PhD studentship: Typewriters and commerce in Scotland, 1870s–1920s

The School of History at the University of St Andrews and National Museums Scotland invite applications for a fully-funded AHRC studentship to investigate the development of the consumer market for information and office technologies during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The award will enable to student to pursue doctoral research in a world-class history department, and to gain hands-on museums skills while working in a professional museum team. The student will have full access the technology collections at both National Museums Scotland and Glasgow Museums.

The student will study the ways typewriters were sold and used in Scotland during the first fifty years of their commercial availability. The project will innovatively combine the use of printed and archival historical sources (such as advertisements, catalogues and trade directories) with active engagement with the outstanding collections of early typewriters (and auxiliary devices) held by National Museums Scotland and Glasgow Museums, both of which have a philosophy of operating their technology collections where possible. The student will be able to analyse the different features of competing models, and consider how they were represented in marketing material; how certain features became more significant and standardized over time; and how users evaluated and valued the peculiarities of one model over another. In many cases, the student will be able to film the typewriters being used, in order to gain a richer understanding of different features, ease of use, and the aural/haptic ‘sensescapes’ of these information machines.

The studentship is funded by the AHRC via the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium (SCHC), and will be supervised by historians of science and technology Dr Aileen Fyfe and Dr Sam Alberti. The start date is 1 October 2017, and the duration is 3 years.

If you have any queries about the project or would like to discuss this opportunity before applying, please contact Dr Aileen Fyfe at The deadline for applications is 18 April 2017. For fuller details of the project and the application process, see

Dr. Natasha Hodgson, 2015 Bullough Fellow

The 2015-16 Bullough Fellow is Dr Natasha Hodgson from Nottingham Trent University

Dr Hodgson is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Nottingham Trent University where she is developing a Centre for the study of Religion and Conflict in Medieval and Early Modern Societies. Her research centres on the crusades from the eleventh to fifteenth centuries and incorporates settler societies in Iberia, the Baltic, and the Latin East. She has a particular interest in gender, social history and historical writing. Her Phd (Hull, 2006) was published by Boydell as Women, Crusading and the Holy Land in Historical Narrative in 2007.  After working on two AHRC funded Domesday projects (Hull Electronic Domesday and PASE Cambridge), she returned to crusader studies and has since written on diverse topics such as Norman identity, Cilician Armenia, bestial imagery, honour and shame, and crusading masculinities. She is also the editor of the new Palgrave series Themes in Medieval and Early Modern History.

Dr Hodgson is in St Andrews for Semester 1 of the academic year and will be working on an essay for the forthcoming Cambridge History of the Crusades and a new monograph for Palgrave Macmillan entitled Gender and the Crusades.


MLitt Legal and Constitutional Studies' Scholarships (for October 2016 entry)

The University of St Andrews’ Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research invites applications for a number of MLitt scholarships to be awarded to the highest quality applicants for study on the MLitt Legal and Constitutional Studies. The competition is open to Home/EU and International students. For further details see: 


Orientation Week

Talks will be held for those students entering sub-honours in the School of History.  The meetings will be held in orientation week as follows:

History – 1st Year Welcome – Tuesday 11 – 12 noon in the Buchanan Lecture Theatre
ME1003 – Enrolment – Thursday 10 – 11 am – Buchanan Lecture Theatre
MO2008 – Enrolment – Thursday 11 – 12 noon – Buchanan Lecture Theatre
MO1007 – Enrolment – Thursday 12 – 1 pm – Buchanan Lecture Theatre

Honours Advising

REF 2014 - St Andrews School of History ranked top in Scotland

The School of History at the University of St Andrews is pleased to announce that it has been ranked top in Scotland and twelfth in the UK. According to REF 2014 - a detailed analysis of the research strengths of all United Kingdom universities ‐ 80% of the overall research of historians at St Andrews, assessed by quality of publications, impact and environment was deemed to be world‐leading or internationally excellent. Our grade point average overall was 3.23, only 0.01 behind Cambridge. We are especially proud to have come 6th in UK History Departments on Impact: a tremendous achievement given our comparatively small size and distance from major urban centres. 

PhD Studentships

The School invites incoming PhD students to apply for studentships funded by i) the AHRC; and ii) the University.  The number of scholarships available, and their value, will be finalised in due course. More information about the studentships can be found here

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

The School of History welcomes applications for the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship scheme. Interested applicants should first contact the appropriate academic colleague(s) in the School to discuss their plans and the application process. Details of the scheme and application forms are available on Applications selected by the School will be forwarded to the internal University selection process, details of which are available on the University’s research blog

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship Programme in Research and Leadership

The University is launching an exciting new internship programme, ‘The Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship Programme in Research and Leadership’, thanks to the generous support from The Rt Hon Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay.  This is the biggest UG internship programme of its kind in Scotland and is a unique opportunity for students in their penultimate year of study to gain paid professional work experience, contribute to high level research in the University and benefit from an intensive leadership training course.

Further information is available at the following webpage:-

Orientation Week - First Year Talk

The First Year Welcome Talk will be held on Monday 8th September at 10.30am in the Buchanan Lecture Theatre to which all 1st year students are invited to attend.

Emeritus Fellowship

The School of History at the University of St Andrews is initiating an annual ‘Emeritus Fellowship’ for retired academic staff formerly employed by any University or equivalent institution, with the first Fellowship being held in Academic Year 2014-15.  The Fellow will be expected to spend 3-6 months of the Academic Year in St Andrews and to participate in the Research activities of the School, including giving a paper to the appropriate Research Seminar and having contact with postgraduate students in the appointee’s field. 

The Fellowship will be worth £3000 for use on accommodation, travel, and research.  The Fellow will also receive full Library and IT access and secretarial support.  It is hoped but cannot be guaranteed that the Fellow will receive office accommodation.

Applications should consist of a CV (maximum 4 pages), a statement of research to be undertaken during the Fellowship (maximum 1 page), and the name of two referees who may be contacted.  These should be emailed to the Head of History (currently Professor John Hudson) at by 15 June 2014

St Andrews Library announces new Visiting Scholarship Scheme

To celebrate the opening of our new Research Library, the University of St Andrews is pleased to announce a new scheme of visiting scholarships. These scholarships will underwrite the costs of a period of work in our library Special Collections.

St Andrews University has an outstanding collection of books, archives and photography, accumulated throughout the six hundred years since the university’s foundation. The collection is especially rich in the History of Science, Theology and Church History, Literary Studies and Photography. In addition to a substantial collection of incunabula and early printed books, the library has a significant eighteenth-century collection dating from its period as a copyright library (1710-1836). The University archives also include an exceptional collection of 15th -16th Century materials relating to Fife and to the university and city of St Andrews.

The scholarships are open to all interested researchers, whether or not affiliated to a university. Further information can be found on the USTC website.

For all of our latest research, teaching and student news and events, please visit our School of History blog by clicking here.

Prof. Richard Whatmore joins the School of History

The School of History is delighted to welcome Prof. Richard Whatmore to St Andrews. Prof. Whatmore comes to us from the University of Sussex and is an intellectual historian of early modern and modern Europe.

His most recent book, Against War and Empire: Geneva, Britain and France in the Eighteenth Century, was published by Yale University Press in 2012.

For more on Prof. Whatmore please click here.

Inaugural TC Smout Lecture

The inaugural TC Smout Lecture in Scottish History will take place on Thursday26th September at 5.15 in the New Arts Lecture Theatre.

Professor Fredrik Jonsson (Chicago): Enlightenment's Frontier: the Scottish Highlands and the Origins of Environmentalism.

All are welcome. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

Prof Jonsson is also leading a workshop in the afternoon (2-4pm) of Thursday 26th on ‘Cornucopianism 1627-2013: Endless Growth and its Critics’. There are a limited number of places still available for the workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Professor RToger Mason at

School Book Prizes

Congratulations to all students who have been awarded book prizes by the School of History for distinction level performance at subhonours in 2012/13.

Students who have received an award email can now select their prize by clicking here.

Dr Justine Firnhaber-Baker awarded French History Prize

Dr Justine Firnhaber-Baker has been awarded the French History Article Prize for 2012 for her article ‘Jura in Medio: the settlement of seigneurial disputes in medieval Languedoc‘, published in French History 26:4 (December, 2012). French History is published by Oxford University Press.

Dr Firnhaber-Baker’s article addresses a major lacuna in the scholarship on medieval ‘dispute processing’, meaning the settlement and pursuit of violent conflict, usually by aristocrats. Although most of the classic articles on the subject focus on France in the high Middle Ages, there has been almost no attention paid to the later period, largely due to scholars’ assumptions that the imposition of state-sponsored coercive justice eliminated such activities. Focusing on royal judicial and administrative responses to seigneurial wars in fourteenth-century Southern France, the article demonstrates that processes of violent conflict and extrajudicial settlement actually remained robust in the later Middle Ages. The key difference in this later period was that royal courts and officers were now involved in the pursuit and settlement of the dispute through both judicial and extra-judicial means. Although royal involvement in extra-judicial settlements could be viewed as signs of royal weakness, in fact, it demonstrates the crown’s successful penetration of local power relations.

