Rounding off the “Rethinking the Island” series, this book shares critical and creative insights on the methodologies and associated practices, protocols, and techniques used by those in island studies and allied fields. It explores why and how islands serve powerful analytical ends. Authored by three scholars who work in and across geography, sociology, and literary studies and incorporating conversations with colleagues from around the world, the work considers significant, interdisciplinary questions shaping the field, including on belonging, boundedness, decolonization, governance, indigeneity, migration, sustainability, and the consequences of climate change. In the process, the authors model what it means to think about and rethink island and archipelagic methodologies and point to emergent innovations in the field.
Elaine Stratford is professor of cultural and political geography at the University of Tasmania. She led the Rethinking the Island series with Godfrey and Elizabeth, is editor-in-chief of Geographical Research, a deputy editor of Island Studies Journal, and an active member of the International Small Islands Studies Association.
Godfrey Baldacchino is professor of sociology at the University of Malta. He previously served as Canada research chair and UNESCO co-chair in island studies at the University of Prince Edward Island and as president of the International Small Islands Studies Association. He set up Island Studies Journal in 2006 and served as its editor until 2016.
Elizabeth McMahon is professor of English at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her book, Islands, Identity and the Literary Imagination, won two national awards for literary scholarship. She has edited Southerly, Australia’s oldest literary journal, since 2008 and previously edited Australian Humanities Review.
Elaine Stratford, Godfrey Baldacchino, and Elizabeth McMahon
2 Valuing: Why Should We Study Islands and Archipelagos?
3 Being: What Is the Nature of Islands and Archipelagos as Entities and Relations?
4 Knowing: What Constitutes Knowing in the Study of Islands and Archipelagos?
5 Speculating: What Approaches Are Used to Know in the Study of Islands and Archipelagos?
6 Guiding: What Rationales and Rules Typify the Study of Islands and Archipelagos?
7 Doing: By What Methods Do We Acquire Knowledge in Studies of Islands and Archipelagos?
8 Conversing: What Does It Mean to Share and Stress-Test Ideas about Rethinking Island Methodologies?
Elaine Stratford, Elizabeth McMahon, Godfrey Baldacchino, and Colleagues
9 Practicing: What Does It Mean to Apply the “Knowing” of Island and Archipelagic Studies?
Godfrey Baldacchino and Elaine Stratford
About the Authors
A book that simultaneously captures and celebrates island worlds, carving out meanings of islandness in diverse contexts, unpacking their roots and lamenting their loss. So many of these reflections will resonate with students of islands, engaging their minds, sparking their emotions, and ultimately demonstrating often-unsuspected commonalities within the global family of islands and their inhabitants.
Rethinking Island Methodologies is the first truly indispensable island studies book of the decade. Written by three of the field’s leading scholars, this volume grapples with the complexity of studying the world’s immense diversity of islands and archipelagos. The authors show how that which makes island studies difficult is precisely that which makes it so compelling.
For anyone who has dipped a toe in the ocean, entangled their life’s skein in an island, or sought ways to think with islands—real or imaginary, large or small—this indispensable, methodological guide by leading thinkers and doers in the field will renew and inspire diverse ways of practicing island and archipelago studies. From issues of decolonization to challenges of innovation, from deep geological history to risky Anthropocene futures, the authors ask us to consider not only what we know about islands but also how we come to know islands.