Communities expert joins Centre for History team ahead of major coastal history conference

Dr Iain Robertson and Dr David Worthington UHI Dornoch.

Dr Iain Robertson has joined the University of the Highlands and Islands Centre for History team as they prepare for a major international conferenceexploring the pasts of communities living near or along adjacent coastlines.


Dr Robertson, whose main role will be to develop the centre’s research culture as well as teaching, will present a paper at the Firths and Fjords: a Coastal History Conference in Dornoch next May.


“I’m delighted to welcome Dr Robertson to our team at the Centre for History,” said Dr David Worthington, head of the Centre for History in Dornoch. “His expertise in heritage studies and the social and cultural history of local communities and landscape change is particularly welcome as we continue to develop the centre’s research culture as well as teaching.


“Although Scotland’s firths have often been seen as barriers, they have functioned frequently as highways, linking people on either side. This conference will explore the histories of adjacent, coastal locations, at this and a wider, international level.”


Dr Robertson was previously reader in historical geography at the University of Gloucestershire and his paper at the conference explores the moral ecologies and conflict on the nineteenth century River Severn.


“Since joining the University of the Highlands and Islands I have seen first-hand how my new colleagues in the Centre for History excel at drawing together local communities and academics,” said Dr Iain Robertson. “That is one of the reasons they did so well in the recent research excellence assessment and also one of the main reasons I wanted to come and join them.


“I am delighted to be involved in such an exciting and innovative conference. All the more so as it brings together experts based in our local communities with academics from across the world.”


Firths and Fjords: a Coastal History Conference takes place from 31 March to 2 April 2016. Speakers will include Professor John Gillis, author of ‘The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History, Professor TC Smout, co-author of ‘The Firth of Forth: An Environmental History’ and Professor Martin Carver, specialist in archaeological practice and protohistoric Europe, who led the team which discovered and excavated the first monastery of the Picts at Portmahomack.

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