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Scotland and Islandness

Explorations in Community, Economy and Culture


Edited By Kathryn A. Burnett, Ray Burnett and Michael Danson

Scotland’s islands are diverse, resourceful and singularly iconic in national and global imaginations of places «apart» yet readily reached. This collection of essays offers a fascinating commentary on Scotland’s island communities that celebrates their histories, cultures and economies in general terms. Recognising a complex geography of distinct regions and island spaces, the collection speaks to broader themes of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, narratives of place and people, the ideas and policies of island and regional distinctiveness, as well as particular examinations of literature, language, migration, land reform, and industry. With a view to placing ideas and expressions of islandness within a lived reality of island life and scholarship, the collection provides a multidisciplinary perspective on the value of continued and expanding research commentaries on Scotland’s islands for both a Scottish and an international readership. 

This book should instantly appeal to scholars of Island Studies, Scottish Studies, and Regional Studies of northern and peripheral Europe. Readers with particular interests in the sociology and history of Scottish rural and northern Atlantic communities, the cultural histories and economies of remote and island places, and the pressing socioeconomic agenda of small island sustainability, community building and resilience should also find the collection offers current commentaries on these broad themes illustrated with local island examples and contingencies.

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This edited collection represents some of the network and research focus of the Scottish Centre for Island Studies. As editors we are most grateful to each of our contributors for their enthusiasm, commitment and patience throughout 2020 in bringing the collection together. We would like to thank the editorial team at Peter Lang, including Philip Dunshea for originally believing in the value of the collection, but most especially Lucy Melville who has championed this island studies focus, and been encouraging and accommodating throughout. Thank you to colleagues involved in the preparation for publication, most especially Ashita and Sasireka. We are grateful for the most helpful and supportive feedback and endorsement of this collection from scholars in island studies, Scottish and rural cultural economies, history and heritage but most especially Godfrey Baldacchino, Máiréad Nic Craith and Valentina Bold. We would like to say a very special thank you to Alasdair MacEachen, Chair of the Islands Book Trust for providing us with his foreword, and his own support and contributing expertise to aspects of the Scottish Centre for Island Studies activities and events over the years. References, in Alasdair’s foreword, to the poetry of the South Uist (Peninerine) bard Donald John MacDonald have been included with the kind permission of Donald’s John’s daughter Margaret Campbell.

Lastly, this book is dedicated to Magdalena Sagarzazu.

Magdalena Sagarzazu, from the Basque Country, was a lifelong friend of the Campbells of Canna -John Lorne and Margaret Fay Shaw...

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