Coastal History: Responding to Covid-19

Calling all historians of the coast.

We are having a video meeting, this Thursday 16 April 2020 (15.00-16.00 UK time). The purpose is to bring together scholars from around the world who work on coastal history. Responding to the current Covid-19 crisis, the aim is, through informal discussion, to highlight and communicate detail about current projects and to encourage future streams and channels for research.

How will it work? You will need to log in to your computer or other device, be sure that you have both a working camera and microphone on and a stable internet connection. We recommend pouring yourself a coffee or a tea, relaxing, then clicking on the link to the website at the bottom of this page at the designated time. There is no need to book ahead or reserve a place.

It is now over four years since the ‘Firths and Fjords’ conference, hosted by us here in Dornoch in the Scottish Highlands. Since then, the number of books, articles, blog posts and other scholarly activity in the field of coastal history has grown in a way that is inspiring. I am delighted that we at the Centre for History have played a part in this, through: editing the first-ever full length coastal history edited volume; launching an online masters (MLitt) in Coastal and Maritime Societies and Cultures that is attracting students locally and globally, and continuing to run this blog. Meanwhile, there has been plenty of discussion about follow-up activities and networking grant applications with those I know, much is going on out there involving those working on littoral pasts – histories of the spaces between land and sea – which I have yet to learn about, and there are others who are working on ‘terraqueous’ themes who haven’t yet thought of themselves as ‘coastal historians’.

Some themes we might wish to discuss at our conversation are:

  • Introductions.
  • Public histories – blogs, social media, possible workshops and other events
  • Current flourishing of relevant publications
  • Coasts and Covid-19; Coasts and climate change; Coastal dystopias; Urban coasts and rural coasts; Cross-disciplinary perspectives

If there are topics I haven’t mentioned above, which you feel strongly we should discuss, feel free to contact me by email at:

Why are we doing this? with many university-based historians and others working from home due to Covid-19, it struck me that it would help many of us to focus on our research theme through a different kind of forum. The #coastalhistory hashtag on Twitter has made evident the regional, national, transnational and global reach of the term these days and response to my tweet about it last Thursday was positive enough to make me feel that this gathering should go ahead without delay.

This will be a Cisco Webex Teams meeting and I will be moderating it from home here in Scotland.

The simplest way is to join the meeting is by clicking on this link, or copying and pasting it into your web browser (we recommend Chrome):

Alternatively, if you have downloaded and installed Webex Teams* on your device, you can dial:

If you would like to come using Microsoft Skype for Business dial:

If you would like to come in by phone (my understanding is that this is toll free from within the UK, but not from elsewhere in the world) dial: 020-347 85289 / +44-20-3478-5289 then enter 140822292# when prompted.

*For those that are Webex Teams users, please note that the Webex dial-in details should not be used as your email address when signing up to Webex. Do not try to enter the nine-digit number followed by ‘’ as used in UHI email addresses. 

Some extra helpful info:
If you receive a message telling you that you are in the lobby waiting with others, please hold on. Everyone needs to be let into the meeting by me, it won’t take long so sit tight and we’ll be with you shortly!

If you receive a message telling you that the meeting is full, try again in a minute or two…it just means the lobby is too crowded to let you in at the moment. As soon as I let everyone in, you’ll be able to get in too!

I will also endeavour to make a recording for those who can’t attend on the day. Also, perhaps we could have a follow-up meeting, to fit around those whose timezone made this one impossible? One other final tip: once logged in to the meeting, we would ask that you please remember to keep your microphone muted (as shown on the red symbol on the left below), unless you  wish to speak, in which case, ‘unmute’ the microphone (if you click the red symbol on the left it will go black) or else post a note in the ‘Chat’ space (click on the third button from the right to open that) and I can see that and then make sure you have a chance to express your point.

Coastal 3


We are living in difficult times, but I trust this informal meeting will be enjoyable and productive for all involved. I’ll hope to see you and hear from you then.

Stay safe,



Dr David Worthington,

Centre for History, University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland

Ionad Eachdraidh, Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean, Alba


One thought on “Coastal History: Responding to Covid-19

  1. The issue – and this very good debate – is very much useful to the Integrated coastal management law in other countries!

    Liked by 1 person

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