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Gordon Raeburn
The University of Melbourne
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Disaster and Identity: Fear, Grief, Anger, and the Development of Scottish Communal Identities

This project investigates the links between the emotional responses of various groups to disasters and the development of Scottish national identity in the early modern period.

Disaster and Identity: Fear, Grief, Anger, and the Development of Scottish Communal Identities

Image: The Highland Family by Sir David Wilkie, 1824. Courtesy of The metropolitan museum of Art.

This project will focus upon the emotional responses to a variety of major events in Scotland between 1490 and 1700.  These will include events such as massacres, including the massacres of Monzievaird and Glencoe, plagues, and national disasters such as the Darien disaster.  This project will compare the emotional responses to these various events, studying several factors, including any potential difference in emotional response before and after the Scottish Reformation, the differences in response to local or national events, potential differences in emotional responses in different geographical locations, whether or not political affiliation or socio-economic factors affected the emotional responses, or any differences in response to events such as war or disease, as well as attempting to discern whether or not there was any significant change in the levels of emotional response over the period of this study, regardless of the changes to religious life.  This project will also attempt to determine if there is any discernible cultural or national attitude to emotions and emotional responses to the events in question.