M 3-6:30 pm (Screenings) and W 3-5:30 pm (Discussions), HHH 323    

    Office: HHH 425,  Office Phone: (715) 836-4369
    Office Hours: MWF 1-1:30 pm, M 6:40-7:20 pm, T 9:50-10:30 pm,
    and W 5:40-6:20 pm as well as By Appointment.


    English 381: Scottish Cinema will explore Scottish cinema in historical and cultural context.  We will learn about the institutional history of cinematic production in Scotland, as well as about the history of the distribution, exhibition, and reception of cinema in Scotland.  We will take into account major achievements in Scottish film making as well as films that indicate the diversity and peculiarity of Scottish cinema.  The course will include particular consideration of the art and politics of cinematic (self-)representations of Scotland, of distinct Scottish populations past and present, and of ‘Scottishness’—in films made ‘from Scotland’, as well as in films made ‘from beyond Scotland’.  How film contributes toward discursive constructions of Scotland and Scottishness will be a major focus of our collective critical inquiry—as will be the case with a corollary collective critical inquiry into what kind of influence and impact these constructions exert, in Scotland and for Scots, as well as beyond Scotland and for non-Scots.  In other words, a major focus of our interest will be to study how film contributes to the ways Scottish and non-Scottish people conceive of and relate to both Scotland and Scottishness, as well as how cinematic constructions of Scotland and Scottishness are interrelated with those taking shape in other kinds of cultural productions, and through other forms of cultural activity.  We will study Scottish film in connection with Scottish literature, Scottish music, Scottish art, and other dimensions of Scottish popular culture, as well as in connection with Scottish geography and topography.  We will also examine Scottish interrelations with England and Wales; Great Britain and the United Kingdom; Ireland and Northern Ireland; Europe and North America; pan-Celtic identities and cultures; empire, exile, and internal as well as external emigration; and colonial, neo-colonial, and post-colonial nations, peoples, and cultures of the so-called ‘Third World’.


    Scotland is a small nation, and, as part of both Great Britain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Scotland is also what might well be conceived as ‘a smaller nation within a larger nation’ (along with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland).  Yet Scots have nevertheless  exerted an enormous impact in world history (with Scots’ contributions as scientific inventors and to the philosophical legacy of the European Enlightenment serving as merely two of the most famous examples of this impact).  In addition, Scotland and Scottishness have long exercised a considerable global fascination and appeal (Scotland continues to attract disproportionately higher tourism than the rest of the UK, while serving as a seemingly endlessly protean stimulus for romance and myth).  What’s more, even over the course of the three hundred years since the Act of Union in 1707 which effectively eliminated Scotland as a sovereign nation-state, Scotland has retained a highly distinct national culture as well as many highly distinct–and highly influential–social institutions (including in areas, for example, of law, education, religion, and the provision of social welfare).  At the same time, as surveys of public opinion repeatedly attest, Scots tend to identify as Scottish in much higher proportions than they do as British.   Plus, since 1999, with the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament and the devolution of significant self-governing authority–and national autonomy–to a Scottish government elected by the Scottish people, Scottish distinctiveness is now  routinely manifest and widely acknowledged, even by staunch unionists (i.e., those who oppose full Scottish independence, and who instead support the continuation of Scotland within the UK, and the continued ultimate subordination of the Scottish government in Edinburgh to the UK government in Westminster).  

    One striking recent illustration of Scotland’s distinctiveness showed up in the results of the May 2010 UK national election, where the Labour Party comfortably won the largest number of votes across Scotland, while the Conservative Party comfortably won the largest number of votes across much of England; post-election-results maps of the UK often depicted Scotland as overwhelmingly red, for Labour, and England as overwhelmingly blue, for Conservative.  Indeed, Scotland has long maintained, as a whole, stronger support for an unmitigatedly egalitarian social democratic form of welfare state politics (as well as for a culture that privileges communal social bonds and the virtues of class-based collective solidarity over individualism) than has often been the case in much of England.

    Yet, at the same time, what it means to be Scottish, and what is conceived to be distinctive about Scotland and Scottishness–past and present–continue to function as sites of intense contestation, especially among Scots.  Scotland, in fact,  encompasses ‘many Scotlands’ with their own considerably distinct characteristics in turn–and these ‘Scotlands’ can be distinguished along lines of region, locale, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, generation, subcultural affiliation, political identification, language, religion, and yet many more lines of demarcation.  At the same time, the history of modern (and postmodern) Scotland has been obsessed with imagined Scotlands and imagined Scottishnesses, as well as with myths of Scotland, and myths of Scottishness.  These are neither simple falsehoods, nor illusions (let alone delusions), not by any means.  These are, instead, ways people have represented to themselves and to others what they conceive Scotland and Scottishness to be–and to mean.  These representations include images people conjure in thinking, talking, and writing of Scotland and Scottishness, as well as stories people tell about how they conceive of Scotland and Scottishness.  And these images and stories in turn exert immense impact–and exercise immense power.  In other words, imaginations of Scotland and Scottishness exercise enormous real effects, over what people think, feel, believe, and do in ‘real life’.  The same is true of myths–these are myths people live by, and which they continually turn to and draw upon in seeking to make sense of their own experience, and that of others both (seemingly) similar to and different from themselves, both (seemingly) close to and distant from themselves, and both (seemingly) related to and unrelated to themselves.  Yet, since a considerable plurality of imaginations–and myths–of Scotland and Scottishness exist, and persist, while all of these imaginations and myths continue to evolve, develop, and transform, people don’t engage with a single notion of what Scotland is, or a single notion of what Scottishness is either.  Not by a long shot.  

    Scottish cinema (along with Scottish literature and other influential kinds of media and cultural production) represents a preeminent site through which the dissemination of these diverse, contesting imaginations–and myths–of Scotland and of Scottishness takes place.  Yet the question of what constitutes ‘Scottish cinema’ is complicated.  Operating out of a small nation, Scots have long struggled to find adequate means to produce, distribute, and exhibit films.  They have likewise often struggled  to secure adequate training, as well as adequate means of sustaining a livelihood through film making, or such that they could concentrate considerable time and energy in film making while still earning their living elsewhere and otherwise.  At the same time, Scottish film makers have had to deal not only with the global hegemony of Hollywood, but also the considerable weight of major continental European national cinemas, and of the prioritization of the interests of English film making (and of English film makers) within British national cinema.  Nevertheless, Scots have often demonstrated considerable ingenuity in finding ways to make many impressive films, including films with distinctive accents, emphases, styles, and flavors.  Throughout the history of film making in Scotland, government support–on the UK level, on the Scottish national level, and on regional and local levels within Scotland–has often proven vital in enabling Scottish films to be produced, distributed, and exhibited, yet the forms by which this support has been made available, as well as the structures under which and the strictures according to which it has been allocated have repeatedly shifted, often considerably, as have the amounts available for the kinds of film making projects Scottish film makers have been most interested in pursuing.  The 1990s, and especially the latter half of that decade, represented a breakthrough period for Scottish cinema, which some even dubbed a ‘renaissance’, but over the course of the last decade much of the optimism sparked during that brief heyday has waned, while Scottish film makers today maintain considerable uncertainty, as well as anxiety, about what the future of government support will be like.  Film makers worry about the consequences to follow from the recent dissolution of Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council into Creative Scotland, as well as about the substantial reductions in state support for art and culture looming imminently on the horizon, as the new UK Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition government promises substantially to slash public sector spending over the course of the next five years, as well as to significantly reduce the overall size of the public sector in the UK economy.