This award complements several recent successes for Dr Firnhaber-Baker, including an AHRC Early Career Fellowship.

Robert Lehman Fellowship

Dr Emily Michelson has been awarded the Robert Lehman Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. She will spend the  2013-2014 academic year in Florence along with 14 other fellows from around the world. I Tatti offers Fellows the precious time they need to pursue their studies with a minimum of obligations and interruptions together with a maximum of scholarly resources. While at I Tatti, Emily plans to complete the bulk of the research for a project examining Jewish conversion to Catholicism in the late sixteenth century. Her research will use sermons, diaries, treatises, and other sources available in Florence and Rome to examine why Jewish conversion was especially meaningful in Rome in this period, as the city became a centre of a re-invented Catholicism. 

Honours Pre-Advising

Honours Pre-advising for students who want to take Honours modules in the School of History in 2013-14 will take place between Wednesday 10 April and Thursday 18 April 2013 (4.30 pm). For more information, please visit the dedicated Pre-Advising website.

Prospective Honours students are strongly encouraged to attend the Information meetings that will take place on Wednesday 10 April 2013 (Week 9) in School II:

  • Prospective Junior Honours - 1 pm
  • Prospective Senior Honours - 2 pm

If you have any questions that are not covered in the Pre-Advising website, you can contact the History Honours Adviser, Dr Kostas Zafeiris (

Justine Firnhaber-Baker wins AHRC early career fellowship

Dr Justine Firnhaber-Baker has won an early career AHRC fellowship to fund work over the next two years on a project entitled ‘The Jacquerie and Late Mediaeval Revolts’. The fellowship will allow her to spend most of the next two years doing research for and writing a monograph on a peasants’ revolt known as the Jacquerie that took place in northern France in 1358. She will carry out much of the research for that book in the national and regional archives of France and in the Bibliothèque nationale. The fellowship also provides funding to hold two conferences on the phenomenon of late medieval revolt and popular protest at St Andrews in 2014 and 2015. (An initial conference on this topic is being held next week, 19-20 April, with the support of the School of History and the St Andrews Institute for Mediaeval Studies.)

British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship

Dr Bridget Heal has been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for her project on 'Lutheran Visual Culture during the Age of the Renaissance and Baroque.' The project asks how and why German Lutheranism – a confession that of course derived its significance from the promulgation of the Word – came to value images so highly. The research covers the period from the mid-sixteenth century, an era of intense doctrinal debate following Luther’s death, to the mid-eighteenth century. By then the role of images in Lutheran religious culture had been affirmed by the construction of splendid monuments such as Dresden’s Frauenkirche. The project seeks to illuminate the ways in which religious identity was constituted and expressed during the early modern period, and to draw attention to the blending and cross-fertilization of religious traditions that the study of religious leaders and institutions tends to obscure.

Dr Michael Brown on NewsTalk Ireland's Talking History

On Sunday 3 March Dr Michael Brown appeared on the Irish radio programme 'Talking History' on NewsTalk FM, discussing Edward Bruce, High King of Ireland and brother of Robert the Bruce, king of Scots. The podcast of the radio programme can be found here:

Power and Institutions in Medieval Islam and Christendom
An integrated training network in research and diffusion for comparative history
Announcing 2 three-year Fellowships to undertake PhDs at St Andrews

Two three-year Fellowships are available to undertake doctorates in the comparative history of power and institutions in the Middle Ages. Each Fellow will receive an annual living allowance of 38,000 Euros/year (base rate) and a mobility allowance of 700-1000 Euros/month (base rate). One PhD will be in the field of Writing and Memory in Institutions in Western Christendom and Byzantium; the other of Creation and Transmission of Law.

In accordance with the criteria set out by Marie Curie Innovative Doctoral Programme, the researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, study, etc) in the host country for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to taking up a fellowship. Also, in accordance with the criteria the researcher at the time of recruitment must not yet have been awarded the doctorate degree and must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research career.  Normally applicants will be completing or have recently completed a taught postgraduate degree in the field.

Each Fellow will be a participant in PIMIC, a project combining academic research on medieval institutions with training in the wider dissemination of research-based knowledge, based on a formal network established between universities and private sector companies and funded by the European Union.
For further details on making an application for the Fellowships and for a document on Frequent Asked Questions, please visit the web page of the project:  

Note that applications must be made by 24 March 2013.

Fellowship applicants must also apply to St Andrews for admission to a PhD

Lectureship in Iranian History

The School of History is seeking to appoint a Temporary Lecturer in Iranian History to cover research leave during this period (1 September 2013 to 31 December 2016).

The successful candidate will be required to contribute to the teaching of the sub-honours module MH2002 (Introduction to Middle Eastern History) and to teach honours courses, including ME3613 (The Formation of Islamic Iran, c. 600-1200) and MO3080 (Nomadic Heritage and Persianate Culture: The Iranian world from the Timurids to the Safavids), in addition to contributing to the teaching of the MLitt courses in Iranian and Middle Eastern History.

For further information please visit our vacancies page and our School blog.

Prof. Ali Ansari to open Edinburgh Iranian Festival 2013

On 1 February Prof. Ali Ansari will deliver a lecture during the Opening Ceremony of the Edinburgh Iranian Festival. Prof. Ansari’s lecture ‘Shahnameh and Modern Iran’ honours the Shahnameh by the great Persian poet Ferdowsi, celebrating over a millennium since he wrote his poetic account of the history of Iran. For further details please visit the Festival website: and the School of History blog:

4-year AHRC Grant for Research on Philosophical Transactions

Dr Aileen Fyfe has been awarded a £790,000 research grant from the Arts & Humanities Research Council for a four-year project telling the story of the world’s oldest surviving scientific journal. Philosophical Transactions has been published by the Royal Society in London since 1665, and will be celebrating its 350th anniversary in 2015. The funding will support two postdoctoral researchers, who will use the unrivalled resources of the Royal Society’s archives to investigate issues – such as the origins of peer review, and the relationship between profitability and the publication of scholarly knowledge – that are at the heart of the knowledge-based economy. For more information, please visit:

ISHR Visiting Research Fellowship in Scottish History 2013-14 Call for Applications

The Institute of Scottish Historical Research at the University of St Andrews invites applications for the ISHR Visiting Research Fellowship in Scottish Historical Studies, to be taken up during either semester of the academic year 2013-14. The Fellowship is open to any academic in a permanent university post with research interests in any aspect of Scottish history in any period. It covers the cost of return travel to St Andrews from the holder’s normal place of work, together with a substantial subsidy towards accommodation while the holder is resident in St Andrews.  For further information on the fellowship and how to apply please go to:

Twelve Ph.D. scholarships available in the School of History for 2013-14 entrants

The School of History is pleased to announce that it has around twelve Ph.D. studentships available for 2013-14 entrants including AHRC studentships, 600th anniversary Ph.D. scholarships, and School of History Scholarships. Notifications of interest and applications close in early 2013. For more information on these please visit:

In addition to this, the Scotland & the Flemish People project is offering a scholarship for an entrant in 2013-14. For more information visit:

Ph.D. Scholarship on Scotland & the Flemish People Project: Apply Now

The Institute of Scottish Historical Research is now accepting applications for a Ph.D. scholarship on the Scotland & the Flemish People project. Further information on the scholarship, the project, the ISHR and other funding opportunities can be found here


Prof. Steve Murdoch awarded The Olof Palme Professorship at the University of Stockholm for 2013

In 2013 the annual Olof Palme professor will be Steve Murdoch, a Professor of History at the School of History, University of St Andrews in Scotland. In Sweden he will be based at the Centre for Maritime Studies within the History Department of Stockholm University. Prof. Murdoch will hold this visiting professorship in AY 2013-14.

Professor Murdoch's research has recently focused on maritime relations and peace-building through international legislation and the development of maritime law. He is a highly respected historian and an international authority in his field of research.

The Olof Palme Professorship was established in 1987 by the Swedish Parliament in memory of Sweden's former Prime Minister Olof Palme. It is awarded by Vetenskapsrådet - The Swedish Research Council. Holders of the Professorship should be an internationally prominent research scientist with a specialty in areas of importance for peace in the wider sense – areas where Olof Palme had a life-long commitment. Research may include International Affairs, Peace and Conflict Research and comparison of social institutions.

Professor Leos Müller of Stockholm University (who nominated Professor Murdoch) commented “This is a highly prestigious award and one normally reserved for political scientists. We are surprised and delighted it has gone to a historian on this occasion.”

Fifth Annual St Andrews Book Conference 20-22 June 2013 – Call for Papers

Submissions of proposals for the Fifth Annual St Andrews Book Conference are now being accepted. The conference will take place in St Andrews (UK) between 20 and 22 June 2013 and will be devoted to the topic of International Exchange in the European Book World.

