Postgraduate Spotlight: Daniel Leaver

Daniel Leaver is a second year PhD student. His research focuses on the politics of North Sea oil in post-war Britain.

Originally from the great city of Newcastle upon Tyne just south of the border, I first came to St Andrews as an undergraduate in 2010, graduating in Modern History in 2014. A two-year venture into the real world convinced me it was not a place I wanted to spend much time, and I therefore returned to St Andrews for an MLitt in Scottish Historical Studies in 2016. Following this I began a PhD in 2018, working under the supervision of Dr Malcolm Petrie and generously funded by the Strathmartine Trust for Scottish History.

My doctoral studies examine the politics of North Sea oil in Britain during the sixties and seventies. As my PhD has progressed, I have increasingly realised that there are many important debates about this generally unloved period of post-war history where the topic can act as a fascinating case study.  For example, interest in the potential riches of the North Sea during Harold Wilson’s 1964-70 government is, I believe, an under-appreciated element in that government’s interest in new technologies and the modernisation of British industry. I am currently researching the extent to which Edward Heath’s government realised that North Sea oil offered a potential solution to the ‘energy crisis’ of the early seventies, particularly within the context of prolonged industrial disputes with the National Union of Mineworkers. And while the familiar issue of oil invigorating the cause of Scottish nationalism during the 1970s is an important element of the subject, my thesis is an opportunity to consider the extent to which the arrival of oil played a role in the other great constitutional change of the decade, namely Britain’s entry into the European Community. The ultimate aim is to try and provide a new perspective on a period of political, constitutional, and industrial change which puts the arrival of a new, indigenous source of energy at its centre.

Something I have relished about the St Andrews PhD experience is the opportunity to build a rounded academic CV and to engage in collaborative work. I am a PG Teaching Assistant on the MO2008: Scotland, Britain and Empire module offered by the School, something I thoroughly enjoy and would encourage all new PhD students to involve themselves in if they can. I am also a Research Assistant on the Bibliography for British and Irish History project with fellow PhD student Chelsea Reutcke, and last August co-organised a successful one-day conference on the theme of ‘Ideology and Identity in Post-War Scotland’ with Sarah Leith. This year I am the intern for the Institute of Scottish Historical Research, the main duty of which is organising our ever-popular annual Reading Weekend at the Burn, Edzell.

Away from my work I play for the University Pool and Cue Sports club and have served as Men’s Captain this year. My ‘career’ highlight thus far has been representing Scotland at last year’s Student Home Internationals in Dublin. The trip, of course, included an historical morning before the flight home visiting the General Post Office museum! In the summer months I can regularly be found (much to my supervisor’s disapproval) enjoying a round of golf on the Links. Sadly, sharing a flat with a scratch handicapper has not led to any magical improvements in my game. When not working, or on the table or the golf course, I can usually be found at home cooking or in one of St Andrews’ many pubs, following the highs and (mostly) lows of Newcastle United.

Postgraduate Spotlight: Lauren Holmes

Lauren Holmes is a first year doctoral student of Modern History and Art History. Her research focuses on modernism and the cultural history of migrant artists in twentieth century Britain.

Growing up in London, Lauren spent her teenage years lurking in art galleries and reading about the lives of others through her never-ending book collection. She became increasingly intrigued by the history of the spaces around us as result of volunteer work at William Morris’ Red House in South East London and a summer spent in employment at Buckingham Palace. Her desire to pursue these interests in more depth gradually became clear. She made the decision to move to St Andrews for her undergraduate degree in Modern History and quickly returned for her Masters having fallen in love with our little seaside town.

During her time as an undergraduate, she grew steadily more interested in both German and British social and cultural history. She sees spatial history as a means of interpreting this. Her masters studies led to a dissertation on the artistic culture of ‘alien’ internment camps in Britain. This project was the catalyst for a newfound curiosity about these lost figures of British art and the place they found within their new environment following their release.

Lauren is currently approaching the end of the first year of her doctoral research after her two-year break from studying. Her return to academia sees her undertaking an interdisciplinary project, working between the Schools of History and Art History under the supervision of Professor Riccardo Bavaj and Dr Sam Rose, to study the impact of German-speaking émigré artists on the British art scene from the 1930s onwards. Despite many of these individuals enjoying success in their careers in continental Europe, relatively little is known about their time in Britain. She hopes to find any forms of influence they may have had on the British art scene- both nationally in terms of artistic content and style and more locally through teaching, interaction, exhibition, and collaboration. Already, this topic is provoking questions relating to the entanglement between modernism, identity, and the experience of migration.

