Chapter

Collective Rememberings of Home: Robert Burns as a Site of Memory

Tanja Bueltmann

in Scottish Ethnicity and the Making of New Zealand Society, 1850-1930

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641550
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653553 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641550.003.0007
Collective Rememberings of Home: Robert Burns as a Site of Memory

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This chapter explores different ways in which Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, was commemorated in New Zealand. These commemorations provide a suitable focus: while Scottish immigrants fostered a wide range of cultural activities, Burns anniversaries were the most enduring recurring celebration within the many Scottish sites of settlement. To this day, Robert Burns remains a global poet, his iconic figure being central to the formulation and expression of Scottishness. The proliferation of Burns celebrations, the clubs and societies associated with the poet worldwide, as well as the many diverse commemorative practices centring on Burns are, therefore, vital to the understanding of how Scottish ethnicity was negotiated overseas. With the focus set on diverse commemorative practices, it is first necessary to explore the concept of memory itself, and the development of Burns anniversary celebrations generally, before proceeding to examine the New Zealand dimension of that enduring tradition.

Keywords: national bard; poets; Scottish ethnicity; Robert Burns; anniversary celebrations

Chapter.  11243 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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