    But Scottish film makers have long made films with considerable support and involvement from many people outside of Scotland, and will likely do so to an even greater extent in the future.  What’s more, many films have been and continue to be made in Scotland by people who are not Scottish citizens, and many films whose stories are set in Scotland, and which feature ostensibly Scottish characters, are–and long have been–routinely filmed outside of Scotland.  As Duncan Petrie writes, at the beginning of chapter one of his book Screening Scotland,

    Since the very beginnings of the cinema a great many films have been made which feature Scottish subject-matter, Scottish locations, Scottish actors and even on occasion Scottish directors.  But practically all of these have, by and large, been initiated, developed, financed and produced by individuals and companies based in either London or Los Angeles.  In other words, from an industrial and institutional point of view ‘Scottish’ cinema is a construct subsumed within the history of British cinema or of Hollywood.  This is not to say that these films are somehow irrelevant or uninteresting; indeed they are informed by the discursive practices within which the dominant representations of Scotland and the Scots have been constructed. (15)

Increasingly, scholars engaging with Scottish cinema extend their focus widely, examining a broad range of films, including films (past and present) that are not made by Scots, and not made in Scotland, but which nevertheless relate stories set in Scotland and featuring Scottish characters.  Increasingly, in other words, ‘Scottish cinema’ becomes a locus to examine the multiply diverse and contesting ways many film makers–and many film audiences–imagine Scotland, and Scottishness, as well as the multiply diverse and contesting myths of Scotland and Scottishness that these disparate film makers and film audiences find compelling and appealing.  In this class we will do the same while taking into account where film makers are coming from, when, how, and why in producing the images of and relating the stories about Scotland and Scottishness they do (and, likewise, we will take into account what kinds of audiences film makers specifically target with their particular representations of Scotland and Scottishness, as well as how different audiences, coming from different vantage points, respond differently to these representations).

    Initially, many serious scholars focusing their work on Scottish film harshly critiqued the predominant myths animating and circulated by many, if not most, prominent cinematic representations of Scotland and Scottishness.  Among some of the most historically prominent of these myths are the following: 1.) the Scottish Highlands and Islands as remote, primitive, exotic, isolated, and pristine locations overpoweringly suggestive of a pre-modern wilderness and sublimely resonant with the force of the supernatural; 2.) rural Scots as canny and wily yet also simple and childlike, or, alternately, as simultaneously noble yet savage; 3.) Scots–especially Scottish Highlanders–as an historical race replete with idealistic, romantic, and courageous rebels and freedom fighters; 4.) Scots as people with pronounced tendencies toward exceptionally strong interest in–and, especially, exceptionally strong attraction to–the mysterious, the macabre, the morbid, the gothic fantastical, the bizarrely horrific, and the surreally miserablist; 5.) Scots as tending likewise toward intense fascination with–and, indeed, as  strongly convinced of the ineradicable–duality and division of identity, with doubles and doppelgangers, as well as with continuous internal tensions along with continuous external struggles between light and dark, good and evil, and the elect and the damned; 6.) middle class Scots as inclined toward a dour, distrustful, and overtly prickly outward demeanor combined with a strong proclivity toward frugality and asceticism; 7.) Scots as highly argumentative, restless, dissatisfied, and even hyper-critical while at the same time both overtly stridently anti-sentimental yet in actual practice quickly inclined toward and readily indulgent in sentimentality; 8.) urban working class Scottish males as tough, hard men, with a penchant for drinking, fighting, criminal gangs, and miscellaneous other forms of violent masculine excess which they will revel in when and if not otherwise adequately employed in productive physical wage-labor, or the equivalent (such as sport); and 9.) Scottish urban working class communities–especially in ‘post-industrial’ times–as poor and often struggling desperately to hold themselves together yet, at the same time, functioning either as sites of persistently resilient social solidarity or as sites of edgy, perversely attractive collective pursuits of alternative lifestyles.

     Scotch Reels, edited by Colin MacArthur, and published in 1982, to this day epitomizes the position which critiques cinematic representations of these myths–and others like them–as stereotypes, i.e. as reductive and denigrative mis-representations of what Scotland, Scots, and Scottishness have been and are actually like.  At its most extreme, this line of criticism, David Stenhouse suggests, finds these kinds of representations “inauthentic,” indeed “debased, deformed, and pathological,” traceable to a cultural imperialist imposition by privileged American or English “outsiders” who do not know what Scotland, Scots, and Scottishness ‘really are  like’ (“Not Made in Scotland: Images of Scotland from Furth of the Forth;” Scottish Cinema Now; Jonathan Murray, Fidelma Farley, and Rod Stoneman, eds; Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009, page 179).  Over the course of the last two decades, however, this line of criticism has receded in popularity, with more and more scholars inclined to interpret common mythic representations of Scotland and Scottishness in more positive (or at least ambiguous) terms.  As Stenhouse proposes, “many of these cultural manifestations of interest in Scotland are playful, celebratory, and exploratory rather than reductive or definitive statements about Scottish identity” (182).  Likewise, critics such as Jane Sillars (“Admitting the Kailyard,” Scottish Cinema Now, 122-138), argue that even long reviled traditions of sentimental popular representation, such as the small-town, rural Scottish Kailyard (or “cabbage patch”) are more contradictory and open to positive re-appropriation than previously recognized.  As Duncan Petrie writes, “cinema’s engagement with Scottish history . . . constitutes a full-blown celebration of myth, fantasy and overt display, rather than any concerted effort to resurrect or engage with historical reality” and “these mythical constructions of Scotland . . . directly engage a wide range of audience pleasures, emotions and fantasies” (Screening Scotland 72),  Moreover, as Adrienne Scullion argues, “the role of mythology, legend and fable, the Gothic, the supernatural and the unconscious within the development of the Scottish imagination is not a symptom of psychosis but a sophisticated engagement with the fantastic that other cultures might celebrate as magic realism” (“Feminine Pleasures and Masculine Indignities: Gender and Community in Scottish Drama”; Gendering the Nation: Studies in Scottish Literature; Christopher Whyte, ed.; Edinburgh University Press, 1995, page 201).  In short, naturalism and social realism are by no means the only viable aesthetic approaches toward engaging with issues of national identity, while measuring cinematic representations, first and last, entirely in terms of how ‘true’ they seem to correspond to extra-cinematic ‘empirical reality’ can itself be highly reductive and denigrative.  All cinema–even naturalist and social realist cinema–offers an artificial construction of a semblance of reality (i.e., a cinematic counter-reality) rather than an unmediated ‘window onto the world’.  In addition, as many contemporary scholars have noted, the Scotch Reels line of criticism has tended to marginalize and dismiss not only the fantastical but also the feminine, even in the course of elaborating the precise ‘Scotch myths’ that were supposedly so objectionable.

