Call for Papers

image1This three-day conference will be held from Wednesday 19th to Friday 21st of July 2017 in the Old Aberdeen Campus of the University of Aberdeen. It will explore all aspects related to the Scottish upbringing, education and heritage of the cleric, polymath and writer of fantastic literature George MacDonald. It aims to fathom the importance of this facet in his enduring literary, theological cultural impact upon a wide circle of thinkers and writers such as H. G. Wells, G.K. Chesterton, and the Inklings.

Keynote speakers include Dr David Robb (University of Dundee), Dr Dimitra Fimi (Cardiff Metropolitan University) Dr John Pazdziora (Shantou University) and Dr Colin Manlove (University of Edinburgh).

This event will draw together an international community of scholars to discuss his Scottish heritage as an overlooked aspect of MacDonald scholarship. In this context, it will refocus attention to the unique resources available within the North East of Scotland. In conjunction with University of Aberdeen’s Special Collections, attendees will be able to explore a selection of MacDonald’s manuscripts and letters through workshops and exhibitions. There will be an opportunity for delegates to visit the MacDonald’s birth place Huntly, and see further resources held in the town’s Brander Library which is not usually available to the general public.

Proposals are invited for 20 minute papers, or panel proposals of three speakers, which will explore MacDonald in contexts that may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Scottish identity and use of Scottish settings
  • Scottish religion and church reform, esp. Calvinism
  • Scottish philosophical movements, esp. the works of Thomas Carlyle
  • Scottish Education
  • Scottish science, esp. Chemistry, Medicine, and Psychology; the works of Alexander Bain, William Gregory
  • MacDonald and Scottish novelists esp. Margaret Oliphant, R. L. Stevenson; aspects of nation building
  • Scottish folklore, art, magic and mysticism, and children’s literature
  • Celticism; Irish, Gaelic and Cymric studies
  • Representation of Scottish cities, esp. MacDonald’s home town of Huntly
  • The inclusion of Doric dialect in MacDonald’s novels
  • The impact and influence of MacDonald’s legacy within North East Scotland

Submissions should include the paper title, abstract (250 words), and a brief biography. Panel proposals should include abstracts (250 words) for individual papers in addition to a brief (max. 200 words) outline of the panel theme and title. All submissions should be sent to Submissions for workshops or alternative forms of presentation are also particularly welcome.

The call for papers is now closed.  

Any queries should be addressed to the conference organisers via

You can download a PDF copy of the Call for Papers here and the conference poster here.