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Steve Royle, Queen's University, Belfast.


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Steve Royle is Professor of Island Geography at Queen’s University Belfast. After reading geography as an undergraduate at St John’s College Cambridge, Royle took his PhD at Leicester before moving to Ireland in 1976 to take up a lectureship in the then Department of Geography at Queen’s University Belfast. There he has remained, except for taking up visiting positions in Canada and the USA. This interest in islands is Earth surrounded by Water in the language of the elements of the Irish Environmental History Network. Royle has worked extensively on the offshore islands of Ireland but has also travelled to research on islands much further afield such as St Helena and the Falkland Islands. He has a book on the commonalities of the island experience, The Geography of Islands, as well as more focused studies on the early settlement of St Helena under the East India Company in the 17th century, The Company’s Island, and is presently working on a parallel study of the Hudson’s Bay Company on Vancouver Island in the mid-19th century to be called Company, Crown and Colony. In addition, he has published extensively on Belfast, including two fascicles for the Irish Historic Towns Atlas series. Royle is a Chartered Geographer, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy.


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Research Interests

Geography of small islands (including: Atlantic islands - especially St Helena and the Falkland Islands - islands of Ireland) - Historical geography (including: Company colonies - Hudson's Bay Company and Vancouver Island - Ireland, especially Belfast - Canadian Maritime Provinces).


Earth (surrounded by Water).

Selected Publications

Royle, S.A. (2010, forthcoming) Postcolonial culture on dependent islands, Space and Culture, 13 (2).

Royle, S.A. (2009) Tourism changes on a Mediterranean island: experiences from Mallorca, Island Studies Journal, 4 (2), 225-240.

Vannini, P., Baldacchino, G., Guay, L., Royle, S.A. and Stein, P. (2009) Reterritorialising Canada: Arctic ice's liquid modernity and the imagining of a Canadian archipelago, Island Studies Journal, 4 (2), 121-138.

Royle, S.A. (2008) “Mainland” and “entry”  islands: distinctions in island tourism, In: Babu, S., Mishra, S. and Parida, B.B. (eds.), Tourism development revisited: concepts, issues and paradigms. New Delhi: Response Books, 120-31.

Royle, S.A. (2008) From marginality to resurgence: the case of the Irish islands, Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures, 2 (2), 42-55.

Royle, S.A. and Tsai, H-M. (2008) Cultural heritage and development strategies of the offshore islands of Ireland and Taiwan, Insula, International Journal of Island Affairs, 17 (1), 47-56.

Royle, S.A. (2007) Islands off the Irish coast and the “bridging effect”, In: Baldacchino, G. (ed.), Bridging Islands: The Impact of ‘Fixed Links'. Charlottetown: Acorn Press, pp. 203-18.

Royle, S.A. (2007) Island spaces and identities: definitions and typologies, In: Baldacchino, G. (ed.), A World of Islands. Luqa, Malta: Agenda Academic, 3-26.

Royle, S.A. (2007) The Company's Island: St Helena, Company Colonies and the Colonial Endeavour. London: I.B. Tauris.

Royle, S.A. (2007) Belfast Part II, 1840-1901, Irish Historic Towns Atlas No 17. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy.

Hodgett, S., Johnson, D. and Royle, S.A. (eds.) (2007) Doing Development Differently: Regional Development on the Atlantic Periphery. Sydney, Nova Scotia: Cape Breton University Press.

Boal, F.W. and Royle, S.A. (eds.) (2006) Enduring City: Belfast in the Twentieth Century. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.

Royle, S.A. (2006) The Falkland Islands, In: Baldacchino, G. (ed.), Extreme Tourism: Lessons from the World's Cold Water Islands. Oxford: Elsevier, 181-92.

Royle, S.A. (2006) Belfast: foundations of the twentieth century, In: Boal, F. W. and Royle, S. A. (eds.), Enduring City: Belfast in the Twentieth Century. Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 11-29.

Royle, S.A. and Ní  Laoire, C. (2006) Dare the boist'rous main: The role of the Belfast News Letter in the process of emigration from Ulster to North America, 1760-1800, The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe Canadien, 50 (1), 56-73.

Royle, S.A. (2004) Small towns in Ireland, 1841-1951, In: Clarke, H., Prunty, J. and Hennessy, M. (eds.), Surveying Ireland's past: Multidisciplinary Essays in Honour of Anngret Simms. Dublin: Geography Publications, 517-544.

