Essays in Romanticism

Sheep, Fairies, and Hogg: Biopolitics of the Ettrick Shepherd

Essays in Romanticism (2014), 21, (2), 125–140.

Abstract

James Hogg fashions a particular line of resistance using tales of fairies and witches and stories about the life of shepherds far from the cultural center of Edinburgh. The fairy and witch stories provide a particular way of seeing. In pairing these "superstitions" with the life of shepherds, this essay links a variety of Hogg's rural tales as biopolitical resistance against modes of coopting human and animal bodies into productivity for the rising nation state. Wonder produced in these tales signals a way of dwelling that is incompatible with national "progress." The stories refuse the fashioning of an isomorphic national space and instead place locales across Scotland as heterotopic communities not to be subsumed by under Britannia.

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Author details

Broglio, Ron