Dr Katie Stevenson awarded Royal Society of Edinburgh Medal

Pic Alan Richardson Dundee Pix-AR.co.uk  St Andrews MagThe School of History is delighted to announce that Dr Katie Stevenson has been awarded the Royal Society of Edinburgh Thomas Reid Medal for 2014.

The RSE Thomas Reid Medal is an early career prize in the Humanities and Creative Arts, which has been awarded to Dr Stevenson “for her outstanding scholarly work on the cultural and political history of late medieval Scotland which has established her as a leading international expert in the field and for her commitment to knowledge exchange.”

PG Amy Eberlin wins Medieval Academy Research Funding

Amy EberlinThe School of History offers warm congratulations to second year PhD student Amy Eberlin who has been awarded a 2014 Schallek Award from the Medieval Academy of America.

The Medieval Academy, in collaboration with the Richard III Society – American Branch, gives the annual award to fund doctoral research on any aspect of late medieval Britain.

Amy’s PhD, supervised by Dr Katie Stevenson, is on the Flemings in late medieval Scotland. Her research forms part of the Scotland and the Flemish People project, hosted by the Institute of Scottish Historical Research.

 Amy will use her award to research in the Bruges City Archives and the Zeeuws Archief. This research which will form a core part of her thesis.


Mediaeval St Andrews day workshop – January 2014

On 14 January the School of History hosted a one-day workshop on mediaeval St Andrews. The workshop was organised by Dr Michael Brown, Dr Katie Stevenson and Dr Alex Woolf, and there were thirty participants drawn from a range of disciplines including history, art history, literary studies, architectural history, archaeology and linguistics. Researchers came from the universities of St Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Guelph and Trinity College Dublin and discussion benefited from the input of postgraduate researchers, professional archaeologists, archivists and other scholars.

The workshop centred on four principal themes – St Andrew, the Church, the burgh and the university – and each session was led by an invited authority, Dr Simon Taylor of the University of Glasgow on St Andrew, Prof. Ian Campbell of the University of Edinburgh on the Church, Prof. Elizabeth Ewan of the University of Guelph (and currently ISHR Visiting Research Fellow) on the burgh, and Dr Norman Reid, Head of Special Collections, on the university.

The organisers’ research interests in mediaeval St Andrews emerged after several years of teaching the honours option ME3309 Mediaeval St Andrews, the first fully team-taught honours option available to History students. The structure of the teaching and assessment for this module encouraged Drs Brown, Stevenson and Woolf to consider the present state of knowledge and understanding of St Andrews from its earliest settlement to the years before the Reformation in 1560. While the School of History prides itself on its research-led teaching, it is also important to recognise teaching-led research; the students of ME3309 past and present have been crucial to the inception of this project.

Over half of the workshop participants are contributing to a forthcoming volume Medieval St Andrews: Church, Cult, City to be published in the St Andrews Studies in Scottish History series with Boydell & Brewer in 2015. The January workshop was generously supported by the School of History and the St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies.

Dr Michael Brown and Dr Katie Stevenson on BBC Radio Scotland

Recently the Black Dinner of 1440 at Edinburgh Castle inspired a shockingly violent scene in the highly-successful television series Game of Thrones.

Recently the Black Dinner of 1440 at Edinburgh Castle inspired a shockingly violent scene in the popular television series Game of Thrones.

Two medieval historians at St Andrews will feature in the coming weeks on the new BBC Radio Scotland series Tales of a Crimewriter. The series focuses on the ways in which the violent episodes during the rule of the Stewart dynasty in Scotland provide inspiration for the arts in different forms, including opera, novels and plays. On Wednesday 4 December Dr Michael Brown can be heard in the first episode of the series, James I, and on Wednesday 11 December he will be joined by Dr Katie Stevenson in the second episode on James II.

Carnegie Trust funds three History projects

Three historians in the School of History have been awarded Carnegie Trust Grants.

