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Johan McGuinne

MLitt in Modern Scottish Writing

As someone with a background mainly in linguistics – and who has always been an avid reader – choosing to study literature was a choice I made in order to broaden my horizons.

I had previously spent an exchange semester at Stirling as a visiting student from Sweden, studying Scottish Literature among other things. So it seemed natural to return here.

Stirling has one of the most beautiful campuses in the world, and I believe the lecturers are some of the best within their respective fields. They encourage you to challenge yourself, without ever using their academic experience to put you down.

Studying Modern Scottish Literature has been both an academic and a personal experience. My father’s family are Gaels, and my mother’s family are Swedish Saami, so in one way I have grown up surrounded by the feeling that I am very much part of ‘old, marginalised cultures’.  

The course introduced me to writers I wouldn’t otherwise have read, and it offered me a philosophical, historical and critical foundation on which to base my future studies. Most importantly however, my MLitt has made me challenge the stereotypical views of minorities (which are often found in mainstream media) by giving me the tools needed to formulate a thought-through, well-founded critique of the same.

In the near future I see myself taking the skills and knowledge I’ve accumulated over the year to work for an NGO focusing on indigenous issues and minority rights. Later on, I intend to pursue doctoral studies at a university in Sweden.

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