Before pursuing her PhD, Lauren trained as a tattoo artist and continues to work in this field alongside her research, which allows her to indulge her two passions simultaneously. She hopes to use her work to help bridge the gulf between tattoo art and conventional art history, as she believes that each has much to offer the other. She also enjoys painting, podcasts, and pets of any kind. She plans to spend the next 18 months travelling to archives across Britain, Germany, and Switzerland in search of clues about the lives of émigrés in Britain.

Postgraduate Spotlight: James Fortuna

James Fortuna is entering the second year of his PhD. His research focuses on the cultural, social, and spatial history of twentieth-century Europe and the United States.

James (Jimmy) was raised in the Litchfield Hills of Southern New England. After spending his undergraduate years double-majoring in History and English across Appalachia and Andalusia, he continued to see double throughout the British Isles, first studying Classics in Dublin, then Modern History in Cambridge.

Jimmy has spent time as a mountain guide in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland, an American football coach, an on-air radio disc jockey, a ski instructor in Vermont, and has led scuba diving courses in every ocean but the Arctic – yet the semesters he spent teaching as a member of the Faculty of Humanities and Foreign Languages at public colleges in Florida and Connecticut remain his favorite professional experiences to date. He took a good deal of time trying to identify a PhD course that would provide him the necessary training and resources to someday make a larger, more lasting impact on the academy and he remains convinced that moving to St Andrews to work directly with Professor Riccardo Bavaj was the right choice.

At its broadest, Jimmy’s research is concerned with the relationship between state-commissioned art or architectural design and national identity. He is also interested in various instances of cultural diplomacy throughout the interwar period and pays particular attention to the material culture of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and the New Deal United States. Three fundamental questions drive the majority of his work: First, how did these three powers engage with one another in socio-cultural terms? Secondly, how did these powers view the world, and how did the world view them? Finally, though perhaps most importantly, how did the cultural programs of each come to affect regular, everyday people both at home and abroad?

Entitled ‘Architectural Diplomacy, Cultural Heritage, and Popular Reception of the Fascist Involvement at the International Expositions of 1933-42’, Jimmy’s project will look to make sense of the way Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany represented themselves at six of the major world’s fairs held during the late interwar period. At the end of Martinmas term 2019, he was fortunate enough to expand his supervisory team and the dissertation will now benefit from the expertise of Dr. Kate Ferris and Dr. Sam Rose.

Jimmy prefers the music scene of Glasgow, the ales of Dundee, and the buildings of Edinburgh. As for his favorite St Andrews libraries, he prefers Martyrs Kirk on rainy days and the far end of the King James when the sun shines. He is a member of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the John Muir Trust, and both the St Andrews Sub Aqua and Surf clubs. He regularly contributes mixtapes to Ancora Radio, a DJ collective born of the scuba training and expedition group he helped found in 2015, and is excited to launch the Blue Belfry Project soon, an online database of overlooked or abandoned architecture.

He is currently based at the European University Institute in Florence through the Eramsus+ Doctoral Exchange Programme and looks forward to spending the next twenty-four months writing a dissertation his supervisors (and grandmother) can be proud of. Until then, he is happy to experience whatever comes in between.

Postgraduate Spotlight: Chelsea Reutcke

Chelsea is a final year PhD student in Reformation Studies. In this blog she shares what draws her to studying ‘overlooked figures in history’.

Raised in Cincinnati and Chicago on a steady diet of Agatha Christie and history documentaries, Chelsea dreamed of someday living in the UK. Her love for mysteries extended beyond the realm of fiction, and from age twelve she became fixated on figuring out and understanding the past. After deciding that forensic anthropology required too many biology classes, she fixed her sights on history. 

During her undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, she was drawn to overlooked figures in history as well as those whose stories had been overwritten by a popular narrative. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on the ‘afterlives’ of Anne Boleyn in Protestant and Catholic polemics. This in turn led to a fascination with the under-recognized Catholic priest and vitriolic writer, Nicholas Sander, and his scandalous history of the English Reformation. This became the subject of her 2014 MLitt dissertation, undertaken at St Andrews under the supervision of Dr Jacqueline Rose. When Chelsea returned to St Andrews for her PhD in 2016, she found the perfect continuation of this work in a thesis on the production and circulation of Catholic books in England. 

