As part of re-entering the Digital Humanities world, I’m launching this blog, which I’m calling The Virtual Gael, playing on various associations of the term “virtual.”
- I was not born into a Gaelic-speaking family or community, but have learnt to speak, read and write Gaelic fairly well. Am I virtually a Gael? (Let’s leave those worms in the can. I only refer to myself as a Gaelic speaker.)
- I see my work as contributing to Gaelic communities’ cultural reclamation efforts – although the members of these communities and the resources involved are widely dispersed. Nowadays, social media enables global communication and collaboration so that users can form “virtual communities.”
- I exploit digital tools and technology – “virtual technologies” – to create content and carry out my research.
So, I’ll be using this blog to weave several different strands of my work and thought processes together. It will allow me:
- To share my work on digital tools and content and solicit your responses. My next blog post will be about my new digital humanities project, which I’m currently calling Celtic Poets in North America.
- To share odd bits of Scottish Gaelic research and ideas that don’t necessarily fit into scholarly journals. For example, in another post coming up soon I’ll reveal a Gaelic poem composed by a native of the Isle of Bute that I came across lately: tobar ainneamh is annasach!
- To express my opinions about Gaelic revitalization, the neglect of Celtic sources in academia (especially in North America), the misrepresentation of Celtic peoples (especially Scottish Gaels) in popular culture, and the need to apply modern critical methods (especially post-colonialism) to modern Celtic Studies in North America.
- To review and discussion new publications (my own and those of others).
- To discuss anything else that yanks my chain, rocks my boat, or chaps my hide. Fire faire!
And, by the way, I can’t write polished text at one go — I find myself rewriting and editing blogs for at least another day after my initial draft!