Leaps and bounds: feminist interventions in Scottish literary print culture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


From the 1960s to the 1990s a variety of key magazines in Scotland engaged with the intersections of Scottish literature, culture and politics. While Cencrastus (1976- 2006) was primarily literary focussed, magazines such as Radical Scotland (1979-1991) and Scottish International (1967-1974) were more politically minded. With a few significant exceptions, most of the editors and contributors to these magazines were men. In the 1980s, however, a significant shift began to take place in Scottish literary culture, leading to the need for a recognition of women's voices and the re-publishing of the work of many women who had been out of print for many decades. As critic Joyce McMillan noted in 1983, for example, 'the part played by women writers in Scottish literary life is increasing, at the moment, by leaps and bounds, and with that development there must come a change in old psychological patterns and tensions' and, she goes on, 'most Scottish women writers seem relatively free from the little-brother complex, the chip on the shoulder, the need to assert and re-assert Scottishness.' In its reflections on such concerns, this chapter sets out to examine this key moment of feminist intervention in Scottish literary print history. With reference to a selection of oral history interviews conducted with Scottish writers, editors and critics, the chapter will examine the importance of these interventions in reshaping subsequent understandings of Scotland's national and cultural life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, Vol 5
Subtitle of host publicationWomen's Print Media in the Postwar Period
EditorsForster Laurel, Joanne Hollows
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781474469999
ISBN (Print)9781474469982
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameWomen's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain
PublisherEdinburgh University Press


  • Scottish literature
  • feminism


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