    What’s crucial, therefore, in assessing all representation of Scotland and Scottishness, is what ideas they embody and circulate, and how these representations are interpreted and put to use, for what ends, and in whose interests.  And it’s important to keep in mind that all of this can be multiple and contradictory as well as subject to variation and change.  In other words, films may well embody and circulate multiple and contradictory ideas about Scotland and Scottishness; these films may invite multiple and contradictory interpretations of what they are expressing and communicating in relation to Scotland and Scottishness; and the ways audiences make sense of, as well as respond to, the representations of Scotland and Scottishness these films maintain will vary depending on who makes up the audience as well as change over time.  Indeed, representations of Scotland and Scottishness in films made by ‘outsiders’–i.e., by non-Scots–often, as Petrie puts it, are “as much about the fantasies, the desires and the anxieties of the metropolitan culture [whether this is England or America], as they are about simply confirming the imposition of cultural power over the Celtic subaltern” (28-29).  Following this recognition, it is possible, as Sarah Street proposes, to focus critical attention on how, throughout the history of cinematic representations of Scotland, “a Scottish setting is often the setting for a re-evaluation of self that does not necessarily result in an affirmation of place or identity” (“New Scottish Cinema as Trans-national Cinema,” Scottish Cinema Now, 151).  Likewise, as Petrie observes, throughout the history of its cinematic representation, Scotland is “a place in which a range of fantasies, desires and anxieties can be explored and expressed,” and it is useful, following this point, to think carefully about whose fantasies, desires, and anxieties are being explored and expressed, and why so, even when these take the form of representing Scotland as “alternatively an exotic backdrop for adventure and romance, or a sinister and oppressive locale beyond the pale of civilisation” (32).  Richard Zumkhawala-Cook amplifies this last point by concluding his book Scotland as We Know It: Representations of Identity in Film, Literature and Popular Culture (McFarland, 2008) with the following declaration: “constructions of Scotland’s cultural and historical home deserve constant critical attention not only because they are so common and widespread, but because they are often dark fantasies parading as benign expressions of heroism and sentimentality” (181).  

    Yet Scottish cinema also includes many examples of films that are deliberately made in accord with fundamentally divergent goals and practices versus Hollywood-style ‘entertainment films’, including many examples of ‘art films’ and ‘films as critical-oppositional social-political argument, commentary, and critique’ (as well as hybrid combinations of all three of these broad kinds of films).  Across the board, Duncan Petrie contends, many impressive recent Scottish films share a notable commonality, as they have demonstrated “a particular interest in cinema as personal expression, marked by recurring themes such as the alienated or isolated subject, the significance of the environment in relation to subjectivity and a preoccupation with biographical and autobiographical modes of narrative” (Screening Scotland, 151).  At the same time, “the new Scottish cinema [has] provided an unprecedented range of images that worked against any simple reductionism” (218)  while taking on a leading role “at the heart of a revitalised national culture in reflecting the diversity of contemporary Scottish experience, interpreting and reinterpreting the past, and providing space for social criticism and the imagination of alternative possibilities” (226).

    Writing nearly a decade later, in “Screening Scotland: a Reassessment” (Scottish Cinema Now, 153-170), Petrie is considerably more ambivalent about the present and future state of Scottish cinema than he was at the end of Screening Scotland, where he declared “Scottish film-making is entering the new millennium with unprecedented levels of confidence, achievement and ambition” (226).  Yet he is still cautiously optimistic, and ultimately positive in his overall assessment of recent and contemporary Scottish cinema, as well as persistently hopeful for the future:

    I still believe that over the last decade Scottish filmmaking has followed literature in playing a key role in the reawakening of a sense of national self-awareness and cultural confidence.  The predominant screen images of the nation have been transformed: a rural and remote setting for romantic or unsettling encounters has given way to a greater focus on an urban post-industrial environment framing narratives concerned with various aspects of contemporary experience and social change.  Rural depictions are still in evidence, but these tend to eschew romance in favour of darker, more unsettling preoccupations.  Moreover, given the close associations between culture, tourism, and “the national brand” at the heart of the Creative Industries agenda, it is significant that many Scottish films continue to posit a critical engagement with the negative aspects and limitations of contemporary society and identity.  In this way the new Scottish cinema functions as an important component of a national conversation that weaves together tradition and innovation, past and present, inside and outside, local and global.  The sense of the permeability of categories is particularly important.  As the Australian film scholar Tom O’Regan asserts, national cinemas “are not alternatives to internationalisation, they are one of its manifestations . . . [they are] vehicles for transnational integration [Australian National Cinema, Routledge, 1996].  Similarly, Mette Hjort suggests that the impact of global forces has generated new ways of considering small national cinemas, including the potential for new collaborations and connections among such cinemas and the imagination of alternative globalisations [Small Nation, Global Cinema: the New Danish Cinema, University of Minnesota Press, 2005].  One key example of this is provided by the Danish-initiated Dogme 95 phenomenon . . . Dogme 95 is a concerted effort to generate an alternative and oppositional aesthetic which is international in application while remaining closely associated with its nationally-specific origins.  Similarly, in the Scottish context the more overtly cosmopolitan configuration within which Scottish filmmakers are patently operating does not diminish the national dimension of their work. (“Screening Scotland: a Reassessment,” 167-168).


    Scottish Studies has become an area of intense interest for me over the course of the past eight years.  This includes Scottish history, Scottish politics, Scottish literature, Scottish music, Scottish theatre, Scottish art, Scottish sport, and much more–as well as Scottish film.  It certainly includes Scottish whisky.  I’ve immensely enjoyed the opportunity to visit Scotland on 12 separate occasions during this period of time, including for close to five weeks this past summer.  I love Edinburgh–it is my favorite city–but I am also greatly fond of Glasgow as well, and I am glad this summer I gained the opportunity to visit St. Andrews, Perth, Dundee, Stirling, Islay, New Lanark, and a significant stretch of the Northwest Highlands as well.   Previously I’ve visited Aberdeen and Inverness.  I’m excited not only to teach this class but also Scottish Crime Fiction (English 359) in the spring 2011 semester; crime fiction is a long-time passion of mine, and Scottish crime fiction has become a passion within a passion.  And I’ve developed a considerable fascination with Scottish indie rock, folk rock, and folktronica, which I now often emphasize on my weekly radio show, Insurgence, Thursdays 10-12 pm, on WHYS Community Radio, 96.3 FM Eau Claire.  For all I’ve learned, and all I’m learning, about Scotland culture, I have much more to learn, and teaching is always one of the greatest ways to exponentially advance one’s learning of any subject.  I look forward to learning together with you.

