Ossian and the Topos of the Heath in Gaelic and International Contexts

Lecturer: Dr. Petra Johana Poncarová

This seminar is going to focus on the Ossianic publications by James Macpherson and their effect in both Gaelic and international context. It will briefly touch upon the Ossianic tradition before Macpherson, the historical and political background of his publications, and their impact on Gaelic Scotland and the nascent Romantic movement. Chiefly, it is going to be devoted to a discussion of the topos of the heath as a Romantic space and its aesthetic, symbolic, and political dimensions. It will engage with various examples from visual arts and literature, including the work of Danish early Romantic writer and Macpherson translator Steen Steensen Blicher, and explore the afterlife of these ideas in continuing connections between Scotland and other countries in the realm of cultural imagination, creative industries and tourism, and ecology.


James Macpherson, Fragments of Ancient Poetry

Steen Steensen Blicher, Twelve Stories, translated by Hanna Astrup Larsen

  • Introduction by Sigrid Undset
  • „The Robbers‘ Den“
  • „The Hosier and His Daughter“
  • „The Gamekeeper at Aunsbjerg“
  • „The Journal of a Parish Clerk“