From Lismore To Barbados: The Gaelic Caribbean Travel Journal And Verse Of Dugald MacNicol (1791-1844)

Project Details


This project is focused on a unique set of texts relating to both Scotland and the colonial Caribbean, written in Scottish Gaelic in the 1810s, but never before edited to modern standards or translated. These comprise an extensive travel journal and almost a dozen òrain or song-poems written in the West Indies by the Gaelic-speaking soldier Dugald MacNicol (1791–1844). Making MacNicol's Gaelic texts available in a scholarly edition with English translation will add nuance and depth to the understanding of the literary and linguistic history of the Gaelic language (especially as his òrain represent the sole surviving examples of Gaelic verse from the Caribbean), Scottish participation in the British imperial and colonial enterprise, and the nature of 19th-century international trans-Atlantic literary, familial and linguistic networks. This project represents an important collaboration across disciplines, countries, communities and languages. Coming at a time when colonial legacies are coming under renewed scrutiny, the project is an exceptionally timely one which will both broaden and enrich knowledge – at both the academic and popular level – of Britain’s imperial past, especially the role of minority ethnicities and languages in the Caribbean colonial world, with its troubling legacy of chattel slavery. Moreover, it will significantly enhance our understanding of the historical development of Scottish Gaelic language and literacy in the period since the late 18th century, and engage directly with contemporary so-called ‘remote’ communities who have been historically marginalised on both sides of the Atlantic.
Effective start/end date1/02/2431/01/26


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