Reimagining the enlightenment: alternate timelines and utopian futures in the Scottish independence movement

Gabriela Manley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

This article explores how Scottish National Party (SNP) activists in Edinburgh reimagine the enlightenment past to provide alternate timelines that are appropriated in the projection of utopian futures for an independent Scotland. Starting with the question ‘what if history had happened differently?’, SNP activists harness the ‘what ifs’ and ‘would haves’ of alternate timelines where the enlightenment continues uninterrupted by the political union of Scotland and England. This approach facilitates a form of futural revisionism which captures the potentiality of the past to become utopian future without foregoing the SNP’s commitment to civic, rather than ethnic, nationalism. Thus, SNP activists are able to tow the party line of rejecting nostalgic historicism to remain open to all citizens of Scotland while still affectively engaging with the past to provide wishful utopian images for their independent future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalHistory and Anthropology
VolumeLatest Articles
Early online date29 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Utopia
  • Scotland
  • Independene
  • Time
  • Future
  • Enlightenment

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