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Politics and Identity in Early Medieval Scotland

Alex Woolf

The regulations covering the submission of a portfolio of published works in lieu of adissertation for the degree of Ph. D. require that I submit, in support of the published works, a „critical discussion‟ of them extending to at least ten thousand words. There are no clear  guidelines as to what form this discussion should take and I have found no obvious templatesupon which to model my text. What follows is therefore very tentative in both form andapproach. I hope that the convener and examiners will appreciate the novel situation in which Ifind myself. The format I have chosen to follow divides the critical discussion into two portionsof approximately the same length. In the first part I summarise each of the pieces of worksubmitted in turn describing the context of its production, its main points of argument andsomething of its reception and where appropriate its Nachleben. In the second part I take a morediscursive approach and talk about how my work generally has fitted in to both the developmentof the discipline and my own personal development as a scholar and as a university teacher. Ioutline, in this part, both desiderata for the future of the subject area and some of my own senseof where my work will be taking me from here. I also use this opportunity to discuss some of theparticular problems associated with the writing of early medieval Scottish history.

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