SCIS Research and Knowledge Exchange Events

SCIS Research MAKE Event, UWS November  2013



The Remotest Community in the World

50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Resettlement of Tristan Da Cunha (1963-2013)

 Scottish Centre for Island Studies

Friday 1st November 2013

Wellington Suite, Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

This day event offers a programme of research talks, archive film screenings and individual commentaries each relating to the island community of Tristan da Cunha.

In 1961 the island’s volcano erupted and the entire community were forced to leave Tristan for safety with no prospect of certain return. The plight of the Tristan islanders was a global media event. Their story is one that intrigued and invited comment in terms of our ideas of island living, remoteness and sustainability in the changing times of the early 1960s. These ideas continue to inform how we think and represent island communities today here in Scotland, and beyond. The Tristanians were offered immediate refuge in Scotland, with Shetland playing a pivotal role, but they were actually ‘settled’ in England where they worked and lived for some two years. In 1963 the islanders eventually returned to Tristan to rebuild their lives on this most remote of islands. Today the community continues to thrive and our day invites comment on future cultural and creative responses to live on Tristan.

This UWS research and knowledge exchange event offers a series of talks and archive film and media screenings which each commemorate this remarkable story from the despair of 1961 evacuation to the elation of 1963 resettlement. It also provides an occasion to focus on the present, the successful rebuilding of a sustainable Tristan da Cunha and to invite reflections on 50 years of change on islands here in Scotland, in Tristan, and elsewhere. Our theme for the day is that of the images, the issues, and the reality of small island community life. Our examples are largely drawn from Tristan da Cunha but also from the island communities of Scotland, including the Hebrides and Shetland. A range of speakers including academics, educationalists, film-makers and island community enthusiasts will share experiences and information together with the audience. If you would like to attend this UWS Scottish Centre for Island Studies event then please contact to reserve your place, or call Dr Kathryn A Burnett on 01292 886482. Please note places are limited.

All welcome.

SCIS Research Round Table,Rural Enterprise Conference UWS June  2013


This short UWS MAKE roundtable event hosted by the Scottish Centre for Island Studies and located within the timetabled programme of the 2013 Rural Enterprise Conference is an opportunity to exchange ideas and share good practice as to how academic and social development partners might facilitate knowledge exchange benefits with cultural and creative entrepreneurs in rural and island contexts.
The focus of the discussion is to develop an agenda for partnership within Scotland, and beyond where research, policy and practice can be shared with and informed by interested parties with a view to developing new opportunities for knowledge exchange. The specific reference for the discussion is policy, research and practice pertaining to island and remote rural creative and cultural workers and entrepreneurs. This event will be chaired by Professor Mike Danson, Heriot Watt University.
The discussion would hope to embrace the following key objectives:
 To provide an opportunity for meeting like-minded individuals and organisations committed to enhancing the understanding and sharing of knowledge and experience of the remote rural and island setting for cultural and creative enterprise;  To identify and outline in the first instance what might be useful in respect of developing future research focus in this field;  To detail how research and knowledge exchange might reflect a ‘tailoring’ to the particular nuances of island and remote rural experience of cultural and creative enterprise;  To facilitate the sharing of examples of good practice and reflective accounts of creative and cultural enterprise in the context of peripheral regions and communities;  To develop an time frame for ‘next steps’ in both the near and longer term future for possible collaboration and knowledge exchange activity.
The round table event will take place on Thursday 20th June at UWS Crichton Campus during the late afternoon 15:30 – 16:30 session of the conference. If you are not already attending the conference we would like to offer to host you as a guest of the Centre for Island Studies at UWS for this networking event. This would allow you day rate access to the Thursday 20th June conference. Please note accommodation would need to be arranged directly with the conference.
Directions and wider information on the conference (including how to register for full conference) can be found here:
Please contact: Dr Kathryn A Burnett for further information if you wish to attend this networking /knowledge exchange event.

SCIS Research Talk,Shetland Archives, March  2013

IIllustrated Talk: Tristan da Cunha’s ‘volcano years’1961-1963 – the Shetland dimension

Ray Burnett and Kathryn Burnett,  Scottish Centre for Island Studies,

University of the West of Scotland

Shetland Museum Archives

 7th March 2013

7:30 pm (Doors open  7:00 pm)


n 1961 a volcanic eruption forced the community of Tristan da Cunha, ‘the loneliest island in the world’, to abandon their island home for evacuation to the UK and an uncertain future. First to offer a new home to the Tristanians were the islanders of Shetland. While government deliberated what to do, the ‘refugee’ island representatives visited Shetland to assess the possibilities.  After considerable debate the government’s preferred resettlement location was to be the south of England where the islanders remained for just under two years before they were finally able to return to Tristan in 1963. 

