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TITLE
What fired your interest in your subject? - Rosalind McClean
EXTERNAL ID
AB_SGI_06_ROSALIND_MCCLEAN_Q_02
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Rosalind McClean
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
41044
KEYWORDS
conferences
emigration
lecturers
audio
audios
subjectinterest

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As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad.

Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Rosalind McClean answers the question:

'What fired your interest in your particular area of expertise?'

'Not that family background; I went to Otago University in the South Island of New Zealand - I was brought up in the North - to go to medical school. But I had preferential entry and in my first year I did history and English and loved it, and I stayed with those subjects. And because I was in Dunedin I did a project in my final year, in my honours year, on the community that lived there who'd come from Scotland, and I was fascinated that when - this was the 1970s and I was interested in migration issues; we had a very right wing Prime Minister who was hounding out Samoans and Tongans, many of whom were doing theology degrees, and they used to come down to our hostel and hide under the girls' beds because the police would be looking for them in the morning, they were overstayers, so I was quite militant about that - and I'd look on the library shelves about issues of migration. And it was as though the - in those days, although the British and Maoris had always been, we weren't seen as migrants. Other people were; Chinese were, and Yugoslavs, as they were called, they're now Croatians; people from Greece and Eastern Europe, but not the British, and I thought this was crazy. We don't have history written about our own - since the 1940s. There was celebratory centenary histories but there weren't serious historical studies then, and so that was one reason why I went back to Scotland to do a PhD on emigration. It was Scotland because I'd come from Dunedin and I was tracing those people back who I'd done a former project on.

But I always thought that my own name and history had nothing to do with those migrants; that we somehow were unusual New Zealanders because we'd come via Australia. Wasn't till I studied, that I realised that, in fact, being a mixture, and coming from all sorts of places, is exactly what New Zealand is all about. Even for Maori people, who are indigenous, they have got multiple - well whakapapa is the word for family lineage, multiple genealogies, and they just tend to know them better than we Pakeha do. But, but these days, many more European New Zealanders, or Pakeha, want to find out about their own background, and it's also getting older; I've wanted to find out more about my own family.'


BIOGRAPHY

A graduate of the Universities of Dunedin and Edinburgh, Rosalind McClean is a lecturer at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. In 2004, as a member of a team of New Zealand and Scottish scholars, she received a prestigious Marsden fellowship to study Scottish migration and settlement patterns in Aotearoa New Zealand and to investigate the legacies of this migration. Her academic work is informed by her experiences during the 1990s, when she travelled extensively, living with her young family in various locations in the Middle East, Europe and North America. She has worked for a charitable trust and as a freelance writer, and remains an advocate for migrant and refugee rights.

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What fired your interest in your subject? - Rosalind McClean

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

2000s

conferences; emigration; lecturers; audio; audios; subjectinterest;

Am Baile

Scotland's Global Impact

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad. <br /> <br /> Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Rosalind McClean answers the question:<br /> <br /> 'What fired your interest in your particular area of expertise?' <br /> <br /> 'Not that family background; I went to Otago University in the South Island of New Zealand - I was brought up in the North - to go to medical school. But I had preferential entry and in my first year I did history and English and loved it, and I stayed with those subjects. And because I was in Dunedin I did a project in my final year, in my honours year, on the community that lived there who'd come from Scotland, and I was fascinated that when - this was the 1970s and I was interested in migration issues; we had a very right wing Prime Minister who was hounding out Samoans and Tongans, many of whom were doing theology degrees, and they used to come down to our hostel and hide under the girls' beds because the police would be looking for them in the morning, they were overstayers, so I was quite militant about that - and I'd look on the library shelves about issues of migration. And it was as though the - in those days, although the British and Maoris had always been, we weren't seen as migrants. Other people were; Chinese were, and Yugoslavs, as they were called, they're now Croatians; people from Greece and Eastern Europe, but not the British, and I thought this was crazy. We don't have history written about our own - since the 1940s. There was celebratory centenary histories but there weren't serious historical studies then, and so that was one reason why I went back to Scotland to do a PhD on emigration. It was Scotland because I'd come from Dunedin and I was tracing those people back who I'd done a former project on. <br /> <br /> But I always thought that my own name and history had nothing to do with those migrants; that we somehow were unusual New Zealanders because we'd come via Australia. Wasn't till I studied, that I realised that, in fact, being a mixture, and coming from all sorts of places, is exactly what New Zealand is all about. Even for Maori people, who are indigenous, they have got multiple - well whakapapa is the word for family lineage, multiple genealogies, and they just tend to know them better than we Pakeha do. But, but these days, many more European New Zealanders, or Pakeha, want to find out about their own background, and it's also getting older; I've wanted to find out more about my own family.'<br /> <br /> <br /> BIOGRAPHY<br /> <br /> A graduate of the Universities of Dunedin and Edinburgh, Rosalind McClean is a lecturer at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. In 2004, as a member of a team of New Zealand and Scottish scholars, she received a prestigious Marsden fellowship to study Scottish migration and settlement patterns in Aotearoa New Zealand and to investigate the legacies of this migration. Her academic work is informed by her experiences during the 1990s, when she travelled extensively, living with her young family in various locations in the Middle East, Europe and North America. She has worked for a charitable trust and as a freelance writer, and remains an advocate for migrant and refugee rights.