Theses and Works in Progress
Dr Katie Barclay, University of Glasgow, 2007
Love, Intimacy and Power: Marital Relationships in Scotland, 1650-1850
Katie completed her PhD, ‘I rest your loving obedient wife’: marital relationships in Scotland, 1650-1850’ at the University of Glasgow in 2007. It looked at how marriage, love and intimacy were negotiated within a patriarchal context through the correspondence of the Scottish elites. This is now available as Love, Intimacy and Power: Marriage and Patriarchy in Scotland, 1650-1850 (Manchester, 2011).
Dr Angela Bartie, University of Dundee, 2006
Edinburgh and the Festivals: Exploring Culture, Theatre and Morality, 1947-1967
Angela’s PhD research is described as ‘broadly on the cultural history of the Edinburgh Festivals between 1947 and 1967, with particular emphasis on the 1960s’. Her research interests include the new definitions and roles of ‘culture’ envisioned in post-war Britain, new and experimental trends in the arts (especially theatre), changing attitudes to religion and morality, and liberalisation in society. Within Angela’s thesis, these themes are examined in the context of Edinburgh and the festivals and their importance as a focus for exploring cultural and moral change in post-war Britain.
Dr Kenneth J W Baxter, University of Dundee
‘Estimable and Gifted’? Women in Party Politics in Scotland c.1918-c.1955
This thesis will assess the nature and level of women’s involvement in party politics in Scotland between 1918 and 1955. It aims to show that, even although the women involved in party politics generally had a lower profile than male politicians, women on the whole played an important role in Scottish party politics in this period. Focusing particularly on the cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, it includes a detailed exploration of the various roles women played in national and local elections and their significance. It also examines the careers of women who were elected to national and municipal office, as well as giving consideration to female party members and officials.
Dr Amanda Beam, University of Stirling, 2005
The Political Ambitions and Influences of the Balliol Dynasty, c. 1210-1364
Amanda’s thesis examined the importance of the dynasty in the 13th and 14th centuries in the three realms of Scotland, England and France. It has generally been accepted that John, king of Scotland from 1292-96 and Edward Balliol (king of Scotland from 1332-56) were politically weak men and unsuccessful kings, but recent works have begun to re-evaluate the family. Challenges have remained though and it has been necessary to re-examine their English, French and Scottish connections. By taking a British approach, the Balliols have been revealed as wholly English in identity, committed English lords and loyal to the kings of England.
Alison Brown, The Open University
Interpersonal Killing in Scotland, 1840-1869
The foci of this project are regional and demographic factors in the incidence of interpersonal killing in Scotland 1840-1869. Three important and recurrent themes underlie nineteenth-century perceptions of and historical explanations for crime: those of poverty, gender and environment, yet there remains a paucity of research into this area for Scotland. Murder is the ultimate in violent crime and through an exhaustive study of these and culpable homicide cases heard by Edinburgh and Scotland’s three circuit courts over a thirty year period it is hoped to gain a better understanding of contributing regional factors in interpersonal killing, to build a demographic profile of offenders, and to explore the way in which interpersonal violence and its punishment were gendered.
Antonia J Bunch, University of Dundee
Victorian and Edwardian Public Library Buildings in Scotland
Public Library buildings are an important but neglected part of our built heritage. The Public Libraries (Scotland and Ireland) Act 1853 enabled local authorities to use income from the rates to establish public libraries but by 1878 there were only six rate-supported libraries in Scotland. Some of the earlier public libraries were purpose-built; others were either housed in, or attached to, other buildings. After Andrew Carnegie made it known he would fund new buildings for public libraries, there was a rush in the number of authorities establishing rate-supported libraries. This PhD thesis will examine architectural considerations, and will also look at the socio-political implications and cultural issues.
Jodi Campbell, University of Guelph
‘To Insult the Church and Ruffle the Magistrates’: Scottish Episcopal Networks of Resistance, 1690-1715
Research on Jacobite networks focuses mainly on Jacobites in exile and their work to return the Stuarts to the throne. Through prosopographical analysis, this project, however, focuses on a network of Scottish Episcopalians and their Anglican brethren in England and Ireland. These men chose to stay in Britain to face down their Presbyterian opponents, highlight what they termed were Presbyterian abuses of power, and push for toleration. Although a great number of Episcopalians were Jacobites hoping, and working for, a Stewart restoration, this thesis stresses the religious persecution of the Episcopalians and their struggle to achieve toleration.
