Scottish Centre for Island Studies

Scottish Island Studies@ University of the West of Scotland

Ainmeil Thar Cheudan: A Centenary Celebration of Sorley MacLean (1911-2011)

“Scotland’s interwoven communities of islanders, poets and musicians, Gaelic-speakers, scholars and all with an interest in the promotion of Scottish literature and Scottish identity will be gathering on Skye this June to celebrate one of their own. Leading the distinguished array of local, national and international contributors will be Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead, Scotland’s recently appointed new national poet along with Aonghas MacNeacail. Speakers include Professor Douglas Gifford, Timothy Neat, Professor Maire Ni Annrachain and Christopher Whyte”.

This event is co-hosted by the Scottish Centre for Island Studies, Faculty of Business and Creative Industries, University of the West of Scotland and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture.

Ainmeil Thar Cheudan

Comharrachadh Ceud Bliadhna air Somhairle MacGill-Eain (1911-2011)

A Centenary Celebration of Sorley MacLean (1911-2011)

Thursday 16 – Saturday 18 June 2011
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye

In commemoration of the centenary of the birth of Sorley MacLean (1911 – 1996) Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and the Scottish Centre for Island Studies, Faculty of Business and Creative Industries, University of the West of Scotland invite you to join in a celebration of his life, work and legacy. It is anticipated that this event will offer a range of academic and creative responses to Sorley’s cultural and political legacy with particular attention to his deep roots and referencing of island culture, history and experience. Furthermore, this proposed event will explore, with both established and more recently introduced scholars and artists, the significance and importance of Sorley MacLean within the wider context of the national culture of Scotland, the cultural terrain of the Highlands and Islands, and the cultural engagement of the 20th
century Scottish left.

The academic focus will be a two day event structured around a selection of papers and discussion panels, as well as performance and creative practice activity detailing both Sorley’s own work and his inspiration to others. In keeping with the internationalist perspectives that permeate Sorley’s own work, the event will be framed as an opportunity to offer an appreciation of what experiences and understanding of island life and culture, and of an island sense of place and dwelling, specifically but not exclusively in reference to
Scotland, informed Sorley in his creative work and commentary.

The full programme for this event (including plenary speakers, academic papers, discussion panels, and readings) is detailed at the event’s main website Abstracts for the plenary and academic paper sessions are also detailed here:

An optional extra for conference delegates is a day visit to Raasay on Saturday 18  June to take part in a full programme of activities hosted by Urras Dualchas Ratharsair in association with the Scottish Centre for Island Studies, University  of the West of Scotland and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.   It includes viewing of a specially compiled ‘MacLean Exhibition’, a  buffet lunch, island music and poetry readings, a lunchtime lecture by  Professor Murray Pittock, a guided minibus tour by Rebecca Mackay, Urras Dualchas Ratharsair and a ‘Slàinte Shomhairle ‘Toasting the Bard’ before returning to Skye and  Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.  The programme timetable is detailed here:


Call for Papers   Download the Sorley MacLean  Call for Papers  (pdf)
Papers are invited, in Gaelic or English, on any aspect of Sorley’s life and work.Contributors may wish to consider themes such as:

  • Poetic and Political Legacy
  • Islands: Places and Representations
  • History, Scholarship, Collections
  • Creative Identity, Practice and Performance

Please send a 300 word abstract to either:

Rody Gorman or
Kathryn A Burnett

Deadline for abstracts is March 18th 2011.


Booking & Costs
Delegates can choose to stay on campus for the duration of the conference at a rate of £275 which includes 3 nights accommodation, full board and conference dinner. A daily delegate rate of £35 not including accommodation is also available, as are special discounted rates for students.To book your place at the conference fill in our ONLINE BOOKING FORMor contact Sandra Byrne on 01471 888 000 or by e-mail.

For all event information  including booking and registration, keynotes, programme please access the event website hosted at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig at:

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