Land, Landscape and Memories

Dr Iain Robertson, Dr David Worthington, Dr Jim MacPherson, Dr Elizabeth Ritchie, Dr Philippa Woodcock

Land, Landscape and MemoriesWhat draws this grouping together is the view that environments, broadly defined, are more than simple backdrop to the human drama played out in them, but are constitutive of human processes and practices.

Key projects include Robertson’s focus on moral ecologies, his understanding of the Highland ‘scape as taskscape and Worthington’s work on New Coastal Histories. In the latter the emphasis on human and non-human interactions and assemblages is evident both through giving agency to the littoral and the focus on paramaritime and liminal spaces.

Our work is drawn to multidisciplinary methodologies and less-traditional sources. Embracing practices from the likes of cultural history, memory studies, historical geography, environmental history and landscape studies, our work can thus turn to the role of memory in shaping events and processes; such as mnemohistories of the Scottish community in early modern Poland-Lithuania. Adopting a similarly diasporic sensibility Ritchie explores how Scots transferred and adapted their land use practices following emigration.

In whatever we do, however, and through whatever lens we adopt, our gaze is rarely away from the cause and consequences of the interaction of place, landscape and memory.

This cultural perspective brings a sense of common perspective notwithstanding spatial divergences. Woodcock, for instance focusses on the relationship between the physical landscape and the practice of religious beliefs in early modern France.

In these ways the land, landscape and memories research alliance seeks to energise and animate world-leading research at The Centre for History.