Chelsea is now in the final year of her doctoral studies on Catholic texts in Restoration England, again under the supervision of Dr Rose. As in her earlier studies, the themes of hidden figures and mysterious queens (in this case, Catherine of Braganza) feature heavily in her work. She continues to focus on historical networks and lived experiences, particularly of the obscure printers and booksellers in London who produced Catholic books. Her favourite is a Catholic bookseller by the name of Matthew Turner. Despite selling over a hundred different titles and being described by contemporaries as ‘that notorious popish bookseller’, little is known about Turner compared to many of his Protestant counterparts, making every detail about him an exciting discovery.

Chelsea loves bringing new life to a topic deemed uninfluential in the wider historiography and giving agency to a group usually discussed in terms of outside fear through her research. Even in the final stretch, her love for her topic has not wavered, and the many avenues for further investigation it yields has already resulted in two upcoming publications: one on the private interests of the enforcers of the 1662 Licensing Act, and the other on the patronage networks surrounding Catherine of Braganza. 

Meanwhile, she’s exploring new approaches to history and public outreach through her participation in the Bibliography for British and Irish History and the ongoing ‘St Andrews 1559’ project by Open Virtual Worlds, supervised by Dr Bess Rhodes. This year, the project produced a digital reconstruction of Holy Trinity parish church, of which Chelsea’s favourite detail is the little set up steps on the side of the main entrance.

Now living her childhood dream, Chelsea tries to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities offered by life in Scotland. She has danced in a Regency ball, shot arrows in a medieval castle, and even travelled to Stockholm on a cheap flight to see a live podcast about murder. Her bookshelves continue to be filled with history texts and murder mysteries, and she looks forward to the day those books will feature her name. 

Postgraduate Spotlight: Lasse Andersen

Lasse Andersen is a second year PhD student of Modern History. In this post he shares about his unlikely journey to his love of history and more about his current research.

The fact that Lasse Andersen is now a PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews would have seemed very unlikely had you met him little over a decade ago when he was practicing his bread baking skills in a small-town family bakery in rural Jutland. His father had been a great baker, so it seemed like a natural career choice to simply stay in town and do the same. But things were not to be so simple. The state intervened on behalf of the Queen, and Lasse was conscripted to the Royal Danish Navy where he was to aide in the defence of her Realm against all enemies and trespassers, especially in that vast arctic appendage to it that is Greenland. In reality, however, this mostly just involved him baking more bread, but with the added challenge of being at sea.

It was while he was at sea watching out for those trespassers (and waiting for the bread to prove) that he acquired an obsessive interest in reading. At first, he read histories of naval warfare and seafaring peoples, but one day during a particularly bad storm in the North Sea he suddenly developed an acute interest in land and all things attached to it. Upon his return, he enrolled at the University of Aarhus, where he was taught Foucault and Marx, but mostly just read about the Scottish Enlightenment. After writing his BA dissertation on Montesquieu and Adam Smith (and land), he briefly boarded yet another ship and eventually acquired the means to settle in St Andrews. He finished an MLitt in Intellectual History in 2018 with a dissertation on the changing idea of an Agrarian Law in seventeenth and eighteenth century Scotland.

His current research takes the question of land distribution into the nineteenth century, being a project about the movement for land reform in Britain in the period 1865-1875. It focuses on radical ideas about the tenure, transfer, and taxation of land within political economy and jurisprudence, especially as these came to prominence with the formation of the Land Tenure Reform Association, a pressure group headed by John Stuart Mill from 1869 to 1873. By 1873, the year of Mill’s death, more than 30 prominent radicals had signed up as members of this association, and the ideas that informed its programme reflected their anti-aristocratic liberalism and their collective experience with different systems of land tenure in places such as Ireland, India, France and North America. The essential idea behind their desire to ‘emancipate the soil’ from the confines of feudalism – from the dead hand of primogeniture and entails – was that the free and easy transfer of land would enable a much wider distribution of land, generating a numerous class of peasant proprietors whose direct interest in the produce of the soil would make agriculture more productive and give previously landless labourers an interest in the prosperity of society and the preservation of property.

