Land and people
The symbiotic relationship between land and people has always been an important part of the teaching and research of the Centre. From the publications of our first director, Professor James Hunter (author of The Making of the Crofting Community) to the work of scholars Dr Elizabeth Ritchie and Dr Iain Robertson, our work explores the entanglements of environment, work, memory and people, particularly in the Highlands and Islands.
Communicating the past
The Centre for History is passionate about bringing historical issues to the wider public and our lecturers, Dr Elizabeth Ritchie and Dr Iain Robertson, have written many articles and chapters focusing on different aspects of historical land issues in the Highlands and Islands. These include Dr Ritchie’s reflections on ‘wild land’ for Community Land Scotland.
Professor James Hunter
Since the 1980s, Professor James Hunter has led the way in the discussion of historical land reform issues. He has written thirteen books on Highlands and Islands history and numerous articles such as History: its key place in the future of the Highlands and Islands (Northern Scotland, vol. 27). In 2016, his book Set Adrift Upon the World: The Sutherland Clearances was awarded the Saltire Society’s Best History Book. He is currently giving talks about his latest book Insurrection.
A celebratory conference on the 1919 Land Settlement (Scotland) Act in Lewis in September 2019 examined the ongoing meanings and legacies of this century-old legislation and included a keynote lecture from Professor James Hunter. You can read a blog inspired by the event Barra-land-raiders-blog.
Runrig and Highland history
At the Runrig and Highland History event at the National Museums of Scotland in May 2019, Donnie Munro described the impact on the band of reading James Hunter’s The Making of the Crofting Community and eloquently and passionately discussed the meanings of land and language in the Highlands. You can read Professor David Worthington’s reflections on the event.