The history of the Book has been built on the solid foundation of national, local and individual studies of printers, publishers and publishing networks. Though this makes good sense from a practical and logistical point of view, it risks obscuring the essential fact that the production and sale of books was, from the beginnings of print, a trans-national and international trade. Books and texts moved effortlessly across national boundaries. The building of a library, and the economics of the industry, depended on the efficient functioning of an international market, and publishers planned their output with this in mind.

This conference invites contributions on every aspect of this international and multi-lingual book world. Authors whose books found an international audience, cross-border scholarly collaboration and exchange, books that travelled, the new vogue for multilingual publication and translation, publishers and wholesalers who build their business around international markets will all be considered; as will the sinews of this trade, transactions, book fairs and accounting practice.

Interested scholars are invited to submit papers for consideration on any aspect of international exchange in the early modern book world. A title and one paragraph synopsis should be sent to the organisers at Papers should be given in English. This conference is the latest in the sequence hosted by the St Andrews Book project group; a volume based on papers given at this conference will be published in the Library of the Written Word with Brill.

The deadline for the submission of paper proposals is 1 February 2013.

Prof Roger Mason

Professor Roger Mason debates the Declaration of Arbroath

Prof. Roger Mason has stirred controversy by writing a Scotsman article [click here for the article] that questions the iconic status of the Declaration of Arbroath of 1320. He argues that there has been an uncritical acceptance of the view that the Declaration’s precocious statement of popular sovereignty moulded Scottish views of democratic politics from that day to this – and even, along the way, provided a model for the America’s founding fathers in framing their Declaration of Independence. ‘Fetishising the Declaration,’ says Mason, ‘has led to a patriotic suspension of historical judgement.’ In fact, the influence of the Declaration was distinctly limited in Scotland – it is barely even mentioned for 350 years after its composition – and there is no evidence of its impact on colonial America. ‘Its iconic status’, Mason concludes, ‘is very much a late 20th century phenomenon.’

Professor Mason will be debating the issue with Professor Ted Cowan at a seminar at the University of Glasgow on Tuesday 25 September at 5.30pm. For details, click here.

Marie Curie ITN

John Hudson is one of the recipients of a grant of 3.3 million Euros for a ‘Marie Curie Initial Training Network’, on ‘Power and Institutions in Medieval Islam and Christendom.’  The project combines academic research with training in wider dissemination, based on collaboration between universities and private sector companies. It provides funding for 11 PhDs at various universities in Europe and Israel, and two postdoctoral positions, one based at a Dutch publisher (Brill), one at a Spanish TV/film company (Lopez Li). During their studies, the PhD students all have secondments to the publisher and the film company, the post-docs come to the Universities to run sessions on print and media diffusion of research.  Further training workshops are provided, for example one on podcasting delivered in conjunction with BBC employees, as well as a larger-scale ‘Media School for Historians’.  The project concludes with a conference on ‘Consequences in the Contemporary World.’

The programme is run by Network co-ordinator - Ana Rodriguez (CSIC, Madrid); a Research Lead – John Hudson; and two Training Leads – Caroline Humfress (Birkbeck, London) and Emanuele Conte (Universitá Roma Tre). 

Two PhD studentships at St Andrews will be advertised in the coming academic year.

Archaeology Award for SCAPE

SCAPE (Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion), which operates within the Institute for Environmental History, School of History, has won Current Archaeology’s Rescue Dig of the Year award. Led by Tom Dawson and Joanna Hambly, SCAPE’s entry, ‘Sea of Troubles – Scotland’s Eroding Heritage’, received over 50% of the entire vote in the category. This is especially impressive because SCAPE was up against some of the largest archaeological organisations in Britain (including Museum of London Archaeology; and Framework Archaeology, which brings together a combined total of 300 staff from Wessex Archaeology and Oxford Archaeology).

The Current Archaeology awards were presented by Julian Richards (BBC TV presenter of Meet the Ancestors and Blood of the Vikings). Tom Dawson collected the Rescue Dig award at a ceremony held in the Senate House, University of London: Tom received the award together with Tony Wilmott (Archaeologist of the Year), and Joe Flatman (Book of the Year).

This achievement adds to an impressive list of awards, honours, and grants that SCAPE has received over the past decade; and it confirms the position of SCAPE at the forefront of work on coastal archaeology. Tom Dawson and Joanna Hambly have worked tirelessly with local communities and national organizations to ensure that significant coastal sites are recorded before being lost to the sea forever.

Modern History Graduate Secures Job In Antarctica

Florence Barrow, who graduated with an MA (Hons) in Modern History in June 2012, will be taking up a post in Port Lockroy, a former British research station on the Antarctic Peninsula. Port Lockroy has been restored to its former 1960s appearance and is a living museum. Ms Barrow will run the property on behalf of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. Ms Barrow told the BBC that family connections with the continent and the centenary year of Scott’s expedition to the South Pole will make the experience ‘even more special’. For the BBC news report, please click here.

Professor Houston elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Professor Robert Houston has been elected as a Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). The Fellowship of the Society covers science, arts, humanities, the professions, industry and commerce. Fellows are elected following a rigorous examination of their achievement in the relevant field. In pursuit of its aim of the advancement of useful knowledge, as well as in accordance with its Royal Charter and charitable status, the RSE provides: independent advice to Government and Parliament; research and enterprise Fellowships; education programmes for young people; and conferences and events aimed at both public engagement and specialists. View Press Release

Professor Bartlett elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America

Professor Rob Bartlett has been elected a Corresponding Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. This prestigious fellowship is limited to 75 members who complement the 125 Fellows resident in North America. For more information on the Academy, its organisation and fellows please see


Dr Jacqueline Rose


Many congratulations to Jacqueline Rose who has just won the Royal Historical Society's highly prestigious Whitfield Prize for 2011, awarded for the best 'first book' of the year on British History.  The judges said: Godly Kingship is an outstanding book. It is based on deeply impressive research, which establishes the different lines of argument in what are often difficult theological, ecclesiastical, legal and political tracts. Time and again, her readings are rich and sensitive. It has a long (and appropriate) chronological span, and it offers new interpretations of central historical problems. As well as the main argument about the large implications of the royal supremacy and its flexible and disputed qualities, it has numerous particular interpretations that will variously engage historians of the Reformation, the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods, the Interregnum, the Restoration and 1688, and historians of religion, the churches, politics, ideas and the law. It offers the most compelling account yet of the 'long Reformation'. This is a book which is already influencing historical discussions. More importantly, it has the breadth, assurance and insight to ensure that it will be a book of substantial and enduring significance.

Congratulations also to two of our mediaeval PhD students, Roberta Cimino and Jamie Page, both of whom have won Scouloudi Research Fellowships at the Institute of Historical Research.

Professor Andrew Pettegree elected as a Vice President of the Royal Historical Society.

The Society, founded in 1868, is the foremost professional society in Great Britain representing historians, and it play an important role promoting and defending the scholarly study of the past. The membership of nearly 3,000 Fellows and members draws together individuals from across the world, engaged professionally in researching and presenting public history, whether in archives, libraries, museums or the heritage industry.

The Society aims to maintain professional standards within the discipline, and to represent the views of its membership to government bodies and to the public at large.  The society is also an important historical publisher.

Professor Pettegree has previously served as an officer of the Society, when, as Literary Director, he took charge of the Society’s programme of publishing historical documents, the Camden Society.  In 2012 he will chair the panel of judges for the Gladstone Prize, which honours the best first book published in Britain on any topic that is not primarily British history.

Professor Steve Murdoch's latest publication included in Choice Magazine's 2012 Outstanding Academic Titles List

Professor Steve Murdoch's book, The terror of the seas?: Scottish maritime warfare 1513-1713, has been included in the Choice Magazine 2012 Outstanding Academic Titles List. This year’s list includes 629 books and electronic resources chosen by the Choice editorial staff from among the 7,263 titles reviewed by the magazine during the past year. Of these, 600 are print products; the remaining 29 are electronic. These outstanding works have been selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important—often the first—treatment of their subject.

"This excellent study is a model of how maritime and naval history ought to be written, from the sources of all the relevant countries, without any anachronistic assumptions of how naval warfare ought to be fought. It is important not only for Scottish history but for the maritime history of all northern Europe, to which the Scottish contribution can no longer be neglected.!
N.A.M. Roger
International Journal of Maritime History, XXIII, no.1, June 2011

Public Lecture to challenge Scottish piracy myths — University of the Highlands and Islands

USTC project wins further £1 million grant

The Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC) project group has won a further research grant worth £983,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. This will allow the project group to continue its work charting the publication history of the first centuries of print.

Welcoming the new grant, project director Professor Andrew Pettegree commented: ‘We are tremendously encouraged to have this new expression of confidence from the academic community for the work being done here in St Andrews. It is particularly gratifying to have this news just before the USTC is launched on-line for the first time.’

