sharon Alker and Holly Faith Nelson; Bibliography; Index.
  • About the Editor: Sharon Alker is Associate Professor of English at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington. Leith Davis is Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Scottish Studies at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia. Holly Faith Nelson is Professor and Chair of English and Co-Director of the Gender Studies Institute at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia.
  • Reviews: 'This splendid collection establishes the tremendous historical impact that Burns has had on transatlantic literature and demonstrates the vibrant role he continues to play in our culture. Raising important questions about how Burns has been read, reinterpreted, and reinvented across the centuries and across media, as well as across the Atlantic ocean, this volume will be of interest not only to anyone working in Scottish literary studies, but also to scholars of Canadian and American literary history and print culture.'
    Pam Perkins, University of Manitoba, Canada

    'Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture offers a convincing and thorough exploration of Burns as a transatlantic figure, providing new directions for further research that should prove quite productive for Burns studies.'
    Scottish Literary Review