Slaves and Highlanders: Silenced Histories of Scotland and the Caribbean, 15 March 2023

20 October 2022
Detail from memorial commemorating 1823 Georgetown uprising (copyright David Alston)
Dr David Alston recovers the voices of enslaved Africans and sheds light on their Highland Scottish enslavers in a series of case histories from the era of colonial slavery in the Caribbean and South America.

15 March 2023, 6.30pm UK time


Based on his book Slaves and Highlanders (EUP, 2021), the ‘micro-histories’ presented in this talk link plantations in Jamaica with the Scottish island of Raasay, resistance and uprisings in Guyana with the coastal estates of Easter Ross and Inverness-shire, and a woman born in slavery in Barbados with the schools in Paisley, Glasgow and Liverpool where her children were educated.

Dr Alston outlines the methods available to recover these and other life stories from the silences of history. And he suggests that – on ‘the other side of silence’ – there is a better approach to our difficult and shared past.

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Event details

Join Dr David Alston for a live c.45-minute illustrated online talk on 15 March, followed by approximately 30 minutes of questions from the audience. The registration fee includes access to the event recording (released the following day) for 7 days after the broadcast.

The event will be chaired by Dr Allan Kennedy, Lecturer in History at the University of Dundee and consultant editor of History Scotland magazine.

Registration fee: £10 - includes 7-day access to the event recording. Starts 6.30pm UK time. To find the start time in your time zone, visit TimeAndDate. Got a question? E-mail Rachel Bellerby. 

Speaker details

Dr David Alston researches  the role of Highland Scots in the slave plantations of the Caribbean, especially Guyana, before emancipation in 1834. He was one of the first Scottish historians to draw attention to the prominent role of Scots in the slave trade and the plantation economies of the Caribbean. He is the author of Slaves and Highlanders (EUP, 2021). Find out more about his work on his website.