Dr. Hamish Thompson, Resident Director of the Arcadia Edinburgh Study Center, presented at the North East Irish Cultural Network (NEICN) conference in November. NEICN is an academic association based at the Universities of Sunderland and Durham. They seek to promote and encourage the study and teaching of all aspects of the society, culture and literature of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Irish Diaspora. The international conference focused on the theme of Ireland and Scotland: Barriers and Borderland.
Thompson's presentation explored the cultural and religious backgrounds of Oscar Wilde, James Hogg and Robert Louis Stevenson through their treatment of philosophical themes in three works of Gothic literature: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It identified and established an underlying implied metaphysical critique and demonstrated to what extent popular fiction can contribute to the traditional philosophical canon.