    I’m aware of my vantage point, as an American, and ready, as a result, to be humble as well as self-critical about my perceptions, my interpretations, and my judgments concerning Scottish issues.  I recommend you follow a similar path as we work together this semester.  In fact, it will frequently be worthwhile to draw points of comparison and contrast between Scottish and American history, society, culture, and politics as well as between Scottish and American film, and to pay attention to how the United States, and Americans, as well as ‘Americanness’ is perceived by Scots, and represented in Scottish films. Often this kind of comparison and contrast can enable us to develop a much more rigorously critical self-awareness about who we are, what we are about, where we are situated, and where we are coming than would be the case without the advantage of such an opportunity for comparison and contrast.  At the same time, of course, I hope you will learn a great deal of interest to you about Scotland, Scots, and Scottishness (within and beyond how Scotland, Scots, and Scottishness are involved with, and represented by, Scottish cinema).     


    The following required books are available for purchase at Crossroads Books, 301 South Barstow Street, Eau Claire, Wisconsin:

1.    Petrie, Duncan.  Screening Scotland.  London: British Film Institute, 2000. ISBN#: 0-81570-785-8.

2.    Martin-Jones, David.  Scotland: Global Cinema–Genres, Modes and Identities. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009.  ISBN#: 978-0-7486-3391-3.

3.    Murray, Jonathan, Fidelma Farley, and Rod Stoneman, eds.  Scottish Cinema Now.  Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.  ISBN#: 1-4438-0331-6.  

4.    Gardiner, Michael.  Modern Scottish Culture.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005.  ISBN#: 0-7486-2027-3.

5.    Zumkhawala-Cook, Richard.  Scotland as We Know It: Representations of National Identity in Literature, Film and Popular Culture.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008.  ISBN#: 978-0-7864-4031-3.

    In additional, the following optional, supplemental books are also available for purchase at Crossroads Books:

1.    Abrams, Lynn and Callum G. Brown, eds.  A History of Everyday Life in Twentieth-Century Scotland.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010.  ISBN#: 978-0-7486-4231-7.

2.    Reid, Harry, Paul Henderson Scott, Betty Davies, Neil Kay, and Tom Nairn.  The Independence Book: Scotland in Today’s World.  Viewpoints.  Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2008.  ISBN#: 1-906307-90-3.

3.    Houston, Rab.  Scotland: a Very Short Introduction.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.  ISBN#: 978-0-19-923079-2.

    Crossroads Books is a locally owned and operated bookstore in downtown Eau Claire.  Steadily more instructors at UWEC are supporting companies like Crossroads rather than local branches of international chain stores (the UWEC campus bookstore is owned and operated by Barnes and Noble).  Crossroads is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 5:30 pm; Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm; and Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm.  The store’s phone number is 715-831-9788; their email contact address is CustServ@CrossroadBookStore.com; and their website, including information about the store as well as a map and directions for how to get there, is available at: http://www.crossroadbookstore.com/.  You need to obtain the required books in time to use for class, as assigned in the Schedule section of this syllabus.  You may feel free, however, as you wish–and as you find convenient–to obtain these from another outlet, including by ordering them online (such as by way of www.amazon.com, for example).

    The optional, supplementary books  provide additional background, context, and critical perspective which you may find useful in work on course requirements, especially the final project.  But you are not required to purchase any of those books.

    I will supply copies of all guides, outlines, lecture notes, and other written texts we will  be making use of this semester.  I will also supply copies, as well, of all films–in DVD format–we will be using this semester, including for your work on the interview conference and final project assignments (see the later section of this syllabus focused on “specific requirements for the course grade”).  

    Please note well that UWEC maintains no budget to pay for films used in film classes, and so all of these I have purchased–they are my all own copies.  Likewise UWEC maintains no budget to pay for all-region, multi-standard DVD players either, so I have purchased two of these as well for use in my classes.  I will be loaning you copies of DVDs to work on for the interview conference and final project assignments–and, as necessary, an all-region, multi-standard DVD player too–but I ask you to be very careful with these because if any damage develops I am entirely responsible for repair or replacement.  In addition, since these are all my own copies and equipment, I don’t ever loan any of this out to students who miss regularly scheduled screening sessions (as part of the week to week semester schedule of classes); if, by chance, you ever need to miss a screening session I will arrange with you to schedule a make-up screening session in HHH 323 or a classroom like HHH 323, but I won’t give you the DVDs or the DVD player to take with you and make use of on your own.   

    Finally, please note well that the readings are important–they will provide us valuable contexts and perspectives to draw upon and refer to, as we work together to make critical sense of the films we will screen, even when we need to extrapolate from the writers’ discussions of other films–and other issues–to do so.  Note well that I emphasize critical sense here; this means that we will hardly limit ourselves to uncritical appreciation of any of these films.  It also means that we will strive to engage with these films in intellectually rigorous ways, and this includes films that might not readily appeal to you.  Our primary concern here is not simply with likes and dislikes, but rather with understanding, at a serious, scholarly level. 


W 9/8: Introduction and Orientation.

M 9/13: Screening of Brigadoon and I Know Where I’m Going!

W 9/15: Discussion, Introduction to Issues in Scottish Cinema and Cultural Studies, Early Scottish Cinema, Brigadoon, and I Know Where I’m Going!

    Read for Class, W 9/15: Screening Scotland, 1-12 (“Introduction: Some Key Issues in the Study of Scottish Cinema”), 15-19 (From “Chapter One: Scotland and the British Cinema”–Opening Passage and “The Early Development of the Cinema in Scotland“), and 32-42 (From “Chapter Two: The View from the Metropolis”–Opening Passage, “Scotland and ‘Otherness’,” and “Islands of Desire”); Scottish Cinema Now, 171-187 (David Stenhouse, “Not Made in Scotland: Images of the Nation from Furth of the Forth”); and Scotland as We Know It, 5-9 (From “Chapter One: Scottish Nationality and Tartan Culture”–Untitled Opening Section) and 22-27 (From “Chapter One: Scottish Nationality and Tartan Culture”–“Where Is Scotland?”).    

M 9/20: Screening of Whisky Galore! and The Wicker Man.

W 9/22: Discussion, Classic Scottish Cinematic and Cultural Myths, Scotland and England/Britain, Scottish Religions and Spiritualities, Scottish Comedy and Horror, Whisky Galore! and The Wicker Man.

    Read for Class, W 9/22: Screening Scotland, 42-52 (From “Chapter Two: The View from the Metropolis”–“The Ealing Spirit,” “Sentimental Visions,” and “Coda: a Return to the Dark Side”); Modern Scottish Culture, 1-23 (“Chapter 1: What is Scotland?”) and 91-99 (“Chapter 6: Religion in Scotland”).
M 9/27: Screening of Rob Roy and Culloden.

W 9/29: Discussion, Scottish History and Scottish Historical Myths and Legends, Cinema and Scottish History/Cinema and Scottish Historical Myths and Legends, Cinema and Scottish Nationalisms Past and Present, Rob Roy, and Culloden.

