Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Orkney, Shetland and, to some extent, the Hebrides, share both a Nord ... Read more
Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Orkney, Shetland and, to some extent, the Hebrides, share both a Nordic cultural and linguistic heritage, and the experience of being surrounded by the ever-present North Atlantic Ocean. This has been a constant in the islanders’ history, forging their unique way of life, influencing their customs and traditions, and has been instrumental in moulding their identities.
This volume is an exploration of a rich, intimate and, at times, terrifying relationship. It is the result of an international conference held in April 2014, when scholars from across the North Atlantic rim congregated in Lerwick, Shetland, to discuss maritime traditions, islands in Old Norse literature, insular archaeology, folklore, and traditional belief. The chapters reflect the varied origins of the contributors. Icelanders are well represented, as are scholars based in Orkney and Shetland, indicating the strength of scholarship in these seemingly isolated archipelagos. Peripheral they may be to the UK, but they lie at the heart of the North Atlantic, at the intersection of British and Nordic cultures.
This book will be of interest to scholars of a wide range of disciplines, such as those involved in island studies, cultural studies, Old Norse literature, Icelandic studies, maritime heritage, oceanography, linguistics, folklore, British studies, ethnology, and archaeology. Similarly, it will also appeal to researchers from a wide geographical area, particularly the UK, and Scandinavia, and indeed anywhere where there is an interest in the study of islands or the North Atlantic.
This article argues that cartography and topographical description played a significant role in t ... Read more
This article argues that cartography and topographical description played a significant role in the way in which areas of the Scottish Northern Isles were represented and visualised, as a regional space, after the political union of England and Scotland in 1707, and, alongside that, the development of the concept of a British state and nation. Not only did topographical literature become more professionalised and commercially-oriented during the eighteenth century, but the visual representations of territories created in maps and charts became part of a network of cultural practices that both linked and divided historical regions across the British Isles. On the one hand, map-making re-negotiated national spaces in order to contribute to the formation the United Kingdom or Great Britain (itself a complex national entity) and, on the other hand, it provided an opportunity to re-create a sense of place or Northern regional identity, continuing to be part of an intercultural Northern European maritime region linked by the North Sea. As can be seen in the following case studies from the Shetland Islands and Western Norway, at ‘image level’, the change in perceptions about a region's identity (or one's own, within that region), often follows a long process, ‘since shifts in the attitudes of mental mapping tend to slowly follow changes in political and social conditions, mixing with philosophical and aesthetic conventions of the time’.