The Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) is an educational charity which promotes an understanding of the natural environment and human societies, and their interactions, making the connections between people, places and the planet, and aiming to inspire positive long-term change.
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Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Will Self lecture published in Scottish Geographical Journal
In September last year, novelist and critic
Will Self gave the annual Wreford Watson lecture at the University of
Edinburgh, speaking to the title ‘Decontaminating the Union: post-industrial
landscapes and the British psyche’.
The lecture, which is to be published in Scottish Geographical Journal, took the
audience on a ‘psychogeographical’ drift through the less trodden paths of
post-industrial Scotland, culminating in detailed exploration of Motherwell and
Self was an obvious choice for the Wreford
Watson lecture, which commemorates the life and work of the late James Wreford
Watson, formerly Professor of Geography at the University of Edinburgh, Chief
Geographer to the Canadian Government as well as being a poet of some
Given that James Wreford Watson had an
academic interest in the relationship between geography and literature, it
seemed appropriate to invite one of Britain’s most celebrated writers whose
recent novel Umbrella was shortlisted
for the Booker Prize.
‘I am no kind of orthodox academic’ he told
the audience. ‘Rather, I am a writer – specifically of prose fiction – who in
the past quarter century or so has taken an increasing interest in a practice
known as psychogeography’.
The Wreford Watson lecture is a
longstanding event in the University’s calendar but its profile has been raised
in recent years as it aims to bring geographical ideas and scholars into
circulation within a wider culture of public intellectualism.