Iain James McPherson Robertson


  • IV25 3HN

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

  • 15 Citations
  • 2 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research expertise

Over the last few years I have developed two, interconnected, principal areas of research. One set of interests lies in the field of heritage studies and with the very recent upsurge in critical thinking around the ways the past is put to use in the present. My focus here is on the development of the concept of ‘heritage from below’ and the contested meanings of heritage as made evident in acts of memorialisation.

Linked to this is my interest in the social and cultural history of local community and landscape change with a particular emphasis on historical and cultural processes shaping the landscape of nineteenth and early twentieth-century Highland Scotland. The focus of this research is on popular protest and the sense of place, personal and local identity made manifest in the oral tradition of particular places and events.

Out of this has arisen an interest in the nature/culture dualism. Here my efforts focus on the ways in which the croft and crofters may be said to have been shaped by a set of vernacular environmental ethics.

I am always interested in enquiries and research proposals from students interested in any aspect of the above general areas.

Research links

I am a historian by training but a historical geographer by inclination. Consequently, almost everything I do has landscape(s) either at or close to its heart; with a particular focus on the twentieth-century Highlands and Islands. I joined the Centre for History in September 2015, having previously been with the University of Gloucestershire for a considerable period of time. I completed my PhD at Bristol University, where I researched the historical geography of acts of social protest in the Highlands between the two World Wars.

I have strong links with Curtin University, Western Australia, and have held two Research fellowships there, in 2008 and 2014.

My most recent book, Landscapes of Protest in the Scottish Highlands after 1914, was shortlisted for the research book of the year in the Saltire Awards 2014.

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Research Output

Moral Ecologies: Histories of Conservation, Dispossession and Resistance

Griffin, C., Jones, R. & Robertson, I. J. M., 2019, Palgrave Macmillan UK. 297 p. (Palgrave Studies in World Environmental History)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Robertson, I. J. M., 2018, After Heritage: Critical Perspectives on Heritage from Below. Muzaini, H. & Minca, C. (eds.). Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, p. 169-180 11 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

People of the croft: Visualising land, heritage and identity

Robertson, I. J. M. & Webster, D., 1 Apr 2017, In : Cultural Geographies.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    62 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    145 Downloads (Pure)

    Exploring the concept of heritage from below.

    Robertson, I. J. M., 2016, (Unpublished). 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

  • Activities

    • 1 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

    Understanding Scotland's Highlands: land, culture and identity.

    Iain James McPherson Robertson (Speaker)
    17 Feb 2016

    Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

    Press / Media

    Land reform the Scottish Act that shook the world

    Iain James McPherson Robertson


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Crofting revolution…100 years on

    Iain James McPherson Robertson


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    How war was followed by land raids in Scotland

    Iain James McPherson Robertson


    2 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Cost Sector Catering Awards – more shortlists

    Iain James McPherson Robertson


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research