Dr Simon Carr, Glasgow Caledonian University, 2008
Medical Provision for Orthopaedic Cases in Inter-war Glasgow
Simon’s research encompasses three groups of Glasgow’s physically-impaired population between the years 1919-1939: fracture victims; children affected by diseases such as TB and rickets; and veterans of the First World War. The embryonic nature of orthopaedics at this time meant that regional variation was evident across much of Britain in terms of both fracture treatment and corrective appliances for physically-impaired children. Given the dominant presence of heavy industry and the notoriously high levels of the aforementioned diseases in Glasgow, it represents an ideal starting point in the largely neglected field of medical provision for orthopaedic cases in Scotland.
Louisa Cross, University of Dundee
Fashionable Display in Scotland c1780-1830
Louisa’s PhD explores the way in which fashionable clothing was displayed in urban Scotland c1780-1830. The extent of the growth of fashionable clothing trades in a range of towns across Scotland and the ways in which fashions were promoted to consumers is examined. The arenas of display of these fashions takes into account the social settings and occasions and meanings attached to fashionable display. Those wearing fashionable clothing are considered in terms of their status and gender, relating fashionable display to behaviour, including levels of theatricality, over the period and examines the attitudes to fashion within society.
Dr Kimm Curran, University of Glasgow, 2006
Religious Women and Their Communities in Late Medieval Scotland
This doctoral thesis is the first to have examined in detail the relationships between Scottish female monastic establishments, their inhabitants and Scottish families, kin-groups and locality in the later medieval period, ca. 1300-1560. Prosopographical analysis was applied to show links between individual nuns and local families, former patrons or founders and relations to one another. A detailed discussion of the role of the prioress house and how she helped maintain networks between the outside world and monastic establishments emphasized the importance of family and kinship relations in a particular locality. The most important conclusion reached was how the outside world and female religious communities were undeniably tied to one another and these associations and interactions constituted the essence of what defined both communities.
Dr Vivienne Dunstan, University of Dundee, 2010
Reading habits in Scotland, c.1750-1820
This PhD thesis explored reading habits in Scotland between circa 1750 and 1820, reassessing the evidence for reading as an activity using evidence linking identifiable readers with what they were reading. Such a focus on direct evidence for reading differentiated this study from past research which has tended to study providers of reading material such as booksellers and publishers. Identifying readers made it easier to draw meaningful conclusions about the role of reading in their lives and how representative they were of other individuals. Overall the thesis aimed to uncover to what extent personal reading habits in Scotland changed during this period. Related themes explored include the significance of urban culture, variation by social class, and the influence of contemporary movements such as the Enlightenment. Records studied include contemporary accounts of readers, library catalogues and borrowing records, and evidence of book ownership. This doctoral thesis is the first to have examined in detail the relationships between Scottish female monastic establishments, their inhabitants and Scottish families, kin-groups and locality in the later medieval period, ca. 1300-1560. Prosopographical analysis was applied to show links between individual nuns and local families, former patrons or founders and relations to one another. A detailed discussion of the role of the prioress house and how she helped maintain networks between the outside world and monastic establishments emphasized the importance of family and kinship relations in a particular locality. The most important conclusion reached was how the outside world and female religious communities were undeniably tied to one another and these associations and interactions constituted the essence of what defined both communities.
Anita R Fairney, University of Western Australia
Jacobite Scotswomen: their roles, identities and agency in Scottish politics, 1688-1788
This thesis will examine the roles and contributions of Jacobite Scotswomen to Scottish politics, from the revolution in which King James II & VII was deposed and went into exile (1688-89), until the death of his grandson, Prince Charles Edward Stuart (1788). It will explore Scotswomen’s agency and motivations for contributing to the Stuart restoration—a treasonous affair—with a close analysis of their multi-layered identities and the manifestation of them as Scotswomen and Jacobites, within Scotland’s national politics and identity. email@example.com
Dr Linda Fleming, University of Glasgow, 2005
Jewish Women in Glasgow c1880-1950: Gender, Ethnicity and the Immigrant Experience
This study places women at the centre of the immigrant narrative and explores the materiality of immigrant life in the working class Jewish community of the Gorbals. It analyses aspects of Jewish suburban life in Glasgow that were shaped and expressed through changes in gender relations. The intersection of culture with more customary social and economic aspects of the migration process is demonstrated and reveals the central roles played by women. The overall conclusion is that Glaswegian Jewish identity was shaped by the operation of gender as well as ethnicity and class. Primary research used archival sources held in the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre.