Aside from John Stuart Mill, Lasse’s research focuses on many lesser-known individuals such as John Eliot Cairnes, James E. Thorold Rogers, and Thomas E. Cliffe Leslie, all of whom were members of the Land Tenure Reform Association, as well as on Louis Mallet and the 8th Duke of Argyll, the association’s primary and most vocal detractors.

One question that Lasse is particularly interested in researching is the relation between these radical land reformers and laissez-faire liberalism, a question that is intimately connected to the advent of marginalism in British political economy as well as to the debate about Richard Cobden’s legacy in the decade after his death in 1865.

Postgraduate Spotlight: Emily Betz

Blog written by Emily Betz

Emily is currently a second year PhD student in Modern History. She’s an international student at St Andrews, originally hailing from the small and very snowy city of Erie, Pennsylvania. Her fascination with history began at a young age, when she first became obsessed with the idea of becoming an Egyptologist after seeing a handful of Discovery Channel specials (and, let’s be honest, the Indiana Jones movies). She has switched her focus to a more modern time period now, but her early interest in history has never faded.

During her undergraduate years at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Emily studied history alongside her major of German Literature and found a passion for traveling after studying abroad in Austria and Germany. Her travels inspired her to apply for a joint MA/MSc degree in Global Studies from the University of Roskilde in Denmark and Leipzig University in Germany. After graduating, she worked in a think tank in Berlin that researched higher education institutions for a year before deciding to go back to school for her true passion of history. This led her to begin an MPhil in Early Modern History from Trinity College Dublin. Her research in Dublin examined the spread of the Henrician Reformation in England in the 1530s-40s through in-depth analysis of churchwarden’s accounts of the period. She is now continuing her love affair with the early modern period at St Andrews under the supervision of Professor Rab Houston.

Emily’s doctoral research focuses on melancholy in England between c. 1550-1750. While it could be a rather dreary subject, she’s found that researching melancholy in the early modern period is far more than learning about a medical condition. Instead, it provides a reflection into the changing values and perceptions of society as a whole and is inextricably linked to the formation of English identity. What she hopes to elucidate with her research is just how the perception of the English as a particularly ‘melancholy’ nation came about, both within and without the country.

In addition to her PhD research, Emily is the editorial assistant with the School of History’s communications team. In this role, she prepares the fortnightly School of History Gazette and helps compile the annual alumni magazine with Dr Chandrika Kaul. In her free time, she loves dancing ballet, reading, and practicing her newfound love of horseback riding. This year she is moving to Edinburgh to try a taste of Scotland’s city life.

Summer and Autumn Round Up

News

b1In celebration of Black History Month, members of the St Andrews History department have compiled a list of essential texts

Congratulations to one of our history students, Jack Abernethy, on being awarded one of six national prizes of 2018 by the British Commission for Maritime History for his exceptional undergraduate thesis.

Congratulations to Morag Allan Campbell, whose ‘Face to Faceexhibition was presented  by Professor Rab Houston in the Members’ area of the Scottish Parliament in September

Congratulations also to Professor Rab Houston in his role as a contributor to The Oxford Handbook of English Law and Society 1500-1700, which received the Sixteenth Century Society & Conference Bainton Reference Prize award

Congratulations are also in order for Dr Tomasz Kamusella for being awarded the Supporter of the Silesian Language award by the publishing house Silesia Progress

b3Staff Activity

On 3rd July , Professor Hillenbrand gave a paper titled ‘The Sultan, the Kaiser, the Colonel, and the Purloined Wreath’ at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds

Professor Hillenbrand presented ‘Saladin’s Spin Doctors’ for the Annual Prothero Lecture at the Royal Historical Society on July 6

On 8th July, Dr Chandrika Kaul was a Panel Guest Reviewer on BBC World Service Weekend Review

On 4th September, Dr Tomasz Kamusella gave a presentation titled ‘Tears of Blood: A Poet’s Witness Account of the Poraimos’ at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Gypsy Lore Society and Conference of Gypsy/Romani Studies at the National Library of Romania in Bucharest

