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Title: The Saltire Society Literary Awards, 1936-2015 : a cultural history
Author: Marsden, Stevie L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 9898
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis presents a history of the Saltire Society Literary Awards and examines their status and role within Scotland’s literary and publishing culture. The Society was founded at a critical inter-war period during which Scottish writers, artists and cultural commentators were re-imagining Scotland’s political and cultural identity. The Society, therefore, was a product of this reformative era in Scotland’s modern history. The Society’s identity and position within this inter- and post-war reformation is reflected in the Literary Awards, which are a means by which the Society attempts to accomplish some of its constitutional aims. The purpose of this thesis is three-fold. Firstly, it has filled a conspicuous gap in modern Scottish cultural history by offering a historically accurate description of the founding of the Saltire Society in 1936 and the development of the Society’s Literary Awards up until 2015. Secondly, this thesis demonstrates how the Society’s Literary Awards function in relation to key critical discourses pertinent to contemporary book award culture, such as forms of capital, national identity and gender. Finally, this thesis proffers an in-depth analysis of book award judgment culture. Through an analysis of the linguistic and social interactions between Saltire Society Literary Award judges, this thesis is the first study of its kind which considers exactly how literary award judging panels facilitate the judgement process. What this thesis reveals is how, despite often being plagued by problems regarding finances and personnel, the Society’s Literary Awards have endured as a key feature of Scottish literary and publishing culture, so much so that they are now the only series of awards dedicated to awarding Scottish fiction, non-fiction, poetry and first books, as well as academic history and research books. Due to the persistence and enthusiasm of the Society’s administrators and literary award judges the awards have continued to thrive and evolve to accommodate developments and demands within Scottish literary culture.
Supervisor: Squires, Claire Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: literary award culture ; Scottish literature ; Saltire Society ; publishing culture ; Saltire Society Awards 1936-2015 ; Literary prizes ; Scottish literature 20th century