Fiona Frank, University of Strathclyde
Jewish immigration to Scotland
Fiona's PhD thesis will investigate Jewish immigration to Scotland 100 years ago and transmission of culture through five generations. It's an ethnographic study focussing on how secular and religious education, the family, and the different gender roles within the family, have their effect on how Jewish culture is transmitted by older generations, and accepted, or not, by younger generations. Oral history life story interviews are being carried out with every living member of the third and fourth generations of one extended family, of whom the great-grandparents, a rabbi and his wife, arrived in Leith in 1882. Some of the fifth generation are being interviewed using an ‘electronic focus group’ approach.
Kieran R German, Aberdeen Town & County History Society PhD Fellow, University of Aberdeen
Jacobitism and the North-East of Scotland
Kieran is conducting research into the importance of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to a developing Jacobite ideology in eighteenth-century Scotland. Relying on Aberdeen University’s MacBean Collection of Jacobite materials, as well as its collection of local family papers he will consider the Jacobitism of the region as energised by the town’s universities, the Episcopal heritage of the region and its established links across Northern Europe and with the Jacobite courts in Paris and Rome. In turn he will regard the contribution the region made to the Jacobite movement, but will also address how this community enriched the culture and identity of the North-East.
Dr Alison Gilmour, University of Glasgow, 2009
An Examination of work culture and industrial relations at the Linwood car plant 1963-1981
The focus of Alison’s thesis is a comprehensive study of work culture and industrial relations at the Linwood car plant with the hypothesis that collective working class politics were weakened from the 1960s due to the changing nature of work and the endorsement of a culture of individualism. Alison’s research will therefore explore to what extent workers were engaged with working class politics and their trade union. An important element of this thesis is the use of oral testimony to examine everyday experiences of work, how people perceived their job and the relationship between management, workforce and the trade unions.
Dr Katharine Glover, University of Edinburgh, 2007
Elite Women and the Change of Manners in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Scotland
Katharine’s PhD thesis explores the social and cultural roles and experiences of the women of the mid-eighteenth-century Scottish elite. Using letters, accounts, bills, memoirs and other family papers, it examines women’s education, their relationships with print culture, their role in polite and in political society, and their experiences of travel. It adds weight to the arguments for a wide-ranging interpretation of Enlightenment culture which takes account of a female readership and audience, and contributes to scholarship which investigates the complexities of regional and national variations on polite culture within Britain. Most importantly, it adds a Scottish dimension to the growing body of work which argues for the diversity of elite and specifically genteel women's social roles in eighteenth-century Britain.
Erin C M Grant, University of Otago
The Pipe Band Diaspora: Bands, Bonnie Lassies, and Scottish Identity, 1896-2009
Erin's thesis will look at the global community that has been cultivated by the competitive culture of the Great Highland Bagpipe in the form of pipe bands throughout the twentieth century. Her research also looks at the social composition and interaction of piping society. Themes of masculinity and femininity are quite conspicuous in the history of piping, yet they have curiously remained unexplored by academia to any great extent. Currently her research is focusing on the historical concept of women's pipe bands and women's roles in pipe band communities both in New Zealand and more widely, throughout Scotland and its Diaspora.
Dr Elsa Hamilton, University of Glasgow, 2003
The Acts of the Earls of Dunbar relating to Scotland c.1124- c.1289: a Study of Lordship in Scotland in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries
Elsa’s thesis analyses the nature of the Dunbar lordship in the context of twelfth and thirteenth-century Scottish aristocratic society using the charters of the six descendants of Gospatric, whom Malcolm III endowed with lands in Lothian near Dunbar. It examines the diplomatic of the charters and addresses questions concerning the comital economy, land tenure and service, relations with the Church, and networks of family and dependants. Appendices include maps of the Dunbar lands, reproductions of Dunbar charters, seals and counterseals, and a calendar of ninety-two comital acts, six texts printed from the original for the first time.
Dr Paula Hughes, University of Strathclyde, 2008
The 1649-50 Scottish witch-hunt, with particular reference to the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale
Paula’s thesis examines the 1649-50 Scottish witch-hunt from the perspectives of the central and local authorities. It considers the response of the central authorities and their attempts to control the witch-hunt from above through the introduction of new legislation and procedures. It also considers the role played by local institutions, in particular the presbyteries, in investigating and processing accusations of witchcraft. The 1649-50 witch-hunt is considered within the wider context of the political and religious situation in Scotland in the late 1640s, at the same time examining key themes in the study of witch-hunting such as the demonic pact and the nature of maleficium.