The project, which will continue under the joint direction of Professor Pettegree and Dr Malcolm Walsby, will allow for the appointment of three postdoctoral fellows and two doctoral studentships. The grant, which will extend the work of the project from 2012 to 2016, will provide for the USTC to continue its coverage into the seventeenth century, doubling the size of the database to around 700,000 editions. By extending the survey from 1600 to 1650, it will offer a full view of the first two centuries of print, a period in which print finally came of age as a mature and independent means of communication and information exchange. The early 17th century was a particularly dramatic time of explosive growth for print in northern Europe and the project will reflect this in increasing attention to pamphlets, broadsheets and the first newspapers.


  • Dr Tomasz Kamusella:  On November 23, 2011, following the successful viva (defence) of his Habilitationsschrift (The Politics of Language and Nationalism in Modern Central Europe, Palgrave 2009) and his other post-PhD academic research and output at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS,, Warsaw, Poland.  Dr Tomasz Kamusella received the academic degree of ‘doktor habilitowany‘ (Habilitation or Habilitated PhD) in Cultural Studies, as conferred by the SWPS’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities.  In the Polish academic nomenclature, it entitles him to the title of “dr hab” in front of his name.’

  • Dr Aileen Fyfe is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

  • Our Honorary Professor Bill Miller's new book gets extensive coverage in Maclean's magazine

  • Former PhD student Kathrin Zickerman has secured a full time post at the Centre of History, University of the Highland and Islands (UHI) .

400 Astrophysicists . . . and one historian

On 24 October, Professor Gerard DeGroot gave the keynote address at the biennial conference of the Council of European Aerospace Societies.  The week-long conference, held at the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice, was attended by around 350 aerospace professionals from throughout Europe.  DeGroot's talk, entitled "Science vs Politics: Key Decisions in the Space Race, 1955-62" was designed to "use the past to inform the present", namely by showing industry professionals how the emphasis upon competition and political prestige in the early years of the American space program has continued to shape perceptions of what can and should be done in space.  

Previously… Scotland's History Festival

Dr Katie Stevenson will participate in 'Previously… Scotland's History Festival', which launched on 17 December 2011. Dr Stevenson will be speaking about the medieval Scottish royal court during the sold-out performance of Dunbar and Kennedy's 'Flyting', to be performed by Scottish comedians Stuart Murphy and Garry Dobson. More details on the performance can be found here:

More information about Scotland's History Festival can be found here The Festival closes on 30 November.

Dr Barbara Crawford awarded an OBE

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year Barbara Crawford, a retired Senior Lecturer in the School of History, was awarded an OBE. Barbara Crawford is Honorary Reader in History at the University of St. Andrews having spent over thirty years as a teacher in the Department of Mediaeval History. Since taking early retirement in 2001 she has continued to pursue her researches into the history and archaeology of the Scandinavian settlements in Scotland, and contacts across the North Sea in the Middle Ages. Dr. Crawford is a Member of the Norwegian Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was a Commissioner of the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland from 1991-2001, chaired The Treasure Trove Advisory Panel for Scotland from 1993-2001, and is currently President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. As Honorary Director of the Strathmartine Centre for Scottish History (an independent charitable trust established by the late Dr. Ronald Cant before his death in 1999, for supporting research and education in Scottish History) she has been instrumental in encouraging  many different Scottish history research projects. Her book on the “The Northern Earldoms. Orkney and Caithness from 870-1470AD. Joint Earldoms and Divided Loyalties”, which reverts back to the subject of her original doctoral thesis, is currently nearing completion.

Dr Frank MullerAHRC Grant to Fund Research into 19th-Century European Monarchies

Dr Frank Lorenz Müller has been awarded a research grant by the AHRC to lead a five-year project exploring the roles played by heirs to the throne in the constitutional monarchies of 19th-century Europe.

The grant will provide funding for a postdoctoral researcher, two fully –funded PhD studentships and two international conferences.

Please click here for further information

Dr James Palmer

AHRC Early Career Fellowship

Dr James Palmer has been awarded an AHRC Early Career Fellowship for the next academic year. He will be working on his second book, Apocalyptic Traditions, Power and Society 400-1100, which will examine the relationship between beliefs about the end of time and social and political action, from the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West, to the First Crusade.

School Book Prizes

Congratulations to all students who have been awarded book prizes by the School of History for distinction level performance at subhonours in 2010-11.

Students who have received an award email can now select their prize by clicking here.

St Andrews PhD students have won two of the three annual Postdoctoral Fellowships
offered by the Society for Renaissance Studies

Alessia Meneghin, will be working on a new project, Shaping affordable fashion: Florentine mercers in the fifteenth century, which will expand on current knowledge of an occupational group that determined the access of urban workers to low-cost fashion in late medieval Tuscany. The project is based on a comparative study of the activity of four mercers in Florence between 1415 and 1479 whose surviving books make it possible to establish the number, volume and nature of transactions, the goods sold, the suppliers and their business turnover. This will allow both quantitative and qualitative analysis of issues such as the relationship between the mercers’ specializations and the demand of their clientele, the connection between that same clientele’s economic choices and their social identities, and how the choices and preferences for certain types of accessories reflect the dynamics of changes in fashion.

Stefan Visnjevac, will be working on a project entitled Speaking in Public in Late Medieval Italy – The Thought and Preaching of Leonardo Mattei da Udine (1399-1469). The aim is to produce an extensive study of the life and works of the Dominican preacher Leonardo Mattei da Udine (1399-1469) who was held in high regard during his own lifetime, but is now virtually forgotten. His diverse oral and literary output on subjects from philosophy to fashions, from speeches at the Council of Florence to sermons delivered in Florence and Udine, hold great potential for a better understanding of fifteenth-century culture, intellectual thought, and the developing processes of the transmission of ideas. An investigation of Mattei’s extensive activity in Friuli - as preacher, prior, Udine’s advisor on theological concerns, prolific book trader, and promoter of local devotional cults – will seek, moreover, to add significantly to the historical scholarship of this least-studied region of Italy.

Details of the Society for Renaissance Studies and the postdoctoral fellowships can be found on

Postdoctoral Research

Fernando Arias Guillén was awarded his doctorate from the University of Castilla-La Mancha in December 2010, for a thesis on royal power in the kingdom of Castile in the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. He was supervised by Dr Ana Rodriguez.  He has been involved in the continuing collaborations between mediaevalists at St Andrews and at the CSIC in Madrid, and also spent some months in St Andrews during his doctorate.  He is now undertaking postdoctoral research funded by a Spanish government scholarship, with the intention of writing a book comparing the development of royal power in France, Castile and England in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.  Chris Given-Wilson is acting as his mentor during his post-doctoral time in St Andrews.


Honours Pre-Advising 2011-12

Pre-advising information is now available online for all students entering Junior Honours courses or returning students entering Senior Honours in the School of History during the 2011-12 academic year. The website contains information on the application process and the degree programmes, including requirements for entrance to Honours and up-to-date details of all available course modules in Junior and Senior Honours.

Visit the Pre-advising website.

Imperial Sites of Memory (2 & 3 September 2011)

In co-operation with the University of Bonn, the St Andrews Centre for Transnational History is hosting a two-day international conference exploring the memory generated by the activities of imperial states in the 18th and 19th centuries and its subsequent developments. Please click HERE for further details.

Thinking about Postgraduate Study?

With over 50 members of staff, a large graduate community and extensive specialist library resources the School of History provides an ideal environment for postgraduate study.

For information on taught postgraduate programmes (graduate diploma, MLitt, MPhil) click here.

For information on funding for taught programmes and PhDs click here

Scholarships for intensive language tuition

Additional key benefits of studying as a postgraduate student at St Andrews:

  • Research funds – individual allowances and discretionary awards
  • Office space
  • Opportunities for teaching

CRSCEES 20th Annual Conference

The Class of 2011: Secondary School Education in Post-Soviet Russia (19 March 2011) - Conference programme

Bonarjee Postgraduate Essay Prize 2010 - Winners Announced

The School of History is delighted to report that the 2010 joint-winners of the Bonarjee Postgraduate Essay Prize are Helen Bury (supervised by Prof. Jerry De Groot) and Daniel Thomas (supervised by Dr Guy Rowlands). Helen Bury's essay is entitled "'There is a Change of Heart in Russia": Eisenhower, Churchill and the Long Road to the Geneva Summit'; Daniel Thomas's essay is called 'Commander-in-Chief or Anachronistic Throwback? The Constable of France, 1593-1626'. Many congratulations to both Helen and Daniel.

Dr Michael Brown on BBC Radio 4 'In Our Time' with Melvin Bragg

Michael Brown will be joining the panel of experts on BBC Radio 4's 'In Our Time' on Thursday 3 February to discuss the Battle of Bannockburn (1314) with Melvin Bragg. Details on the programme and how to listen to it can be found here: The programme can be heard live at 9am and then again at 9:30pm, after which it will be on iplayer for a limited time.

