Introducing the New Coastal History: Cultural and Environmental Perspectives from Scotland and Beyond
This chapter both outlines the foundations of the New Coastal History and scopes out new routes within this cross-disciplinary space. It brings in insular and non-insular research as well as historiographical evidence before sharpening the focus to adjacent, proximate coasts—the pasts of a range of straits, sounds, channels, gulfs, bays, estuaries, firths and fjords being covered—highlighting that such environments have been ‘hubs’ as well as ‘chokepoints’. The next section explores how waterborne communications have knitted together such communities as much as lack of landed contiguity has sometimes separated them. The final section outlines the volume’s genesis on a littoral in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and introduces the contributions that follow.