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Jos Collins



Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh (in collaboration with The University of Edinburgh, and Traditional Arts and Cultures Scotland (TRACS).)

School of Social Sciences
LINCS, Languages and Intercultural Studies
Heriot-Watt University
EH14 4AS

Phone: 07976356330

Further Information

Living Tradition and Cultural Revival: Scottish Folk Drama in the 21st Century.

Folk play in the broadest sense is experiencing a revival in Scotland. In recent years, we have seen the reintroduction of a variety of forms of community drama traditionally performed throughout Britain since the medieval period. The Intercultural Research Centre (Heriot-Watt University), Celtic and Scottish Studies (University of Edinburgh) and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS, Scottish Storytelling Centre) are offering an Applied Research Collaborative Studentship (ARCS) for a project entitled Living Tradition and Cultural Revival: Scottish Folk Drama in the 21st Century to start in January 2018.

This research project examines the reasons behind the resurgence of interest in this old art form and folk custom and its cultural implications. It seeks to investigate the motivations for participants and what these can tell us about modern attitudes to concepts like tradition and authenticity. Through the partnership with TRACS, which has been at the forefront of this renewal, the project offers a unique chance to examine revival in action.
The main aim of the project is to explore the place of revived folk drama in contemporary Scottish society through the following objectives are: to produce a survey of Scottish folk drama activities today; to examine community-led performances and related activities ethnographically; to evaluate the motivations and aspirations of participants and organisers and to assess their contribution to aspects of local identity, ideas of tradition, and community dynamics; to investigate how folk drama as a living practice contributes to developing conceptualisations of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Scotland; and to contribute to the newly emerging ‘Creative Ethnology’ movement led by the three institutions involved.

Supervisors: Dr Kerstin Pfeiffer (Heriot-Watt University, Primary Supervisor)
Prof Gary West (The University of Edinburgh)
Dr Neill Martin (The University of Edinburgh)
Donald Smith (Scottish Storytelling Centre: non-academic supervisor)