Tommy Steele

Tommy Steele in 1957

Dr Gillian Mitchell has been awarded a Carnegie Trust Grant for a project on Reactions of the Older Generation to Rock ‘n’ Roll Music in Britain, 1955-1965. The grant will fund a lengthy research trip to London to consult resources in various libraries and archives, including the British Library’s oral history collections, the Church of England Record Centre in South London and the V&A Collections.

The project aims to analyse the reactions of adults to rock ‘n’ roll music in Britain between 1955 (when the genre first became popular in the country) and 1965 (the height of the ‘beat group’ era). It is widely assumed that adults reacted to rock ‘n’ roll with uniform horror, and that the music, often linked to contemporary anxieties concerning cultural Americanisation and juvenile delinquency, represented the ultimate symbol of ‘the generation gap’. Dr Mitchell will challenge this impression by demonstrating that the reactions of adults (including parents, teachers, journalists, religious leaders and representatives of entertainment establishments) to rock ‘n’ roll, far from being overwhelmingly negative, were more varied than has hitherto been supposed.

Germantown, Philadelphia

Germantown, PA

Dr Emma Hart has been awarded a Carnegie Grant for her project Trading Places: The British Atlantic Marketplace and the Foundations of American Capitalism. Dr Hart’s grant will fund the final phase of research for this project, during which she will visit Northumberland, Glasgow, the National Archives in London and South Carolina. The Trading Places project is a history of the British Atlantic market place from 1660 to the American Revolution. Dr Hart will investigate where people traded and who set the terms and places of buying and selling. She is interested in how the creation of Britain’s American empire affected market practices and created diverse economic cultures.

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An Eglinton Tournament Jug, 1839.

Dr Katie Stevenson has been awarded a Carnegie Grant that will assist the publication of a substantial new volume, Chivalry and the Vision of the Medieval Past, to appear in the series ‘Medievalism’ with Boydell & Brewer. The volume is co-edited by Katie and Barbara Gribling (formerly of the School of History and now a postdoctoral fellow at Tel Aviv University) and includes essays by Dr David Allan, and former St Andrews postgraduates Rachael Whitbread (Mediaeval History) and Peter Lindfield-Ott (Art History).

Tomasz Kamusella awarded RSE Arts & Humanities Grant

Tomek LA AC 1930 MT 23 05 2013

Dr Tomasz Kamusella has been awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Arts & Humanities grant to assist in the completion of an Atlas of Language Politics in Modern Central Europe. The Grant will fund the making of nearly twenty maps that will form the core of the book.

The Atlas offers a unique insight into the mechanisms and history of how Central Europe’s languages have been made, unmade and deployed for political action from the nineteenth century onwards. The Atlas makes a wealth of specialized and hard-to-reach information readily available to the specialist and general reader, and allows for gleaning information on, for instance, the fashioning of Serbian and Croatian into Serbo-Croatian, before it split into the two former languages, and Bosnian and Montenegrin, in a process parallel to the breakup of Yugoslavia. The Atlas’s several map series chart writing systems, employment of languages for state building projects, and the  disappearance of non-state languages.


Staff in the School of History have had noteworthy success in the current round of RSE Arts & Humanities funding: Dr Katie Stevenson also received an award.

Katie Stevenson wins RSE Arts & Humanities Research Grant

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Dr Katie Stevenson has been awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Arts & Humanities Research Grant for her project The Power of Pedigree: The Stewart Dynasty and the Foundations of Royal Authority. This grant, which is funded by the Scottish Government, will support Katie’s archival research and enable her to consult medieval manuscripts in the United States, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and England.  Katie will commence the research for this project in January 2014, when she takes up a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh.

Dr Katie Stevenson’s Erasmus exchange to Utrecht


Drift: the heart of the humanities at Universiteit Utrecht

In mid-October, Dr Katie Stevenson, a late medieval historian in the School of History, spent ten days on Erasmus teaching exchange to Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands. Utrecht University was founded in 1636 and is one of the world’s leading institutions. Katie visited the Department of History & Art History in the Faculty of Humanities, based in Drift and opposite the University Library, an ultra-modern facility inside Louis Napoleon Boneparte’s former palace in the city.

