Scottish Nationalism and the Colonial Vision of Scotland

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This essay examines the recent use of postcolonial theory in relation to Scottish literature in order to scrutinize a tendency to designate Scotland as an English colony. It suggests that the basis for this analysis lies in the supposed cultural effects of the British union rather than in its materialist history, which raises questions about the suitability of a colonial model. In tracing the contours of such an analysis, this essay identifies strong similarities between the explanations offered by modern literary criticism and those proposed by early twentieth-century nationalists in their effort to elaborate Scotland as a culturally discrete political entity. On the basis of these similarities, this paper concludes that the attempt to identify Scotland as a colony serves to reproduce the essentialist models of nationality which the early nationalist readings of Scotland contained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-63
Number of pages11
JournalInterventions: the International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Scotland
  • Literary Criticism and Theory
  • nationalism
  • Postcolonialism

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