Dr Iain Hutchison, University of Strathclyde, 2004
The experience and representation of disability in nineteenth-century Scotland
Iain’s research endeavours to depart from traditional methodologies of examining the history of disability through such mediums as medical advancement, education, administration, charity and philanthropy, which have had a tendency to consider people and procedures intervening in the lives of people with disabilities while marginalising the very people to whom these efforts were directed. The thesis places people with physical, sensory and mental disabilities centre-stage by investigating their varied experiences and responses using sources that include first-hand testimony, and by considering how they were represented in the community, in personal relations, in literature, in institutional settings and in the environment of work.
Janet Inglis, University of Dundee
Scotland’s Castles - Rescued, Rebuilt and Reoccupied, 1945-2000
The second half of the twentieth century saw a ‘Golden Age’ of castle restoration in Scotland. During this time around eighty ruined or derelict castles were rebuilt and reoccupied, mostly by private owners who purchased the building with a view to restoring it. The question of why so much activity took place in this period will be analyzed in terms of the developing ‘restoration climate’, which was increasingly championed by the media, and the interrelationships between social, political and economic factors which allowed it to flourish. At the heart of these relationships are the owners. Their personal qualities and motivations will be examined, along with some consideration of the architectural features of the castles themselves.
Derek Janes, Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter
The Business of Smuggling in SE Scotland: John and David Nisbet and their associates, 1740 – 1790
Derek’s starting point is Gunsgreen House in Eyemouth, designed by John Adam for John Nisbet, a local “merchant” in the early 1750s. The purpose of his work is to seek to understand the nature of trade and smuggling in SE Scotland with reference to the lives and careers of John Nisbet of Gunsgreen House, Eyemouth, and his brother David. It will consider the society in which they operated, their connections, associates and rivals.
Chris R. Langley, University of Aberdeen
Times of Trouble and Deliverance: Worship in the Kirk of Scotland, 1646-1658
Chris’s thesis will explore how lay religious practice coped with the crises of the mid-seventeenth century. This work intentionally takes the type of documents ordinarily used by historians of the initial 'Reformation' period, and deploys them in order to gain an insight into how people worshipped and interacted with contemporary political concerns. Mainly focusing on lowland Scotland, where the abundance of material survives, this research project assesses how the Kirk as a local institution had a larger amount of flexibility than one may have hitherto thought. How this flexibility interacted with desires to continue or, at least, protect the progress of Reformation is a key theme in understanding Kirk culture and religiosity in this period.
Darren S Layne MSc (Dist), University of Edinburgh, 2004
Like Lambs Among the Heather: Impressment and Coercion in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-6
Amidst 250 years of sensationalist and nationalist myth lies some oft-neglected behaviour identified by the drastic recruiting tactics of Charles Edward Stuart’s Scottish Jacobite army. From threats of sword and torch, rapine and kidnapping, this study presents an overview of evidence that conjures a peculiar historical irony: the use of despotic recruitment tactics in a popularly-regarded struggle from foreign oppression. Far from being ignited by a widespread national cause, the major motivation of many Highland clan chiefs during the ’45 was the welfare of their tenants and families – and often personal gain – but more rarely included considerations of ancestral loyalty to the Stuarts, patriotism, or dissatisfaction with the current Union.
Dr John MacAskill, University of Aberdeen, 2003
“A Silver Fringe?” The Crown, Private Proprietors and the Scottish Kelp Shores and the Scottish Foreshore generally c1800-c1940
The thesis examines the dispute between private proprietors and the Crown over the ownership of the Scottish foreshore in the second half of the nineteenth and into twentieth century. It shows that the consensus that the economic benefits of the kelp industry in the highlands and islands accrued to the proprietors through their unchallenged exclusive ownership and control of the foreshore is based on a shallow foundation. The actions of the Crown and private proprietors over the ownership of the foreshore are seen as a conflict between the Crown whose duty was to protect the public interest, and proprietors who were motivated by their own private interest of securing the sacred right of property; a conflict in which crofters and cottars were unwitting, but important, combatants on behalf of the proprietors, but whose actions brought no benefit to themselves.
Daniel MacCannell, University of Aberdeen
A culture of proclamation? Looking beyond the popular press for the origins of news?
