Islands of Identity

History-writing and identity formation in five island regions in the Baltic Sea

Omslag för Islands of Identity: History-writing and identity formation in five island regions in the Baltic Sea

Edquist, Samuel; Holmén, Janne

Gotland, Åland, Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Bornholm are five island regions in the Baltic Sea which constitute, or have until recently constituted, provinces or counties of their own. Combining perspectives from two disparate academic fields, uses of history and island studies, this book investigates how regional history writing has contributed to the formation of regional identity on these islands since the year 1800. The special geographic situation of the islands-somewhat secluded from the mainland but also connected to important waterways-has provided their inhabitants with shared historical experiences. Due to varying geographic and historical circumstances, the relationship between regional and national identity is however different on each island. While regional history writing has in most cases aimed at integrating the island into the nation state, it has on Åland in the second half of the 20th century been used to portray its inhabitants as a separate nation. Dramatic political upheavals as the World Wars has also caused shifts in how regional history writing has represented the relationship to the mainland nation state, and has sometimes also resulted in altered national loyalties.

Huddinge : Södertörns högskola, 2015. 418 sidor.

ISBN 978-91-86069-98-8

Serie: Södertörn Academic Studies, 1650-433X ; 59