Gender and Nationhood in Modern Scottish Historiography

Catriona M. M. Macdonald

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern Scottish History

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199563692
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191750687 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Gender and Nationhood in Modern Scottish Historiography

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Women's history, as conceived since the 1970s, was not the first and has not been the sole avenue through which gender concerns have intruded upon comfortable historical conventions, nor has it always offered the most successful or most obvious approach to gendering Scotland's past. This article considers the ways in which women's histories (as opposed to women's history) have informed Scottish historiography in the last hundred years, and examines the extent to which gender perspectives (no matter how crude or old-fashioned) infused writings on Scotland's past in this period. It looks at the views of Scottish historians such as Agnes Mure Mackenzie, in whose histories nationhood rather than gender offered the dominant perspective. Between 1899 and 1969, establishing Scottish history's place within a resistant academic environment, challenging Whig perspectives on Scotland's past, and achieving both within a political context in which Scottish nationalism was regularly treated as an incidental and faintly comic distraction, proved to be the principal and most distinctive motivating factors in Scottish historical scholarship.

Keywords: Scotland; women's history; gender; nationhood; Scottish history; historiography; Agnes Mure Mackenzie; nationalism

Article.  8666 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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