    Read for Class, W 9/29: Screening Scotland, 53-73 (“Chapter Three: the Jacobite Legacy”) and 209-213 (From “Chapter Nine: The New Scottish Cinema: Themes and Issues”–“History Lessons”); Modern Scottish Culture, 26-42 (“Chapter 2: Cultural History I: Before 1822"); and Scotland as We Know It, 145-162 (From “Chapter 5: Heroes, Thugs and Legends: Celluloid Scotland as Century’s End”–Opening Untitled Section, “Nationalism Shaken not Stirred,” and “Bravehearts and Bedwetters”).

    * First Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Assigned, W 9/29 *

M 10/4: Screening of Seaward: the Great Ships, Just Another Saturday, and Just a Boy’s Game.
W 10/6: Discussion, Scottish Cities and Scottish City Life–Past and Present, Scottish Urban Cinema, Major Developments in Modern Scottish History, Sectarianism and Scotland, Sport and Scotland, Television and Scottish Cinema, Seaward: the Great Ships, Just Another Saturday, and Just a Boy’s Game.

    Read for Class, W 10/6: Screening Scotland, 74-94 (“Chapter Four: an Urban Alternative”) and 123-140 (From “Chapter Six: the Role of Television”–“The First Steps Towards a New Scottish Cinema,” “The Channel Four Effect,” “Scotland the Television Play,” and “Tales of the West: the Work of Peter McDougall”); Modern Scottish Culture, 43-64 (“Chapter 3: Cultural History II: After 1822") and 110-120 (“Sport in Scotland”).  

M 10/11: Screening of The Bill Douglas Trilogy and Select Short Films.

W 10/13: Discussion, Scottish Art Cinema, Scottish Documentary Cinema, Scottish Short Films, The Bill Douglas Trilogy, and Select Short Films.

    Read for Class, W 10/13: Screening Scotland, 97-122 (“Chapter Five: Scotland and the Documentary”), and 158-165 (From “Chapter Six: A Scottish Art Cinema”–“Biography, Memory and Cultural Expression”), and 180-182 (From “Chapter Eight: The New Scottish Cinema: Institutions”–“The New Significance of Short Films”); Scottish Cinema Now, 56-71 (Cairns Craig, “Nostophobia”).  

    * First Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Due, F 10/15 by 4 pm, in my English Department Mailbox, HHH 405 *

M 10/18: Screening of Gregory’s Girl and Comfort and Joy.

W 10/20: Discussion, Transition toward New Scottish Cinema/toward the End-of-the-Century Scottish Cinematic Renaissance, The Cinema of Bill Forsyth, Education in Scotland, Scottish Music, Representing Late 20th Century Scottish Everyday Life, Gregory’s Girl, and Comfort and Joy.

    Read for Class, W 10/20: Screening Scotland, 148-158 (From “Chapter Six: A Scottish Art Cinema”–“A British Art Cinema?,” “The Scottish Dimension,” and “The Strange Case of Bill Forsyth”; Modern Scottish Culture, 82-90 (“Chapter 5: Education in Scotland”) and 192-209 (“Chapter 14: Scottish Music”).    

Saturday 10/23: Extra-Credit Mid-Semester Class Scottish Party.  Details to be announced.

M 10/25: Screening of Trainspotting and Stella Does Tricks.

W 10/27: Discussion, The New Scottish Cinema–Institutions, The New Scottish Cinema–Themes and Issues, Making Critical Sense of the Global Commercial and Critical Breakthrough of (New) Scottish Cinema at the End of the Century, Trainspotting and ‘the Trainspotting Effect’, and Stella Does Tricks.

    Read for Class, W 10/27: Screening Scotland, 172-179 (From “Chapter Eight: The New Scottish Cinema: Institutions”–“A New Dawn?” and “New Institutions/New Opportunities”), 182-186 (From “Chapter Eight: The New Scottish Cinema: Institutions”–“Economics versus Culture” and “Conclusions: a Devolved British Cinema?”), 192-199 (From “Chapter Nine: The New Scottish Cinema: Themes and Issues”–Opening Passage, “The Commercial and Critical Breakthrough,” and “The Trainspotting  Effect”), and 204-206 ( (From “Chapter Nine: The New Scottish Cinema: Themes and Issues”–From Second Paragraph on page 204 through end of the section“Tales of the City”);   Scotland as We Know It, 162-174 (From “Chapter 5: Heroes, Thugs and Legends: Celluloid Scotland as Century’s End”–“‘It’s Shite Being Scottish!’”).  
    * Second Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Assigned, W 10/27 *

M 11/1: Screening of My Name is Joe and Small Faces.

W 11/3: Discussion, Cinematic Representations of The Scottish City and the Urban Working Class at the End of the Century, Ken Loach and Scotland, Scottish Cinema Since the Emergence of ‘the New Scottish Cinema’–Achievements and Challenges, My Name is Joe, and Small Faces.

    Read for Class, W 11/3: Screening Scotland, 199-204 (From “Chapter Nine: New Scottish Cinema: Themes and Issues”–From “Tales of the City,” Start of the Section through end of 1st paragraph on page 204), and 222-226 (“Conclusion: Into the Twenty-First Century”;  Scottish Cinema Now, 72-87 (Marilyn Reizbaum, “They Know Where They’re Going: Landscape and Place”), 88-104 (John Hill, ‘’Bonnie Scotland, Eh? Scottish Cinema, The Working Class, and the Films of Ken Loach”) and 153-170 (Duncan Petrie, “Screening Scotland: a Reassessment”).

M 11/8: Screening of Orphans and Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself.

W 11/10: Discussion, Innovative and Iconoclastic Visions and Achievements in the New Scottish Cinema, Mass Media in Scotland, Opportunities and Difficulties Facing Future Scottish Cinema, Orphans, and Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself.

    Read for Class, W 11/10: Screening Scotland, 213-218 (From “Chapter Nine: New Scottish Cinema: Themes and Issues”–“Iconoclastic Visions”); Modern Scottish Culture, 178-191 (“Chapter 13: Mass Media”); Scottish Cinema Now, 222-239 (Robin MacPherson, “Shape-Shifters: Independent Producers in Scotland and the Journey  from Cultural Entrepreneur to Entrepreneurial Culture”).

    * Second Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Due, F 11/12 by 4pm, in my English Department mailbox, HHH 405*

M 11/15: Screening of Gregory’s Two Girls and Tickets.

W 11/17: Discussion, Contemporary Scottish Cinematic Engagements with Relations between Global and Local Identities, Cinematic Reflections on Scotland and Multinational/Transnational Capital, Cinematic Reflections on Scotland and America/Scotland and Europe, Scottish Cinema and National/Inter-national/Trans-national Identities, Gregory’s Two Girls, and Tickets.

    Read for Class, W 11/17: Scotland: Global Cinema, 1-66 (“Chapter 1: Comedy: Global/Local Identities” and “Chapter Two: Road Movie: Scotland in the World”).

M 11/22: Screening of Nina’s Heavenly Delights and The Governess.
M 11/29: Screening of Red Road and Morvern Callar.

