DepositBrigadoon: Lerner and Loewe’s Scotland

Since the 1950s, Brigadoon has been accepted as a representation of Scotland. Brigadoon’s Scotland consists of a highland landscape with lochs, mists, castles populated by fair maidens, warlike yet sensitive kilted men and bagpipers. Much of this comes from the invented traditions of Scotland, particularly kilts and clan tartans; late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Scottish literature; Scottish propaganda for tourism following WWII; and Scottish popular culture. In spite of Lerner’s well-written book, Loewe’s charming music, and Agnes De Mille’s exciting choreography, the Scottishness of the work received, and still receives, the most attention. Brigadoon’s inauthentic or dubious depiction of Scotland points to the complex relationship between popular culture, history, and art. But, is Brigadoon Scottish? While Scottish intellectuals would say no, the fact that Brigadoon draws upon Scottish literary traditions, whatScotland’s own popular culture produced as “Scottish,” and devices that are viewed as Scottish by the Western world, it is.

MemberMatthew F. Wickman

Interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies, including in disciplines outside the humanities (e.g., the sciences, mathematics, law, etc.); Scottish literary and intellectual history, 1707-the present; British literature of the long eighteenth century; Romanticism; modernism; critical and literary theory; the Enlightenment and its intellectual legacy; history and morphology of literary forms; literary and intellectual history; crime fiction

MemberHelen Lawson


Helen Lawson completed an MSc by Research (Scottish History) on early medieval Scotland in August 2013, also at the University of Edinburgh, with a dissertation entitled “The narrational context of early medieval Scottish battles”. In it, she considered the presentation of warfare and conflict in early medieval narratives, with particular reference to Scotland. This research explored the role of warfare in early medieval narratives encompassing Scotland, and argued that the importance of battles and conflict that are narrated reflect more of the authorial context and later narrational importance, rather than th…

Helen Lawson’s doctoral thesis, ‘Navigating Northumbria: Mobility, Allegory and Writing Travel in Early Medieval Northumbria’, considers the narrational and theological role of travel and mobility in Northumbrian histories and hagiographies. This work originally stemmed from the idea that scholarship on early medieval northern Britain tends to underestimate, or reject outright, the role of land transport in early medieval mobility. Whilst the original starting point was focussed on the practice and practicalities of travel, the thesis has shifted to interrogate the conceptual role of travel in the milieu of Bede and his contemporaries.  

MemberDarren Layne

…2011-2015 – University of St Andrews

• PhD Scottish History – June 2016

2003-2004 – University of Edinburgh

• MSc (Distinction) Scottish History – October 2004

1998-2000 – University of California, Berkeley

• BA History – December 2000
• High Honors History – May 2001…

The thrust of my doctoral studies measured and reinterpreted the constituency of the late Jacobite movement during the Rising of 1745-6. Building and utilizing a prosopographic database (JDB1745) to compile and document as many names as can be connected with the final rising, a systematic analysis of the data was undertaken to present a fresh social history of those who participated in Jacobite-related activity during the Forty-five. Taken directly from the database, my final thesis was a snapshot of over 15,000 entries collated to explore motivation, demographics, recruitment, and the consequences of involvement in that insurgency. My continuing research extends the database into its next stage, which includes three independent sub-projects: one, further transcription and analysis of primary sources to find new evidence of Jacobite-connected persona; two, creation of a public beta with a newly-coded architecture that allows controlled external participation; and three, assembling a multidisciplinary team of scholars interested in engaging with data curation and contributing to the database using their respective areas of expertise. Interested parties are very welcome to connect as desired. In addition to JDB1745, I am currently working on several other connected resources for the Digital Humanities, including a programme of licensing out primary source material for inclusion within an electronic research portal and also the establishment of a Virtual Research Environment for historical and genealogical study related to Jacobitism and anti-Jacobitism.

MemberSean Martin

Currently (2018) undertaking PhD by practice in filmmaking at Edinburgh Napier University, making an experimental documentary about Scottish metaphysical writer David Lindsay (1876-1945), author of A Voyage to Arcturus, The Haunted Woman, and others. I am also the author of a number of popular history titles, including The Knights Templar: The History & Myths of the Legendary Military Order; The Cathars: The Rise & Fall of the Great Heresy and The Gnostics: The First Christian Heretics.

MemberKimm Curran

Current projects

  • Experiential approaches to medieval monastic places and landscapes can help influence wider understanding of heritage and how those with unseen or invisible disabilities, such as Autism, experience heritage;
  • Edited collection on the history of medieval women religious;
  • Medievalisms on TV, especially Supernatural
  • Place making, landscapes and place identity in Supernatural

Research Interests

  • Include monastic and religious life from 1100-1600 in Britain and Ireland and  the development of monasteries in medieval landscapes, the modern presence of monasteries in localities and the theoretical and experiential approaches to place, landscapes.
  • Place identity and landscapes in science fiction TV, especially Supernatural

Background I completed my PhD from the University of Glasgow titled ‘Religious Women and Their Communities in Late Medieval Scotland’ (2005)  My publications include themes of prosopography of religious women in Scotland, abbesses, monastic education and literacy and female religious life in general. I received a full scholarship from the College of Arts to undertake retraining in the heritage sector and completed the MSc in Landscape Integrated Research and Practice (with Distinction) from the University of Glasgow. I am the Publications & Communications Officer and member of the Steering Committee for the research group:  The History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland.  

MemberBruce Buchan

Bruce is an intellectual historian whose work traces the entanglement of European political thought with the experience of empire and colonisation, focussing on the Early Modern and Enlightenment periods. Bruce’s research seeks an understanding of concepts by bringing different fields of historical enquiry into productive conversation, most notably colonial history, histories of sound and noise, the history of science and medicine, and the history of ideas and political thought. His previous research on European perceptions of Indigenous government, the conceptual history of asymmetric warfare, and the meanings of civility, savagery and civilisation have appeared in a wide range of journals. Bruce’s research has been supported by a competitively awarded Discovery grants and a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council. His current research (with Linda Andersson Burnett) focusses on the conceptual prehistory of race in the teaching of medicine and moral philosophy, and in colonial travel during the Scottish Enlightenment.

DepositScots take the Wheel: The Problem of Period and the Medieval Scots Alliterative Thirteen-line Stanza

Argues that to pass silently over the connections between English and Scottish literature is to reduce the multiple trajectories of British literary history, to silence the tensions regarding imperialism and sovereignty motivating literary production, and to miss out on the fruitful circulation of non- Chaucerian literary techniques such as the alliterative thirteen-line stanza, discussed here, for which the Scots should be widely known.