Royle, S.A. (2004) Human Interference on Ascension island, Environmental Archaeology, 9, 127-34.

Royle, S.A. (2004) “The island has been handed over to me”: Ascension Island as a company colony, 1922-1942, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 25 (1), 109-26.

Hodgett, S. and Royle, S.A. (2003) Conceptualising community: policy implications for Atlantic Canada, British Journal of Canadian Studies, 16 (2), 309-18.

Royle, S.A. (2003) Perilous shipwreck, misery and unhappiness: the British military at Tristan da Cunha, 1816-1817, Journal of Historical Geography, 29 (4), 516-34.

Royle, S.A. (2003) Exploitation and celebration of the heritage of the Irish islands, Irish Geography, 36 (1), 23-31.

Gillespie, R. and Royle, S.A. (2003) Belfast Part 1, to 1840. Irish Historic Towns Atlas No. 12. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy.

Royle, S.A. (2001) A Geography of Islands: Small Island Insularity. London: Routledge.

Smyth, C.G. and Royle, S.A. (2000) Urban landslide hazards: incidence and causative factors in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, Applied Geography, 20 (2), 95-118.

Royle, S.A. (2000) The development of small towns in Britain, In: Daunton, M. (ed.), The Cambridge urban history of Britain, Volume III 1840-1950. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 151-184.

Royle, S.A. (1999) Leaving the “dreadful rocks”: Irish island emigration and its legacy, History Ireland, 7 (2), 34-37.

Royle, S.A. (1999) From Dursey to Darrit-Uliga-Delap: an insular odyssey. Presidential Address to the Geographical Society of Ireland, Irish Geography, 32 (1), 1-8.

Royle, S.A. (1999) From the periphery of the periphery: historical, cultural and literary perspectives on emigration from the minor islands of Ireland, In: King, R. and Connell, J. (eds.), Small worlds, global lives: islands and migration. London and New York: Pinter, 27-54.

Royle, S.A. (1999) Conservation and heritage in face of insular urbanisation: the Marshall Islands and Kiribati, Built Environment, 25 (3), 211-221.

Royle, S.A. (1998) St Helena as a Boer prisoner of war camp, 1900-1902: information from the Alice Stopford Green papers, Journal of Historical Geography, 24 (1), 53-68.

Royle, S.A. (1997) The inside world: Tristan da Cunha in 1875, Journal of Historical Geography, 23 (1), 16-28.

Jupp, P.J. and Royle, S.A. (1994) The social geography of Cork City elections 1801-30, Irish Historical Studies, 29 (113), 13-43.

Royle, S.A. (1995) The growth and decline of an industrial city: Belfast from 1750, In: Clarke, H. B. (ed.), Irish Cities: The Thomas Davis Lecture Series. Cork: Mercier Press in association with RTE, 28-40 (and as a radio broadcast for RTE, Dublin, April, 1995).

Royle, S.A. (1995) Economic and political prospects for the British Atlantic Dependent Territories, Geographical Journal, 161, 307-322.

Royle, S.A. (1995) Health in small island communities: the UK's South Atlantic colonies, Health & Place, 1 (4), 257-264.

Royle, S.A. (1993) Industrialisation, urbanisation and urban society in post-famine Ireland, c.1850-1921, In: Graham, B. J. and Proudfoot, L. J. (eds.), An historical geography of Ireland. London: Academic Press, 258-292.

Royle, S.A. (1992) Attitudes and aspirations on St Helena in face of continued economic dependency, The Geographical Journal, 158, 31-39.

Scott, D. and Royle, S.A. (1992) Population, society and economy on Tory Island, Co Donegal, Irish Geography, 24, 169-176.

Royle, S.A. (1991) The socio-spatial structure of Belfast in 1837: evidence from the First Valuation, Irish Geography, 24, 1-9.

Royle, S.A. (1986) A dispersed pressure group: Comhdháil na nOileán, the Federation of the Islands of Ireland, Irish Geography, 19, 92-95.

Royle, S.A. (1985) The Falkland Islands 1833-1876: the establishment of a colony, The Geographical Journal, 151, 204-214.

Royle, S.A. (1983) The economy and society of the Aran Islands, Co Galway, in the early 19th century, Irish Geography, 26, 36-54.