Bealltainn falls around the first of May on the traditional Gaelic calendar and marks the beginning of the light half of the year. We are excited to share some bright and exciting news in this Bealltainn issue of An Darach: the first appointee for the Scottish Heritage USA Scottish Gaelic Visiting Lectureship: Dr. Tiber Falzett.
Dr. Falzett holds a Ph.D. in Celtic and Scottish Studies and an MScR is in Scottish Ethnology from the University of Edinburgh as well as a BAHons (First) in Celtic Studies from St. Francis Xavier University. He has conducted over a decade of fieldwork with native Scottish Gaelic speakers in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Outer Hebrides and West Highlands of Scotland.
His doctoral dissertation explores the relationship between language and music as expressed by Scottish Gaelic speakers on Cape Breton Island. This research has been funded by several agencies, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada as well as the Scottish government. See his academic publications on this webpage.
Dr. Falzett is currently a sessional lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Prince Edward Island, where he has just finished teaching “Introduction to Folklore” and “Scottish Heritage and Culture.” He also held a previous lecturer appointment in the Department of Celtic Studies, St. Francis Xavier University, where he had occasion to develop and teach a variety of other courses on the folklore and ethnology of the Gaelic communities of Scotland, Ireland, and Canada, as well as courses on Celtic Civilization and the Scottish Gaelic language.
For the past three years, Dr. Falzett’s research has focused on the legacy of the Scottish Gaelic immigrant community on Prince Edward Island. The goal of his work is to create models for re-engaging this community with its cultural heritage at a grass-roots level using archived recordings of some of the last Scottish Gaelic tradition-bearers recorded by his doctoral supervisor, Dr. John Shaw, as well as earlier work by the late Professor Gordon MacLennan.
Dr. Falzett’s recommenders universally endorsed him as an innovative teacher doing crucial work in the area of Scottish Gaelic ethnography. He shows great enthusiasm for teaching as well as research.
A fluent Scottish Gaelic speaker as well as a singer and bagpiper, Dr. Falzett has presented and performed in a range of venues, from village halls to national broadcast media, in Scotland and Canada. As an active folklorist and musician, he especially values opportunities to share the Scottish Gaelic language and its music with others. He believes that language and music have the power to break down barriers and bring people together.
He, his partner Dr. Giulia De Gasperi (Ph.D. Canadian Literature, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), and their dog Sofia look forward to their move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina from Prince Edward Island.
In the first semester of the 2018-19 academic year, Dr. Falzett will teach two folklore classes using Scottish Gaelic content materials:
- English/Folklore 202: Introduction to Folklore.
- English 310: Fairy Tales.
The courses he will teach in the second semester have yet to be determined.
GaelicUSA still needs your contributions for our operating budget to enable us to function effectively as we continue to work in support of Scottish Gaelic Studies. We need funds to pay for the costs of organizing and hosting events that we hope to hold during the Visiting Lectureship. Furthermore, endowing a chair in Scottish Gaelic Studies at UNC will cost approximately $2.5 million and much work remains to be done to that end.
We have created a webpage to acknowledge and thank those who have made a donation to our campaign.