Between 4th-8th September Professor Elena Marushiakova and Professor Veselin Popov presented ‘Gypsy Nomadism vs. Roma Activism in Eastern Europe during the Interwar Period’, while Dr Aleksandar Marinov presented ‘The Roma and the Protestant Mission in Bulgaria between the Two World Wars’. Professor Marushiakova was also the convenor of the panel ‘Roma in the Period between WWI and WWII’

On 27th September Dr Margaret Connolly and Ms Rachel Hart gave a paper, ‘The Marchmont Regiam Maiestatem comes full circle: a book and its owners, 1548 to 2018’, to the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society

On October 3, Paul Malgrati organised the ‘Joe Corrie (1894-1968); Miner, Poet, Playwright Anniversary’

From 5 to 7 of October, Professor Elena Marushiakova and Professor Veselin Popov took part in the 14th Asia Pacific Sociological Association Conference. They presented the paper ‘Nomadism vs. Sedentarisation: Central Asian Gypsies during 20th -21st century’

On 6 October, Konrad Lawson presented on ‘Statistical Stratigraphy and Thinking Critically about the Digital Humanities’ at the workshop Statistics, Categories, Politics: Analyzing, Interpreting, and Visualizing Data in Recent Chinese History at the University of Freiburg

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Konrad Lawson gave the paper ‘Liberating Order: The Seoul Metropolitan Police and Self-Narratives of Discontinuity 1945-1947’at the University of Edinburgh Yun Posun Memorial Symposium

On 12th October Dr Chandrika Kaul presented ‘The Monarch and the Mahatma: Political personae in a mediated world’ at the ‘Politics in Public: The Mediatization of Political Personae 1880s-1930s’ conference at KU Leuven.

On October 13, ISHR hosted ‘Re-thinking the Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland:
A Conference in Honour of Roger A. Mason, Professor of Scottish History

On 15 October, Konrad Lawson presented on ‘Su Lin Lewis Cities in Motion: Urban Life and Cosmopolitanism in Southeast Asia, 1920-1940‘ for the Institute of Transnational and Spatial History Reading Group at St Andrews

On October 18, Professor Michael Brown presented the paper ‘Leading the Realm’s Estate: Royal Authority and the transformation of fifteenth-century Scotland

Between October 24 and October 27, the Institute of Intellectual History organised the After Pufendorf: Natural Law and the Passions in Germany and Scotland conference

On October 25, Smart History St Andrews hosted the one-day conference Open Doors to Digital Heritage

On Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October, Professor Elena Marushiakova,  Professor Veselin Popov  and Dr Aleksandar Marinov hosted the conference ‘Roma Civic Emancipation between the Two World Wars: Challenges in Archival Research of Roma’

New Publications

Bavaj, Riccardo and Martina Steber (eds). Civilisational Mappings. ‘The West’ at the Turn of the Century [Zivilisatorische Verortungen. Der ‘Westen’ an der Jahrhundertwende (1880-1930)] (De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2018)

b5Cox, Rory.Approaches to Pre-Modern War and Ethics: Some Comparative and Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives’, Global Intellectual History (26 September, 2018)

—‘Historicizing Waterboarding as a Severe Torture Norm’, International Relations (20 September, 2018)

—‘Gratian’, in Just War Thinkers. War, Conflict and Ethics series, eds. Cian O’Driscoll and Daniel Brunstetter (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2017): 34-49.

—‘The Ethics of War up to Thomas Aquinas’, in The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of War, eds. Seth Lazar and Helen Frowe (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018): 99-121.

Dawson, Tom, Hollesen, Jorgen, Martin Callanan, Rasmus Fenger-Nielsen, T. Max Friesen, Anne M. Jensen, Adam Markham, Vibeke V. Martens, Vladimir V. Pitulko, and Marcy Rockman. ‘Climate Change and the Deteriorating Archaeological and Environmental Archives of the Arctic’, Antiquity 92, no. 363 (2018): 573-586.

Greenwood, Timothy. ‘Ananias of Shirak’, Encyclopaedia Iranica (2018).

Halstead, Huw. ‘”Ask the Assyrians, Armenians, Kurds”: Transcultural Memory and Nationalism in Greek Historical Discourse on Turkey’, Indiana University Press 30, no. 2 (2018): 3-39.

