Scotland: Modern Myths and Historical Reality

Photo of Resor Cynthia

Cynthia Resor is a professor at Eastern Kentucky University and has taught four different study abroad courses. She holds a Ph.D. in history, a M.A. in humanities, and a Rank I in secondary social studies education. She has taught undergraduate and graduate teacher education courses including social studies for teachers as well as medieval history, European survey courses, daily life in history, and humanities. She began her career as a high school social studies teacher. She conducts professional development sessions for teachers, has published several articles in various journals related to history and social studies education, and is the author of two books about daily life in the past. Cynthia loves history, especially the history of daily life and ordinary people, and she is always trying to spread her enthusiasm about history inside and outside of the classroom. She worked as a costumed interpreter, a "fake" Shaker, at the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill in central Kentucky and loves to surprise her students by appearing in class in historical costumes. She forces her family, friends, and students to visit old cemeteries and historical sites. Her vacations revolve around historical themes and locations. She lives in an old house, collects old stuff, names her dogs and chickens after historical people, and is probably a dangerous driver because she listens to historical novels in the car. Study abroad is the next best thing to her dream job - to be the tour guide with a time traveling machine.

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Scotland: Modern Myths and Historical Reality


Program Dates:

Honors Credit:

WKU Course:


Course Description:
Are modern media depictions of Scottish history in Braveheart, Brave, Highlander, Rob Roy and Outlander historically accurate? This course will compare modern conceptions of Scottish history and culture to the reality of the medieval, early modern, and Victorian eras. We’ll visit castles such as Edinburgh Castle, historical homes of the rich and poor, churches, and museums to learn if Scots really painted themselves blue for battle and loved or hated England, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bonnie Prince Charlie. We’ll explore the historical divide between the highlands and the lowlands, learn why so many Americans claim Scottish heritage, and separate myth from fantasy in the history of kilts, tartans, bagpipes, oats, and haggis.


Physical Activity Requirements:
Expect walking 5 - 7 miles of walking per day.

Course Highlights:
Compares modern media depictions (Braveheart, Brave, Highlander, Rob Roy and Outlander) to reality of Scottish history. Asks if all the things you know about Scotland - kilts, tartans, bagpipes, haggis, family clans, Highlanders, standing stones - are primarily myth or reality Explores the best known figures of Scottish history - Mary, Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, William Wallace, Sir Walter Scott Visit castles, churches, museums, historical homes, streets, and countryside Open to ALL students - undergraduate and graduate; ALL majors