Scotland and Islandness – new edited collection

Scotland and Islandness: Explorations in Community, Economy and Culture (2021) Edited By Kathryn A. Burnett, Ray Burnett and Michael Danson

Peter Lang – Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2021. XIV, 262 pp., 2 fig. b/w.

Studies in the History and Culture of Scotland

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.

Available in Hardback, PDF and Ebook.

SCIS UWS at Cape Breton island cultures conference


Gaelic College Centre for Celtic Arts and Crafts, St Anns, Cape Breton

Kathryn A. Burnett, Ray Burnett, and Mike Danson all of SCIS@UWS each delivered papers to the Eighth International Small Islands Conference, 6-9 June 2012, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The conference theme was Traveling in Time: Islands of the Past, Islands of the Future, and organized by the Centre for Cape Breton Studies, along with the Department of History & Culture and the School of Art & Social Science at Cape Breton University, in collaboration with the Small Island Cultures Research Initiative (SICRI). The conference was an excellent opportunity for SCIS colleagues to meet up with other island studies academics, creative artists and performers. Links were refreshed with colleagues from several island studies focused institutions including especially University of Prince Edward Island, St. Francis Xavier University, and Cape Breton University, Canada, and many new collaborative links were made with new friends from both Canada and beyond.

Key themes for the conference papers and the various field site visits and cultural activities on offer included: music legacies, art practice and performativity, indigenous culture and language of islands peoples,  island narratives and practice of political resistance and expression, examination of island assets and community resources, and island industry and cultural entrepreneurship in the context of island studies critiques and global futures. The conference programme can be found here