Dan, a filmmaker and former television executive, completed an MLitt with Distinction in Early Modern Studies at Aberdeen, with a dissertation on the structure of public communications during the administration of Richard Weston (1629-1635). He is currently pursuing a PhD focusing on early modern communications, with special emphasis on print and the ‘news process’ in Scotland, Ireland and Colonial America prior to 1640. His most recent publication is ‘The misericords found in King’s College Chapel: iconographic, regional and historical contexts’, Aberdeen University Review, LXII, 3, No. 215, Spring2006, pp188-198. For more information, please visit: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/riiss/staff/DanMacCannell.shtml
Mike Macdonald MLitt, University of Glasgow, 2007
Shipping, Piers and Economic Development in Remote Districts of Scotland, 1945-1985
The subject of Mike’s current research is the transition from private to public ownership of shipping services and the public funding of harbour improvements in the Orkney Islands and in Campbeltown, Argyll, after 1945. Related to these are public financial assistance for small business development in remote districts, in particular, for fishing and fish processing and marketing, and the question of what types of small business proved to be most successful in the long run.
Dr Richard Marsden, University of Glasgow, 2010
Cosmo Innes and the Sources of Scottish History c. 1825-1875
Richard’s thesis examines how medieval and early modern sources were presented and interpreted in Scotland during the nineteenth century, focusing on the work of the record scholar and legal antiquary Cosmo Innes. It examines the treatment of records pertaining to institutions such as the medieval church, the Scottish parliament, the burghs and the universities; changing approaches to family history; and the use of visual sources such as manuscript facsimiles and architectural photography. Richard argues that new approaches to sources made a crucial contribution to the re-assertion of a historically-based Scottish identity within the Union, following critiques of Scotland’s past during the Enlightenment. This record movement elevated antiquarianism to Scotland’s intellectual mainstream and combined elements of Enlightenment and Romanticism to create new visions of Scotland’s pre-Union history. The thesis throws new light on the supposed ‘strange death of Scottish history’ in the 1840s and 1850s.
Dr Kirsty F. McAlister, University of Strathclyde, 2003
James VII and the Conduct of Scottish Politics c.1679-c.1686
This thesis provides a detailed assessment of the impact of James VII, both as duke of York and king, on Scottish politics between c.1679 and c.1686. Themes examined include the militia and Highland policies, the enforcement of the 1681 Test Act and the pacification of disorder, particularly from the remnant Covenanters. The 1681 Parliament, in which James was High Commissioner, is analysed in detail, as are the 1685 and 1686 sessions of the parliament James held as king. The threat posed by the 1685 Argyll rebellion is also investigated, as is the political factionalism of the period.
Alison T. McCall, University of Dundee
The lass o' pairts - did she exist?
Alison’s PhD research examines the extent to which it was possible for a working class / lower middle class Scottish girl in the nineteenth century to use the education system to aid her own social mobility. Was there a female equivalent of the “lad o' pairts”? The research examines the sources of education available to working / lower middle class girls, through elementary schools, evening classes, Mechanics’ Institutes etc., and the opportunities which education created. The initial research focuses on the teaching profession, though it is hoped that other occupations may be included.
John McCallum, St Andrews Reformation Studies Institute
The Post-Reformation Church in Fife, 1560-c.1640
This project traces the establishment and development of reformed worship and discipline in Fife. The study firstly examines the often slow progress towards the reformers’ goal of a resident, preaching parish ministry and discipline, before taking a more thematic look at issues relating to reformed worship, discipline and culture. Fife was a heartland of the reformed church and so it will be fascinating to see how far the kirk managed to impose its notion of a godly society on an area that contained diverse inland rural parishes and coastal burghs as well as the more famous university town of St Andrews.
Angus MacKenzie, University of Glasgow
West of Scotland Industrial and Commercial Elites and their social, political and economic influence in the inter-war years
Angus’s research explores the connections that allowed a small group of likeminded business leaders to exert an unprecedented degree of control over the Scottish economy during the turbulent interwar years. Focusing on biographical studies of men like Sir Steven Bilsland, Lord Weir of Eastwood and Sir James Lithgow, the layers of linkage developed through board membership, trade bodies and even intermarriage will demonstrate the extent to which these men dominated the political and industrial scene - particularly through their championing of the Scottish National Development Council. The thesis will highlight the contradictions exposed by their strong anti-union beliefs, their religious faith and generous examples of paternalism.
