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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.

«This remarkable volume focuses on Scotland’s inhabited islands. Experienced editors and contributors explore very timely issues for small island communities, such as the role of cultural capital or strategies for future sustainability. As well as the interrelationship between the islands and the mainland, the volume is outward-looking, taking account of Nordic and Atlantic neighbours. The framing of islandness that occurs in this volume is highly significant as there is strong emphasis on new ways of seeing and imagining islands and island communities. This fascinating interdisciplinary volume is highly relevant for government bodies, academics, island communities, policymakers and practitioners.» (Prof. Máiréad Nic Craith MRIA, Chair of Cultural Heritage and Anthropological Studies Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh)