Harvard Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures affirms the evidence-based consensus that ‘Celtic’ is a linguistic category describing a group of languages both ancient and modern. By extension, the term may refer to oral traditions and literatures in those languages, and to other cultural formations closely associated with those languages. There is no essential genetic ‘Celtic’ identity, nor is any ethnicity or group of ethnicities entitled to a privileged position within the field. Certain symbols associated with medieval Ireland and loosely identified as ‘Celtic’ have been appropriated by groups asserting the supremacy of persons with white skin. We repudiate this appropriation in the strongest possible terms.
We are committed in our teaching and research to dispelling the notion that responsible Celtic studies can in any way privilege or essentialize whiteness. We offer a warm welcome to anyone, regardless of skin color, country of origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other aspect of identity, who is interested in the Celtic languages and their literatures.
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