Culloden, Colonialism, and Capitalism

British troops hunting rebels after Culloden

Cùil Lodair, Colonachd, agus Calpachas:
A’ togail ciall a-mach à atharrachadh eachdraidheil anns a’ Ghàidhealtachd

Culloden, Colonialism, and Capitalism:
Making Sense of Historical Change in Gaelic Scotland

Didòmhnaich,11mh An t-Iuchair 2021
Sunday, 11 July 2021
2:00 – 3:30 pm EDT
An online conversation between
Dr. Matthew Dziennik

Associate Professor of History at the United States Naval Academy
Scott Morrison

Co-founder and Head Teacher of Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir
Free event but registration is required. Register below

UPDATE – 5 July 2021: A chàirdean, we have now hit our maximum number of registrations. However, there is always the possibility that spots will open up. Therefore, we are still taking registrations for a wait list and will stay in close touch as to any seats that open up. Read below for more information and how to register.

Culloden has become shorthand for a much more complex process of socio-economic change across a one-hundred-year period. Building on Micheal Newton’s previous discussion “Bury My Heart at Culloden”, in this second session of our series, Facing Our History, we continue to explore the historical change experienced in Gaelic Scotland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

Join us for this online conversation as we welcome Dr. Matthew Dziennik, Associate Professor of History at the United States Naval Academy   This dialogue between Scott Morrison and Matthew Dziennik is intended to help make sense of how historical change happens and how narratives of historical change are represented and understood.  

As Facing Our History explores the history of the Gaelic struggle for survival, and strives to remove colonial ideology from Scottish Gaelic history, the underlying question is the same: What insights does that give us for our past and how does it help us shape a path forward today?

Moving from an ethnic, cultural, or national perspective on the historical changes that impacted Gaelic Scotland, Matthew Dziennik argues that it is only by understanding the overlap between colonialism and capitalism, and the importance of economic stratification, can the historical changes seen in Gaelic Scotland be properly understood.  At its heart, this presentation suggests that historical change in Gaelic Scotland cannot be distilled down to simple explanations of cultural suppression. It was, instead, the imposition of market capitalism, with complex interactions between political, social, and economic change, that did the most to transform the Scottish Gàidhealtachd. Colonialism and capitalism were mutually supportive aspects of British policy in Scotland and the wider empire.

Join us as we examine:

  • Specific historical examples of the implementation of the process of colonization and the development of capitalist economy in Scotland.
  • How the different social strata of Scottish Gaelic society were affected at home and in the diaspora.
  • Some of the multiple actors involved in the transformation of Gaelic Scotland.
  • The power of historical narrative and why it can mislead us.

Matthew Dziennik is Associate Professor of History at the United States Naval Academy. His work focuses on warfare in the early British Empire, with a particular emphasis on the empire’s use of non-English soldiers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Matthew grew up in the Scottish Highlands south of Inverness, and holds a Ph.D from the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of The Fatal Land: War, Empire, and the Highland Soldier in British America, and is currently working on Colonial Recruitment and the Making of the British Empire, c. 1756-1857. Matthew is known to many of us as a student of Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir .

Scott Morrison is co-founder and Head Teacher of Sgoil Gàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir.  Scott is a former Vice-President and President of An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach  (The American Scottish Gaelic Society).  He holds a B.A. in Gaelic Language and Culture from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye. Scott is also an accomplished musician.

Register Below!

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