As Tristan da Cunha celebrates the 50th anniversary of this return, Ray and Kathryn Burnett have been researching this remarkable story of small island survival. The media coverage and government files of these events reveal much about prevailing perceptions of islands and islanders within the ‘corridors of power’ and the popular press.  Their findings in the archives, from Stockholm to Shetland bring to light not just the significance of those who stepped forward as the champions of small island communities but also the importance of the Shetland dimension. This illustrated talk will present these findings with a view to rekindling and seeking out memories from within Shetland of these events of fifty years ago.

SCIS Research Seminar,UWS December 02 2011

Research Seminar

Friday December 2nd 2011

Room G114, Gardner Building, Paisley Campus, University of the West of Scotland

Time: 13:00 – 16:00

Following the yearly update of the Centre two short research presentations on current SCIS related research will be delivered:

Kirsten MacLeod, SCIS Research Student, School of CCI, UWS

Title: Process, Practice and Participation: Participatory Media and  a Practice led approach

Ray Burnett & Kathryn A Burnett, SCIS, School of CCI, UWS

Tristan da Cunha: the Volcano Years 1961-1963 ( British Academy Funded Project)

Reflecting on a 50 year anniversary of media representations of remote and peripheral island communities.

Presentation followed by Discussion  and Questions

SCIS Research Seminar,CCA September 22 2011

by Kathryn Burnett

Research Seminar  Visual  Media Practice & Island Studies

Thursday 22nd September 2011

CCA, UWS Space, Sauchiehall Street Glasgow

16:00 – 18:00

SCIS welcomes Professor Suzanne Thomas, University of Prince Edward Island. to this creative practice research event for postgraduate students exploring SCIS related research activity on visual media and island studies.

SCIS Research Seminar,CCA March 11th 2011

by Kathryn Burnett

Research Seminar on Creative Media Practice

Friday 11th March 2011

CCA, UWS Space, Sauchiehall Street Glasgow

14:30 – 16:00.

SCIS doctoral research student Rachael Flynn will present her paper “Using the written letter as a fine-art source to inform and stimulate a creative practice-led enquiry.”

All welcome.

SCIS @ CCA research event on Rockets Galore! (1957) and recent Gaelic documentaries relating to the Uist ‘Rocket Range’

by Kathryn Burnett

Scottish Centre for Island Studies 

Screening and Research Event

Venue: CCA, Sauchiehall Street Glasgow

Thursday 9th September 2010

The Scottish Centre for Island Studies in association with the Small Islands Film Trust is hosting a small research focussed event of film screenings and related discussions on the 9th September 2010 in the UWS space at the CCA, Glasgow. For full programme see  details under ‘Our Events’.

Geopolitics: Political Spaces – Cultural Spaces

Screening(s):        Trusadh Series Deserting Uist (2010) MacTV  and  Na Rocaidean (2008)    MNE TV

Two different documentaries providing accounts of the history and communities affected by the establishment of the ‘Rocket range’ – RA Hebrides on ‘Uist’ in 1957. Extracts will be shown from both.

Iconography and Identity: Place and Non-place

Screening: Rockets Galore! (1957) Dir: Michael Relph

For information contact Kathryn A Burnett ( or Ray Burnett (


June 18th Research Event

by Kathryn Burnett

Following  the successful  SCIS  research meeting on 18th June 2010 at Paisley Campus, University of the West of Scotland (details under events page) a number of plans, research activities and opportunities discussed on the day are being taken forward. Please keep in contact regaridng your own island related research and news.  The next SCIS UWS event is under development and details will be posted shortly.

Research Meeting and Seminar

June 18th 2010

University of the West of Scotland, Paisley Campus, Room G116, Gardner Building 09:30 – 13:30.

In addition to a general update on the activity and plans for SCIS this event will be an opportunity to meet other colleagues from UWS and elsewhere with an interest in island studies and island related research. All welcome. Please contact to express your interest in attending. The meeting will be followed by a short research paper relating to current research at the centre.

Portaying the Hebrides: the irresistible lure and the irredeemable legacy

Ray Burnett
Kathryn A. Burnett
Scottish Centre for Island Studies
Faculty of Business and Creative Industries

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