Campus News

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

News Release

September 20, 2004

U of G’s first Scottish Studies Foundation Chair to speak at conference

The University of Guelph’s new Scottish Studies Foundation Chair will give his inaugural address at the Scottish studies colloquium Oct. 2 in Room 102 of Rozanski Hall. Members of the public, the media and the academic community are welcome to attend the conference.

Graeme Morton, who comes to Guelph from the University of Edinburgh, will be officially named Scottish Studies Foundation Chair at a 2:45 p.m. ceremony. During the ceremony, U of G president Alastair Summerlee will recognize the $1-million pledge from the Scottish Studies Foundation that made up half the funds needed to establish the permanently endowed chair. “I would like to sincerely thank the Scottish Studies Foundation for helping the university permanently endow North America’s first chair in Scottish studies,” said Summerlee.

Morton is renowned for his research in Scottish identity and nationalism and specializes in the creation of the Victorian cult of Sir William Wallace. Following the ceremony, he will speak on “Reading History in a Nation’s Eyes: Past and Future Visions of Scotland.”

The theme of this year’s colloquium is “Scottish Studies at Guelph: Retrospect and Prospect.” “This is an occasion to celebrate the achievements of our graduates and to welcome Graeme Morton to the university,” said history professor Kevin James, convenor of the Scottish studies program. “The event will bring together graduates, current students and faculty of the Scottish studies program to highlight research that was developed in the context of studies here at Guelph.”

The colloquium begins at 10 a.m. with a lecture on "Outlaws of Medieval Scotland" by U of G graduate and Brock University professor Andrew McDonald. Following McDonald’s talk, U of G PhD candidate Janay Nugent, who has been newly appointed to the University of Lethbridge as assistant professor, will speak on “Understanding Family and Household as an Early Modern Scot.”

At 11:15 a.m., U of G history professor Elizabeth Ewan will discuss “Rough Justice: A Woman’s Life and Death in Early 16th-Century Edinburgh,” and James will present “The ‘Ulster Problem’: Female Workers in Scotland and Ireland, 1900-1914.” At 1:30 p.m., Guelph history PhD candidate Rob Falconer will discuss “Poverty, Piety and Productivity: Poor Relief in Aberdeen, 1542-1603.”

Following Morton’s talk, College of Arts dean Jacqueline Murray will host a reception to introduce the new chair to the community and recognize the volunteers and donors who contributed to the funding of the chair.

The university library’s annual book sale of copies from its Scottish collection will take place in the conference venue. The library contains one of the largest collections of Scottish material outside Scotland.

U of G 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.

The conference, including lunch, is free. Because lunch is provided, participants should register by Sept. 25. To register, contact (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53209, or send e-mail to For more details about the colloquium, visit the Scottish studies website at

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

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