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Ken McNeil Publishes Book on Scottish Romanticism

Published on October 26, 2020

Ken McNeil Publishes Book on Scottish Romanticism

Ken McNeil

Kenneth McNeil, professor of English at Eastern Connecticut State University, has authored a new book that charts the transatlantic movements of Scottish literature in the Age of Revolution. The book, “Scottish Romanticism and Collective Memory in the British Atlantic,” is published by Edinburgh University Press.

“The book provides an in-depth examination of Scottish Romantic literary ideas on memory and their influence among various cultures in the British Atlantic,” said Barbara Liu, chair of the English Department.  Liu said McNeil’s book breaks down Scottish Romanticism into distinct writing modes (memorials, travel memoir, slave narrative, colonial policy paper, emigrant fiction) and contexts (pre- and post-Revolution America, French-Canadian cultural nationalism, the slavery debate, immigration and colonial settlement).

McNeil BookMcNeil reveals why we must add collective memory to the list of significant contributions Scots made to culture of modernity. “Scots, who were at the vanguard of British colonial expansion in North America in the Romantic period, believed that their own nation had undergone an unprecedented transformation in only a short span of time,” said McNeil. “Scottish writers became preoccupied with collective memory, its powerful role in shaping group identity, as well as its delicate fragility.”

Leith Davis, professor of English at Simon Fraser University, said, “McNeil adroitly decenters the time and space of ‘Romanticism’ by placing Scottish literature of the long 19th century in dialogue with British imperial projects in North America, Africa and the West Indies.”




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Written by Dwight Bachman