Posts

History and Archaeology: why we need an interdisciplinary approach to the past

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Something I’ve noticed in my short academic career is the way that certain fields can become rather insular, and coming from a bit of an interdisciplinary background I’ve seen this as a bit of a problem: back when I was doing my undergrad, I majored in Medieval Studies -- a bit of a catch-all term that included literature, religion, history, and (to a much smaller extent at my university) archaeology.  I see interdisciplinary approaches rather necessary to be able to understand the past. Despite archaeology being the smallest part of Medieval Studies at my university, it is what really spoke to me, because it felt so much more concrete, and when I continued on into my Masters I jumped into the discipline.  To quote the esteemed archaeologist Indiana Jones “archaeology is the search for facts”, and often those facts seemed more real: in a course with a more traditional Celtic Studies focus I might read the Táin Bó Cúailnge (or any other saga) and engage with the papers on papers about

DASG (Dachaigh airson Stòras na Gàidhlig)

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This month, we’re giving you an overview of the largest digital resource for Scottish Gaelic – DASG . We’ll have a look at its components and how both researchers and language learners can use them and benefit from them. So, first things first – what is DASG? DASG stands for Dachaigh airson Stòras na Gàidhlig, or Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic. It is an online repository for digitised texts ( Corpas na Gàidhlig ), lexical resources ( Faclan bhon t-Sluagh ), and audio recordings ( Cluas ri Claisneachd ). In addition to these three main components (which you can find along the top of the website), the website also contains background information on the project, such as “Aims of DASG”, “Publications” (about the project in general and research that used DASG as a resource), “Gairm Online” (a Gaelic periodical that is being digitised and uploaded. This is a work in progress, but you can already flip through copies of the first view issues!), and an introduction to the “DASG Team” and

Celebrating 10 volumes of the Proceedings

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  To  celebrate the upcoming publication of the tenth volume of our proceedings, I wanted to write a wee post to reflect on the past ten years and share some thoughts on the future! For those who don’t know our proceedings we are one of a handful of peer-reviewed student publications in Celtic Studies. We are very proud that we also publish in all six Celtic languages as well as English and have done so since our very first volume. The proceedings was started at the same time as the first conference to allow students a further opportunity to share their research. Over the previous nine volumes we have published 71 papers of which 29 were in a Celtic language (that’s 41%!). Like our conference we accept a broad range of papers relating to Celtic studies and each volume usually contains a range of topics and languages. You can find all the paper titles and links to buy copies of the previous volumes on our proceedings page . We accept submissions for each volume from all of the speakers

“Big daddy Louis XVIth”: On the Reception of the French Revolution in Breton Literature

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This paper is based on a class I taught during the autumn of 2023 for the Celtic literature class of the Licence Breton-Celtique. Charles Fortin. Chouans (Royalist Insurgents in the Western Provinces during the French Revolution) . oil on canvas, c. 1853; Salon des artistes français, Paris, 1853. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille, JSTOR , https://jstor.org/stable/community.15672964. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024. Even if the vast majority of the Breton literary production from the end of the XVIIIth century that has reached us is made up of songs printed on follennoù-nij (lit. flying papers), a few later works surely deserve our attention. For Breton publications, the XIXth century is a century in which changes happen to the printed material. Before, the literature that got printed was meant to be read in numbers, namely songs, religious or profane. Throughout the century, with the growing number of readers and the bourgeois culture, we see the appearance and take-over of works meant to be read o

A New Year for the Celtic Students Sociolinguistics Network

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Dia daoibh, a chairde, agus athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh go léir. As I reflect on 2023, one of the academic highlights that jumps out to me is the creation of the Celtic Students Sociolinguistics Network. The Network was formed back in May, shortly after the Celtic Students Conference in Glaschu. It was at the conference that the idea for the Network emerged, mainly through discussions I had with the amazing 2023 Conference Chair and sociolinguist Erin McNulty. The Celtic Students Conference has always embraced a wide variety of approaches and topics relating to the Celtic languages, and it was especially clear to us in Glaschu that this has ensured a vibrant presence of students interested in the sociolinguistics of Celtic languages (understood broadly as a society- and people-focused approach to researching the Celtic languages). Not only were there a number of papers on sociolinguistics at the Conference in 2023, but the breaks and Conference dinner were full of conversations that

The AIDS Crisis and the Welsh LGBTQIA+ Community

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(Chapter excerpt from Luke Blaidd's undergraduate dissertation, "“What drove the development of Welsh-language LGBTQIA+  terminology 1972-2022?”)  On the 4th of July 1982, Terrence Higgins passed away from AIDs-related complications at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Originally from Pembrokeshire, Higgins had left Haverfordwest due to feeling alienated for his sexuality and sought a new life in the English capital. It was there while working at gay nightclub Heaven, Higgins collapsed and was promptly admitted to hospital. He eventually succumbed to pneumonia and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy — these would later come to be recognised as complications from an AIDS infection. Higgins himself would come to be identified as one of the first people to die of AIDS-related illness in the United Kingdom. The HIV and AIDS awareness charity Terrence Higgins Trust was founded by close friends of Higgins in his memory. During this period, it was largely informal LGBTQIA+ termin

Halloween Traditions in South Uist

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A Photo of Fuarag South Uist has long been celebrated for its Halloween traditions, so splendidly captured by folklorist Margaret Fay Shaw in the 1930s. But what of those traditions today? And what do the shifting seasonal customs of children tell us about contemporary folk life? I remember the first Halloween in South Uist when I was visited by children. The initial group were welcomed inside to each give a performance – this year’s Mòd Gaelic song, a joke or the like – before getting their sweeties ( recte  candy). A later group knocked at the door yelling “trick or treat”. I was lucky, in retrospect, that no children came with masks on. Those who do, remain silent until their identity is guessed by the adults. Having only recently arrived in the island, I would have had little chance at identifying the children correctly. We would have been there all night, and no one would have got their sweeties. The strategic diversity utilised by the children in attaining their sweeties presents