I write stories about people, places and events in the twentieth century.
Stories are what motivate me; they help me think about the world. My academic work is largely a bid to tell stories with greater analytic intent.
As an historical geographer, I am interested in how our knowledge of the past inheres in landscapes; and how narrative, knowledge and technology take place. Much of my work is concerned with Scottish lives and landscapes, particularly those in the Outer Hebrides.
My current project is a history of rocket technology, from early mail rocket experiments in the 1930s through to the testing of the world’s first nuclear missile. Rockets interest me because they are vehicles of both transcendence and mass destruction – the embodiment of the twentieth century.
Other objects of enquiry include: ruins, toys, birds, prehistory, folklore, topography, visual culture, science and war.
Educated at the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford, I was a research fellow at the University of Aberdeen (1999-2003) and then lecturer and senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Australia (2004-2010). I now teach at the University of Edinburgh.
I can be contacted at fraser.macdonald ‘at’ ed.ac.uk