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The relational turn in island geographies: bringing together island, sea and ship relations and the case of the Landship

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jonathan Pugh



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Island studies is a growing field of research. A relational turn has recently taken place in island studies alongside relational turns in associated fields of research, including oceanic and ship geographies (although not always in conversation with them). While all three now challenge the land-locked nature of geography and related disciplines, this paper suggests that islands, oceans and ships should not always be reductively conceptualised in isolation, because they are often bound together through complex and shifting relations and assemblages. After reviewing debates and conceptual gaps in the critical island, sea and ship literatures, the paper makes this argument by reference to an island dance performance and social institution that is not wholly of the island, the ship or sea, called the Barbados’ Landship.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pugh J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Social and Cultural Geography

Year: 2016

Volume: 17

Issue: 8

Pages: 1040-1059

Online publication date: 29/02/2016

Acceptance date: 14/12/2015

Date deposited: 15/12/2015

ISSN (print): 1464-9365

ISSN (electronic): 1470-1197

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2016.1147064


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Funder referenceFunder name
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Research Fund, Newcastle University
EP/C509005/1Research Council United Kingdom Fellowship
R00429834850Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)