Hillenbrand, Carole. ‘Fremd wie Ausserirdische. Wie reagierten die Muslime auf die Invasion?‘, in Kulturkonflikt im Mittelalter. Die Kreuzüge, Der Spiegel Geschichte 5, no. 18 (2018): 30-35

Kamusella, Thomasz. ‘Belarus: A Chinese Solution?’, New Eastern Europe (31 July 2018)

— ‘Diskussion um Stand, Ausbau, Status und Kodifizierung des (Ober-Schlesischen [Discussion on the State, Development, Status and Standardization of the (Upper) Silesian Language]’ in Kai Witzlack-Makarevich (ed), Kalkierungs- und Entlehnungssprachen in der Slavia: Boris Unbegaun zum 120. Geburtstag (Frank & Timme, 2018): 263-302.

Ethnic Cleansing during the Cold War: the Forgotten 1989 Expulsion of Turks from Communist Bulgaria (Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2018).

— ‘Bulgaria: An Unlikely Personality Cult’, New Eastern Europe (7 September, 2018)

Marushiakova-Popova, Elena and Veselin Popov.Migration vs. Inclusion: Roma Mobilities from East to West’, Baltic Worlds 11, no. 2-3 (Sep 2018): 88-100.

Lawson, Konrad. ‘Reimagining the Postwar International Order: the World Federalism of Ozaki Yukio and Kagawa Toyohiko’ in Simon Jackson & Alanna O’Malley (eds.), The Institution of International Order: From the League of Nations to the United Nations (Routledge, 2018)

Lugt, Mara van der. ‘Les Mots Et Les Choses: The Obscenity of Pierre Bayle’, The Modern Language Review 113, no. 4 (October 2018): 714–741

b4Palmer, James. Early Medieval Hagiography (ARC Humanities Press, 2018)

— and Matthew Gabriele (eds). Apocalypse and Reform from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages (Routledge, 2018).

—‘Climates of crisis: apocalypse, nature, and rhetoric in the early medieval world’, Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 48, no. 2 (2018): 1-20.

Rostvik, Camilla Mork. ‘Cernoises and Horrible Cernettes: A History of Women at CERN 1954-2017’, Women’s History Review 27, no. 5 (2018): 858-865.

Rowlands, Guy. ‘Life after Death in Foreign Lands: Louis XIV and Anglo-American Historians’ in Penser l’après Louis XIV. Histoire, mémoires, représentations, eds. Charles-Édouard Levillain and Sven Externbrink (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2018)

Toffolo, Sandra. ‘Pellegrini stranieri e il commercio veneziano nel Rinascimento,’ in: Elisa Gregori ed., Rinascimento fra il Veneto e l’Europa. Questioni, metodi, percorsi (Padova: Cleup, 2018): 263-284.

Woolf, Alex. ‘Columbanus’ Ulster Education’ in Alexander O’Hara (ed), Columbanus and the Peoples of Post-Roman Europe (Oxford University Press, 2018): 91-102.

PhD Induction Day 2018

Blog written by PhD student Daniel Leaver

How do you actually do a PhD?

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Photo attrib. Joanna Paterson, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

This was one of the main questions facing myself and my fellow new PhD students in the School of History who gathered in the grand surroundings of Cambo House, a few miles outside St Andrews in the village of Kingsbarns. For all of us, the end goal is clear; three to four years of study to produce an 80,000 word thesis based on original research, making a contribution to historical scholarship. But how do you actually get the ball rolling along that (at times) bumpy road? And how do you stay sane throughout the process, while living in this charming but often isolated wee town which, as legend has it, St Rule thought looked like the ends of the earth?

Fortunately, the school had prepared a number of engaging sessions throughout the day to help us demystify these questions and many more. We began with an ice-breaker over a cup of coffee, hearing about what we all hoped to do with our time in St Andrews, and the talents and non-academic interests we all have. (Even if the number of musicians I spoke to made my lack of musical talent somewhat embarrassing!) We then turned our attention to the morning session led by Dr Jaqueline Rose, the Director of Research Postgraduates, with Elsie Johnstone, the School’s Postgraduate Secretary. Dr Rose and Elsie introduced us to the School’s key administrative processes and the various sources of support available to us, what we could expect from our supervisors, and gave us an idea of how the School conducts our first-year reviews, our first major progress check.

