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James Hogg (1770-1835) and Illness Narratives in a Scottish Context

Public Humanities, Explorations in the Medical Humanities

dateDecember 11, 2017 timeMonday, 6:00pm–7:30pm EST location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
  • Institute for Comparative Literature and Society
  • Arden Hegele
  • Carmel Raz
  • Heidi Hausse
  • Lan Li

Edinburgh was a hotbed of medical research and study in the early nineteenth century. The city laid claim to a thriving periodical culture, which served as a significant medium for the dissemination and exchange of medical and literary ideas throughout Britain, the colonies, and beyond. Enmeshed in this periodical culture was one of Scotland’s foremost Romantic writers, James Hogg, a poet and novelist known as ‘The Ettrick Shepherd’. Despite his dedication to the traditional and the folkloric, Hogg was imaginatively stimulated by the vibrant scientific and medical culture of post-Enlightenment Edinburgh. In this lecture, Professor Megan Coyer takes Hogg’s prose writing as a test case for analyzing pathographies and illness narratives within the distinctive cultural context of Romantic-era Scotland.