While in Utrecht Katie taught late medieval history to undergraduate and postgraduate students and offered an individuele opdracht on chivalry and the Order of the Garter in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. Katie also gave a lecture to the departments of English, History & Art History on ‘the Battle for Arthur in Anglo-Scottish Relations, c.1500’.

The School of History at St Andrews offers postgraduate exchanges with Utrecht as part of the Erasmus scheme. Katie is the third visitor to Utrecht from St Andrews; Dr James Palmer visited on staff exchange, and his doctoral student Joanna Thornborough spent several months researching there in early 2013. Click here for more information on the Study Abroad schemes for History students.

Call for Applications: ISHR Visiting Research Fellowship 2014-15

st_andrewsThe 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 2014-15. The fellowship may last between one and five months, with preference given to applicants requesting a longer residency.

The Institute of Scottish Historical Research was founded in 2007 under the directorship of Professor Roger Mason, and draws together the excellence and expertise of nearly twenty historians of Scotland, including Prof. T.C. Smout, the Historiographer Royal in Scotland.

The ISHR provides an intellectual and social focus for staff and a thriving community of postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers working on all periods of Scottish history from the early Middle Ages to the present. The Institute hosts a number of events throughout the year attracting delegates and speakers from all over the world, including a fortnightly research seminar series, workshops and conferences with an emphasis on new discoveries and directions in historical enquiry.

The Institute has several major collaborative research initiatives under its auspices. Past projects have included the Scottish Parliament Project and the History of the Universities Project. Ongoing and current projects include the Scotland and the Wider World Project, and the Scotland, Scandinavia and Northern Europe Database, and most recently the Scotland and the Flemish People project which commenced in AY2012-13.

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.

St_Andrews_Castle_ScotlandThe Fellowship carries with it no teaching duties, though the Fellow will be expected to take part in the normal activities of the ISHR during their stay in St Andrews. For more information on the Institute please visit the ISHR website at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/ishr/. You will also be invited to lead a workshop, give a research seminar paper or other suitable activities depending on the length of your stay. Fellows are provided with computing facilities and an office, normally in one of the School of History buildings. The university library has an exceptional collection for Scottish historians, including vast electronic resources and excellent holdings in the Special Collections department. Major national libraries and archives are within easy travelling distance, as are the university libraries in Dundee, Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

You should send a letter of application by 6 December 2013, together with an outline of the research and/or writing in which you will be engaged during your time in St Andrews.  You should also enclose a CV, together with the names of two academic referees, who should submit their references by the closing date. All correspondence should be addressed to the Director of the ISHR, Dr Katie Stevenson, by email to kcs7@st-andrews.ac.uk.

The closing date for applications is 6 December 2013.

Further enquiries may be addressed to the ISHR Director Dr Katie Stevenson (kcs7@st-andrews.ac.uk) or to other staff in the ISHR.

History-English PG Liz Hanna wins two funding awards

Liz HannaLiz Hanna, a joint HistoryEnglish PhD student, has won two awards in recent grant competitions.

The first is a grant from the Catherine Mackichan Trust to support further study of John of Fordun’s fourteenth-century Chronica Gentis Scotorum. The grant will allow her to consult two manuscripts of the chronicle from the British Library in order to examine the progression of Fordun’s depiction of King Arthur in the extant manuscripts of Chronica Gentis Scotorum.

Liz’s second award is a Barron Bequest from the International Arthurian Society British Branch. The Barron Bequest is a substantial contribution towards tuition fees.

Liz is jointly supervised by Dr Katie Stevenson in History and Dr Rhiannon Purdie in English. She is a member of both the St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies and the St Andrews Institute of Scottish Historical Research.