Lecture by the William & Mary Visiting Fellow in Modern History

Professor Cindy Hahamovitch (The College of William & Mary):

Temporary Workers of the World: Guestworker Programs and the Making of Nationless Workers

New Seminar Room, St John's House, South Street
5.15 pm., Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Refreshments will be served.

St Andrews ranked 20th in the world for Arts & Humanities

Arts & Humanities at the University of St Andrews has been ranked 20th in the
Times Higher World University Rankings. For full details on all the Times
Higher World Rankings go to their website:

Honours Pre-advising 2010-11

Pre-advising information is now available online for all students entering Junior Honours courses or returning students entering Senior Honours in the School of History during the 2010-11 academic year. The website contains information on the application process and the degree programmes, including  requirements for entrance to Honours and up-to-date details of all available course modules in Junior and Senior Honours.

Visit the Pre-advising website.

Forthcoming Conferences

The School of History will be hosting a number of conferences and workshops in 2010 including the biennial meeting of the Reformation Studies Colloquiumn, the Shahnameh and Persianate Identity conference hosted by the Institute for Iranian Studies and a Transnational Media workshop hosted by the Centre for Transnational History. Further details of all the conferences hosted by the School can be found by visiting the Forthcoming Conferences page.

Forthcoming Conferences

School of History ranked amongst the top in the UK for research and teaching

In recent league tables published by the Guardian and Times newspapers the School of History at St Andrews has achieved substantial recognition for its research quality and for the student experience it provides.

In The Guardian University Guide 2010 St Andrews was ranked 5th in the UK for History and History of Art.

In The Times Good University Guide 2010 St Andrews was ranked 9th in the UK and 1st in Scotland for History.

AHRC Block Grant Awards

The School of History has been successful in its bid to secure one of the prestigious AHRC Block Grant Awards for Doctoral Scholarships. The award means that the School of History has secured 17 AHRC Doctoral Studentships over the next five years. The successful bid reflects considerable external confidence in the School, its academic standards, resources, and the quality of the training offered. Using this award as a platform, the School will continue to build on its reputation as one of Scotland's premier Postgraduate communities.

For more information on applying for one of these awards, please follow the link to the AHRC postgraduate funding page.

William & Mary Visiting Fellow in Modern History 2011 Announced

Professor Hahamovitch and the Wren Building, College of William & Mary


The School of History is delighted to announce that Professor Cindy Hahamovitch has been selected to be the first “William & Mary Visiting Fellow.” Prof. Hahamovitch will take up her fellowship in March 2011. She is a historian of 19th- and 20th-century America with particular research interests in labour history and the history of migration.

The School of History at St Andrews and the Lyon G. Tyler Department of History at the College of William & Mary are part of the new Joint International Degree Programme that will allow students to study on both sides of the Atlantic and gain a dual degree awarded by both institutions.

Building on this exciting new initiative, a mutual programme of visiting fellowships for historians has been set up to encourage collaborative research projects and further enhance the links between our two universities.

New York Times 100 notable books of the year

Andrew Pettegree’s The Book in the Renaissance was today announced as one of the New York Times’s 100 notable books of the year 2010.

This prestigious annual list comprised 50 works of fiction and 50 non-fiction titles, and Pettegree’s work is one of only a handful of historical titles to make the list.

The Book in the Renaissance offers a revisionist history of book culture in the first 150 years after the invention of print.  As with the modern media transformation of the digital age, bold predictions of what the new technology of print would bring to the conservative book culture of the manuscript age proved wide of the mark.

Access the full New York Times list here:

The original New York Times Review, by former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, can be accessed here:

Dr Emma Hart lectures in US

Following the recent publication of her book, Building Charleston: Town and Society in the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World, Dr Emma Hart was invited to give two talks in the city.  As part of the College of Charleston's Historic Preservation lecture series Hart delivered the Marlene & Nathan Addlestone Lecture, talking to students, academics, and members of the public about how the building of the city helped to make South Carolina one of the wealthiest colonies in Britain's American Empire.  She also spoke to Charleston residents about the early history of their city during a lecture and book-signing at the Historic Charleston Foundation, the organization that oversees the preservation of this historic colonial townscape.

Alex Woolf interviewed by BBC Radio 3

Alex Woolf, Director of the St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, was recently interviewed by historian Bettany Hughes for BBC Radio 3's program 'The Birth of the Britons'. The program explored the dislocation in Britain at the end of Roman Rule. The full program can be heard on the BBC iplayer website until Sunday November 7th.

Undergraduate Success

Many congratulations to Marissa Smit, a Junior Honours Mediaeval History student. Not only did Marissa secure one of the twenty studentships available through the Undergraduate Research Internship Program 2010; she was also one of the two runners up at the recent Awards evening. To see Marissa's poster illustrating her research into the figure of St George and the patronage of Holy War in the Mediaeval Mediterranean, please click here

Dr Katie Stevenson presents the BBC Radio 3 Essay

Dr Katie Stevenson

Dr Katie Stevenson is one of a team of scholars who wrote and presented the BBC Radio 3 Essay series on the Stewarts, broadcast in early October 2010. 'The Essay' is an evening programme designed to debate and explore arts and cultural subjects. Dr Stevenson presented an essay on James IV of Scotland and his political and cultural manipulation of chivalry and Arthurian tradition. To listen to the broadcast on the BBC iplayer please go to: or listen to it by clicking here

Prof. Andrew Pettegree podcasts on the Book in the Renaissance

The process of technological change is at the heart of the story told in Andrew Pettegree’s The Book in the Renaissance.  In a podcast for the series Beyond the Book, Andrew Pettegree discusses with Christopher Kenneally the uncertain future that faced the new technology after Gutenberg unveiled his new invention.

The difficulties that faced the first printers in creating a commercial model for the new printed books inevitably invite comparison with modern technological change.  Pettegree explores these issues in interviews with the Boston Globe and The Atlantic.  With print, as with the present digital revolution, technological fascination helped energise the first wave of innovation: but it proved far harder to develop a commercial model to exploit the new media, and many went bankrupt in the process.

The Book in the Renaissance is published by Yale University Press.

Prof. Pettegree spoke to Beyond the Book's Chris Kenneally about his latest work published by Yale University Press, the Book in the Renaissance.

Hear the podcast here:
(the transcript is available at

Read the Boston Globe interview here
Read the Atlantic interview here
New York Times Review

Bonarjee Postgraduate Essay Prize

All postgraduate students in the School of History at the University of St Andrews are encouraged and invited to compete for the Bonarjee Postgraduate Essay Prize. This competition is designed to encourage students to produce an essay of the form and quality appropriate for publication in a learned journal. Entrants are encouraged to draw upon their current research.

Prize £500, deadline 10 December 2010.

In keeping with the terms of the bequest for this prize, candidates must address a subject for any period post 1450.

For further details see here

Preparatory Reading for Sub-Honours Modules

For a list of suggested summer reading for Sub-honours modules - please click here

School Book Prizes

Congratulations to all students who have been awarded book prizes by the School of History for distinction level performance at subhonours in 2009-10.

Students who have received an award email can now select their prize by clicking here.

Researchers’ Night 2010: Scotland and the Wider World, 24 September 2010

On 24 September the School of History of the University of St Andrews will host Scotland’s first ever Researchers’ Night (3pm-11pm). A Researchers’ Night is a European Commission-funded event held simultaneously in different academic institutions throughout the EU. It aims to celebrate research activities, stimulate interest in research among a wide non-academic audience and encourage the consideration of research as a profession. In St Andrews Researchers’ Night 2010 will showcase the numerous and diverse research topics examined by historians. There will be a wide range of exciting and informative events from 3pm onwards which will include public lectures by leading scholars, children’s activities and guided tours at the Museum of the University of St. Andrews (MUSA), dramatised readings, exhibitions, a wine reception and live music in the historic Parliament Hall of St. Andrews. A special emphasis will be placed on Professor Steve Murdoch’s research project ‘Scotland and the Wider World’ who, with his project team, will offer demonstrations and trial sessions of the ‘Scotland, Scandinavia and Northern Europe, 1580-1707’ – Database, a compendium of biographical information of more than 7000 Scottish men and women which can also be used as a genealogical tool.

All activities and events are free of charge, but some require booking.  For those who cannot make it to St Andrews on the day there will be podcasts and live-streamed lectures available online. For further information see or contact Dr Kathrin Zickermann (0131 4611122, or Dr Sumi David (01334 463302, 

Postdoc Success for Scottish History Students at the IHR

Two students from the Scotland and the Wider World Project at the University of St Andrews have been awarded postdoctoral fellowships at the IHR for AY2010/11.

From October 2010, *Dr Kathrin Zickermann* will be the *Alan Pearsall Fellow in Naval and Maritime History at the Institute of Historical Research*. The title of her project is: 'Across the German Sea': The Commercial Activities and Transnational Networks of Scottish Merchant Families in the Early Modern Period.

From October 2010, *Siobhan Talbott* will be the *Economic HistorySociety Tawney Fellow 2010-11, at the Institute of Historical Research*. The title of the project is: "'Every Man Lives by Exchanging': The British Commercial Dynamic on the French Atlantic Coast, c.1603-1707".

