Affective islandness: personal narratives and material identities

Kathryn A. Burnett, Lynda Harling Stalker

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationpeer-review


Affective islandness: personal narratives and material identities

Islands often appear to have that "one person" and their narrative that comes to especially represent the essential quality of the island place. This paper explores how such celebrated persons, and their celebrity status both on a local and international stage offer sites of affective islandness. Using cases-studies drawn from Canada and Scotland we consider how island communities work to harness and narrativise the affective power of their island celebrities to create cultural places and spaces that inform a broader collective island identity. With reference to the material sites and affective spaces of (a) L. M. Montgomery on Prince Edward Island and (b) Dr John Rae in Orkney, our short paper considers these two quite different historical personae as contrasting and complimentary examples of how islands create, foster and forge collective cultural narratives via the affective materiality of "their own".
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2021
EventInternational Small Islands Studies Association 2021 Conference: Sharing Lessons, Sharing Stories - Online, Canada
Duration: 14 Jun 202118 Jun 2021 (Conference website.)


ConferenceInternational Small Islands Studies Association 2021 Conference
Abbreviated titleISISA 2021
Internet address


  • islands
  • Scotland
  • narrative
  • material culture
  • affective sociology
  • landscape
  • representation
  • cultural hertitage
  • literature


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  • Scotland's islands and cultural work: the 'specialness' of place

    Burnett, K. A. & Stalker, L. H., 19 Apr 2021, Scotland and Islandness: Explorations in Community, Economy and Culture. Burnett, K. A., Burnett, R. & Danson, M. (eds.). 1 ed. Oxford: Peter Lang, Vol. 13. p. 97-117 21 p. (Studies in the History and Culture of Scotland; vol. 13).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    Open Access

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