Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

May 12, 2004

U of G Scottish Studies Chair a North American first

North America’s first Chair in Scottish Studies has been appointed at the University of Guelph, home to Canada’s oldest established Scottish studies program and largest library collection of Scottish materials outside of Scotland. Graeme Morton, currently a senior lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Edinburgh, will join U of G in August as the Chair in Scottish Studies and a professor of history.

“This is great news for the university,” said Jacqueline Murray, dean of the College of Arts. “Not only are we gaining one of the world’s top Scottish scholars, but the creation of the chair is another indication of our position as one of the world’s foremost centres of Scottish studies.”

The permanently endowed chair was made possible entirely through $2 million in private donations, including a $750,000 gift from the Scottish Studies Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to the study of Scottish and Scottish-Canadian culture and heritage.

Morton is renowned for his research into Scottish identity and nationalism. He specializes in the historical construction of Scottish national identity and nationalism, with emphasis on the creation of the Victorian cult of Sir William Wallace. He is the author of William Wallace: Man and Myth and has published dozens of articles and chapters.

He was funded by the Canadian High Commission to study nationalism in Canada and Scotland. Morton is also part of an international team of scholars supported by the European Science Foundation to study “Writing National Histories in Europe.” He currently serves on the council of both the Scottish History Society and the Scottish Economic and Social History Society.

In addition to teaching post-graduate and honours courses at the University of Edinburgh, Morton supervises master’s and doctoral students. A popular media commentator on Scottish events, he will work closely with the Scottish Studies Foundation to promote the study of Scotland and Scots in Canada.

As Chair in Scottish Studies, Morton will be mainly responsible for conducting research and guiding students. He will expand outreach activities to promote undergraduate and graduate education in Scottish studies and will enhance international connections, particularly with Scotland.

The University of Guelph has been a leader in Scottish studies since the 1960s. Guelph currently has the only graduate program in North America devoted to the study of Scotland and the achievements of people of Scottish descent around the world. The interdisciplinary program explores the role of the Scots in terms of immigration, settlement and ethnicity, and the Scottish contribution to the culture and history of Canada.

For more information on the Scottish studies program, visit

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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