Current Institutional Affiliation
President of Bradan Press

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1999
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Chicago
Gaelic in Scotland, Scotland in Europe: The Political Economy of Minority Language Revitalization

My dissertation research will investigate the role of language in creating new relationships between regional and supra-state governments, and in the concomitant repositioning of a region within the global economy. I will pay particular attention to middle class Gaelic-speaking minority elites as the agents of these changes, for they stand to gain the most in economic, political, and cultural terms from the revitalization of Gaelic. In the first half of my field research, I will analyze discourses about Gaelic produced in language revitalization organizations in the urban administrative center of the Highlands. In the second half of the project, I will analyze the local dissemination of such discourses through development programs, and local reception of and response to these discourses, in a small island community in the Western Isles region. On the basis of this analysis I will consider two questions. First, inquire whether, and under what conditions, language revitalization efforts structured as a component of specifically capitalist enterprises can indeed revitalize a regional culture and economy. Second, I will consider the ways in which such language revitalization efforts can transform the political and economic relationships of regional entities to the European Union.