The Scottish Highland Clans: Origins, Decline and Transformation
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Discover the important history of the Highland clans
The Highland, Gaelic speaking clans are a vital part of Scotland’s history. They also shape how the world imagines Scotland today.
This course uses the expertise of University of Glasgow academics to explain the structure, economy and culture of the clans. It covers the centuries between the fall of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles in 1493 until around 1800, when the clans dissolved away as a result of social economic change. It then discusses how the legacies of clanship shaped global images of Scotland up until the present.
This course is for anyone interested in Scottish History, Gaelic culture, and the way Scotland is represented in the modern world. No prior knowledge is required; all learners are welcome.
While the Educators themselves aren’t available to facilitate this run, we encourage you to engage with other learners and there are opportunities to do this throughout the course.
- Develop an understanding of the origins and functions of the Scottish Highland clans, and assess their social structures, economy and culture,Investigate the contrast between hostile stereotypes of the clans as barbaric and warlike and their day-to-day role as complex social communities,Reflect on the processes of feuding, civil war, revolt and social-economic change between 1500 and 1800 that resulted in the slow transformation and decline of the clans,Identify and assess the modern legacies of the clans in events such as Highland Games, Clan Societies and Tartan Parades, as well as their portrayal in film and television,Assess in an informed way the key characteristics of Scottish Highland clanship, their history, their decline and their modern reinvention,Assess the social and cultural basis of the new representations of clans, such as Highland games and clan societies, that developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
- This course is for anyone interested in Scottish History, Gaelic culture, and the way Scotland is represented in the modern world. No prior knowledge is required; all learners are welcome. While the Educators themselves aren't available to facilitate this run, we encourage you to engage with other learners and there are opportunities to do this throughout the course.