Entire of Itself?


ISBN 978-1-912186-84-6 (HB)
ISBN 978-1-912186-83-9 (PB)
eISBN 978-1-912186-82-2 (Open Access ebook)

Towards an Environmental History of Islands


Milica Prokić and Pavla Šimková  (eds)

The study of islands is booming. Small wonder: islands have played a key role in the history of continents, have been crucial locales of state-making, have served dictatorships as sites of prison systems and have acted as frontiers and stepping stones of empires. However, the role that island environments have played in creating and shaping these histories has so far received little attention. To understand why an island became a penal colony, an atomic test site or a tourist destination we need to take a close look at its environmental peculiarities: its physical shape, its geology, its climate, its flora and fauna, and its position vis-à-vis other places. And to more deeply comprehend an island’s place in history we must consider the changing ways in which it was perceived, used, valued or dismissed, protected or mistreated over time.

Through fourteen stories of islands and archipelagos from around the globe Entire of Itself? Towards an Environmental History of Islands showcases islands as dynamic entities that both shape history and are shaped by it. Covering time periods from antiquity to the present day, Entire of Itself? attempts a group portrait of this exceptional category of places in the context of environmental history. Exploring the intertwined temporal, material and identity layers of island environments, and their transformations in response to human endeavours of conservation, exploitation and experimentation, the contributions in this volume challenge the traditional center-periphery perspective, and instead take an island-centred approach, delving into both the islands’ own stories and their role in larger historical developments

This book is Open Access through the support of the Open Book Collective.

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Hardback, Paperback