For more on the Scotland and the Wider World Project visit:

Summer School - Scotland in Europe

The History Department is running a summer school again this year, entitled /Scotland in Europe/. It offers overseas students the opportunity to study Scottish history over the course of five weeks, charting historical developments from the Middle Ages to the present day. Members of staff, postgraduates, and a small number of external speakers are all contributing toward the programme, which will run from Monday 5th July until Friday 6th August 2010.

Visiting Professorship for Frances Andrews

Professor Frances Andrews has been invited to spend January to June 2011 as a visiting professor at the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Villa i Tatti, Florence. While there she will be completing her book on Religion and Public Life in Late Medieval Italy.

Dr Stephen Tyre wins Teaching Award

The School of History is delighted to announce that Dr Stephen Tyre has been chosen as one of the winners of the inaugural 'St Andrews Students' Association Teaching Awards.' Dr Tyre won the award in the category 'Outstanding Teaching at Honours Level.' He was commended in particular for the enthusiasm and love of history that he instils in his students and for the support that he gives them in developing their intellectual potential.

St Andrews library accessions major new digital resources

St Andrews library has subscribed to two major new digital collections to support advanced work in Reformation and Early Modern History.

The TEMPO database is a large collection of 16th and 17th century pamphlets published by Brill.  It offers complete accessed to some of the greatest surviving collections of early German and Dutch pamphlets: the Knuttel collection in the Royal Library in The Hague, the Van Alphen collection of Groningen library, and the Tübingen pamphlet project.  These new accessions complement major collections of French, Swiss and German materials already available in St Andrews. 

St Andrews Early Modernists have also welcomed the decision to subscribe to the digital version of the English 16th- and 17th-century State Papers.  An ongoing venture of Gale / Centage, this will make available to scholars working in the field a vast amount of primary source material in a convenient digital format. It includes images of most of the manuscript records produced by central government in the Tudor period, and now preserved in The National Archives at Kew and the British Library.

Dr Guy Rowlands awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the British Academy

Dr Rowlands has been elected to one of seven Senior Research Fellowships by the British Academy for the academic year 2010-11. He will spend the Fellowship completing the manuscript for a book with O.U.P. on "The Military-Industrial Complex of Louis XIV's France". In the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14) Louis XIV's war efforts were so burdensome that an early “military-industrial complex” of financiers and contractors emerged to distort the state's priorities, as military out-sourcing slipped the government's control. By examining France’s bankers, army financiers, arms industries and artillery service, this project explains how military effectiveness was slowly undermined to the point of collapse, and it will also suggest how the French monarchy started the long journey to political isolation that culminated in the Revolution of 1789.

Dr David Allan Receives 2010 Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award

A Nation of Readers: The Lending Library in Georgian England (London: British Library, 2008) has been awarded the 2010 Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award by the Gleason Book Award Committee of the American Library Association Library History Round Table. Presented every third year, the Gleason Award recognizes the best book written in English in the field of library history. An in-depth analysis of the mechanics of reading in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century England, A Nation of Readers draws upon a wide array of evidentiary sources to explore the book clubs, subscription and circulating libraries, and other book-lending entities that preceded the public library.

Dr Chandrika Kaul interviewed by Melvin Bragg on BBC Radio 4

Dr Chandrika Kaul, lecturer in British imperialism and print culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, was recently a guest on Melvin Bragg's In Our Time on BBC Radio 4. As in her past contributions to the same programme, Dr Kaul provided her expert perspective on Indian and British imperial history. In this instance, she discussed the Indian Mutiny of 1857 and the rebellion that  followed. Details can be found found on BBC Radio 4's designated page for Dr Kaul, which also provides a facility to hear this and her past contributions (please note that you may not be able to listen to the programme if you are accessing it from outside the UK): 

Dr Struck to deliver a keynote speech

Bernhard Struck

On 11th June 2010 Dr Struck will speak on the opening panel of the Summer School of the Flying University of Transnational Humanities, organized by the Research Institute of Comparative History and Culture, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea. Dr Struck’s paper is entitled ‘Fractured Unity. The making and unmaking of borders and their transnational dynamics in modern Europe’. For further details see

Professor Heinrich August Winkler to give Public Lecture at St Andrews

One of Germany's most distinguished historians will come to St Andrews to deliver a lecture addressing key aspects of his recent magisterial "History of the West." The title of Professor Heinrich August Winkler's lecture is "Still a Community of Values? Historical Reflections on the Normative Basis of the West." There will be an opportunity for questions after the lecture. The event, generously supported by the German Consulate-General in Edinburgh and Lufthansa, is open to the public, and the School of History extends a warm welcome to anyone interested.

When? - 6.00 p.m., on Monday, 26 April 2010
Where? - School 3, St Salvator's Quadrangle

For further information, please contact Frank Lorenz Müller on

Shahnameh and Persianate identity conference 9th - 11th April 2010

The Institute for Iranian Studies and the Iran heritage Foundation will be holding a conference focusing on the Shahnameh and the development of Persianate identity in historical perspective. A millennium after his death, the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi remains the single most important literary source of the construction and definition of Persianate identity. Ferdowsi’s magisterial achievement in collating and versifying the history and myths of the Iranian peoples ensured not only the preservation of a canon of shared historical memory and experience, but crucially secured the renaissance of the Persian language for future generations. This conference will focus on the political, social and historical legacy of the Shahnameh in the development of identities in the Persianate world.

Further details about the conference can be found on the Institute for Iranian Studies website. Download a flyer for the conference here.

Dr James Koranyi to speak at special event in Nottingham

Academics and dignitaries from Romania and the UK have been invited to a special event at Nottingham Trent University on 15th February 2010, entitled '20 Years On: Political, Social and Cultural Change in Timişoara since the Romanian Revolution'. Dr James Koranyi will introduce the event, its themes, and projects alongside the mayor of Timişoara, Gheorghe Ciuhandu, and the UK Ambassador to Romania, HMA Robin Barnett. Further information can be found here.

Recent student successes

Steven Paget
Steven Paget

Congratulations to Steven Paget who has been awarded the Bonarjee Postgraduate Essay Prize for his essay comparing the drugs policies of the Nixon administration with those of Reagan's presidency. The judges wrote that this was ‘a well-focussed, convincing, wide-ranging and in many ways inspired piece of research that reached out beyond specialist readers and revealed a historian with an impressive ability to communicate to wider audiences.’


Rafael Torrubia
Rafael Torrubia

Congratulations also to Rafael Torrubia, who was awarded proxime accessit for the Bonarjee Postgraduate Essay Prize for his essay on ‘Rewriting the script - The Free Southern Theatre and Grassroots Militancy, 1960s – 1980s’. Rafael has also recently given an interview on BBC Radio Scotland as a result of winning last year's ‘Unpublished Writer’ category in the National Gallery of Scotland's ‘Inspired? Get Writing!’ competition.

Dr Chandrika Kaul to deliver a keynote speech at the sixth biennial conference of Australian Media Traditions

Dr Chandrika Kaul has been invited to present a keynote at the Australian Media Traditions international conference at the University of Sydney, Australia. (November 2009). Her talk will aim to identify and analyse those key developments which contributed to a resurgence of international debate over freedom of the press in the aftermath of the Second World War and in a period of rapid decolonization.

New Grant for USTC project

The Universal Short Title Project has now a new grant from the Wellcome Trust.

The Wellcome grant will underwrite a pilot project to analyse all medical texts published in northern Europe before 1601: a corpus of around 5,000 items.  In addition the grant will permit members of the project team to examine surviving collections of early medical texts in major British collections.

The printing of medical texts, both for professional users and lay readers, was one of the most buoyant markets in the early print world.  The project is delighted to have the partnership of the Wellcome Trust to push forward this important work.  The grant (£30,000) will permit the appointment of a research analyst, who will have primary responsibility for the examination of copies and the creation of a public access database.  We are also delighted to be able to call on the expertise of our collaborator, Professor Emeritus Iain Donaldson of the University of Edinburgh, who will work with the project team in the Library of the Royal College of Physicians, one of the most important of the collections to be investigated.

School of History Internship Programme

Any third or fourth year undergraduates or current MLitt students interested in applying for an internship for the academic year 2009-10 should contact Dr Bridget Heal on Interns may be asked to help with the work of research centres and institutes, or with the organization of conferences etc. Interns will generally be contracted for 39 hours of work over the course of a semester.

Two St Andrews Historians to lecture at the Royal Historical Society

The next two lectures at the Royal Historical Society will both be given by members of the St Andrews School of History.

On Wednesday 1 July Professor Michael Bentley will give the Prothero Lecture, an annual lecture timed to coincide with the Anglo-American Conference.  Professor Bentley will speak on ’The Age of Prothero: British Historiography in the long fin-de-siècle, 1870-1920’.