Peadar Morgan, University of St Andrews
Ethnonyms in Scottish Place-Names
Peadar is undertaking research to determine what place-names, in and from any language, can reveal of past ethnic settlement and relations in Scotland. Early forms of all past and present names, which might conceivably refer to a distinct linguistic or cultural group, are being collected in a database and analysed. For example, the numerous “Scotstons”, which if any refer to “Scots”, as opposed to the surname. If “Scots”, is this a linguistic (e.g. Gaelic speaker) or geographical marker? From what period and in what context? The database will provide case studies for detailed analysis, considering such issues as who did the naming and why, and whether patterns of naming are discernible.
Dr Sue Morrison, Glasgow Caledonian University, 2007
The recognition of silicosis and the impact of legislation in Scotland during the 20th century
Sue is researching the prevalence of silicosis in Scotland during the 20th century and the
impact of legislation. Silicosis is an occupational lung disease that was widespread across a range of industries. Sue is exploring the stone industries, coal mining, foundries and building construction. Findings are, as yet, incomplete, but the emerging picture is one of recalcitrant employers and, in some cases, employee consensus and a large measure of complacency and/or inactivity on the part of successive governments. Such attitudes were facilitated and perpetuated by contested medical and scientific knowledge.
Dr Gordon Munro, University of Glasgow, 1999
Scottish Church Music and Musicians, 1500-1700
This study deals with the socio-historical context of church music and musicians, focusing first on the Chapel Royal followed by a comprehensive study of musicians’ activities throughout mainland Scotland. Data has been gathered from the records and accounts of burgh councils, churches and universities, the minutes of kirk sessions and presbyteries, and the Registers of the Privy Council, Privy Seal and Great Seal. It has been possible to reconstruct and compare the histories of song schools throughout the kingdom. These histories are of paramount importance in the development of Scottish church music since, in almost all cases, the master of the song school also worked at the local church. The study also comprises detailed stylistic analyses of sacred music of the period, beginning with Robert Carver, other works from the pre-Reformation era, and proceeding to examine post-Reformation settings. www.gordonmunro.co.uk.
Heather Parker, University of Guelph
The Formation of Marriage in Scotland, c. 1300-1600
Heather's work will investigate the way in which people entered into marriages in late medieval Scotland and the degree to which this changed during the Reformation. Her thesis will provide an in-depth investigation of marriage practices including the choice of partners, the legalities of marrying, the degree to which family was involved in the decision-making process and informal networks of family advisors. She will also show that although some marriage laws changed with the Reformation, there was a great deal of continuity in the actual practice of planning marriages throughout the sixteenth century.
Michael Pearce, University of Dundee
Politicising the Scottish royal Masters of Work
Michael’s MPhil thesis will review surviving treasury documentation, and evidence for the careers of the Masters of Work to James VI. The organisational nature of the Scottish royal building works is to be examined and its close link with a more securely established royal artillery explored. The appointments of three courtier Masters of Work to James VI follow a simple factional alternation. Robert Drummond, the appointee of Regent Morton, was displaced as Master of Work by William Schaw, acatholic and client of the Seton family. Robert Cunningham had been exiled in Lutheran Denmark: his namesake son was a campaign servant of Count Maurice in the UnitedProvinces. As much as any consideration of architectural merit it is proposed that these appointments were a matter of political expediency.
Michael Pugh, University of Glasgow
Once Proud Burghs: Partick and Govan c.1850-1925, Community and the Politics of Autonomy, Annexation and Assimilation
In the middle-decades of the nineteenth century, Partick and Govan underwent massive demographic upheaval, driven by the expansion of shipbuilding and its satellite industries. This led both communities to assert their autonomy as police burghs under distinctively Scottish legislation, until their absorption into municipal Glasgow in 1912. Michael’s PhD thesis examines the social and political dynamics involved in the drive for administrative autonomy, and compares the interplay between local identity and municipal and parliamentary politics in both burghs, before and after their annexation to Glasgow. Particular attention will be given to the impact of paternalism and sectarianism on local politics, the construction and uses of civic identity, and the electoral fortunes of the Liberal Party.
Dr Alasdair Raffe, University of Edinburgh, 2008
Religious controversy and Scottish society, c.1679-1714
Alasdair's thesis examines arguments between presbyterians and episcopalians during the period between 1679 and 1714, looking particularly at non-elite participation in debates. Since contemporary pamphlet literature predominantly reflects controversy within the clerical and political elites, this thesis supplements pamphlet sources with diaries, letters and petitions written by ordinary men and women, with evidence of popular violence, and with non-elite testimony before church courts. The controversial issues discussed include the use of language relating to ‘persecution,’ ‘fanaticism’ and ‘enthusiasm,’ clerical immorality, the Covenants, the Union of 1707, and the perceived threat of atheism.
