The first full-length ethnographic study of its kind, Highland Homecomings examines the role of place, ancestry and territorial attachment in the context of a modern age characterized by mobility and rootlessness.
With an interdisciplinary approach, speaking to current themes in anthropology, archaeology, history, historical geography, cultural studies, migration studies, tourism studies, Scottish studies, Paul Basu explores the journeys made to the Scottish Highlands and Islands to undertake genealogical research and seek out ancestral sites.
Using an innovative methodological approach, Basu tracks journeys between imagined homelands and physical landscapes and argues that through these genealogical journeys, individuals are able to construct meaningful self-narratives from the ambiguities of their diasporic migrant histories, and recover their sense of home and self-identity.
This is a significant contribution to popular and academic Scottish studies literature, particularly appealing to popular and academic audiences in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Scotland
‘… in integrating and drawing upon work within both anthropology and geography, he takes important steps forward in the progress of both subject areas in their attempts to come to terms with this most important, and yet little understood, phenomenon…Highland Homecomings is a well written account, and it is to the author’s great credit that the book is, at the same time, highly entertaining, intellectually stimulating and never patronising about its subjects… This is a very valuable addition to work on Scotland, (Celtic) identity, and diaspora as a whole.’ – Journal of Historical Geography
‘…an intriguing study of a long-neglected aspect of diaspora, namely that of homing-desire and homecoming-practice in all their psychological, performative, and political facets.’ – Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Prologue: Other Landscapes 1. Introduction 2. An Itinerant Anthropology 3. Genealogy and Heritage Tourism in the Scottish Diaspora: An Overview 4. Imagineering Home 5. Home Spaces, Homepages, Homelands 6. ‘Be of this Land’ 7. Sites of Memory, Sources of Identity 8. Homecomings 9. Exiles and Emigrants: Negotiating the Moralities of Migrant Family Histories 10. Heuristic Journeys