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The University of Southampton
Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture

Professor John McGavin - Inaugural Lecture

Published: 24 May 2010

Death and disappearance: “having fun” in early-modern Scotland. In the Chair: Professor Greg Walker, Masson Professor of English Literature, University of Edinburgh.

A project to locate all original evidence of play, ceremony and secular music in Scotland before 1645 has proved to be a lot more than the fun implicit in the subject matter. Early-modern Scotland has left us little in the way of literary drama, but its varied records constitute an immensely rich source for exploring issues of theatricality and spectatorship in public life. To illustrate this, the lecture analyses some events from late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Scotland which contemporaries considered striking enough to be recorded for posterity.

John McGavin is a Professor of Medieval Literature and Culture, in English within the School of Humanities, and his research interests include the areas of late medieval English literature, and medieval and early-modern English and Scottish Drama, with particular interest in the interpretation of primary records of drama, theatricality and play. Professor McGavin was awarded the 2009 Frank Watson Book Prize in Scottish History for his 2007 publication: Theatricality and Narrative in Medieval and Early-Modern Scotland.

Each of this year's Inaugural Lectures in the School of Humanities will have an end of lecture collection for a good cause. For this lecture, the School wishes to support the 'James Shears and Alan Bannon Memorial Fund', the fund set up to support the families of the Firefighters who recently lost their lives in Southampton.

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