Geographies of return, identity and developmentWe are all ‘returnees’. Across our lifetimes we return at different moments to places, homes, communities, friendships, families, value sets and ways of being. Such movements change us. We carry into new spaces where and what has gone before. These geographical echoes help frame our understandings of where we arrive and what we feel we can do when we get there. This lecture explores how the experiences and knowledges of those who return influences the form and success of sustainable development in diverse settings. It draws on three decades of fieldwork in the global South and new research in coastal Scotland in order to emphasize the need for development policy makers to value the common experience of return. I highlight research on some of the globe’s most marginalised groups, indigenous people and women who have experienced trafficking, and examine how their experiences of return have shaped their rights based development demands. I explore how return can involve valuing traditional ways of knowing and doing, generating new collective group identities as development actors. As an example, I use this framework to introduce a new research agenda on sustainable development in Scotland through a new project ‘Rowing the Waves’ being conducted in partnership with St Andrews Coastal Rowing Club and the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association.
List of inaugural lectures for the academic year 2016-17