Public Lecture: Irish and Scottish Gaelic in the US, Canada, Scotland, and Ireland in the Late-Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Centuries

Marion Military Institute Scholar delivers talk at UPEI
Posted: 
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Tenured instructor of history Dr. Rankin Sherling from the Marion Military Institute: Military College of Alabama will deliver a talk at the University of Prince Edward Island

Historian Dr. Rankin Sherling will deliver a talk at the University of Prince Edward Island on Friday, October 13, beginning at 3:00 pm in Schurman Market Square, Don and Marion McDougall Hall.

In his talk, “Irish and Scottish Gaelic in the US, Canada, Scotland, and Ireland in the Late-Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Centuries,” Dr. Sherling will discuss a new project that Peter Ludlow, a historian in Nova Scotia, and he are working on. Ludlow uncovered a trove of letters from the early twentieth-century between members of the St. Francis Xavier University faculty and Gaelic language enthusiasts in Scotland. Among other things, they discuss the state of the language in Scotland and Canada and the difficulties in preserving it.

Placing these letters in context is revealing of the character of a larger Gaelic-speaking world, both Irish and Scottish. Aspects of the project that are particularly exciting include investigations into the migration of the Gaelic language, its survival and decline, and the existence of a larger Gaelic community in the North Atlantic world of Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the U.S. Also of interest is the centrality of Canada's role in preserving Gaelic tradition in the early twentieth century. Often tales or folklore, considered common knowledge by the Canadian Gaelic-speaking members of St. Francis Xavier University faculty, were stunning to the Gaelic-speaking Scots.

Dr. Sherling is a tenured instructor of history at the Marion Military Institute in Alabama. In 2015 he founded a Bunrang, which is Gaelic for elementary class, where students come together weekly to learn Irish Gaelic. For three consecutive summers, the class has raised funds to sponsor its members in a six-week study abroad program at Oideas Gael, an Irish language cultural centre in Donegal, Ireland.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies at UPEI. Parking and admission are free. Everyone is welcome! For further information, email Robert Dennis at rdennis@upei.ca.

Dana Kenny
Communications Officer
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