Book Chapter

The 'Settlers and Colonists' Affair



Hames S (2014) The 'Settlers and Colonists' Affair. In: Manfredi C (ed.) Alasdair Gray: Ink for Worlds. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 73-104.

In the final weeks of 2012, media reports on Alasdair Gray’s essay ‘Settlers and Colonists’ sparked a heated debate concerning Scottish cultural governance and ‘anti-Englishness’. This chapter documents and contextualizes the controversy vis-à-vis the campaigns for and against Scottish independence, and several related cultural debates. A detailed chronology of initial media coverage and political reaction (extraordinary in its volume and vehemence) is supplemented by a list of recommended essays and blogs providing further insight. The lasting impact of this episode on Gray’s reputation and public standing is unclear; this chapter examines the role of politicians, the media and Gray himself in a process by which the author became (and was made to become) a casualty of his own incautious words, but also rendered curiously voiceless.

Alasdair Gray; Scottish literature; Scottish politics; Scottish independence; Anti-Englishness; media studies

Publication date31/10/2014
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publisher URL
Place of publicationLondon

People (1)


Dr Scott Hames

Dr Scott Hames

Senior Lecturer, English Studies