There have been surprising and remarkable developments around Gaelic in the last couple of years, some of them quite unexpected. Although Gaelic remains highly endangered in Scotland itself and in the last speech community outside of Scotland – in Nova Scotia, Canada – there have probably never before been so many adults learning the language. The DuoLingo app is one of the main reasons for the sudden explosion, although the additional publicity brought by the Outlander television series and other forms of popular culture have helped to bring further exposure as well.
While the provisions for learning the Scottish Gaelic language are quite good in many respects, and only getting better, instruction about wider aspects of the history, traditions, and folklife of the Scottish Highlands is much harder to come by.
I created the Reclaiming the Roots course for people who wish to dive into the fascinating details of Scottish Gaeldom, especially for those approaching it with an interest in indigenous knowledge and cultures. I have reconfigured it slightly from previous iterations by asking that participants already be familiar with some of the basics of Scottish history and culture, such as offered in the Introductory course, so that we can spent more time on some of the subtle nuances, practices and characters, such as evidenced in cosmology, human ecology, gender, and the sense of belonging.
I’ll be offering the course on six consecutive Thursdays from March 25th to April 29th. If you’d like to join us, please order your copy of the coursebook, Warriors of the Word: The World of the Scottish Highlanders, so that you’ll have it in time to read for our first meeting!
You can see the comments from previous participants in this blog post.