Friday, February 3, 2012

Article/Lecture: Haunting Scottish Ballads "Empower" Women

We're speaking specifically about Tam Lin, of course, as well as Tam O'Shanter. I would love to go hear this lecture!

Here are some excerpts from the article:

An academic is to explore why Scotland's cultural heritage is full of sex and the supernatural. 
Dr Donna Heddle said she also found "interesting patterns of female empowerment" while researching works for a lecture at Celtic Connections.
... Dr Heddle said: "This lecture is about the shape-shifting supernatural creatures like selkies and faeries which inhabit Scottish ballads such as Tam Lin and Robert Burns' Tam o' Shanter. 
"I'll be discussing their nature, their history in oral ballads and their legacy in written literature. 
"I'll also be exploring what these creatures and their associations with sex say about the society that created them, asking why do the Scots need the dark and sexy world of the supernatural?" 
The academic said that as well as finding the male and female supernatural beings she had expected to find in the literature, she also "noted some interesting patterns of female empowerment".
Now you want to go too, don't you? :)
Dr Heddle will give her free lecture - called Selkies, shapeshifters and sex - later at the Glasgow Royal Concert Halls during the music and arts festival.
If you're in Glasgow at the time, please go and take some notes! I'll happily post them if you do.

It's a bit difficult to pick which parts of this article to highlight for you so I suggest, if you like Tam Lin and/or Celtic supernatural folk tales (or sexy Scottish folk tales), that you just go ahead and read the whole article HERE. I'd love to see a video, or a transcript, or even some notes from this lecture.

I wonder if there are any Scottish film people working on Celtic fairy tales right now? Though The Devil's Widow (1970) did an interesting, if "rather 60's inspired", version of Tam Lin I'd love to see someone tackle it smartly and artistically today.

The beautiful artwork shown here is by Moscow-based artist, Julia Menshikova and is apparently work in progress, though I haven't seen any more added to this since 2009 (yes, it's been in my little private digital scrapbook of random Tam Lin illustrations for that long!). You can see more of her work, all quite different, HERE, she has a beautiful blog HERE and a lovely lovely Livejournal site HERE in which she shows many works in progress.

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