Mr. Conkling is the founder and president of the Island Institute, Rockland, Maine 04841.
ON ISLANDERS AND ISLANDNESS
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
2007 American Geographical Society
Volume 97, Issue 2, pages 191–201, April 2007
How to Cite
CONKLING, P. (2007), ON ISLANDERS AND ISLANDNESS. Geographical Review, 97: 191–201. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2007.tb00398.x
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- Gulf of Maine;
- Monhegan Island;
- Prince Edward Island;
- Vinalhaven Island.
ABSTRACT. Islanders from different archipelagoes share a sense of islandness that transcends the particulars of local island culture. Islandness is a metaphysical sensation that derives from the heightened experience that accompanies physical isolation. Islandness is reinforced by boundaries of often frightening and occasionally impassable bodies of water that amplify a sense of a place that is closer to the natural world because you are in closer proximity to your neighbors. Islandness is a sense that is absorbed by islanders through the obstinate and tenacious hold of island communities, but visitors can also experience the sensation as an instantaneous recognition. Islandness thus helps maintain island communities in spite of daunting economic pressures to abandon them.