W 12/1: Discussion, Cinema and Contemporary Scottish Ethnic/Racial/Religious/Class/Gender/ Sexual and National Diversity, Bollywood and Scotland/Scottish Cinema, Revisiting and Refashioning Cinematic Forms of Heritage/Costume Drama, Cinema and Postmodern Scottish Travels/Travelers, Revisiting and Refashioning the Kailyard, Women in Contemporary Scottish Cinema, Nina’s Heavenly Delights, The Governess, Red Road, and Morvern Callar.

    Read for Class, W 12/1: Scotland: Global Cinema, 67-88 (“Chapter 3: Bollywood: Non-Resident Indian-Scotland”), 135-152 (“Chapter 6: Costume Drama: From Men in Kilts to Developing Diasporas”), and 214-232 (“Chapter 10: Art Cinema: The Global Limitations of Cinematic Scotland”); Scottish Cinema Now, 122-152 (Jane Sillars, “Admitting the Kailyard” and Sarah Street, “New Scottish Cinema as Trans-national Cinema”).

    * Third Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Assigned, W 12/1 *

M 12/6: Screening of Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle and Stone of Destiny.

W 12/8: Cinema and Scottish Regions/Languages/Cultures, Regionality and Internationality in Scottish Cinema, Scotland Since Devolution and Scottish Nationalism Today/the Prospects for Scottish Independence, Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle, and Stone of Destiny.

    Read for Class, W 12/8: Scottish Cinema Now, 105-121 (David Martin-Jones, “Scotland’s Other Kingdoms: Considering Regional Identities in a Growing National Cinema”); Modern Scottish Culture, 121-143 (“Chapter 9: Scotland’s Languages” and “Chapter 10: The Scottish Parliament”).  

Sunday 12/12: Class Conference–Final Project Presentations and Discussions, Specific Room and Times to be announced.

    * Third Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper Due by 4 pm, W 12/15 in my English Department Mailbox, HHH 405 *



    Monday afternoons we will screen films.  We will take a short (five-minutes long maximum) break in between the screening of each film.  You may bring cushions, pillows, blankets, fold-up chairs, and any other kind of material that you might find more comfortable to sit on during these screenings than the seats already available in the classroom. You do not need to do this, but you may if you wish. You may also bring snacks as long as you try not to make a mess and as long as you clean up after yourself.  PLEASE DO NOT USE CELL PHONES DURING SCREENING SESSIONS– INCLUDING TO TEXT MESSAGE–TURN THEM OFF!  DOING THIS IS MORE DISTRACTING THAN YOU MAY REALIZE AND ALSO TO MY MIND A CLEAR SIGN THAT YOU ARE NOT ENGAGED AS YOU SHOULD BE WITH THE MATERIAL FOR THE CLASS–AND IT WILL THEREFORE NEGATIVELY AFFECT YOUR COURSE GRADE TO A SUBSTANTIAL DEGREE IF YOU DO IT.  As you are watching and listening to screenings, taking notes can prove quite helpful–although it is better not to take too many, or too detailed notes, such that this interferes with your ability to watch and listen carefully.  Occasionally, screening sessions will run 5 to 10 minutes past 6:30 pm; you will be expected to stay through the end even so.  This will be more than made up for by the number of times in which screening sessions will end earlier than 6:30; on those occasions you will be free to leave as soon as our last film has concluded.  

    Wednesday afternoons we will discuss readings as well as the screenings from the previous Monday afternoon.  Discussion will proceed according to a variety of formats.  I will usually prepare a packet for you of questions and other materials for study, discussion, and review that I’ll give to you at the start of class, right before we begin our screenings, each Monday.  I will design these packets to help you make sense of  readings and screenings, and we will use these to structure our discussions on Wednesdays.  At times I will make relatively short, informal presentations, but I prefer not to lecture at length; instead I want to work with you so that we can together come to grips with the issues this course addresses.  I may prepare and post occasional written texts of extended length on Desire2Learn or the W (the Student-Faculty Shared Drive) for you to study and review on your own.  At times I may ask students to do some short writing before or during class to help facilitate discussions, and frequently students will work for portions of our Wednesday classes in small groups.  At times as well we will watch clips from films previously screened, and we will also, on occasion, watch clips from additional films as well as DVD extras from the films we have just previously screened on the preceding Monday.   In short, we’ll aim to do all kinds of things in class on Wednesday to keep it interesting.  I will maintain ultimate responsibility, authority, and control for the direction of our class discussions, yet I will do my best to make sure we hear extensively from everyone else.  


    The following is the official mission statement of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a mission which includes us all, and which each of us helps realize, bringing to bear our own distinct talents, abilities, knowledges, skills, backgrounds, and experiences:

    We foster in one another creativity, critical insight, empathy, and intellectual courage, the hallmarks of a transformative liberal education and the foundation for active citizenship and lifelong inquiry.

This is a mission to aspire to meet, and each of you has a vitally important role to play in helping us do so.

    The following, in addition, are the five most important, official goals all UWEC undergraduate courses are designed to help you meet, and this class can help you with all five of these goals:

    1.) Knowledge of Human Culture and the Natural World
    2.) Creative and Critical Thinking
    3.) Effective Communication
    4.) Individual and Social Responsibility
    5.) Respect for Diversity Among People

These goals require your striving to meet them.  Striving means learning actively and deliberately, completing assignments in a thorough and timely fashion, participating in class discussion, and making connections between what we do while meeting in class and what you do when engaged outside of the classroom.


    I expect students in this course to strive to become sincerely interested in learning about the subject matter of this course, and to be consistently intellectually serious as well as academically diligent in their pursuit of this learning.   I expect students to strive to bring actively and extensively to bear–in your essays and contributions to class discussion–insights you gain through your engagement with the texts and topics addressed as part of this course, and I expect you to strive at the same time to relate these texts and topics as closely and as fully as possible to subjects of genuine interest and concern in your own lives, past and present.  And I expect you to let me know right away when and if you have any questions or problems about any aspect of how you are doing in and with the course, so that I can do whatever I possibly can to help answer these questions and solve these problems.

    In addition, you need to be ready to engage seriously, thoughtfully, and respectfully–at all times–with positions that you don’t necessarily agree with, and even with ones that you may find troubling.  After all, great works of art–including many great works of literature and film–are often created with the deliberate aim of disturbing, even shocking many people who will encounter these.  Often the intent is to provoke strong response, as well as thought–and action–that goes beyond what has become familiar, conventional, commonsensical, and, especially, merely “safe.”  You are capable of dealing with these kinds of challenges in an intellectually serious, mature adult manner–and I will expect you to do so.

    Finally, please keep firmly in mind that you all have much to offer of value to everyone else in the class, including to me–we all gain from you sharing with the rest of us and us engaging with your observations, reflections, interpretations, and other perspectives.  This is a general education class, which means that all you absolutely need as prerequisite to do well in it is a sincere interest in learning about the subject matter, a genuine commitment to engage diligently in so doing, an openness to new ideas and perspectives, and some kind of prior experience with college-level critical and/or creative work.  People enter upper level film classes at UWEC, like this one, from widely diverse backgrounds, and with widely diverse kinds of knowledges and experiences.  All of that is to the good.  We are here to work together–and to help each other learn.  I want everyone to do well with this class and I want you to join me in approaching this class as an opportunity for us to join together, collectively, in striving to make this happen.  You shouldn’t ever worry that other students in the class seem to know more or better than you about X or Y; everyone always knows more or better about something than everyone else, so be confident this certainly applies to you.  And if it seems some others do know more or better about something important or valuable, relax and seek to learn from them; the fact that they come to this class with this prior knowledge that you don’t already have will not significantly affect how I evaluate your performance and your contribution.  No prior knowledge taking college-level film classes is required to do well in this class, and no prior knowledge about Scottish history and culture is either.   


