32nd University of California Celtic Studies Conference

Donald Stewart (Invited speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Description

Alexander Carmichael and St Michael's Day: A review of the evidence for the Hebridean celebration of Latha Fhéill Mìcheil (Michaelmas) during the early modern and modern eras, tracing the evolution of the event from the major public festivities of the seventeenth century to the vestigial domestic event of today. Beginning with the virtuoso and idealised description of the feast day given in Alexander Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica, I propose a series of socio-economic and religious causes behind observable shifts in practice, arising both from long-term trends and from specific contingent events. The paper reveals a perhaps more raucous and less governable Gàidhealtachd than is met with in the usual historiography, and concludes with suggestions as to how this example might aid in aligning the study of the Scottish Highland past with more mainstream social history.
Period7 Mar 2010
Event typeConference
LocationUnited States