The first paper of the new academic year will be given by Professor Frances Andrews.  This lecture, on Friday 25 September, is entitled ‘The purpose of religion? Monks and the city in late medieval Italy’.  It draws from the developing work of her major AHRC-funded project, Religion and Public Life in Late Mediaeval Italy.

The Royal Historical Society has a programme of eight lectures each year, and the invitation to speak is regarded as a significant accolade.  St Andrews historians have been well represented among these speakers in recent years.  Papers are published in the annual Transactions of the Royal Historical Society.

Honours Pre-advising 2009-10

Pre-advising information is now available online for all students entering Junior Honours courses or returning students entering Senior Honours in the School of History during the 2009-10 academic year. The website contains information on degree programmes, including up-to-date details of all available course modules in Junior and Senior Honours.

Visit the Pre-advising website.

Subhonours Book Prizes


Congratulations to all students who have been awarded Book Prizes by the School of History for distinction level performance at Subhonours in 2008-9.

Students who have received an award letter can now select their prize by clicking here.

Bonarjee Essay Prize

All undergraduates about to enter their fourth year in the School of History and all current M.Litt students are invited and encouraged to compete for:

The Bonarjee Essay Prize

First Prize £400

Second Prize £100

For further details click here.


Bonarjee Postgraduate Essay Prize

All postgraduate students in the School of History at the University of St Andrews are encouraged and invited to compete for the Bonarjee Postgraduate Essay Prize. This competition is designed to encourage students to produce an essay of the form and quality appropriate for publication in a learned journal. Entrants are encouraged to draw upon their current research.

Prize £500, deadline 21st September 2009.

In keeping with the terms of the bequest for this prize, candidates must address a subject for any period post 1450.

For further details see here.

New milestone for St Andrews Studies in Reformation History

Poetry and Protest

The publication of S.K. Barker’s Poetry and Protest represents a significant milestone for the St Andrews Studies in Reformation History.  This is the 84th volume in the series since it was inaugurated in 1995.  It is also the tenth monograph published by a graduated Ph.D student of the Institute.

The St Andrews Studies series offers PhD students enrolled in the Institute the opportunity to place their work in an outstanding series that has now published many of the leading scholars in the field.  All dissertations successfully completed in the Institute are automatically considered for inclusion.  For further information on graduate work in the Institute and for scholarships offered contact

Modern History Graduand wins Miller Prize 2008-9

Martin Otero Knott, who has just finished his degree programme in Modern History, has been awarded the Miller Prize (Arts) for 2008-9 by the Faculty of Arts. The Miller Prize is awarded every year to the most outstanding candidate from amongst all the graduands in the Faculty of Arts.

The School of History warmly congratulates Martin on this fine achievement and is delighted that after Richard Sowerby (Mediaeval History, 2006-7) and Jacob Seifert (Arabic & Economics, 2007-8) Martin is the third student from the School in a row to win this prestigious award.

Distinguished Visiting Position for Dr Malcolm Walsby

Dr Malcolm WalsbyDr Malcolm Walsby has been appointed a Visiting Professor at the Ecole des Chartes for March 2010.

The Ecole Nationale des Chartes, founded in 1821, is one of the world’s most illustrious centres for the training of archivists and librarians.  Its graduates include many leading scholars in the fields of the history of art and architecture, as well as palaeographers, curators, librarians and archaeologists.  During his residence Dr Walsby will give instruction to graduate classes, as well as deliver a public lecture.

Chariots of fire at the Edinburgh Marathon

Marathon RunnersRunners from the School of History were out in force at the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday 31st May. The School fielded a number of relay teams, including members of the popular folk band 'Dry Island Buffalo Jump' who were supporting MS Scotland and two teams of Modern Historians who were raising funds for the charity DeafBlind Scotland. The Chariots, one of the Modern History teams, performed exceptionally well by finishing 11th in the overall competition. The Chariots blazed ahead to complete the race in 2 hours 56 minutes. The other team of Modern Historians, The Snails, trailed behind the Chariots, crossing the finishing line in a respectable 4 hours and 6 minutes. A full account of the race by Modern History PhD student Chris Hill can be viewed online here

Annual conference of the Société Française d'Études Écossaises

The annual conference of the Société Française d'Études Écossaises (French Society for Scottish Studies) is being hosted by the ISHR at the University of St Andrews, September 10th-13th. The conference opens on Thursday night with Billy Kay, who will present his "Knee Deep in Claret" lecture, with a wine tasting reception to follow. The conference itself will take place over Friday and Saturday, with a conference dinner on the Friday night. The AGM of the Society will be held on Saturday afternoon.

Call for papers and more information

Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship success

Professors Rob Bartlett and Michael Bentley have won Leverhulme Major Research Fellowships for the three years from 2009 to 2012. This is a highly prestigious and fiercely competitive award. Prof Bartlett and Prof. Bentley were among a small number of those successful from over 220 candidates.
Professor Bartlett
Professor Rob Bartlett

Professor Bartlett will be writing a substantial book on the Christian cult of the saints, from its origins in the time of the early martyrs to the Protestant Reformation. This is a subject of central importance to medieval (and later) history and, in recent generations, as the confessional edge to discussion has weakened, it has become a topic of widespread scholarly interest. Medieval Europe was covered with the shrines of hundreds of holy men and women. These were the focus of pilgrimage and sometimes miracle. They were a central part of the experience of people of the time and also generated a rich cultural production, artistic, architectural and literary. It is envisaged that the book would have a tripartite structure. The first section would be a chronological overview, the second consist of a series of substantial discussions of the main themes, while the third would  deal with the subject in a theoretical and comparative way.

Professor Bentley
Professor Michael Bentley

Professor Bentley will be writing a comparative historiography of the modern west. The investigation centres on structures that help explain why historical writing differs so radically according to time and geography. Why do early nineteenth-century histories differ so sharply from those produced after 1850? Why do French history-books look so different from German ones? Does Irish historiography bear resemblances to Portuguese, and if so why? The second half of the project will lead him to think about and offer an analysis of the master-narratives that all these cultures have produced about specific themes: revolution, urbanization, war and so on. By the end of his leave he hopes to have a clearer picture of the intersection between national culture and visions of the past

Donald Bullough Fellowship For A Mediaeval Historian

The St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies invites applications for the Donald Bullough Fellowship in Mediaeval History, to be taken up during either semester of the academic year 2009-2010.

The Fellowship is open to any academic in a permanent university post with research interests in mediaeval history. It covers the cost of return travel to St Andrews from the holder’s normal place of work, together with a substantial subsidy towards accommodation while the holder is resident in St Andrews.

More information about the Fellowship can be found on the SAIMS website

View earlier news stories from the School of History

Launch of new book by Professor Houston

Professor Houston
Professor Houston

The launch of Professor Rab Houston's 'Scotland: a very short introduction' (Oxford University Press) was held at Blackwell in Edinburgh on 27th November. OUP's successful series of 'Very Short Introductions' present complex topics in a highly accessible form. Through an examination of diverse themes (from economics to environment, law to language, population to poetry and socialism to sectarianism) Professor Houston aims to help us understand Scotland's sense of its past.

A transcript of Professor Houston's talk is available online here

Professor Houston was recently interviewed by about his new book. The interview can be found here. He has also featured on the Oxford University Press USA site and's websites discussing his new publication and views about Scottish devolution.

'Scotland: a very short introduction' has also recently been reviewed by the Times Higher Education Supplement. The review is now available online.

Bonarjee Essay Prize Winner announced

The 2007-8 Bonarjee Essay Prize for postgraduates was awarded to John McCallum for his essay, 'Poverty, Prosperity, or Somewhere in Between? The Economic Fortunes of Ministers in Post-Reformation Fife.'

Further information on the 2008-9 Bonarjee Essay Competitions for undergraduates and postgraduates will be posted on this website in due course.

Prestigious Prize for Dr Simon MacLean

Dr Simon MacLean

Dr Simon MacLean
Dr Simon MacLean of the School of History has been awarded a prestigious prize by the Leverhulme Trust. The Philip Leverhulme Prizes are awarded to outstanding young scholars who have made a substantial and recognised contribution to their particular field of study, recognised at an international level, and whose future contributions are held to be of correspondingly high promise. The Prizes commemorate the contribution to the work of the Trust made by Philip Leverhulme, the Third Viscount Leverhulme and grandson of the Founder. Dr MacLean is currently researching Queens and Politics in 10th and 11th century Europe.

Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 launched online

Launch of the RPS project

In a project of unprecedented scale and complexity, researchers from the School of History have created a fully searchable digital database of the proceedings of the Scottish Parliament from its first surviving act of 1235 to its dissolution by the Act of Union of 1707.

The publication online of The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 at makes freely available to all the 16.5 million words which document almost 500 years of Scottish parliamentary history.

The project has taken 11 years to complete and presents the records of the Scottish Parliament in a format that is amongst the most technologically advanced and most user-friendly of any historical record yet published.