Helen Rapport, University of Stirling
Civic Identity and Civic Rivalry: Edinburgh and Glasgow c.1750 – 1900
Helen is working on a PhD thesis on the relationship between Scotland’s first and second cities at an important time in their political, economic, and social development. Essentially, the thesis is a comparative study of the two cities’ cultural fabric and how their civil society evolved. The sources for this research are varied and include: diaries, visitor accounts, town council reports and speeches, newspapers, paintings, poetry, novels, histories, and sources for the built environment. This research charts how Edinburgh and Glasgow emerged with competing and contrasting civic identities, which contributed to and encouraged their rivalry.
Dr Ronnie Scott, University of Glasgow, 2006
The Cemetery and the City: The Origins of the Glasgow Necropolis, 1825-1857
The Glasgow Necropolis, the first garden or ornamental cemetery in Scotland, quickly became a significant cultural enterprise, attracting the custom of the emerging middle classes and the attention of visitors to the city. Ronnie’s thesis discusses how its promoters gave the site meanings that contributed to its commercial and cultural success, and how the public, visitors and other commentators responded to the cemetery and to these intended meanings. Finally, the thesis explores the early funerals and monuments of the Necropolis, demonstrating that the people of Glasgow not only embraced but extended the significance given to this important symbolic space by its promoters.
Dr Lynn Sinclair, University of Strathclyde, 2005
‘Silenced, Suppressed and Passive’? A Refocused History of Lanarkshire Women, 1920 – 1939
This thesis examines the impact that mass unemployment had on the lives of women in Lanarkshire’s industrial towns and villages during the interwar years. It argues that the Depression facilitated the increased presence of women in the public sphere, with many wives and mothers attempting to make social welfare concerns, such as housing and child health care provision, high profile issues. As male unemployment reached unprecedented levels, women often found themselves in the position of being the new ‘providers’. By investigating the private world of the family, as well as the public issue of welfare politics, this thesis restores women to the analysis, while challenging the conventional historiography that has classified women as being ‘silenced, suppressed and passive’.
Leona Skelton, Durham University
A Comparative Study of Environmental Regulation and Attitudes towards Outdoor Salubrity in Edinburgh and York, with reference to Smaller Towns and Burghs, c.1560-c.1700
Leona’s PhD compares contemporary attitudes towards environmental regulation in Edinburgh and York - both of typical inhabitants and of the cities' governors. It also sheds light on the complex relationship between how governors organised street-cleaning, managed waste-disposal and regulated the cleanliness of the outdoor environment, top-down, and how typical urban inhabitants self-regulated their neighbourhoods, bottom-up. The ways in which the respective cities' waste-disposal and sanitation systems and processes were undermined, adapted and improved over time, as inner Edinburgh’s population swelled while York’s remained relatively stagnant, are also analysed. While focusing on Edinburgh and York, the thesis discusses the challenge of pre-modern urban waste-disposal, in the context of both necessary urban agriculture and rudimentary technology, in a much broader context and with reference to several smaller towns.
Lis Smith, University of St Andrews
The First Women at St Andrews, 1877-1914
Lis’ research will examine the role of the University of St Andrews in promoting the higher education of women across the United Kingdom and beyond, through its award of the Lady Literate in Arts (LLA) certificate in the last decades of the nineteenth century and early years of the twentieth century. It will appraise, in the context of the familial and economic backgrounds of women who undertook the course, what influence possession of the LLA had upon their career development, and the significance of their contributions to the social and political structures of the period. Specifically, the issue of whether the existence of the LLA itself was in any form a catalyst in raising the profile of campaigns for female emancipation will be considered. Analyses of the first matriculated women students in the university will be undertaken, and comparisons drawn between outcomes derived from LLA and degree status.
Dr Michael Smith, Glasgow Caledonian University, 2008
Death and Mourning in Nineteenth Century Edinburgh
This research considers the manner in which traditional death practices were placed under pressure by the process of modernity, attempting to gauge patterns of continuity and change present in the rituals that marked the ‘chief end of man’ during this era. It incorporates an assessment of the extent to which death became commercialised and commodified under the auspices of the undertaker, as well as considering the meanings that lay behind the ritual found in the funeral day, for both deceased and survivors. A final main area of interest lies within patterns of mourning, focusing upon the relationship between death and themes such as gender and class.
