Category: General info






  • Understanding 'the wicked generation': a Scottish network of imperial domination and the clearance of Glencalvie in 1845

    - with Iain MacKinnon Online webinar 7pm Wed 5th 2021 

     [ link for Zoom registration ] 

    CHE welcomes you to our first event of 2021 with Iain Mackinnon, Assistant Professor at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at the University of Coventry. We are very proud to host this significant event with Iain, who is also a graduate of CHE.  

    As Iain puts it, he'll be speaking on the "clearance of Glencalvie in Easter Ross; a resonant name for those who care about such things. I’m sharing some new info (I think) on the estate's clearance strategy, the landlords & factors' family & empire links & given the strong imperial connections evident in the clearance of Glencalvie, asking how we consider & write about such events in the context of contemporary calls to decolonize Scotland".   

    About the webinar: In late May of 1845 18 families huddled in a Ross-shire churchyard. They had found shelter there following eviction from their homes. Before their dispersal and migration to destinations that for the most part remain unknown, one of them scrawled on the window of Croick church: ‘Glencalvie people the wicked generation’. Another wrote: ‘Glencalvie is a wilderness blow ship them to the colony.’
    Although the clearance of Glencalvie is notorious in its own right, I’d like to use this presentation to highlight the global imperial networks of exploitation traversed by the families of those responsible for the evictions; the landlord, Charles Robertson of Kindeace, and his factor, James Gillanders of Highfield. A complex picture of generations of external and internal colonialism emerges as the Scottish Gàidhealtachd became integrated into systems of British imperialism during the 18th and 19th centuries. This complexity needs to be addressed when decolonial thinking is being applied in Scottish contexts. 

    About Iain: Iain MacKinnon’s interest in the cultural practices and belief systems of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland have led him to study and contribute to political discussion on the politics of land and knowledge in the area. In addition to his academic publications he has contributed to a range of media on aspects of the area’s history and culture – particularly in relation to land governance and indigenous knowledge.

    He was co-author of a critical micro-study of crofting land tenure in the Highlands and Islands. This study helped to shape subsequent Scottish Government legislation on the topic. His previous work has also included project management, political advocacy, media relations, editing and helping to organise a study-tour on community development in the Hebrides for Government planners from the Papua Province, Indonesia.

    A key aspect of current work being prepared for publication is an analysis of the Highlands and Islands as a site of historical colonisation. He believes that understanding the area’s longstanding and underlying imperial power relations and concomitant attitudes may be vital to properly understand and negotiate political contestation in the Highlands and Islands today.
    The event is free to attend, but if you would like to make a donation to CHE, you can do so here:    

  • Our regular schedule of learning opportunities continue throughout the year- find out more, and access our digital archive videos of our previous events. 

  • The COP26 climate negotiations are taking place in Glasgow on November 2021. We’re getting ready to welcome the world, and host a range of interventions, working closely with indigenous and front-line communities from the majority world.  

  • We’re extracting, consuming and producing in ways that undermine our existence. Endless economic growth is not compatible with life- we need to change how we do just about everything. 

  • Practicing what we preach- learning to co-operate, working as a co-operative, helping people, organisations and communities co-operate more effectively.