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Title: 'Eachdraidh nar cuimhne'- 'History in our memories' : an analysis of the idea that the Highlands and Islands of Scotland can be understood as a site of colonisation
Author: MacKinnon, Iain
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2011
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The story of the present condition of the Geidhes!-: the Gaidhlig speaking people of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland - is generally told through the use of one of two narrative themes: 'improvement' and 'clearance'. In this thesis I build instead on academic research into a third theme, 'colonisation', which has been less explored than the other two, but which, I argue, may encompass them. Unlike previous academic work on Highland colonisation, which proceeds largely from disciplinary perspectives, I am grounding my research in being a Geidttee'. Because of this orientation I adopt an autoethnographic approach for my work and draw extensively on the work of scholars from cultures that have undergone colonisation and who position themselves as 'indigenous researchers'. As I also draw insights and concepts from other disciplines, particularly from human ecology, my work can be thought of as transdisciplinary. I show two sets of parallels between the cultural experiences described by indigenous scholars and those of the Gaidheal. The first lies in those scholars' accounts of cultural and psychological experiences of colonisation, and their consequences - an analysis which has led indigenous scholars to write about 'colonisation of the mind'. (Thiong'o 1986) The second set of parallels lies in accounts that indigenous peoples give about the nature of their relationships with their lands, and beliefs, attitudes and values that such relationships have produced. Following an in-depth discussion of these parallels, I develop a critical perspective on the colonisation of the Gaidheal from the 13th until the late 19th centuries, concentrating in particular on examining testimonies of members of the Highland gentry to government commissions into the state of the Highlands and Islands at the end of the nineteenth century. My analysis concludes that these testimonies can be used as evidence for the colonisation of their/our minds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available