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Caroline McCracken-Flesher

Homecoming: A Scottish Phenomenon?

Funded Projects, February 2014

WIHR Research Presentation: "All in the Timing"

Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. in Classroom Building Room 209

Caroline McCracken-Flesher discusses Scots, homecoming, the referendum, and how Scotland welcomed tourists with big pointy sticks in summer 2014.

greeting sticks                 Yes

Researcher: Caroline McCracken-Flesher

Department: English Department

Exile and the hope of return pervade Scottish culture. I research this phenomenon through to today. In 2014, Scotland celebrates beating the English in 1314, and votes on future independence. Consequently, the Scottish Government has declared 2014 “The Year of Homecoming.” To determine what “home” means to resident and emigrant Scots, and what role “homecoming” plays in the construction of modern Scotland, I will attend clan gatherings and a reenactment of the battle, and interview figures in the independence campaign. This will inform a chapter for a book investigating “homecoming” as it evolves in Scottish literature and culture. Ultimately the book tracks the idea of return among Scottish Americans and analyzes why even non-Scots imagine “coming home” to Scotland. Such nostalgia explains a lot about the globalized self.

It’s the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, when Robert the Bruce sent the English “homeward, To think again." Caroline McCracken-Flesher went to research who was attending and why, in this year of Scotland’s independence vote.  To read more about Caroline’s project, click here.

Postcards from the Field


Caroline played the “Battle Game” at Bannockburn. This is what the board looked after the English captured the castle … and still lost. To her chagrin, Caroline was assigned to play for England.


With Robert the Bruce at the Bannockburn celebrations.


With the Battle Master for the Bannockburn game who fought during the reenactment on the English side.  So Caroline is hedging her bets here.



How Robert the Bruce won:  setting loose the schiltron against the bystanders! Imagine yourself as a charging knight, and you¹ll understand the intimidation factor.



With Blair Jenkins, CEO of the "YES" campaign, the organization campaigning for a “Yes” vote in the Scottish independence referendum, 2014.

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