29th of June, 4.45 – 5.30 pm: Taking inspiration from ‘Unforgettable, Unforgotten’ – the title of prolific Scottish author Anna Buchan’s 1945 autobiography – this roundtable is part of a day seminar featuring scholars who are investigating and exploring overlooked, marginalised, or ‘forgotten’ Scottish women writers between 1880 and 1940. Book for the whole day, or just the roundtable: https://bit.ly/3z8Fyml
6th of July, 4 – 4.50 pm, ‘Shifting Angles of Vision: Scott and Scottish Tradition’. During the 12th International Walter Scott Conference, part of the Scott 250 celebrations, I will consider the ways in which Walter Scott engaged with Scottish traditions in song and stories. I will suggest that Scott’s attitude to traditions and, in the process, the past, shifted throughout his life as he moved from collection by ‘raiding’ in print and from people (appropriation) to understanding the interaction between oral and print cultures more deeply (awareness) to a desire to share, as part of a cultural community (appreciation), the cultural traditions and heritage of Scotland. Booking details for this conference at: 12th International Walter Scott Conference | The University of Edinburgh
Why the Ettrick Shepherd Still Matters: James Hogg at 250. Roundtable discussion at the 3rd World Congress of Scottish Literatures, Prague, 2022. Participants: Dr Valentina Bold; Dr Adrian Hunter (University of Stirling); Prof Silvia Mergenthal (University of Konstanz); Dr Meiko O’ Halloran (University of Newcastle); Duncan Hotchkiss (University of Stirling). ‘James Hogg 250’ is a year of celebrations which runs from February 2020 to December 2021. From the Borders to Edinburgh, to Washington and Otago, it comprises creative events and initiatives. The aim of this panel is to celebrate Hogg as a poet, novelist, storyteller and songwriter, much more than simply the admired writer of Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.
The Shepherd and the Shirra: James Hogg and Walter Scott at 250 Thursday 11th February 2021, 17.00 – 18.00
In this event, award-winning writer James Robertson and cultural critic Valentina Bold discussed James Hogg, ‘The Ettrick Shepherd’ (1770 – 1835), and Walter Scott, ‘The Great Unknown’ and ‘The Shirra’ (1771 – 1832). Original, innovative and skilled, they were almost exact contemporaries; Borderers at heart, but from very different backgrounds. This event explored the lives and works of these Scottish writers of international significance, and celebrates their distinctive legacies in poetry and prose, from The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner to the Waverley novels.
Hogg at 250: A Dundee Showcase Friday 29th January 2021, 7 pm – 8 pm. Online event:
This event celebrated the 250th birthday of Scotland’s greatest storyteller, James Hogg. It introduced Confessions of a Justified Sinner: The Dundee Edition, a free online edition of Hogg’s most iconic work of fiction; launched the latest free poetry pamphlet by the Wyvern Poets; and shared early glimpses of Monica Burns’s exciting work-in-progress graphic novel A Justified Sinner. It began with a short plenary address by leading Hogg expert Valentina Bold.
Image courtesy of Monica Burns. Follow the Dundee Gothic Group on Twitter (@DundeeGothic).
Angle of Vision: Storytelling on the Cosmic Tide. An Orkney Digital Storytelling Symposium Thursday 28th January, 2021. The Orkney Digital Storytelling project is a collaboration between Robert Gordon University, the University of the Highlands and Islands Institute for Northern Studies and key stakeholders in Orkney. The project is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
View this event at: The Shepherd and the Shirra: James Hogg and Walter Scott at 250 – YouTube
BBC Radio Scotland: Scotland Outdoors, A Robert Burns Special with Valentina Bold. Podcast first broadcast on 20th of January 2021 and available for 30 days for download.
On the 1st of December 2020,Valentina organised and co-hosted, with Adrian Hunter, an online event to celebrate James Hogg, a Scottish writer of international standing, on his 250th birthday. Stirling University hosts the Stirling / South Carolina Research Edition of The Collected Works of James Hogg, published by Edinburgh University Press, and is delighted to support this event. The event explained why Hogg is still important, 250 years after his birth — so much more than the celebrated writer of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.
This event brought together a wonderful group of eminent writers, singers, performers and academics, to mark Hogg’s 250th Jubilee. Coming together to toast Hogg. From Ettrick to Edinburgh, Dundee to Fife, Europe, the USA and New Zealand, speakers included:
Award-winning writers James Robertson and Liam McIlvanney; Scots-language authority and broadcaster Billy Kay; songs from Sheena Wellington and Kirsteen McCue; academic experts Prof Ian Duncan, Prof Penny Fielding, Prof Silvia Mergenthal and Dr Daniel Cook; Dr Nancy Groce of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress; Vicky Davidson, of Ettrick & Yarrow Community Development Company; from St Mary’s Loch, Jim Mitchell; Donald Smith, Chief Executive of Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland and Bruce Gilkinson, author of ‘Walking with James Hogg’ and a direct descendant of the Ettrick Shepherd.
These special guests each offered a toast to Hogg, explaining why he is important to them and why his work still matters in 2020 and beyond, in what was a sparkling celebration.
‘The Whole Hogg’ Wigtown Book Town Festival Podcast with Valentina Bold, Graeme Macrae Burnett and Stuart Kelly. Hosted by Stuart Kelly and Peggy Hughes. 25th September 2020.
‘It’s braw to ride round and follow the camp’: the linguistic journey of a Scots song, with an Irish soldier, through space and time’ Zoom presentation, Multilinguality in Folklore Conference hosted by ZRC-Sazu, Ljubliana, Slovenija. 1st – 3rd October 2020.
‘Why James Hogg (Still) Matters at 250: Collector, Song-Maker, National Treasure’, Plenary Lecture, James Hogg: Scotland’s Shepherd Poet Symposium, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington. 21st February 2020.
Lecture, ‘She came with a drove of cattle to Hallow, Fair, Edinburgh’: Halloween in Popular Print, Scotland’, at Skeling, Skeklers and Guising’, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, Sunday 24th November 2019.
Public Lecture, ‘Why James Hogg (still) matters: James Hogg 250’, North Bute Literary Society, Rothesay, Bute, 12th November 2019.
At the age of eight on the dirt roads of Arkansas, Dr. Maya Angelou, poet, novelist, educator and civil rights activist discovered the poetry of Robert Burns. In 1996 Elly Taylor made a film exploring the strong parallels that existed in their lives. This rare screening is followed by a discussion with director Elly Taylor and international Burns scholar Dr Valentina Bold (who features in the film). The event will be curated by Shona Thomson from A Kind of Seeing, with thanks to Taylored Productions Ltd. (Director: Elly Taylor, 1996, 48 mins, Recommended Certificate 12).
This free (but ticketed) event from Literature Alliance Scotland provides a space and time to bring together members, literature professionals and peers as well as others working in Scotland’s literature, languages and publishing sector for a planning and information-sharing day, with plenty of time to chat to and connect with other delegates and peers from Scotland’s literature, languages and publishing sector.