It was then time for Dr Rose’s enthusiastic troupe of assistants – recent graduates and current PhD students – to help guide us through some group discussion sessions. We considered questions we might want to think about over the course of our studies, and how we are going to approach them. It was interesting to see how the varied fields we are all working in influenced our responses. For example, I am working on post-war Scottish history with mostly printed sources, so translation skills or palaeography training are unlikely to be major aspects of my research. For those who are working on early modern Germany or on medieval Italy, these issues were vital. Other topics ranged from the exact meaning of ‘original research’, or when to publish in an academic journal. The key message from this session was that, although there is no single right way to do a PhD, there are plenty of good habits to cultivate as researchers, and traps we can avoid.

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Photo attrib. Maria Keays, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Following this session, we heard from the recent and current PhD students about some of the challenges they had encountered during their own studies. We heard about about different work habits, and how to keep yourself busy when away from your desk. These experiences were used to help us answer some of the questions we had raised during the morning, and to provide some very welcome advice on how to cope with all aspects of life as a PhD student.

After thanking the current students we headed for lunch in Cambo’s grand dining room for more conversation, as well as (in my humble opinion) an excellent pasta bake to fuel the rest of the day! The day concluded with a session on equality and diversity led by Sukhi Bains, the head of Equality and Diversity at St Andrews. His light-hearted presentation made the serious point that there are processes in place, should we need them, to prevent discrimination against any of us regardless of our backgrounds and beliefs.

What did we take away from this day? Ultimately, I think the main lessons Dr Rose and her team imparted were that while doing a PhD is challenging at times, there are people and processes in place to help us throughout our time here. Moreover, while there is not one ‘magic road’ to a completed PhD thesis, there are a number of issues we can think about and plan for that will make the road a lot smoother. As we boarded the coach to return to St Andrews, we all felt that we had enjoyed a helpful and engaging day as the first small step towards that all-important completed thesis!

Postgraduate Spotlight: Jack Abernethy

Blog written by Jack Abernethy

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Me on a recent trip to the far north of Scotland. It was in Thurso, near John O’Groats, that several skippers signed an oath of allegiance to the Marquis of Montrose in support of Charles II

My name is Jack, and I am currently a student at St Andrews, studying Scottish History. I was recently awarded the British Commission for Maritime History’s prize for Undergraduate Achievement (a prize given to only six students across Great Britain) for my Honours dissertation, entitled “The Specter at the Feast: The Royalists at Sea in the First Anglo-Dutch War, 1652-1654.” The dissertation aims to correct the long-held notion that Prince Rupert and his privateering fleet of the late 1640s and early 1650s was the only royalist maritime threat to the English Commonwealth after the conclusion of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

To give some background: after the execution of Charles I in 1649, many royalists fled to the continent, especially to the Dutch Republic. At the same time, Prince Rupert, Charles’ nephew and a royalist commander on land and at sea, was leading a privateering fleet from Ireland to Africa and beyond. In Britain, royalist maritime bases supporting Charles were being dismantled by the Commonwealth. Between 1652 and1654, England went to war with the Dutch over religious, political, and economic issues, and the subsequent war heralded in a new era of naval warfare. Despite the attack on the Netherlands, the royalist threat was not yet finished.

Before I began my deeper exploration of the era, I had found it particularly appealing: I have always had an interest in maritime history and after having done some previous work on the First Dutch War, I wanted to continue to pursue this interest. While I was considering ideas for my thesis, I found words such as “royalists,” “privateers,” and “pirates” arising constantly in scattered sources, such as calendars of state papers and personal papers. However, I found no work that connected them within a coherent narrative. As a result, I began to wonder (with governments in the Netherlands and France hostile to the Commonwealth) whether seaborne royalist endeavors had increased during this time, and sought to answer this question for myself.

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SRA, Anglica IV, 521. SE/RA/2102/IV/521. The Answer of the CoS, 28 May 1652

Two names in particular began to arise in reference to royalist privateers or pirates: William Balthazar and Richard Beach. The classification of these men has caused confusion. For instance, if they were receiving privateering commissions from a deposed government, were they still valid belligerents, or, as many sources suggest, were they just pirates? Through the collection of sources from both the Commonwealth and royalist exiles, I sought to create a more unbiased and holistic understanding than previously offered. Balthazar and Beach, along with other anonymous privateers, did a shocking amount of damage during the Dutch War. For example, the port of Barnstaple, in Devon was subject to near economic ruin, while captured mariners between England and Brittany were often pressed by royalists or marooned on the French coast. I found this research the most interesting, as it gave me an opportunity to tell the stories of people often ignored, and it was also vastly entertaining because of the swashbuckling characters and sea-battles that were described.

