Islands and Britishness: A Global Perspective
Editor: Jodie Matthews and Daniel Travers
Date Of Publication: Feb 2012
Islands and archipelagos hold great imaginative power, and they have long been a subject of study for cartographers and geographers, for anthropologists and historians of colonisation. But what does it mean to be an islander? Can one feel both British and Manx, for example? What are British tourists looking for when they go to former island colonies? How do past relationships with Britain affect islands today? This collection takes a variety of perspectives to provide answers to such questions, examining war, empire, tourism, immigration, language, literature, and everyday life on and in islands, and the question of travel to and from them. Britishness is highlighted as a global island phenomenon, providing an insight into the history, culture and politics of identities from Jersey to Jamaica.
Islands and Britishness not only brings together various contemporary strands in Island Studies, but uniquely focuses on the relationship – historical, cultural and economic – between particular islands and Britain, and, crucially, how this relationship frames national identity both on the island and in Britain itself.
The collection examines interactions between Britishness and indigenous or earlier invasive/settler cultures, as well as the internal differences within the concept of ‘Britishness’ (Britain/Scotland/Shetland, for instance). It considers the relationship played out on the island between Britishness and the other nationalities with which the islands share an affinity, and questions received wisdoms about national identity on the islands by considering intersecting discourses such as class and gender. The collection offers a global perspective on the divisions within a notion of Britishness and the identities against which Britishness has been constructed.
Jodie Matthews is a Research Fellow with the Academy for British and Irish Studies at the University of Huddersfield. Her research focuses on the literature and culture of the nineteenth century, in particular the representation of migrant groups.
Daniel Travers is a Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Huddersfield. Specialising in how societies memorialise the events of World War Two, Daniel is the author of published articles focusing on Man and Orkney. He also teaches at Laurentian University in Canada.
''Islands and Britishness' throws an arc light over the often neglected ways that collective entanglements with Britishness preoccupy a miscellany of 'small' islands and deeply condition their unique sense of islandness. It is a real achievement of this collection that it shows how these flows and interconnections coalesce to mediate Britishness in imaginative and strikingly original ways. Its eighteen chapters highlight some of the ways in which all things British appear quite different from the micro-perspective of small islands than might ever occur to the grandiose vision that the Great Island metropole entertains about itself.' Alex Law, University of Abertay, in 'Island Studies Journal, 7:1, 2012, pp. 147-148, p. 147.
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Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)