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City of Literature

Aija Oksman, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-14

January 19th, 2013 by Aija | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Aija Oksman, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-14
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As I completed my Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, I was left with a conundrum of what to do next. Having been a expatriate since twelve years, I planned to keep at it, and hence I arrived in Edinburgh. I set up my humble home in Edinburgh city and began my studies at Stirling. I had lived in Ireland before, and had truly enjoyed the general jovial atmosphere I experienced there – and after some queries, I was informed Scotland is much, much better – and in all aspects nonetheless. Shocking, eh?

As I have a strong passion for literature and theatre, and anything to do with the written and spoken word in any form – be it poetry, songs, fiction, ghost writing or anything else – and having learned foreign langauges since I was very young, I have always appreciated the fine nuances of languages that make them unique. My goal is one day to be able to work with minority and translation literatures as I believe that is where my strength lies. But on the road there, I wish to expand my abilities and knowledge as much and have it as varied as humanly possible. And enjoy my life whilst doing it.

Visiting speaker: Peggy Hughes, City of Literature

November 17th, 2012 by Aija | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting speaker: Peggy Hughes, City of Literature
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The delightful Peggy Hughes amused the Publishing studies 2012/2013 class  with her lively presentation on the UNESCO badge of City of Literature  – a designation, which was bestowed upon Edinburgh back in 2004. The City of Literature Trust  is head by Peggy herself and her boss Alison Bowden.

Why Edinburgh should be designated as a City of Literature by UNESCO, you might ask. Well, when a group of prominent figures in the literary scene having a post-prandial discussion they came to the surprising conclusion that as Edinburgh was “brilliant at books,” something should be done to make sure this would become general knowledge. Simply because Edinburgh has a huge literary heritage, and has a vibrant contemporary scene – already hosting some of the world’s most well-known and largest poetry and literature festivals and events.

Organisations from grassroots up to government level Edinburgh worked together to create The Bid, an audit of all Scottish literary accomplishments in two volumes – talking about putting things in a nutshell – We Cultivate Literature on a Little Oatmeal. It took a bundle of Scottish treats (whiskey, haggis, bagpiper among others) to convince the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Among her lively and very fast paced presentation, the class was entertained with best bits of past events that had aimed to hold Edinburgh to its badge of honour as well as a selected few spoilers over the upcoming events. Working together with other Edinburgh literary events and organisations, the City of Literature has proven to be worth every bit of the designation, more than holding its own among the others with its goals of establishing partnerships, promoting participation, learning as well as advocating awareness towards Edinburgh and keeping the focus on creativity, bringing people together in literature.

Thank you to Peggy for the grand insight into the Scottish literature scene and its uniqueness, and I’m sure the class cannot wait to see the ‘Stache-mob or join the Literary Salon.