Fiona Mackenzie

Professor Emeritus

Degrees:B.A. (London), M.A. (Carleton), Ph.D. (Ottawa)


My research has focused until recently on issues to do with land and the environment in SubSaharan Africa. I have worked with both archival sources and personal narratives to reconstruct histories of land and labour in rural Kenya, recognising differences of race, class and gender in these histories. More recently, I have engaged in research in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, looking at questions to do with community and identity in the context of processes of globalisation, as the latter are connected to environmental issues. I am particularly interested in looking at how ‘the commons’ – whether to do with property or with land use – is invoked in environmental struggle. As an extension of this research in Scotland, I am involved with two communities, one of which has recently brought land under collective ownership (the Isle of Harris) and another (in North Sutherland) which is attempting to do so, under the new land reform legislation in Scotland. A more recent research interest centres on visual art, identity and place, recognising that through the art itself and the practices associated with it identities and senses of belonging are reworked.

Research Interests

  • land, identity, community and environment in Scotland
  • visual art, place and identity
  • critical research methodologies
  • poststructural/postcolonial political ecology


Mackenzie, A. Fiona, D., ‘Re-stor(y)ing north west Sutherland’, submitted to the Scottish Geographical Journal, January2010.

Mackenzie, A.Fiona, D.,   2010 ‘Gender, land tenure and globalization. Exploring the conceptual ground’, in D. Tsikata and P. Golah, eds, Gender, land tenure and globalisation’, International Development Research Centre, Ottawa.

Mackenzie, A.Fiona, D.,  2010‘A common claim: community land ownership in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland’,  International Journal of the Commons, vol. 4 (1): 319-344.

Mackenzie, A.Fiona, D., 2009 ‘Working the wind: land-owning community trusts and the decolonization of nature’, Scottish Affairs, 2009, no.66: 19-39.

Mackenzie, A.Fiona, D., 2008 ‘Undoing nature: the John Muir Trust’s “Journey for the Wild”, the UK, Summer 2006’, Antipode, vol 40 (4): 584-611.

Mackenzie, A.Fiona, D., 2007 ‘The story(ing) of Jessie of Balranald. Research encounters of a surprising kind’ Cultural Geographies 14, 445-452.

Mackenzie, A. Fiona D., 2006 ‘ “Against the tide”: placing visual art in the Highlands and Islands, Scotland’, Social and Cultural Geography , Special Issue on Geographies of Art and the Environment 7 (6), 965-985.

Mackenzie, A. Fiona D., with Sue Jane Taylor, 2006 ‘Claims to place: The public art of Sue Jane Taylor, Gender, Place and Culture , 13 (6), 605-627.

Mackenzie, A. Fiona D., 2006 ‘ ” ‘S Leinn Fhein am Fearann” (The Land is Ours): re-claiming land, re-creating community, North Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space , 24 (4), 577-598.

Mackenzie, A. Fiona D., 2006 ‘A working land: crofting communities, place and the politics of the possible in post-Land Reform Scotland’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS 31, 383-398.

Recent Graduate Supervisions

  • France-Lise Colin, 2010, ‘ “Nosotros no solamente podemos vivir de cultura”: Identity, nature and power in the Comarca Embera of the Darien’, PhD Geography
  • Brian Egan  2008, ‘From dispossession to decolonization: towards a critical indigenous geography of Hul’qumi’num territory’ , Ph.D. Geography
  • Nadine Saad, 2008, ‘Becoming a “Place of Origin”:The Conceptual and Political Conundrums of In Situ Conservation’ Ph.D. Geography
  • Sherrill Johnson, 2006, ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place: (Re)viewing Environmental  Conflicts over Aggregate Extraction in Exurbia’ ,Ph.D. Geography
  • Patricia Ballamingie, 2006, ‘Paradoxes of Power: The Lands for Life Public Consultations’,Ph.D. Geography
  • W. Andrew Baldwin, 2006, ‘Recovering Borealia: The Social-nature of Canada’s Boreal Forest’, PhD Geography. (Co-supervision with S. Dalby).
  • Crescentia Dakubo, 2005, ‘Applying an Ecosystem Approach in Community Health Research in Rural Northern Ghana’, PhD Geography.
  • Melanie Somerville, 2006, ‘ “Nearby and Natural”: Towards a Differential Geography of Organic Farming in South-Eastern Ontarion’, MA Geography. (Co-supervision with S. Dalby).
  • Erin Callaghan, 2005, ‘Reclaiming their Nature(s): Towards a more progressive environmentalism in the Ottawa Region’, MA Geography.