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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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Notes on Contributors


ROSIE ALEXANDER IS A researcher, lecturer and careers adviser based in the islands of Orkney. She specialises in research relating to career development, education and guidance, with a particular focus on rural and island communities. Rosie currently holds a position as a senior lecturer (Research) at the University of the Highlands and Islands as well as running a small consultancy business.

KATHRYN A. BURNETT is a senior lecturer in the Division of Arts and Media, University of the West of Scotland teaching across interdisciplinary undergraduate and Masters programmes in Creative Arts Practice and Media. With a background in social anthropology, sociology and cultural studies, Kathryn’s research interests include the mediatisation and representation of remote and island spaces; identity and place narratives of Scotland’s rural communities; cultural work of islands; Scottish cultural heritage contexts for applied creative practice; and sustainability, enterprise and cultural policy in small island and remote contexts. Kathryn is co-director of the Scottish Centre for Island Studies.

RAY BURNETT is a writer and researcher based on Benbecula. With a focus on the transnational dimension of the cultural and social history of Scotland’s islands, Ray has lectured on Scottish island studies at universities, graduate schools and summer schools across Scotland, Europe, Canada, and the Far East and served on the Executive Committee of the International Small Islands Studies Association. A commitment to knowledge transfer has extended to treatments and research for television documentaries on aspects of the social history of Scotland’s islands and...

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