I also began to look for sources farther afield  in both digital and physical archives. My last chapter dealt with British maritime immigration. It was said that during the Dutch War between 5000 and 6000 British sailors were in the Dutch marine. An investigation into Dutch sources became necessary, as well as learning some Dutch language along the way! I did not try to address the contention directly, so instead, I gave several examples of men who definitely served in the Dutch navy. A good example was Robert Callwine, a mariner from Stirling, who along with several Scottish shipmates nearly drowned when he was attacked by the English fleet. Another sailor I encountered was one John Scott, a sailor of local interest, having hailed from our very own St Andrews! I also used my research as an excuse to travel to Edinburgh and to collect as many sources in the NRS as possible, including several I had to transcribe from original Scots language manuscripts. Among other documents of interest I found was one letter I discovered while on a class trip to Sweden: a 1652 letter from the English Commonwealth to Queen Christina in Sweden seeking reassurance that their ships would be mutually entertained in each other’s harbors and protect each other from becoming “infested” by their enemies.

In the future, I hope to publish my dissertation. In the meantime, I will return as a student to St Andrews in January to begin my MRes, continuing my research into Anglo/Scottish-Dutch history, and writing a dissertation on Scottish soldiers in the Dutch Republic between 1600 and 1655. In my free time, I enjoy playing the fiddle, running, and I have also been entering biographies of Scottish immigrants on the Scotland, Scandinavia, and Northern Europe (SSNE) database for Professor Murdoch.

St Andrews Book Conference 2018: Print and Power

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Dr Alexandra Hill with her book

Blog post written by Dr Nina Lamal

Between June 21 and 23, the Universal Short Title Catalogue team hosted its annual book conference.  This year’s conference theme was Print and Power, organised by Jamie Cumby (University of St Andrews), Nina Lamal (University of Antwerp) and Helmer Helmers (University of Amsterdam) and generously supported by the History Department of the University of Antwerp. Within the scope of the conference theme , scholars from across Europe, the United States, and Canada discussed multiple ways in which civic and ecclesiastical authorities recognized the potential and power of print, and how it was used to govern and communicate with their citizens from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century.

The conference hosted sixty attendees at St Mary’s College where twenty-six papers, spread over two and half days, provided stimulating conversations and discussions. The conference began with a panel on printing for the government with case studies from Germany, the southern Low Countries and Papal Bologna. Later that day, papers discussed printing propaganda and news in papal Rome, France, the Dutch Republic, and the Holy Roman Empire. The day ended with two more papers on the role of  printed books within international relations. On Friday, panels focused on reformation in England and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as the challenging of religious authorities in Milan, Antwerp and London. Other sessions were dedicated to the power of the image within print, and how patronage enabled the tracing of careers of individual printers in Italy and Krakow. The conference ended on Saturday with a panel devoted to printing in the Dutch Republic and a session on the use of print by colonial trading companies and institutions.

20180621_174609During the evening, the conference provided further activities. On Thursday evening, Special Collections exhibited lots of wonderful material related to our participants’ papers. Among the items on display were sixteenth-century Italian ordinances printed in Bologna and Naples. A specific book of interest was an Arabic translation of Euclid’s Elements, which was printed in Rome in 1594 in the Typographia Medicea. This oriental press was a commercial venture, heavily sponsored by Cardinal Ferdinando de Medici, who aimed to sell these Arabic books in the Ottoman Empire. On Friday evening the participants enjoyed a wine and beer reception, which celebrated the launch of St Andrews’ graduate Dr Alexandra Hill’s monograph Lost Books and Printing in London, 1557-1640. An Analysis of the Stationers’ Company Register.

The proceedings of this conference will be published in Brill’s The Library of the Written Word. Next year, another conference will take place, with the theme of  Crisis or Enlightenment? Developments in the Book Trade, 1650-1750. This conference will happen between 20 and 22 June – for more information, please visit http://www.ustc.ac.uk.