Dr Valerie Wallace

Dr Valerie Wallace

Lecturer in the History of Scotland and the Wider World, c.1600-c.1914

Researcher profile




I joined the School of History at St Andrews in 2022 after teaching for ten years at Victoria University of Wellingon in New Zealand where I was a Senior Lecturer in History and where I continue to hold a research fellowship. Before my New Zealand era I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Bentham Project in the Faculty of Laws at UCL (2010-2012) and the inaugural Fulbright Scottish Studies visiting scholar at the Center for History and Economics at Harvard University (2011-2012). In 2023 I was the Daiches-Manning Memorial Fellow in 18th-century Scottish Studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh.

Research areas

I am primarily interested in the influence of Scottish ideas, particularly those associated with Scotland's distinctive religious and legal institutions,  in the settler colonies of Britain's nineteenth-century empire. My first book, Scottish Presbyterianism and Settler Colonial Politics: Empire of Dissent (2018), which won the Frank Watson prize for best first book in Scottish history, examined the subversive politics of Scottish religious dissenters in the Anglophone world during the age of revolution and reform. Current research, funded by a major grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand, considers the role of Scots law in the British empire. In addition, I manage People of Parliament, a digital resource on New Zealand’s parliamentary history for researchers, students and the public, which includes the first searchable database of New Zealand’s politicians, past and present.  I also co-edit the Journal of Scottish Historical Studies.

PhD supervision

  • Andrew Simpson
  • Elizabeth Williams

Selected publications


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