Nobody’s Dream: Stories of Scottish Devolution


The Guardian’s Scotland blog today features a 30m podcast on Scottish devolution from a research workshop supported by the Centre for Scottish Studies.

Scottish Parliament 1

There is no grand narrative underpinning the most important constitutional process of our times. Partly for this reason, the meaning of devolution is unsettled and up for grabs.

The podcast – entitled ‘Nobody’s Dream’ – explores the difficulty of making a cohesive story out of Scottish devolution, and the competing narratives and perspectives brought to the question by writers, historians, parliamentarians and constitutional experts.

It emerges from an inter-disciplinary research workshop supported by the British Academy, entitled  ‘Narrating Scottish Devolution’. This examines the idea of ‘cultural devolution’ – the notion that writers and artists made Holyrood possible – and in the podcast you’ll hear workshop participants revisit a side of the story which is less about taxation powers than the management of national feeling.

Special thanks to the Scottish Political Archive and to participants in the workshop.

Poetry Podcast: Robert Burns, ‘To A Mouse’


Happy New Year!  Here is the first in a series of Scottish poetry podcasts from Dr Scott Hames and Professor Kirstie Blair. More episodes will appear on this blog in the next week or so.

These podcasts are informal conversations, not expert scholarship; they record our mutual encounter with the poem ‘on the spot’, rather than presenting a polished or rehearsed analysis. They are intended for senior school pupils and beginning undergraduates, though we hope all readers, students and teachers can find something worthwhile in them. Thanks to all those who offered suggestions as to which poems we should discuss.


  • Robert Burns, ‘To A Mouse’

Read ‘To A Mouse’ online (new window)
View notes on the poem