Robert Burns: Recovering Scotland's Memory of the Black Atlantic

Michael Morris (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    This article contributes to the reassessment of Scottish history and identity in light of the recovery of its connections with black Atlantic issues such as slavery and empire. The ‘paradox’ of the national bard seeking employment as a book-keeper on Jamaica remains an uncomfortable area for modern Scotland. This article considers Burns's biographical and textual (dis-)entanglement with the Caribbean in relation to the subsequent competition over his memory. It reads Robert Burns as a lieu de mémoire (Pierre Nora) that opens up a conflicted account of the nature of free labour ideology, slavery and abolition in the late eighteenth century.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)343-359
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
    Issue number3
    Early online date29 Jul 2013
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


    • Robert Burns
    • Scotland
    • black Atlantic
    • slavery
    • memory
    • indenture
    • abolition


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