General Criteria: Evaluation of Student Performance

    In evaluating all work done for this course, I will take account of how carefully, seriously, intelligently, enthusiastically, and imaginatively students engage with the concepts, issues, positions, and arguments addressed in the course and represented by the texts we read, the films we screen, by me, and by each other.


    This course cannot contribute effectively to students' learning if students do not attend class.  What happens in class is an indispensable part of this course.  Therefore, the following attendance policy will apply for students enrolled in this class, except for students who must miss an extended period of the semester due to an emergency for which they arrange an officially authorized absence from class (in the latter case, we will work together to make arrangements to help you make up for what you miss):

1.)    Students who exceed a maximum of three unexcused absences will suffer a penalty of a loss of one full letter grade for each additional unexcused absence.  An unexcused absence is one where you offer no reasonable excuse for missing, but choose this to be a day that you miss class.

2.)     Students should provide me with verifiable confirmation of a debilitating injury or illness, or of any other serious individual or family emergency, for the excusing of any further absences beyond the maximum of two unexcused absences.

3.)    In addition to the maximum of two unexcused absences, students may miss a maximum of three excused absences without suffering a grade penalty.  Seven total absences will result in a loss of  two full letter grades.  Students who miss more than seven classes total should withdraw from the course as they otherwise will most likely receive a grade of F.

* Students are expected to arrive for class on time and to stay through the very end of class.  If you don’t do so, you won’t be counted as attending class.  In addition, you need to be awake, alert, and attentive while in class; this means you can’t expect to sleep or rest in class.  Again, if you do so, this will count as an absence from class.  And the same is true of doing other school work in class or attending to other–personal– matters irrelevant to what we are focusing on at that point in time in class (e.g., you should avoid text-messaging, or web-searching, or facebooking, or playing games on your cell phone, or checking out youtube while in class–just to mention a few common temptations). *

** In addition, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THIS CLASS THAT YOU COME TO CLASS ON WEDNESDAYS HAVING DONE THE READING REQUIRED OF YOU PRIOR TO CLASS.  The quality of your own learning, and that of the rest of your classmates depends upon you taking this seriously and carrying it out conscientiously. **

Learning and Contribution/Learning and Contribution Reflection Papers

    My foremost aim in teaching this course is to help you to learn something of significance and value.  I will judge you to a significant degree on what you learn, how–and how hard–you strive to learn, and on how–along with how well–you contribute to the learning for the rest of the class.

    Class participation represents an important opportunity to learn, not just a place in which to demonstrate what you have learned.  By raising questions, testing and trying out ideas, taking risks and making mistakes, you learn a great deal–and help others learn a great deal as well.  You learn through talking, not just talk to show what you have learned.  At the same time, just talking a great deal does not necessarily mean that you are making a quality contribution to the class by aiding the learning that we aim to accomplish.  Quality of participation is much more important than quantity, although a sufficient quantity is indispensable to insure quality.  Still, I want to emphasize here that I perceive talking for talking’s sake–especially talking which pulls us off on far-fetched tangents, which remains disconnected from and disengaged with the reading and the rest of the class, or which effectively silences others–to be negative participation.  Quality class participation does not, moreover, involve merely asking questions of me and responding to my questions; quality class participation requires you to work to advance a serious and substantial discussion with your peers about the films, readings, and issues subject to discussion.

    Contribution to the class certainly can extend far beyond mere speaking in class: it may include a variety of ways in which you can bring to bear your insights to help yourself as well as the rest of us gain from the experience of this course.  Excellent writing for class is also a valuable way to contribute to class.  At the same time, listening carefully, respectfully, and thoughtfully in class discussions is yet another important means of contribution–as is taking time to meet and talk with me outside of class.  In fact, meeting and talking with me outside of class can be an excellent way to contribute–as well as to show us me how seriously interested in and engaged with the course material you are.

    Learning and contribution will constitute a significant proportion of your overall course grade.  As part of this grade, you will write three short learning and contribution reflection papers. For these papers I will ask you questions which will require you to refer to and reflect on issues raised in screenings, readings, and discussions.  These short papers will show me how you are doing with course materials, as well as give you a chance to demonstrate your critical self-reflexivity, the hallmark of a liberal arts education.  I will provide you specific directions in the assignments I give you for each of these papers.  Length will be quite flexible, but I suggest you can imagine approximately 5-7 double-spaced, typed pages (or approximately 2500 to 3500 words) as a reasonable target in each case.  Learning and contribution part one will be worth 17.5% of the overall course grade, learning and contribution part two will be worth 20% of the overall course grade, and learning and contribution part three will be worth 22.5% of the overall course grade

Interview Conference

    For this assignment, I will ask you to meet in conference outside of class with me to engage in an extended, serious, critical discussion of one early Scottish film we will have not yet previously screened together this semester.  I estimate we will talk together for approximately one hour.  You will work on this assignment as part of a group of students from our class.  

    Group assignments will take place during week three of the semester.  At that time I will also give each group a copy of the film it will be working with so that you can screen it individually, as well as collectively, and review it–as well as any special features on the DVD–in preparation for the conference.  I will also give you the specific questions ahead of time that I want you to come to the conference prepared to address.  The conference will happen approximately two weeks later at a mutually convenient time for all of us, and it will take place in my office.  Tentatively, the films I am thinking of making available for this purpose are as follows: The Thirty-Nine Steps, Edge of the World, The Flesh and the Fiends, The MaggieThe Ghost Goes West Battle of the Sexes, and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

    This assignment will be worth 15% of the overall course grade.  I will give you individual grades for this assignment (although they most likely will turn out to be the same, unless different members of the group clearly put in substantially different amounts of work on this assignment).  

Final Project

    Once again, you will work together with a group of fellow students from our class on this project.  I will give each group three Scottish films we have not screened together as part of the course.  Your task will be to prepare a presentation that uses these films as a point of departure, reference, and return in order to help illuminate, as well as stimulate, thinking and discussion, in relation to a.)  a significant issue in Scottish cinema studies, as well as b.) a significant issue in Scottish history, society, politics, and/or culture.  You yourselves, in your groups and in consultation with me, will determine, based upon what the films you are working with suggest, precisely what these specific issues will be.  At the end of the semester you will present what you have come up with as part of a public class conference; you will have approximately 45 minutes time to present, followed by approximately 30 minutes time to engage in–and lead–discussionThis class conference will take place on Sunday December 12 in a room and at times to be arranged.  It will be open to the public to attend as interested and able.

