'Hardscrabble Heritage; the Croft and Blackhouse as Cultural Artefacts'

Dr Iain Robertson, Reader at the UHI Centre for History, will present a paper entitled 'Hardscrabble Heritage; the Croft and Blackhouse as Cultural Artefacts'.
The landscape and heritage at the heart of this paper is that of the ruined Hebridean blackhouse; an intrinsic part and mnemonic of crofting identity. Understood as a form of heritage from below, the aim is to consider the ruined blackhouse in the context of debates around the relationship between landscape, and identity, the role of the past in the present and non-elite heritage. These mundane spaces, it will be suggested, are shaped by routine habits which, together with the material ‘left-behinds’ of a past way of life, comprise landmarks to place making from below and within. This rural ruin is thus an intrinsic part of the crofting lifeworld; the past drawn into the present as a form of cultural heritage from below.

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