Dr Paula Somerville, University of Strathclyde, 2009
A history of the Scottish National Party, 1945-67
Paula’s thesis examines the history of the Scottish National Party over the period 1945-67. The SNP was formed in 1934 following the merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, but failed to make much impact on the political climate in the forties and fifties era. By the early 1960s, however, the fortunes of the Party changed as it dramatically increased its membership and began making electoral inroads into Scottish politics. This research looks at the reasons why the Party went from a small organisation existing on the margins of Scottish politics in the forties and fifties, to a mainstream political party by the 1960s.
Dr David Sutton, University of Glasgow, 2009
The public-private interface of domiciliary medical for the poor in Scotland, c.1875-1911
A study of the nexus of forms of ‘outdoor’ medical provision made available for the treatment of the poor in the key cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh before the National Health Insurance Act, 1911. ‘The poor’ are understood as those ordinarily unable to pay the doctor’s fee. The principal theme is the different ways in which medical practitioners, as representatives of a diverse range of municipal and parochial (or public), as well as voluntary infirmary, dispensary, missionary, philanthropic, benevolent, providential and other self-help (or private) agencies, negotiated access into the homes of the poor.
Andrea Thomson, University of Glasgow
Marriage and marriage breakdown in late twentieth-century Scotland
Andrea’s research will add a new perspective to the existing discussion surrounding marriage and family relations in late twentieth-century Scotland. This thesis seeks to recapture the everyday reality of marriage and marriage breakdown, using oral history and a range of contemporary and archival source materials, including legal records and parliamentary, ecclesiastical and sociological commentary. Perceived advances in terms of both mainstream ideology and legislation did not influence marriage in a discursive vacuum, but instead are likely to have integrated and competed not only with generic ideals regarding appropriate gender roles, but also embedded local patterns of gender relations. Oral history is a particularly appropriate methodology with which to address this topic as it permits an arguably unrivalled insight into the experience of daily life.
Alison Turnbull, University of Strathclyde
‘Glasgow’s War and Masculine Identities in the Reserved Occupations 1939-1945: Recovering Gender Identities in Oral Narratives and Public History’
Alison’s thesis will explore the masculine identities of men in the Reserved Occupations in wartime Glasgow, looking at how they relate to historical discussions of social change and wider discourses on masculinities and gender identities. Her work will extend the field of masculinity research in a Scottish context and explore the complexity of masculine identities among Clydeside civilian workers during the Second World War. Her research is based on personal testimonies, focusing primarily on the Oral History Collections held by Glasgow Museums and additional new interviews, as well as diaries, memoirs and the Mass Observation Archive, held at the University of Sussex.
Dr David Walker, University of Strathclyde, 2007
Occupational Health and Safety in the British Chemical Industry, 1914-1974
This study explores the main characteristics of the British chemical worker’s experience in relation to occupational health and safety, providing an analysis of the continuities and changes that occurred over the period 1914 to 1974. This research explores the causes of ill health, the politics of reform and the role of key players, such as government, medical profession, employers and trade unions. The fundamental questions addressed are, to what extent, in what form, and for what reasons were British chemical workers exposed to dangers and hazards within the workplace between the outbreak of World War One and the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)? The thesis is now available as a free PDF download at: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/6429/1/strathprints006429.pdf
Isla Woodman, University of St Andrews
The Scottish Universities in Europe, 1410-1513
Isla’s PhD research considers the development of the infant institutions at St Andrews, Glasgow and Aberdeen against the changing social and cultural environment of Scotland and wider Europe. She explores the extent to which the Scottish universities conformed to an ‘academic’ pattern, while attempting to reconcile the intellectual dimension with church and secular politics, and the changing demands of secular society. A case study seeks to examine the extent to which those men who were bishops or royal officials during the period 1400-1560 were educated to university level, from where they obtained their degrees and whether identifiable trends changed during this period.
Dr Hilary Young, University of Strathclyde, 2006
Representation and Reception: An Oral History of Gender in Children's Popular Story Papers c.1940 – 1968
‘Book’ history has focused primarily on the perspective of the author, publisher and bookseller and has lost sight of the reader. History of reading presents a different focus. It implies that the act of reading is also a central point of literary and cultural exchange, giving literature life and multiplicity of meanings to the readers. This thesis provides a space in which readers voice their experiences of reading British children’s popular literature in the mid-twentieth century. It addresses three key concerns: the relative ‘absence’ of children’s reading culture from earlier work in cultural historical studies; a cross-gendered consideration of popular childhood reading material; and the wider relationship between gender and memory in oral history.