    I will make more specific suggestions to you for this project as you proceed to work on it. And I will also later offer you a more detailed explanation of how I conceive of the goals of this assignment as well as the criteria for evaluation I will use.  Also, group as well as individual members from groups are welcome–and indeed encouraged–to meet with me in conference as you are thinking through and working on the presentation so I can help assist you in your planning and preparation.  

    Here are some of the films that I am tentatively thinking of assigning for use in these final projects: 16 Years of Alcohol; Aberdeen; The Acid House; Behind the Lines; BraveheartBreaking the Waves; Carla’s Song; Festival; A Fond Kiss; Hallam Foe; The Last Great Wilderness; The Last King of Scotland; Mrs. Brown; Ratcatcher; A Sense of Freedom; Shallow Grave; Soft Top, Hard Shoulder; Sweet Sixteen; The Winter Guest; Women Talking Dirty; and Young Adam.  

    This assignment will be worth 25% of the overall course grade.  Once again, I will give you individual grades (although they may well turn out all the same), and I will also give you all copies of a written form after your presentation providing each of you an opportunity individually to evaluate (in confidence) each other member’s contribution to the group’s work–as well as to evaluate yourself.  I will take into account these evaluations in determining your individual grades.          

    Finally, each student is required to attend and participate actively in discussion for one other group’s project presentation besides your own.

General Formatting Requirements: Papers
    All papers should be typed, double-space, on standard white letter-sized (8" X 11") typewriter, computer printer, or photographic paper.  You may use any standard font you wish but your print size must remain between 10 and 12 points.  Pages should be numbered, and your name should be at the top of the first page.  The pages of your paper must be stapled together and you are responsible for doing so; I do not bring staplers to class.  You are also responsible for proofreading your paper before you turn it in; if you catch any typographical errors, you should neatly cross these out and write your corrections on top of these with a pen.  I will expect you, furthermore, to observe the rules and conventions of Standard Written English to the best of your ability in writing these papers.  In citing readings from class be sure to include page numbers when you do, and if you cite sources from outside of class be sure to include bibliographic information for these sources, following some kind of standard format for  documentation.  

Plagiarism and Academic Honesty

    Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are serious offenses.  They not only undermine the goal of learning but also are exploitative of the work of others.  Deliberate dishonesty in written work as part of this course will result in a failing grade.  In addition, plagiarism may result in further disciplinary action on the part of the University administration, ultimately including expulsion from the University.  Also, if you directly echo someone else’s thoughts as articulated in the course of class discussion you should add the last name, followed by the letters CD (for class discussion), followed by the date, in a parenthetical citation right after the end of the sentence, viz: (Nowlan, CD, 9/19/10).

Late Work

    Late papers will lose credit unless you have made arrangements ahead of the time with me to turn in these papers late due to a serious personal or family problem.  Alternately, if you provide a reasonable explanation why you are late shortly after the paper is due, you won’t suffer any grade penalty.  It is best to talk with me directly about this, and to make sure to do so within a week’s time of the due date at the absolute latest.  I do understand that at times real problems come up for all of us, no matter what we might intend or prefer.  If you are having serious problems in working on a paper, let me know, and we can work together on a mutually agreeable way of getting it done, as well as a mutually agreeable deadline for doing so.  The interview conferences will be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time, so once we have done so, of course, you need to show up on time–and prepared.  Likewise, the final project presentations and discussions will all take place on one set date (the Sunday right before the start of finals week) and on that date alone, so you need to be ready by that date, fully prepared to make your presentation and engage in discussion of it.


    On Saturday October 23 I will host an extra credit ‘Scottish party’ at my house.  We will have Scottish food–and drink, listen to Scottish music, and play Scottish games.  What’s more, I am planning, in the spirit of Halloween (or Samhain), to make this a costume party, where you can come as any Scottish character, past and present, including from any of the films we will have screened and discussed to date.  Alternately, you can dress in ‘Scottish style’ of any one kind or another, and give yourself an appropriate Scottish name (which need not be a particular historical or fictional figure).  How elaborate you make your costume–or don’t–is entirely up to you.  And because Scottish literature–and film–has demonstrated a particular penchant for mystery, murder, crime, detection, and the like (as well as following in the spirit of Halloween) we will most likely incorporate some kind of variation on the ‘murder party game’ theme.  This mid-semester class party will give us an opportunity for a relatively relaxed, light-hearted, fun way of playing off of some of the ideas and issues we will be working with in class this semester, as well as a chance for you to indulge your creativity.  Just for coming and participating in the class party, you will earn 10% extra credit.  You are also free to invite friends from outside of our class to come to this party with you as well.  More details, including times and directions, will follow.  

    Beyond the aforementioned extra credit opportunity, students can earn 2.5% extra credit for each session they attend–and where they actively participate–at the final class conference, besides their own session, and besides the one other session everyone must minimally attend.

    Finally, we will have a low-key, end of the semester party, together with students from my English 284 class, your friends and their friends, during finals week, for which you will have an opportunity to earn a yet additional 5% extra credit just for coming along and participating in this event.


    I encourage you to meet with me in conference during office hours or at another mutually convenient time to discuss any issue of interest or concern that you develop as a student in this course and as a member of this class.  I recognize the value of learning that takes place in conferences; I know this can at times be equally as important, and in fact occasionally even more important, than what takes place in class.  It also provides you an opportunity to contribute beyond what you say in class and write for class.  So please do not hesitate to meet with me at any time you think this might be helpful to you–or whenever you’d just like to talk further with me.   I want to help you in your understanding of issues addressed in screenings, readings, and discussions, as well as in your writing and participation.  I will be glad to consult with you on rough drafts of papers and in preliminary work for your interview conference and final project.  Besides meeting with me in my office, you may certainly also feel free to contact me by e-mail or by (my campus office) phone as well.  And, it is possible, if my office does not work out well for either or both of us as a place to meet, that we can meet in another mutually convenient place on or near campus (such as a coffee house).

    I really do like to get to know my students; students at this university continually demonstrate impressive ability, talent, knowledge, experience, insight, vitality, and good character.  I am lucky to get to know you; it enriches me.

    * Any student who has a disability and is in need of classroom accommodations, please contact both the instructor and the Services for Students with Disabilities Office, Old Library 2136; for more information on the services the latter office provides you, check out their webpage: http://www.uwec.edu/ssd/index.htm *


    In the interest of accountability–me to you–I am here providing you weblinks: 1.) to my statement of philosophy as a college teacher: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/philosophy.htm and 2.) to my autobiographical profile: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/PROFILE_.htm.  You are also welcome to check out 3.) my myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/insurgentseanmurphy, site, and to look me up 4.) on facebook, http://www.facebook.com [If you are interested in becoming facebook or myspace friends, feel free to contact me about that.]  In addition, you can find 5.) my professional vita (the academic equivalent of a resume) at: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/VITA.htm.  I encourage you to check these sites out; it is useful for you to know who your teacher is, what he’s about, and where he’s coming from–and I like to be very open, honest, and forthright with you about all of that.  I look forward to a great semester working together with you!