For students, scholars and anyone interested in Scotland's past, the resource offers an immediately accessible and fully searchable point of entry into one of the country's richest historical sources. As an historical record it is an essential adjunct to understanding not only pre-1707 Scotland but also the Scotland of today.

The project team was led by Professor Keith Brown of the School of History, University of St Andrews.

[Full Story and Press Release]

Pictures from the reception at the Scottish Parliament

View Press Coverage of the Story:

Scotland on Sunday, 11 May 08
BBC News Online, 12 May 08
The Times, 13 May 08
The Courier, 13 May 08
The Press and Journal, 16 May 08

Professor Houston

Professor Houston lectures in Japan

Professor Rab Houston has been undertaking a lecture tour of Japan about aspects of his research into the history of Psychiatry and also Scottish history and modern Scottish politics and economics. Professor Houston is pictured here in Hitotsubashi where he recently delivered a lecture.

Early Modern Book Lists Workshop

A workshop will be held on November 5th 2008 to examine Early Modern Book Lists. Lists of books derived from contemporary sources are fundamental to our understanding of the Early-Modern book world. They provide us with rare snapshots of private collections and the holdings of booksellers. The edition and study of these lists are of vital importance. Many lists have already been published and yet there do not seem to be any clear rules on how best to present, annotate and analyse them.
This workshop will look to compare the different types of lists and establish clear guidelines on how to annotate, present and analyse Early- Modern book lists.

For further information please contact Dr Malcolm Walsby:

Download workshop flyer

Institute for Scottish Historical Research Annual Debate

National History or Nationalist History?

The first St Andrews Institute of Scottish Historical Research annual debate will take place on Thursday 6 November 2008 at 5:30pm in School III, St Salvator's Quadrangle, at the University of St Andrews.

The theme of the debate will be 'National History or Nationalist History?'

Two esteemed academics, Prof. Tom Devine, Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh, and Prof. Allan MacInnes, Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Strathclyde, will be taking part in what promises to be a lively debate. The debate will be chaired by Prof. T.C. Smout, Historiographer Royal and Emeritus Professor of the University of St Andrews. A wine reception will follow the debate.

All are welcome. For furher information please contact Dr Katie Steveson.

Scottish Parliament Project Launch

History Scotland Magazine
History Scotland Magazine

2008 marks the completion of the Scottish Parliament Project (SPP), based within the School of History. A team of researchers have worked for over ten years to produce an online and fully searchable edition of the surviving records of the pre-1707 Scottish Parliament. To coincide with the public launch of the new resource, The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland (RPS), at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 15 May, a special issue of History Scotland magazine devoted to current research on parliament has hit the newsstands.

Authors from St Andrews contributing to the special issue include Professor Keith Brown, Deputy Principal and Master of the United College, who writes on the background of the SPP, of which he is director. Professor Brown describes the various challenges of managing such a large project and provides a basic introduction to the new online version of the records. Other articles are focused on Scotland’s lengthy parliamentary tradition. Dr Michael Brown, Lecturer in Scottish History within the School, explores parliament’s very origins and its early history, and Dr Gillian MacIntosh, project manager of the SPP, provides an account of the tumultuous events of 1603-51, in which Scotland’s parliament was at the centre.

The May/June special issue of the magazine is available in shops now. Visit the History Scotland website for further information.


Professor Robert Bartlett investigates the Mediaeval Mind in major new BBC series

Professor Bartlett takes a trip into the Mediaeval Psyche
Professor Bartlett.
(Picture courtesy BBC)

As part of BBC Four's Medieval Season, Professor Robert Bartlett of the School of History – one of the world's leading medievalists – takes a trip into the medieval psyche in a new, four-part series, Inside The Medieval Mind. Each hour-long episode – Knowledge, Sex, Belief and Power – focuses on a different aspect of medieval life.

The medieval world was full of marvels and, in the first episode, Professor Bartlett unearths how medieval men and women understood the world – and how that knowledge came to be transformed

The series starts on Thursday, 17 April on BBC4.

To watch a preview of the series please visit the Medieval Mind page on the BBC website

View the first episode of the series on the BBC iPlayer website. [available in UK only]

Professor De Groot to deliver keynote speech in Rwanda

Professor De Groot
Professor De Groot in Rwanda

Professor Gerard DeGroot will be the keynote speaker at a conference on 'Gender Issues in Peacekeeping Missions', to be held in Kigali, Rwanda from 28-29 March 2008.  The conference, sponsored by UNIFEM ( the United Nations Development Fund for Women) and the Rwanda Defence Forces, has the aim of mainstreaming gender issues in peacekeeping operations,  with a particular emphasis on increasing the participation of female soldiers, police officers and civilian personnel.   Professor DeGroot has been involved in this area of research for the past ten years, acting as a consultant to the UN, NATO and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, work which led to the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which formally recognises the need to mainstream gender issues in UN operations.  DeGroot, an expert on female soldiers, is particularly interested in the dynamic created when women take part in peacekeeping operations. Read the full story

Bonarjee Essay Competitions for Undergraduates and Postgraduates

All postgraduates and final year undergraduates in the School of History are encouraged to compete for the annual Bonarjee Essay Prizes.

These competitions, made possible by a generous legacy to the University from Stephen Bonarjee, a former history student, have prizes of up to £500.

Dr Liam Fox MP delivers public lecture

Dr Liam Fox MP. © The Conservative Party
Dr Liam Fox MP
Britain and Iran: mutual recognition of shared interests

Professor Ali Ansari of the Institute of Iranian Studies took the chair in a public lecture delivered by the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox MP on Monday 25th February at 12pm in Parliament Hall, South Street.


Institute of Iranian Studies

Launch of St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies

Building on a long tradition of research and teaching on the Middle Ages at St Andrews, the new  inter-disciplinary Institute of Mediaeval Studies brings together over thirty full-time academic staff of international standing and a number of research associates. 

On Wednesday 13 February the Institute will be formally launched with a lecture given by Prof Gerd Althoff of the University of Münster: Forms and Functions of Irony in Medieval Politics.  The lecture will be held at 5.15pm in School III, St Salvator's Quadrangle and will be followed by a reception which everyone is welcome to attend.

For further information about this event, including the workshop which will precede the lecture, and to find out more about the Institute, please see the Institute website.

Bonarjee Bequest: 'in recognition of my four fruitful years'

St Salvators c.1934
Courtesy of the University
of St Andrews Library

The School of History has been honoured to receive from a former student a very generous bequest which will be used to acknowledge outstanding performance by current students of modern history.  Stephen W. Bonarjee, a student at St Andrews from 1929 to 1933, graduated with an MA in History and turned to a career in journalism.  After military service during the Second World War and until his retirement Mr Bonarjee as radio editor played a central role in shaping current affairs programming for the BBC, including Ten O’clock, the Today programme, The Week in Westminster, and From Our Own Correspondent.  On his death in September 2003 Stephen Bonarjee left a bequest to the University of St Andrews ‘in recognition of my four fruitful years there’ for the purchase of books for the library and as an endowment for annual prizes for Modern History students.

School Book Prizes

Book prizes
Some of the books awarded
to prize winners.

Congratulations to all students who have been awarded Book Prizes by the School of History for distinction level performance at Subhonours in 2007-8. Letters will be sent out to all students who have been awarded a prize.

Students who have received their award letter can now select their prize by clicking here.

Transnational History Conference

Transnational relations of experts, elites and organisations in the long nineteenth century - 5/6 September 2008.

The University of St Andrews will be hosting a conference on 5-6 September 2008 in cooperation with the University of Köln. The workshop aims to explore the history of various forms of transnational groups of elites and experts as well as networks and organizations between ca. 1800 and the 1930s.

View the full conference programme

Congratulations to the Winners of the Bonarjee Essay Competition

First Prize: John Reeks (Senior Honours)

Second Prize: Andrew Dodd (M.Litt)

Honourable Mention: Gavin Cooke and Andrew Smith (both M.Litt)

This annual essay competition was established in 2007 as the result of a legacy left to the University by Stephen Bonarjee, who graduated with an MA in History in 1933.

Mr Bonarjee's generosity has also enabled the School of History to run a similar competition for doctoral students in his name and to bolster awards given for outstanding performance in undergraduate courses.

The Sixties Unplugged

Professor De Groot
Professor De Groot

New research suggests that the sixties was not really the decade of peace, love and understanding that people generally remember.

Instead, Professor Gerard DeGroot claims that the decade was as much marked by `mindless mayhem, shallow commercialism and unbridled cruelty' as it was by wearing flowers in your hair and loving your fellow man.

In a new book, the University of St Andrews' researcher attempts to rewrite the history books and capture `the real spirit of the sixties' that is generally lost in the mists of nostalgia.  Out this week, The Sixties Unplugged: A Kaleidoscopic History of a Disorderly Decade, suggests an alternative view of the decade best known as a time for free love.  The new research restores to the hippy era the `prevalent disorder and inconvenient truths that longing, wistfulness, and distance have obscured from memory'.

Read more news stories